Our 2nd Miracle From Heaven

Adoption - Birth Mom Belly
I know I have completely been missing from the blog for months!  Let me explain.  Our second little miracle came into our lives on December 30, 2014.  And, for the four months prior to her arrival we had been meeting with her gorgeous birth momma and working towards this baby girl’s delivery.  I suppose my priorities were focused on getting my second beautiful daughter to my family and the blog took a back seat.  I sure hope you’ll forgive me because this little miracle is so darn beautiful I can hardly stand it!  (And, it might be just a smidge longer before I seriously get back to blogging recipes.  In my eyes, my babies are only this little once and I don’t want to miss out on these precious days.  But, I do have a post that will be coming shortly on make-ahead freezer meals that I can’t wait to share with you.  So, stay tuned!)

Adoption - Open Adoption Birth

Adeline Joy weighed 7 lbs., 14 oz., and was 19″ long.  As with our first amazing miracle, we also chose to have an open adoption with Addie’s birth mom and she was gracious enough to allow me and my husband in the delivery room during Addie’s arrival to this world.  Words cannot explain the amazing experience of this grand event!

Adoption - Miracle #2

When little Adeline was discharged from the hospital 48 hours later we loaded her in her car seat and headed home.  This is when Evie met her baby sister for the first time.  Evie was THRILLED and literally jumped up and down with excitement when we walked through the door.  She adores her baby sister and it’s SO sweet to watch her interact with Addie.  I am so grateful these sisters have each other!

Adoption - Sisters

We are seriously head-over-heels in love with this beautiful baby girl.  She is so sweet and such a mild-tempered baby.  We cannot get enough of her.  If we didn’t have to do anything else (you know . . . like laundry, eat, shower, etc.) then we would NEVER put her down.

Adoption - Mommy & Baby

Adeline’s birth mom has one of the biggest hearts I have ever witnessed.  She knows how to truly love better than most.  She loves our little Addie so much and we are grateful that she had the strength and the GREAT amount of love to break her own heart (and trust me, she did!) to give Addie a better life than what she can currently offer.  Addie’s birth mom is one strong, courageous, brave, faithful, and loving woman.  There are no words to describe the amount of gratitude and love we hold in our hearts for this beautiful woman.  We are grateful to have an open adoption with her and welcome all of her love in our family.  I mean, can there ever be too much love?  I think not.

Adoption - Adeline's Birth Mom

We feel like Adeline is truly “home” and, like Evie, was always meant to be in our family.  Our “new” family of four is, without a doubt, a miracle in our lives.  We love our little family and the way it has come about.  I feel like we are just walking through each day with a big giant heart wrapped around us.  The love is indescribable and I am madly in love with our sweet family.

Adoption - New Family of Four
(I obviously love adoption, and open adoption in particular.  I am happy to answer questions, offer advice and/or explanations if desired. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a private email.)


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I’ve been off celebrating the holiday season and spending time with those I love.  I hope you have been too.  I’m planning on being back next week in full force to help you get off to a healthy and happy new year!

Happy New Year - Mimi's Fit Foods

From my family to yours . . . 

Happy New Year!

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa - Mimi's Fit Foods

You guys!  This is such a yummy side dish.  We all loved it at first bite!  If you love quinoa, it’s a no-brainer.  If you don’t love quinoa, well this might just be the recipe to change your mind.  You’re probably thinking, “Come on.  How awesome can quinoa get with the addition of cauliflower and cheese?”  Well, let me tell you!  It gets pretty darn awesome!  Think cheesy cauliflower with the creamy texture of quinoa thrown in.  I guess I just needed a good excuse to find cheesy cauliflower legit in a healthy way.  I totally feel 100% okay with getting my cheesy cauliflower fix with this yummy dish.  We’re totally addicted and we might end up having this more than once or twice a week now.

Cheesy Cauliflower Quinoa
Adapted from Mom, What’s For Dinner?

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 cup reduced fat cheese (I used a Mexican 4-cheese blend)
salt and pepper to taste

Add quinoa and broth to a medium pot.

Cover and bring the quinoa and broth to a boil over medium heat. Add Cauliflower and reduce the heat and simmer covered until the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender,about 15-20 minutes.

Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot! This easily reheats. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/6 of the Recipe)
Calories:  180.7
Protein:  10.6g
Carbs:  22.7g
Fat:  5.9g (2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.8g
Sugars:  2g

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Mimi's Fit Foods

Here’s to wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!

We’ve had such a special year with the addition of our little one.  May you find and enjoy memorable moments with the ones you love!

