Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

As a simple home cook, I tend to stick to what I know and hesitate to deviate from what works for my family. Since I started cooking, what I have known best in terms of cooking oils is extra virgin olive oil and use it for most of my cooking oil needs.

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I recently had the opportunity to try cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil. I did not know much about palm oil. One experience I did have with palm oil was that when I was getting my Masters in Business Administration, palm oil production was universally reviled.

When I heard about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, I was most interested in finding out what makes it sustainable. Through my research, I learned what makes palm oil special and also what makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil a good choice for palm oil.

What Makes Palm Oil Special?

  • Palm oil contains no genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)
    • As more and more consumers demand their food products to be GMO-free, many producers are using palm oil to fulfill this requirement. The majority of corn, soy and canola oils available in the United States are genetically-modified.
  • Palm oil is nutrient-rich. 
    • Palm oil is loaded with carotene and has more vitamin E than any other vegetable oil
  •  Palm oil is a natural alternative to trans-fat laden partially hydrogenated oils. 
    • Palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature, which eliminates the need for it to undergo hydrogenation.
  • Palm oil is ideal for cooking
    • I never knew that when used at high heat, some oils begin to degrade or lose its nutritional value. Palm oil, on the other hand, has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than other oils. Olive oil begins to degrade at 380 degrees, canola at 400 degrees and coconut oil at 347 degrees.  Additionally, palm oil has a neutral taste.

What Makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Special?

  • Palm oil production has less of an environmental impact than other edible oils.
    • Palm oil trees produce more oil than annual crops, such as corn, soybean and canola. Palm oil trees also do not need to be cleared and replanted year after year like corn, canola and soybean crops.
  • Malaysia practices responsible growth to protect the country’s environment and wildlife. 
    • Palm oil trees are only grown on designated land, and Malaysia has pledged to keep at least half of its land under forest cover.
  • Malaysia plans to have 100 percent of its palm oil certified sustainable by the end of 2019. 

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My Experience Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

I decided to try creating two dishes using Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil. First, I made popcorn.

The first thing I noticed was the palm oil’s interesting red hue. It looks so unusual compared to other cooking oils I have used in the past.

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To make the popcorn, I heated the palm oil in a pot with three kernels of popcorn and waited for the kernels to pop. When they did, I removed the pot from the burner and added the rest of the popcorn kernels to the pot. At this point, I partially covered the pot with a lid and shook the pot as the kernels popped. Unfortunately, as this was happening, the red oil was splattering all over my countertop and white cabinets. Not happy about this! But the popcorn turned out perfectly cooked and tasty.

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The second dish I created with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil is a staple in our weekly meals. It is a Mediterranean-inspired pasta dish.

Step 1: Boil pasta of your choice according to directions. I used some leftover linguine that we had in the pantry.

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Step 2: As the pasta is cooking, cube a single boneless, skinless chicken breast and flavor with soy sauce, oregano and basil. Add Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.

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Step 3: Remove chicken breast from pan. Add an additional tablespoon of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and a bag of pre-washed baby spinach. Cook until the spinach leaves are wilted.

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Step 4: Add sliced kalamata olives to spinach and cook for 2 minutes.

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Step 5: Add cooked pasta and chicken breast to pan. Season with more soy sauce. Cook for 3 minutes.

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Step 6: Plate pasta in bowls and add sundried tomatoes.

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I honestly found that Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil was a great addition to this dish that I seriously cook almost every week. It came out deliciously!

After learning about the benefits of using palm oil, this creature of comfort is feeling less comfortable about going back to my old cooking oil ways!

To learn more about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, visit http://palmoilhealth.org.

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Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies for the On-the-Go Mom

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

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When do I get to eat? Once you sign up for motherhood, you can kiss nice, leisurely meals goodbye, unless you have someone else watching the kids!

That is why I am always on the lookout for healthy, convenient meals and snacks that fit into our current lifestyle. I was recently introduced to Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies, which come in super convenient pouches. They are a great option for a quick snack while you are out-and-about with the kids or as a pre- or post-workout snack between meals.

