A Favorite Fall Recipe & What’s Been Going On

posted in: Food | 0

I can’t quite believe that it’s almost October! In case you missed it, I was hosting a 30 Day Wellness Challenge and we had a great time in the private Facebook Group, deciding on our goals, encouraging each other, and doing a quick daily check in (although even for me, there were days I didn’t make it on to check in! #lifewithlittles)

 

30 Day Wellness Challenge

My wellness goal was to do a Whole 30, swim and/or do pilates 3-5x a week, and basically take a bunch of supplements and NingXia Red to support and nourish my body.

Our philosophy was that choosing progress over perfection is not only more life giving, but helps you to just go ahead and take the small steps to keep moving towards your goal, even if you stumble!

It’s been great to hear from people about what they learned during the challenge and how their progress is influencing other areas and goals! And the encouragement and accountability for me as well was such an amazing support and motivation!

 

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month already! I’ve been so encouraged by my progress during this challenge. Way more than I thought I would be. I’m amazed by how making small, meaningful changes can turn things around for us. One good decision makes the next one so much easier. We don’t have to do it all at once to make progress. I have the most success when I do something really small that I can actually stick to. Thank you for hosting this challenge. I look forward to the next one!

 

If you missed this Wellness Challenge, don’t worry! We are going to be doing another one in January and I’ll post the details about it in plenty of time beforehand so you can join our private Facebook group and get your goals figured out so we can start the new year strong!

It’s something like 92% of people fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions, so let’s work together to made good goals to begin with, set ourselves up for success, and encourage and motivate each other along the way! =)

 

For now, we are going to start deciding on our goals for October so we can capitalize on the momentum we’ve gained in September.  To help with this, I am starting a 12 week year goal setting group.  It’s based on the book The 12 Week Year which talks about setting goals quarterly instead of yearly and how to do better at executing.

I’ll be posting in the group about how to set up your 12 week goals and break them down into Monthly and Weekly actions.  If anyone needs specific help figuring out their goals, I can work with them on it.
Then we will do a Weekly Check In to see how we are progressing.  I’ll be doing a Live video 2-4x a month and giving some tips and encouragement. =)
Here’s the link to join the Facebook group if you are interested or just want to check it out!

 

22046939_10155018078511593_2775449001876868961_n

 

 

 

 

I just taught a Fall & Winter Wellness class and here’s the video link if you would like to get your natural wellness arsenal set up before all the winter ickies descend!

 

 

 

We go over gut health, ways to boost your immune system, sleep, nutrition, my go to preventative routine and what I do if someone in my family does get sick! It’s so great to have tools to keep your family healthy and it has made such a HUGE difference for my family.

 

 

Super Customizable Baked Fruit

Baked Fruit Dessert

Ingredients:

-Enough sliced fruit (apples, peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, apricots) to fill whatever size baking dish you want.
-Lemon juice (about 1 lemon or if using a bottle of lemon juice, just splash a good amount over the fruit. Maybe 2 Tablespoons?)
-Cinnamon (a lot)
-Nutmeg (if you want)

Wow….that was really detailed and helpful right?

 

Directions:

1. Slice the fruit thinly. I leave on the skin cuz #idontgottimeforthat but if you want to peel them, go right ahead! =)
2. Dump the fruit into the baking dish
3. Splash/drizzle lemon juice all over the fruit
4. Sprinkle a GOOD amount of cinnamon all over the fruit.
5. Sprinkle a little nutmeg if you have it and want to use it.
6. Mix the fruit around to get all the fruit coated with the spices.
7. Preheat oven to 350
8. Pop in the fruit mixture and bake for 45 minutes give or take.
9. Enjoy all the wonderful smells coming from your kitchen!
10. Eat by itself, with a little whipped cream, or ice cream (if you’re not trying to be healthy), or my favorite lately, spoon some over a bowl of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt.

Here’s the video I made to help with the vague measurements. lol!

 

It smells so fallish and it tastes just sweet enough that it’s dessert without added sugar, stevia, or the fake stuff. It’s the perfect fall dessert fix for me!

Bonus tip: If you have kids that leave half eaten fruit laying around, don’t throw them! I toss them in my fridge in a bowl and when I have a spare minute, I cut off the eaten part and slice it all up and it totally SAVES all that wasted fruit! I feel like a boss when I do it too. Lol! And I use whatever fruit we have laying around. Sometimes it’s a mishmash of pears, apples, peaches, etc…. Other times it’s just apples. Like I said, super customizable! =)

 

Here’s the finished product!

Baked Fruit Dessert

I hope you had a wonderful September!