We will certainly be spending time with our loved ones over the next week, and I plan to be back in full swing by the first of the year.  And by that, I mean that I’ll be getting you some more yummy and healthy recipes to welcome in 2013!  Until then, Happy Holidays!

Our New Miracle From Heaven

I hope you’ll forgive me for slacking off on the recipe posts for a minute, because I cannot get enough of my new little love bug! We’ve waited a long time for her to join our family and she’s finally here!  Look at her perfect face!  Can you blame me one bit for choosing to snuggle her instead of cook!?

Evie Savannah was born in St. George last Friday on May 11, at 1:50 p.m. She weighed 8 lbs.,  7 oz.,  and was 20” long.  She was released from the hospital on Sunday afternoon and we arrived home that night.  She is the perfect baby and our little miracle.  We simply CANNOT get enough of her.  Our hearts feel as if they are overflowing with love!

There’s no doubt that we are proud and VERY happy parents.  I feel like I am living one of my most important purposes and dreams as a mama.  Beau turned to me the other day and said, “I love being a daddy.”  Between the two of us, she rarely gets put down.  We believe you can’t spoil a baby or child with too much love.

We love our baby girl.  Oh, how we love her!  We love to snuggle her, we love to feed her, we love to change her diapers, we love to get up with her in the night, and we love to just look at her for hours.  We are mesmerized and completely in love.

We love Evie’s birth mother more than words can say.  Among many things she is brave, strong, and simply a beautiful person inside and out.  We hope and pray that Evie acquires those wonderful traits!  We are excited to have an open relationship with this beautiful woman, as well as with her family.  We’ve missed them since we’ve been home and we are thrilled to make a visit to see them soon.  Evie’s birth mama will be graduating from high school and we can’t wait to share in the celebrations.  I think we’re all counting down the days until we can be with each other again.  It’s impossible to express how much love, honor and respect we hold for Evie’s birth family!  We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect relationship with Evie’s birth mother and birth family, nor could we ask for a more perfect and beautiful child for us.  There is so much love around us we sometimes think our hearts might just burst!

Friday Feature: You In? Come On, Let’s Run!

Half Marathon 2012 American Fork Canyon

This is one of my MOST FAVORITE Half Marathons!  I ran it last year and absolutely loved it.  I knew as soon as I was done running it that I would be back the next year.  Well, it’s the next year and I haven’t changed my mind!  I’ve already registered.

Now, I can’t register and participate in this run all by myself!  I’m a bit of a social person and would LOVE to have more of my friends join me in this endeavor.  I realize we all have different goals and paces, so we may not actually run it together.  BUT, we can go through a training schedule together (while we may not be running side-by-side it will still be nice to know that we have others participating in a similar training regiment), we can meet up and ride the buses together on race day, and we most certainly will meet up at the end of the race to give each other high-fives!

Let me just tell you that this coarse is a BEAUTIFUL course!  The first 7.5 miles is run down American Fork Canyon (one of my favorite canyons, by far).  This canyon is absolutely gorgeous.  This is also a great race for beginners and seasoned runners alike.  It’s a downhill course which helps beginners, and it is challenging enough for seasoned runners to muster up the strength to achieve a PR (Personal Record).  The event is well organized, the apparel is pretty darn good, and we ALL get a medal when we finish!

Here are the details:

Race Date: July 28, 2012
Race Start Time: 6:00 am
Bus Pick-up: 3:40 – 5:00 am
Registration: $67.00 (Until May 30th)

You can get even more details by going to their web site:  http://afhalf.com/timpanogos-half-marathon

So, who’s in!?  Come on and join me for some running fun and a personal accomplishment!  Trust me – for a race like this, the cost is VERY comparable to other events and you’ll be SO happy to know you accomplished a half marathon.  Running a half marathon is VERY doable for most people.  So, don’t EVEN think that you cannot do it!  (For those of you who have already run one before, you know exactly where I’m coming from, right?)

Do you need one more incentive?  If you register for the race, I’ll personally write and design a training schedule just for you!  Yep, no charge – just a little perk for making my summer training and race day MUCH more fun by having you there with me.  The more the merrier, right!?

Once you register for the run, leave me a comment or send me an email to mimisfitfoods (at) gmail (dot) com.  I’ll be sure to hook up with you so I can get you that training schedule I’m promising you.

Now, let’s get running!  You going to join me or what?!

*Note:  This post is in no way sponsored by the organizers of the Timp Half.  They have no idea I am even writing it and all the opinions expressed are entirely mine.  I really do love this event!