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Using Fuel for Fire on a walk with the kids and pup

About Fuel For Fire

Fuel For Fire was founded in 2012 by professional chef, six-time Ironman Triathlete and fellow parent of twins Rob Gilfeather. He wanted to create a convenient snack made from real food that provided natural energy to fuel and recover from his workouts. His mission is to change the way people eat on-the-go by making smart, impactful changes to their daily nutrition that support lifelong, healthy habits.

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Facts about Fuel For Fire

  • Made with 100% real fruit puree and whey protein isolate that is 99.8% lactose free
  • No gluten, soy, nuts, GMOs, fat or added sugar
  • Each pack delivers nine essential amino acids in less than 125 calories and contains more protein than one whole egg
  • Conveniently packaged into single-serving pouches that come with a built-in straw
  • Pouches do not need refrigeration, but taste great when chilled

Fuel for Fire is available in five flavors:

Coffee
Each coffee pouch has 122 calories, 11 grams of protein and 65 mg of caffeine! Ingredients include banana and coffee extract. I found the coffee flavor to be a little bitter and don’t usually need the added caffeine due to the time of day I would be needing a snack, so this was not my favorite.

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Strawberry Banana
The strawberry banana pouch has 105 calories and 12 grams of protein. I loved this flavor.

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Banana Cocoa
The Banana Cocoa pouch has 115 calories and 10 grams of protein. Another great flavor in my book.

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Sweet Potato Apple
The Sweet Potato Apple pouch has the least number of calories at 93 calories and 10 grams of protein. Unlike the other pouches, this one included cinnamon as an added spice. I personally thought that the cinnamon flavor was overwhelming and for some reason, I thought the consistency was a little weird compared to the other flavors. This was my least favorite flavor.

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Tropical *my pick*
The Tropical pouch has 116 calories and 10 grams of protein and included three fruits –  pineapple, banana and mango. This was by far my favorite flavor. It was light, refreshing and delicious!

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While I was not a fan of each and every flavor, Fuel For Fire made a great impression on me. I used them as pre-, during, or post-workout snacks to get me through to the next mealtime, and I found them to be perfect for this purpose. I also preferred them chilled, but run temperature worked better when we were on-the-go.

Where to purchase

Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothie pouches typically retail for $2.99 each. They are currently available for purchase at fuelforfire.com, Amazon.com and select retail stores. To find Fuel For Fire in your area, visit fuelforfire.com/apps/store-locator.

I also wanted to share a special discount with you. You can get 40% off plus free shipping on any purchase on fuelforfire.com with the discount code SAVE40. Offer expires July 31, 2018.

Mother’s Day 2018 Recap

Some how, some way, I celebrated my second Mother’s Day this weekend! I cherish every day I get to spend with my two little guys and feel so lucky to be their mom. Of course, we have our moments, and I suspect we will be having many many more once they get closer to two years old, but at this moment, they are still two little squishy boys who love to give hugs, cuddle and always want their mommy. I really cannot ask for more!

So Happy belated Mother’s Day to all my fellow mommies of humans out there! My Mother’s Day lasted a solid week, with lots of activities and fun with my little guys.

Mother’s Day Card Art Project

On Tuesday afternoon, we had a little painting party! The boys stripped down to their diapers and made me Mother’s Day cards and also got their abstract artist palettes out afterwards.

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Mommy and Me photo shoot at Old Poway Train Park

The Mom’s Guide to San Diego and My Gym Poway hosted a Mommy + Me photo shoot at Old Poway Train Park, and we were lucky enough to participate!

It was our first time at this park, and it is really cool! On the weekends, they have a ton of things to do, including the Heritage Museum, Poway-Midland Railroad and the historical Nelson House.

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I would love to visit again during the weekend sometime!

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I love that we got to capture the three of us this week. It is so hard when you are juggling two babies to remember to take pictures. Our photograph came out so sweet! Thanks so much for having us!