God bless,
Heather

Whole 30 Tips for Busy Moms *Repost*

posted in: Food, Seasons | 0

StockSnap_E2LR2LMLS9

 

 

Hi Everyone!

I just started my second Whole 30 last Friday, and went back to reread this post so I could remember the things that helped me through the first one.  I figured if any of you are doing one now, it might be helpful.

I also wanted to add a few resources that helped me out with it.

  1.  The Modern Mrs. Darcy has several Whole 30 posts.  This one was really helpful.
  2. Well Fed & Well Fed 2 Paleo cookbooks.  Well Fed 2 has a Whole 30 section in it and her meat + veggie + seasoning combos in Well Fed were great to help make quick meals.  I just checked them out at the library.

 

I also want to emphasize how important seasons are.  I did the last one when I felt peace about it and it went really well.  My second one I am contemplating quitting or modifying because I’m not sure it is the season for it.  I’ll let you know what I decide and the reasons for it.  But whether you do the Whole 30 or not.  Or start it and quit because the timing is not right, please give yourself grace and be conscious of your season.
If you could use a little help figuring out what season you are in and how to embrace it, subscribe to Living in Jubilee and you will get a FREE copy of 7 Steps to Embracing Your Season with printables and journal pages.  I go through it periodically to reassess my season.   Hmmmm…..actually, I should probably go back and do it again now!

 

I hope some of these resources can help you on your journey!

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

*Repost from February 2016*

My husband and I just started the Whole 30 last Monday.  Traditionally, I do terrible with anything “diet” related.  Of the NUMEROUS things I have tried, I usually only lasted about 2 days but sometimes less before I was binge eating ice cream or bread or chocolate! 

I tend to do better when I practice moderation and focus on eating more nourishing, healthy things, adding more fruits, vegetables and water.  Focusing on deprivation of certain foods makes me want to gobble down an entire package of Oreos. 

So, while I was interested in the Whole 30, I waited to try anything new until I felt a peace about it.  Amazingly, I was really excited to try it and even more astounding to me was how easy it has seemed! 

I had a mild headache on one or two of the days, and felt a bit tired (although, I do have a baby and toddler, so that might have a lot to do with it too!) but really didn’t have any problem with sticking to it, or even with cravings.  But the last couple days I have been really wanting some stir fry or greek food, so they are on my radar for after we finish the 30 days!

After giving some thought to what I think has made this week pretty easy, I have come up with these seven tips.  Hope they help in your Whole 30 journey!

 1.  Tailor it to what your family already likes

My husband loves Mexican food and meat but dislikes most soups and salads.  He’s a meat and potatoes (or tortillas) kind of person.  He doesn’t need a lot of variety.  Instead of trying to look up a bunch of different recipes, I looked at what we already ate and figure out how to make it Whole 30 compliant.  Chicken fajita salad instead of in tortillas, taco salad, grilled chicken/steak/fish with veggies.  I added a bunch of avocado and the vegetables he will actually eat, like sauteed/steamed broccoli or green beans and radishes and cucumbers with lemon and garlic salt.

2.  Make it Easy

I have a two year old and a six month old who can now crawl all over the place.  I need things to be easy.  I don’t have a lot of time to spend making meals.  If something takes a lot of prep time, I usually won’t do it.

I have come to terms with the fact, that while I enjoy feeding people, I don’t enjoy the extra time to make time consuming, elaborate dishes.  There are other things I want to do. 

So if I have a head of lettuce in the fridge and I have to wash and dry and tear up to make one salad, I just won’t eat the salads.  Or if I have to wash, and cut up the broccoli or green beans and then figure out a way to steam them when I don’t have a steamer, I probably won’t do it.  And then I will watch as they go bad in fridge while I keep telling myself, “Tomorrow, I will make them tomorrow.”  And it’s no surprise that tomorrow never comes! 

So I buy the pre-washed ready to use spring greens for super quick salads, plus a bag of romaine hearts that I will rinse and chop for fajita or taco salads.  I also found frozen broccoli and green beans at Sam’s Club that come in one pound steamer bags that you pop in the microwave and five minutes later you have your vegetables ready to eat.  (Soooo worth it inmy case!)

3.  Prep Ahead

Prepping ahead was key for my success during our first week.  If I get to the kitchen to make dinner and the meat is not thawed or I’m starving and nothing is cleaned and ready to go for lunch or snack time, then I am in definite jeopardy of cheating!

Do things like:

-Grilling up a bunch of meat on the weekend and freezing it for quick dinners and lunches during the week.  Just today I realized that I forgot to look at the meal plan after being gone all morning so I pulled out some grilled chicken breasts from the freezer.  Add a steamer bag of vegetables and a salad and avocado and we are set.