Fun In The Sun – Costa Rica

I hope you don’t mind me taking a small break from posting a healthy recipe or fitness tip (other than the reminder of this post on how to stay fit while on vacation), but I just got back from Costa Rica and I’m dying to tell you all about it!  Beau and I decided that we needed a vacation and a break from life (who doesn’t every once in a while?).  We had some good friends (practically family) who also wanted to vacation so we started scheming of a place we would all want to go together.  Costa Rica ended up being the chosen destination!  It was a beautiful place to visit, the people were incredibly friendly, and the weather was AWESOME!  I’ll take you on a tour of what we did and saw.  Ready?

First of all, you should know that my handsome husband speaks Spanish fluently.  When he was in grade school he elected to go through the Spanish Immersion program and he’s been speaking the language ever since he was young.  Thus, going to Spanish-speaking countries is often a desirable location for us.  I tell you this because without this incredible skill, I probably wouldn’t agree to do some of the things we did.  There’s a sense of safety in knowing that Beau can get us around town just by knowing the language.  SO . . . That being said, we thought it would be cool to enjoy some local culture.  There was a festival (somewhat similar to our town celebrations we have here) going on in Libera so we decided to attend.  We went to the Rodeo first.  They ride bulls bareback, but then the crazy part is that they allow the locals to hang out in the arena and be chased by the bulls once the rider is bucked off.  We later found out that the more people who get injured by the bulls, the greater the festival is rated.  Crazy!

Here we are at the Libera Rodeo with our great friends Carl & Kelli.

Here are the brave locals being chased by a bull. You can see there are A LOT of brave souls in there!

After the rodeo, the streets were blocked off and there was a horse parade.  Being horse people, we were interested in seeing this.  We ate dinner up on a balcony that overlooked the parade route and started to watch.  It got dark, so it was hard to get good pictures, but there were a lot of horses and the parade lasted for over an hour.

The beginning of the horse parade. There were over 1,200 horses.

Being so close to Nicaragua, we thought it might be cool to see another country while we were there.  So, we took an entire day to see some incredible sights in Nicaragua.  We were VERY impressed with the beauty of this country  and felt very safe there (considering it has a “scary” reputation).

We visited Granada.  Founded in 1524 by the Spanish conquistadors, Granada represents an elegant and historical city in Nicaragua.

Granda had pristine architecture. This is an old church building.

We then transitioned to a boat ride in Lake Nicaragua where we discovered some of the 365 small islands created by an eruption of the nearby Mombacho volcano years ago.  We also saw monkeys in the trees while we were out-and-about.

This is one of those small islands and you'll notice that people buy the real estate and actually build on the island. Some people use them for vacation homes and some people actually live there year-round.

Next we went and actually saw an active volcano! There was no lava to be seen, but it was hot and smoky.

This was taken at the top of a lookout & you can see the crater as well as the smoke coming up from behind us. It also had a STRONG sulpher smell.

We also visited the city of Masaya which we all really enjoyed.  We ate lunch there, met a few locals (who were SO nice), and did a little shopping.

To wrap up our trip to Nicaragua, we stopped to see the Apoyo Lagoon.  This is an old crater that is now filled with warm water.  As you can see, it is beautiful!

Laguna de Apoyo

Now, let’s head back to Costa Rica!  There’s fun stuff to see/do there.

We visited one of the largest, most famous waterfalls in GuanacasteWe were able to swim in the water, walk behind the falls, and I honestly felt like I was on a movie or something.  We happened to see some spotted owls and Jesus Christ Lizards here (they got that name because they can walk/run across the water).

We traveled into more of the rainforest to experience a zip-line.  We heard that it is practically unspeakable to think about going to Costa Rica without doing a zip-line.  We understand why!  We hiked through the rainforest for a while (seeing butterflies in colors I’ve never seen before, lizards, monkeys, birds, and agouti).  We then jumped on a zip-line comprised of 11 cable-to-cable jumps.  It was BEAUTIFUL and SO much fun!

Here I go! Check out all that greenery!

Yep! That's right! I went upside down! Whooohoooo!

They had one section where there were two cables side-by-side so Beau & I could go together. The picture is a little blurry, but it's still fun (at least I think so).

After we hiked and played at the zip-line we went to Volcan Miravalles, known for its sulfur springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pots.  It sits 6,653 feet high and is the highest peak of the Guanacaste Mountains.  We took a mud bath, sat in some warm springs, and even when down a water slide that used the sulfer spring water.  It was a GREAT way to end the day because it was so relaxing.  Oh, and I must mention that we saw Toucan Sam while we were here.  Maybe it wasn’t Sam, but it definitely was a Toucan bird!