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Photo credit: Honeybee Photography

Mother’s Day Shop + Sip at Sakura Bloom

On Thursday, we headed to Sakura Bloom in Encinitas for a Mother’s Day shopping event. It turned out to be a bit of a pain because there was no room for strollers, so I wound up wearing one of the boys and holding the other in my arm. I was there for a whole 30 minutes, and my arms were dying! Ugh! Just another thing singleton moms don’t have to worry about.

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With my one free arm, I did manage to eat a donut, wait in line for a custom floral bouquet and get our picture taken before running back to my car before my arm officially fell off.

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So no shopping was to be had by us. 😦 I also have not gotten our photo back yet, but the floral bouquet was on point.

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Mother’s Day

Hubby was so sweet on the actual Mother’s Day and gave me some time to do some things in the morning. After helping with the kids and Gus, I headed to a morning yoga class at the Free People store in Mission Valley.

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It was a super chill class, and afterwards, we got some healthy snacks and could do some early bird shopping before the mall was officially open.

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Before heading home, I picked up some boba tea from Kung Fu Tea for me and the hubby.

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For lunch, hubby planned a picnic lunch for us at Kate Sessions Park. The views here are to die for! The park also was not crowded at all and had the perfect, huge grassy area for picnicking! I only wish we had brought Gus along, because he would have loved it. Next time…

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This weekend, we also discovered that both of the boys loooove being in the baby swing! The park has a relatively large play area with two baby swings. Perfect!
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Look at this view!

While the babies took their afternoon nap, I was able to get a nice massage. I have been feeling very off the last few days after taking a kickboxing circuit class, but I felt much better after my massage.

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Last but not least, hubby gave me the night off from cooking dinner too! He picked up some sushi for us from Gami Sushi.

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Thanks, boys and hubby, for making me a mom!

San Diego Stroller-friendly Summer Runs / Races 2018

Since becoming a mom to twin boys last year, I finally made the leap and signed up for my first race – the Hot Chocolate 15K, which will be held next March. On top of crossing the finish line at that race, my racing goal for this year is to complete a stroller-friendly 5K with my boys.

As I am researching which race to sign up for by the end of this year, I have not found any place that lists stroller-friendly runs in a centralized, easy to find way, so I decided to gather this information myself and share it with you each season. I’ll try to also add any perks that go along with registration.

Without further ado:

June 2018

June 9: San Diego Legends 5K, Point Loma

  • Stroller and dog friendly
  • 5K or Kids 1-miler
  • Performance Event T-shirt
  • Finisher Medals for all participants
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Autograph booth featuring San Diego Sports Legends
  • Kids Fun Zone with bounce houses
  • Live DJ

June 16: San Diego County Fair 5K, Del Mar Fairgrounds

  • Stroller friendly
  • Event t-shirt
  • Free admission to the San Diego County Fair on race day
  • A $6 “Plus 1” voucher/ticket to the San Diego County Fair
  • 1 additional ticket to the San Diego County Fair to be used at a later date

June 23: Tony Gwynn 5.5K , Lake Poway

  • Stroller and dog friendly
  • Scenic 5.5K route with chip timing or Kid’s fun run
  • T-shirt and finisher’s medal
  • Post-race party with live music, beer garden, food trucks and vendors

July 2018

July 4: Crown City Classic 5K, Coronado

  • Stroller-friendly
  • Kids Fun Run
  • T-shirt and finisher’s medal
  • Also a 12K race but no strollers permitted

July 14: Pride 5K, Central San Diego

  • Stroller-friendly
  • Race shirts

July 21: Cabrillo Sunset 5K Run/Walk, Cabrillo National Monument

  • Stroller-friendly
  • Scenic sunset course
  • Race shirt

 

August 2018

August 19: America’s Finest 5K, North San Diego Bay

  • Short-sleeve, tech shirt
  • Complimentary beer in the post-race Ballast Point beer garden
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Finisher food bag
  • Finish line festival with live band, refreshments and celebration

August 27: Cristian’s Big Heart 5K Run/Walk, Bonita

  • Stroller-friendly