-Make a batch of soup for the week and freeze.  This is my go to lunch.  I freeze the soup in two gallon Ziplock bags and take one out on Monday and the other one Thursday or so.  I alternate between the soup and salad or a baked sweet potato and salad.  Both are super quick and easy.  If I’m going to be gone all morning, I have the soup because I don’t have to chop up a bunch of toppings.

-Prep fruits and vegetables for snacks.  I usually make sure to have at least one cucumber already cut up and ready to go.  Sometimes I will cut up oranges and keep them in baggies, or portion out some nuts for convenience and portion control.

4.  Be Prepared

If I’m out and about and forget to pack a snack, I’m in trouble.  I try to make sure to look at the schedule to see when I’m going to be outside the house and make sure I have enough with me to make it until I get home.

-Larabars.  I keep a bunch on hand for emergencies.  I never leave the house without at least one in my bag.  I try to use them sparingly but they are perfect for when I’m on the run and need something easy to eat.  (If you are one of those people who has extra time and will actually make them yourself, then go for it!)

-Bottle of water.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Especially because I am still breastfeeding. 

-Baggie of nuts or fruit.  Sometimes I’ll grab a banana, or chop up an apple or orange for the road along with a little baggie of nuts.  Plus, it’s great in case the kids get hungry!

5.  Make a Detailed Meal Plan for the Week

It is ok to reuse it every week if you want.  Like I said, my husband does not care much about variety, so he’s fine with Chicken Fajita Salad every week, or the piece of meat and veggies.  The more variety, the more ingredients you need, and the harder you have to think about it.  I personally didn’t have the mental energy to have to make four different meal plans, so I am mostly reusing the same one.

-Keep it basic.  If you want to change something up, you always have that option, but if you have a week’s worth of quick easy basic meals already in place, you are set in case you get behind and don’t have time to think about meals before the next week is upon you.  (This is me most of the time)

-Keep in mind where you will be and what days need something really minimal prep, like a crock pot meal, or breakfast for dinner, etc…

6. Clear Out the Pantry/Fridge

It really helped me to know that basically everything in the fridge I could eat. (Minus the milk, cheese, and yogurt that I was keeping on hand for Joseph)  I also boxed up most of the beans, pasta, grains, chips, etc… in the pantry that would tempt us and I put it in our guest bedroom.  Out of sight, really out of mind.  There is a much better chance that I will stay with it if I am not staring chips or pasta, or sourdough bread in the face everyday.

7.  Keep Your Meal & Snack Times Regular

In trying to figure out why this felt so easy for me, I started to realize what an important role, regular snack and mealtimes played in it.  Before I started this, I felt starving ALL THE TIME!  I would stuff myself at lunch and dinner, wolfing down my food as if I hadn’t had a meal in a week.  But when I started the Whole 30, I was being super mindful about having a mid morning and mid afternoon snack.  And for the first time in a long time, I was able to have one medium bowl of soup and feel full as opposed to scarfing down 2 huge bowls and then feeling obnoxiously stuffed thirty minutes later.  The few days that I accidentally skipped a snack, I would overeat at the next meal. 

Perhaps, this is accentuated for me because I am breast feeding and need more calories, but if you find that this is a problem for you too, I would encourage trying the regular snack times.  It really made a world of difference for me!

So there are my seven tips and tricks for an easier Whole 30!

** P.S.  I’ll be posting my Whole 30 Meal Plan: Week 1 in a day or two, so check back, or subscribe by email so you don’t miss it!

God bless,

Heather

Things I’m Loving: Fall/Winter Edition

StockSnap_3FM1WZG24V

 

 

1.  Wearing an apron

I think it was Edie Wadsworth that first opened my eyes to the happy homemaking power that comes with putting on an apron.  I haven’t worn one in a long time and this fall I finally donned my cheery red and yellow ladybug apron and immediately felt like the world had instantly improved and all the domestic kitchen chores that we do over and over again to keep our people fed and our homes in order were a good deal more enjoyable.  I’m not sure what it is.  This mystery of the apron’s powers, but I am a fan!  So let the homey holiday feelings come and try wearing one.

 

2.  Chocolate in my coffee

 

StockSnap_MH7HU7WRB2

Oh my goodness.  This totally takes my coffee to the next level.  I need my coffee sweet and milky and I’m a back and forth coffee drinker, so sometimes I just cut it out altogether instead of settling for just ok tasting coffee.

Right now though, it’s fall and I just want fun drinks!  So this is my “recipe”:

-Put about a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder in the bottom of my mug.

-Pour coffee over the chocolate.