Here I come down the water slide.

Here we sit and soak in the relaxation of the warm spring water.

We ended up staying about a half mile off of the beach (Playa Hermosa).  We could walk there within 5-7 minutes.  There were also several beaches that were within about 5-10 minutes (driving time).  We visited Coco Beach in addition to the beach right off of our villa.  We stopped at fruit stands to buy local fruit (melon and pineapple are in season right now).  We also tried the local cuisine which consisted mostly of rice, beans, and plantains (pretty healthy, right?).

I’ll leave you with a few images that we were able to capture while there.  You can’t leave Costa Rica without seeing the monkeys or without seeing a gorgeous sunset!

Beau tried to get as close as he could to this monkey. He kept inching closer and closer and finally the monkey looked at him with big eyes, and quickly turned around and ran back up the tree. It was so cute!

We found a family of monkeys in the trees down on Play Hermosa. We found them because they are Howler Monkeys and they were howling. We heard them, looked up, and there they were. There were even baby monkeys! This one cracked me up because he was dead asleep, all sprawled out on this branch. They were SUPER fun to watch!

Here is a Sunset on the beach. Not bad, eh?

I took this picture just a minute or so after the one above. The sky went completely orange. It was muy bonito!

I’m already missing the warm weather, but I’m happy I had the chance to explore a new place and to have had the opportunity to go!

Hasta Luego, Costa Rica!

Pomegranate & Apple Winter Salad With Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

This salad is soooooooo perfect for holiday parties.  It’s also sooooooo perfect for winter time.  This looks so festive and tastes so yummy too!  I first made this for Thanksgiving dinner and we’ve had it a couple of times since then.  The only ingredients that are sacred to the recipe are the apples and pomegranate arils/seeds.  After that you can totally play with the vegetables that you might enjoy in the salad.  I LOVE the sweetness and crunch that the fruit offer to this salad.  The apples and the pomegranate really compliment each other and you’ll be delighted how the tart meets the sweet.  The dressing is a cinch to throw together and it continues to highlight the star ingredients.

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious side to take to your next party, you ought to consider this one!  If you’re just looking for something to change things up at home, this may be your ticket too.  If you want to turn this into a full meal, you can easily add chicken to your salad with great success!  Enjoy!

Pomegranate & Apple Winter Salad
With Creamy Pomegranate Dressing

Mimi Original

3 cups mixed greens (I used romaine)
1 medium apple, diced (I used honey crisp)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced cucumber

1/3 cup pomegranate juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare salad, place greens in a serving bowl.  Pour lemon juice over chopped apple and stir to coat (this helps to prevent the apple from browning).  Top greens with apple, pomegranate seeds, and remaining vegetables.

To prepare dressing, combine juice and next 5 ingredients a small bowl; stir well with whisk.  (You can also put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.)

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information – Salad Only (Per Serving = 1/6 of Recipe)
Calories:  56.2
Protein:  1.5g
Carbs:  12.8g
Fat:  0.6g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.9g
Sugars:  7.8g

Nutritional Information – Salad & Dressing (Per Serving = 1/6 of Recipe)
Calories:  101.6
Protein:  1.6g
Carbs:  17.3g
Fat:  3.7g (0.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.9g
Sugars:  11.7g


Hoping to Adopt

Today I am posting a slightly different post.  If you’re wondering
where the recipe is for today, well . . . there will be one tomorrow.  So,
don’t forget to stop by again this week to grab it!  However, I thought
you might be interested to hear a bit of my good news today!

Beau and I have been diligently working on the opportunity to adopt.  Well (drum roll please!). . . . . . we have officially been approved and are hoping to adopt a sweet little baby.  We are excited and anxiously waiting for the next stage of actually being selected as an adoptive family!

As uncomfortable as it is to talk about ourselves, we know that it helps for others to know what we are doing.  As you are located in different places around the world, many of you will have opportunities to be in contact with circles of friends that you might be able to share our information with.  If you know of anyone looking to place a baby, please keep us in mind.  Even if there is no one currently in your mind that is looking for an adoptive family, please continue to keep us in mind for future reference.  We cannot wait to provide a great home and life for children.

The road to get to this point has had its ups and downs, but we cannot be happier that it led us to this juncture!  Adoption is such a wonderful opportunity that we are excited to be a part of.   Thank you for letting me share a piece of it with you!