-Add your sweetener of choice.

-Pour in a nice glug of half & half ( or heavy whipping cream if you’re feeling really indulgent)

-Find a quiet place and SAVOR.

For me, this is making it so much better than just regular coffee.  More of a hot chocolate with a shot of coffee.  =)  And since budget constraints rule out a Starbucks run, this has become my treat to myself.

 

3.  The Holiday Instrumentals station on Pandora

I am highly sensitive to noise and music, even good stuff can quickly become noise to me, especially if I am trying to do or concentrate on something else.  This channel lets me have my Christmas music in the background without getting twitchy and irritable.

 

4.  Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God”

I LOVE this album!  Take my advice and go listen to it.  It’s broad and encompassing and fun and folksy in places but totally brings me to tears in others.  And it is such a unique perspective.

 

5.  Poldark

I wasn’t sure about this show at first.  It’s set in Cornwall England post Revolutionary War (which isn’t traditionally my favorite time period)  But it is such a great series!  We watched Season 1 on Amazon Prime and Season 2 is currently airing on PBS.

  It’s based on books by Winston Graham which I started reading and was amazed to find how closely the show follows the book.  There are some minor characters and scenes left out but nothing is really changed.  I think it’s probably the first time where I am enjoying the book and the show equally.

It’s a fascinating look at this time period in this particular area and there’s lots of galloping around horseback and amazing views of the sea.  I totally want to go live in Cornwall now.  And then I’ll go stand on the cliff overlooking the ocean while the wind whips my hair and dress….

 

6.  Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

 

Pumpkin-Breakfast-Cookies-h2

This is a great recipe!  Chock full of healthy ingredients, lightly sweetened with honey and perfectly filling.  The kids and I both love them and I made two or three batches before getting wise and tripling the recipe and freezing a bunch of them.  It was awesome.

It’s pretty flexible too.  I didn’t have quick oats so I ground up regular oats in my blender instead.  I also ran out of pumpkin seeds so I used sunflower seeds.  And I left the flax seeds whole instead of ground.  All the variations were great!

I take them to the park for snacks, or use them as a special treat for tea time.

 

7.  Tea Time

IMG_0201

 

I was inspired by Sally Clarkson to start doing tea time with my three year old son.  He has his own special Peter Rabbit tea cup and plate and we use the aforementioned Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies as our tea time treat. 

He LOVES it.  He gets to help put the tea bags in and pour the water and take the bags out and he gets milk and a couple ice cubes in his tea and we sit at the kitchen table and read something while we sip our tea and eat our cookies.  It’s been great.  I don’t always get to it everyday, but the times we do we totally enjoy it.  Of course, he’s a three year old boy, so attention span is short (the food helps with this a bit) and inevitably tea gets spilled and sometimes there’s fussing but overall it’s been a great little resting place routine for us.

 

8.  Target Dollar Spot Paper Chains

IMG_0193

 

I don’t think I’m alone in my love/weakness for the Target Dollar Spot.  A few weeks ago, I found packs of paper chain kits (in pretty shiny paper) and bought a couple.  Last night we put them together with my son and it was so EASY and added instant pretty fullness to the tree.  If you want to have a  long enough one to put around the whole tree, I would get at least 5 or 6.

In this season, I am all about simple and knowing what to do yourself and what’s not worth the hassle.  I could probably have cut the strips and stapled/taped them without too much trouble and I still might, but I like the pretty glittery paper and Joseph had fun.  So I’m calling it a win.

 

9.  Minimal Christmas Decor

 

IMG_0207

Last year I read Kendra’s post over at the Lazy Genius Collective about decorating without wanting to punch something and it was awesome!  I went through my box of Christmas decorations and got rid of everything I didn’t like or that was in colors I hated.  It didn’t leave me with a lot of stuff you guys.  (I’d only been married for a few years so we hadn’t amassed a huge collection yet)

So this year, I pulled out my one large Christmas tote, and put a few things out.  Just a few.  And those few things have been MAKING MY DAYS!  I’m telling you, it’s amazing what a frosty garland, a centerpiece, and a couple TINY Christmas trees (one with lights, and one for $3 at Target) do for my downstairs/kitchen.  I’m loving it.  Over the last couple days I have pulled out a couple more pieces as I’ve felt like it.  But it was super easy, simple and not overwhelming.  Again, I’m calling a win!

 

10. My new Young Living Starter Kit

 

starter kit

 

Last year, I had a c-section with my daughter and my immune system tanked.  Two days after we left the hospital, I ended up with a blood clot and we had to load up everyone and go to the ER, which led to spending another night in the hospital (on my birthday no less!)  Then a few days after that my body went crazy with hives EVERYWHERE, I caught hand foot mouth disease from my son (which let me just tell you is NOT FUN as an adult!), and I was pretty much sick on and off for the entire fall/winter season.

 

This year, heading into September it felt really important to focus on building my immune system and being proactive about our health and wellness heading into fall.

I had already been using a few essential oils from Sprouts for about four years or so and knew about their benefits, but my use of them was spotty at best and mostly they just cluttered up my drawer.

I took a class at the library on essential oils for kids and got to try some of the Young Living oils.  I knew that I wanted to get their Thieves blend which is excellent for boosting the immune system and their Stress Away blend which smelled divine!

That’s when I saw an Instagram post by Edie and she was telling her Young Living story so I decided to go ahead and get the Starter Kit.

 

It is the BEST investment I have made for my health and wellness and I am totally LOVING it!  Along with a great variety of 11 oils, you get a couple on the go packs of their super antioxidant drink Ningxia Red (which deserves it’s own “I’m Loving It” for the energy it’s given me from Day ONE!), AND a diffuser.

I can totally tell the difference of quality in these oils from the ones I had been using.  It took me by surprise at how well they are working and what a difference they are making in how I feel.  And having such a variety means that I can use them in so many different ways all the time.

I have been diffusing Thieves and their Christmas blend pretty much 24/7 since I got it and it makes me sooo happy and my house smell sooo good AND as a bonus, I get to boot out a bunch of toxins in the candles and cleaners I would have been using!

 

Right now, they are giving a FREE bottle of Christmas Spirit to everyone who orders a Premium Starter Kit!

 

Starter Kit pic

 

If you would like to order a Premium Starter Kit and get wholesale pricing of 24% off all future orders, click here.  It will automatically fill in my ID #10338448 for Sponsor and Enroller.  Then you just choose which Starter Kit you want (I HIGHLY recommend the Premium Kit!) and you will be on your way to reaping the benefits of essential oils!

If you have any questions, email me at hlion23@gmail.com

 

And that is what I’m loving right now!

Let us know what you are loving in the comments.  Or hop over to my Facebook page and tell me!  =)

 

Have lovely Advent season!

God bless,

Heather

Whole 30 Meal Plan: Week 1

posted in: Food | 0

Food

I promised to post our meal plan for the Whole 30, so here’s Week One.  Minus part of Saturday and Sunday because I must have spaced writing down what we ate and by now, there is no way I’m going to remember.  I can barely remember what we ate yesterday.  I’m blaming it on “Mommy” brain.

Anyway, I did want to share my experience doing the Whole 30 as well as some disclaimers.

1.  I did cheat on purpose once….My husband surprised me on Valentines Day by getting someone to watch the kids so he could take me out to dinner.  We decided that since we rarely go out to eat at restaurants right now, that we were ok with letting that meal be a cheat meal.  Those cheats included some tortilla chips to go with our guacamole, some ketchup for the potato wedges that came with my salmon, and a strawberry cream crepe.  I was really a model of restraint and didn’t even feel overly full or anything afterwards.  (Normally, I probably would have binged on the bread, etc… but I was able to make thoughtful conscious decisions on what to cheat on, which is such HUGE progress)

2.  I cheated on accident a couple times….I picked up some sugar free sausages completely missing the cheese part of apple GOUDA in the description.  Oh well.  And, another one that I’m chalking up to Mommy brain is the fact that I was eating a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar once in a while for the first week or two.  Somehow, though I was very aware not to eat peanut butter, I was able to completely tune out the word Peanut Butter in my Larabar.  Hello!  Earth to Heather!

3.  I stopped around Day 28.  We were all sick and frankly, I just didn’t have it in me to stay ahead of the meal plan, so Friday night, we broke down and got a burrito bowl from Chipotle.

HOWEVER…

Despite those facts, I am so glad that I did this.  Not so much because I’m going to continue doing the Whole 30 as a lifestyle or cut out a particular food group now that we are done, but because of what it did for me mentally.

Because I’m tired, I’m going to make this a bullet list.

 

-I lost 8 pounds during it.  Whoo hoo!  (Totally not my goal but a happy by product for sure!)
-I didn’t really crave much at all during it, which I thought was weird (or maybe just a blessing from the Lord?)
-I felt generally overall good.  Not crazy different.  I think just the fact that I wasn’t overeating made a huge difference in not feeling so stuffed and uncomfortable.  I felt pretty light and not weighed down.
-I didn’t notice much of an increase in energy, BUT I do have a six month old that is not sleeping through the night yet and we were sick for part of it, which meant I was REALLY not getting a lot of sleep.  So there’s that.
-My teeth felt SOOOOO clean!  It was crazy.  Even if I skipped brushing them, they still felt slick and clean.  And for me, a girl who is compulsive about having her teeth feel clean, that is a definite bonus!

Okay, story break….My husband and I were driving to the hotel on our wedding night and I realized that I hadn’t packed my toothbrush, so I told him that we were going to need to stop at the Walgreens so I could run in and buy one…in my wedding dress.  He thought I was crazy and I told him that I was completely serious.  I was not about to embark on wedding night/married life with dirty teeth!  So, he gallantly said that I could use his toothbrush and he would buy a new one the next day.  Although, it might have been fun to make a toothbrush run in my wedding dress…

-It seemed to completely break the back of my binging.  Even when we stopped the Whole 30, I didn’t just run out and stuff my face with a bunch of bread and dairy and sugar.  I have been adding in a tortilla here, or rice there.  A piece of chocolate once in a while.  I still haven’t had any coffee or milk.
-I think that eating too much chocolate makes my rosacea worse.
-I don’t think that I’m going to go totally gluten free but I do want to cut back on the amount that I eat.
-Potatoes make me feel heavy if I eat my “usual” portion.  But if I cut that portion in half, I feel fine.
-I am making a healthy snack a priority and it is helping me eat smaller portions at meals and not overeat.
-My old jeans fit again!  Another Whoo hoo!  After two c-sections, I was starting to think it may not happen.
-I am able to employ the “French Women Don’t Get Fat” idea of compensations for my pleasures.  If I have a piece of bread for one meal, I skip later that day or the next and sort of balance it out.  I think this has helped me find my “equilibrium”.
-It is a lot easier to be mindful about what to put back in and how much, than it is to try and “cut back” on things you are used to eating.
-It helped me to change my mindset of how I approached meal times and what I thought needed to be included to “make” a meal.
So that’s my story with it.  I’m still figuring out what my new “normal” way of eating will look like, but I don’t feel rushed, which is nice.  If you decide you want to try a Whole 30, here is our first week’s uber basic and easy meal plan!

 

 

 Whole 30 Meal Plan: Week One

 

Day 1:

Breakfast- Two fried eggs and peppermint tea (no sweetener.  I do not like tea without sweetener I discovered so I didn’t have it again)

Snack- Larabar

Lunch- Vegetable Soup, Salad with blackberries, cucumbers, onion, and vinaigrette

Snack- Apple with almond butter

Dinner- Chicken fajita salad with avocado

Snack- Banana, blueberries, and cashews

 

Day 2:

Breakfast- Scrambled eggs with tomatoes and green pepper

Snack- Larabar

Lunch- Vegetable soup

Snack- Apple and nut butter

Dinner- Roast beef, carrots, and salad

Snack- Cashews and orange

 

Day 3:

Breakfast- Two fried eggs and 1/2 a Larabar

Snack- Orange & cashews

Lunch- Baked sweet potato with turkey and a salad

Snack- Apple with almond butter

Dinner- Scrambled eggs with sausage, peppers, and mushrooms

Snack- Blueberries, cashews and a few green olives

 

Day 4:

Breakfast-  Scrambled eggs with left over sausage

Snack- Orange and cashews

Lunch-Vegetable soup and salad with left over roast beef on it

Snack- Apple with almond butter

Dinner- Salmon with broccoli and sweet potato fries

Snack- Blueberries and protein shake

 

Day 5:

Breakfast- Scrambled eggs with peppers and avocado

Snack- None

Lunch- Sweet potato and salad with beef

Snack- Larabar and cashews

Dinner- Taco Salad

Snack- None

 

Day 6:

Breakfast- Scrambled eggs with potatoes and bacon

Snack- Larabar

Lunch- Taco Salad

Snack- Cashews

Dinner-  And here is where I forgot to write down the rest of the week!

 

 

Hope this is helpful!

 

God bless,

Heather

Whole 30 Tips for Busy Moms

posted in: Creating Home, Food, Organization, Seasons | 0

Food

My husband and I just started the Whole 30 last Monday.  Traditionally, I do terrible with anything “diet” related.  Of the NUMEROUS things I have tried, I usually only lasted about 2 days but sometimes less before I was binge eating ice cream or bread or chocolate! 

 

I tend to do better when I practice moderation and focus on eating more nourishing, healthy things, adding more fruits, vegetables and water.  Focusing on deprivation of certain foods makes me want to gobble down an entire package of Oreos. 

 

So, while I was interested in the Whole 30, I waited to try anything new until I felt a peace about it.  Amazingly, I was really excited to try it and even more astounding to me was how easy it has seemed! 

 

I had a mild headache on one or two of the days, and felt a bit tired (although, I do have a baby and toddler, so that might have a lot to do with it too!) but really didn’t have any problem with sticking to it, or even with cravings.  But the last couple days I have been really wanting some stir fry or greek food, so they are on my radar for after we finish the 30 days!

 

After giving some thought to what I think has made this week pretty easy, I have come up with these seven tips.  Hope they help in your Whole 30 journey!

 

 1.  Tailor it to what your family already likes

My husband loves Mexican food and meat but dislikes most soups and salads.  He’s a meat and potatoes (or tortillas) kind of person.  He doesn’t need a lot of variety.  Instead of trying to look up a bunch of different recipes, I looked at what we already ate and figure out how to make it Whole 30 compliant. 

Chicken fajita salad instead of in tortillas, taco salad, grilled chicken/steak/fish with veggies.  I added a bunch of avocado and the vegetables he will actually eat, like sauteed/steamed broccoli or green beans and radishes and cucumbers with lemon and garlic salt.

 

2.  Make it Easy

I have a two year old and a six month old who can now crawl all over the place.  I need things to be easy.  I don’t have a lot of time to spend making meals.  If something takes a lot of prep time, I usually won’t do it.

I have come to terms with the fact, that while I enjoy feeding people, I don’t enjoy the extra time to make time consuming, elaborate dishes.  There are other things I want to do.

So if I have a head of lettuce in the fridge and I have to wash and dry and tear up to make one salad, I just won’t eat the salads.  Or if I have to wash, and cut up the broccoli or green beans and then figure out a way to steam them when I don’t have a steamer, I probably won’t do it.  And then I will watch as they go bad in fridge while I keep telling myself, “Tomorrow, I will make them tomorrow.”  And it’s no surprise that tomorrow never comes!

So I buy the pre-washed ready to use spring greens for super quick salads, plus a bag of romaine hearts that I will rinse and chop for fajita or taco salads.  I also found frozen broccoli and green beans at Sam’s Club that come in one pound steamer bags that you pop in the microwave and five minutes later you have your vegetables ready to eat.  (Soooo worth it in my case!)

 

3.  Prep Ahead

Prepping ahead was key for my success during our first week.  If I get to the kitchen to make dinner and the meat is not thawed or I’m starving and nothing is cleaned and ready to go for lunch or snack time, then I am in definite jeopardy of cheating!

Do things like:

-Grilling up a bunch of meat on the weekend and freezing it for quick dinners and lunches during the week.  Just today I realized that I forgot to look at the meal plan after being gone all morning so I pulled out some grilled chicken breasts from the freezer.  Add a steamer bag of vegetables and a salad and avocado and we are set.

-Make a batch of soup for the week and freeze.  This is my go to lunch.  I freeze the soup in two gallon Ziplock bags and take one out on Monday and the other one Thursday or so.  I alternate between the soup and salad or a baked sweet potato and salad.  Both are super quick and easy.  If I’m going to be gone all morning, I have the soup because I don’t have to chop up a bunch of toppings.

-Prep fruits and vegetables for snacks.  I usually make sure to have at least one cucumber already cut up and ready to go.  Sometimes I will cut up oranges and keep them in baggies, or portion out some nuts for convenience and portion control.

 

4.  Be Prepared

If I’m out and about and forget to pack a snack, I’m in trouble.  I try to make sure to look at the schedule to see when I’m going to be outside the house and make sure I have enough with me to make it until I get home.

-Larabars.  I keep a bunch on hand for emergencies.  I never leave the house without at least one in my bag.  I try to use them sparingly but they are perfect for when I’m on the run and need something easy to eat.  (If you are one of those people who has extra time and will actually make them yourself, then go for it!)

-Bottle of water.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Especially because I am still breastfeeding. 

-Baggie of nuts or fruit.  Sometimes I’ll grab a banana, or chop up an apple or orange for the road along with a little baggie of nuts.  Plus, it’s great in case the kids get hungry!

 

5.  Make a Detailed Meal Plan for the Week

It is ok to reuse it every week if you want.  Like I said, my husband does not care much about variety, so he’s fine with Chicken Fajita Salad every week, or the piece of meat and veggies.  The more variety, the more ingredients you need, and the harder you have to think about it.  I personally didn’t have the mental energy to have to make four different meal plans, so I am mostly reusing the same one.

-Keep it basic.  If you want to change something up, you always have that option, but if you have a week’s worth of quick easy basic meals already in place, you are set in case you get behind and don’t have time to think about meals before the next week is upon you.  (This is me most of the time)

-Keep in mind where you will be and what days need something really minimal prep, like a crock pot meal, or breakfast for dinner, etc…

 

6. Clear Out the Pantry/Fridge

It really helped me to know that basically everything in the fridge I could eat. (Minus the milk, cheese, and yogurt that I was keeping on hand for Joseph)  I also boxed up most of the beans, pasta, grains, chips, etc… in the pantry that would tempt us and I put it in our guest bedroom.  Out of sight, really out of mind.  There is a much better chance that I will stay with it if I am not staring chips or pasta, or sourdough bread in the face everyday.

 

7.  Keep Your Meal & Snack Times Regular

In trying to figure out why this felt so easy for me, I started to realize what an important role, regular snack and mealtimes played in it.  Before I started this, I felt starving ALL THE TIME!  I would stuff myself at lunch and dinner, wolfing down my food as if I hadn’t had a meal in a week.  But when I started the Whole 30, I was being super mindful about having a mid morning and mid afternoon snack.  And for the first time in a long time, I was able to have one medium bowl of soup and feel full as opposed to scarfing down 2 huge bowls and then feeling obnoxiously stuffed thirty minutes later.  The few days that I accidentally skipped a snack, I would overeat at the next meal. 

 

Perhaps, this is accentuated for me because I am breast feeding and need more calories, but if you find that this is a problem for you too, I would encourage trying the regular snack times.  It really made a world of difference for me!

 

So there are my seven tips and tricks for an easier Whole 30!

 

God bless,

Heather

Things I’m Not Doing

Joseph
This is how I feel

In case you missed the baby post, we are about 11 weeks along with Baby #2.  Which means the entire holidays have been a haze of nausea, bone deep exhaustion, and a complete lack of enthusiasm, energy, or enjoyment for pretty much anything.  And since my brain is just barely starting to put together coherent thoughts again, I am going to write this as a list.

 

There came a point somewhere during the holidays that I decided there were things I was ok not doing right now.  I felt a lot of freedom in it actually.  Letting go of the unspoken “should do’s” that I for some reason keep coming up with and following them as if anything less was failing.  My husband usually breaks through that for me with a “I never asked you to do any of that.  Why do you put so much on yourself?”  Just yesterday he said something to the effect of, “I don’t care about any of that.  All I really want is for the table to be cleared off.”  Ummm….  I can do that.  Did I mention my husband is wonderful?

 

So here’s the list.

 

THINGS I’M NOT DOING

1.  Making my own yogurt.

I really like making my own.  It’s not that hard.  Still not doing it.

 

2.  Making my own broth

Even though I have like 5 bags of bones and veggies ready to go in the freezer and it’s WAYYYY cheaper.  Do I really want the noxious smell of chicken broth pervading my home for 24+ hours?  I hate the smell when I’m not pregnant.  Let me tell you, that is a recipe for a vomit explosion right now.

 

3.  Scrubbing my toilets.

I’m embarrassed to admit the last time I cleaned them.  We are probably talking in the months here.  I think my husband cleaned them a couple weeks ago for me.  Hallelujah!

 

4.  Doing (much) laundry

Juan has been kinda taking over here too.  I think we went three weeks with the last load of clean clothes just sitting in a laundry basket in our room and me trying to figure out where all my underwear went, before he jumped in.

 

5.  Cooking (many) dinners

I didn’t cook anything the whole 2 weeks he was off for Christmas.  I’ve barely cooked anything since he went back to school.  Either he cooks, we eat out, or it’s something UBER easy like frozen pizza or baked potatoes.

 

6.  Coming up with fun, creative things for Joseph to do

Ummm…”Play with your toys while Mommy lies down on the floor.  No, please don’t hit Mommy in the head with a block.  PLEEEEASE go play with your toys!”  Perhaps if I’m really desperate, I take him to the grocery store or something to kill time until lunch and the golden nap time hour where I will stumble off to bed as soon as he’s in his crib.

 

7.  Keeping up with the bank accounts

I’m making sure the bills get paid.  Period.  Which is really only two of them since the rest are auto pay.  I’m pretty sure we still have money in the accounts….or at least we did when I last checked.  Which may or may not have been in November.

 

8.  Doing pretty much anything social

I go nowhere and see no one if I can help it.  No offense to any of my friends or church family!  I just don’t have it in me right now.  First trimester coupled with a depleted introvert is a recipe for hibernation.

 

9.  Planning and goal setting for the year

I definitely have a side that loves to plan and make lists and goals.  NOT right now.  I can’t even get close to thinking about a goal or plan or making a list without wanting to throw up.  So New Years has come and gone and we are just coasting into January.  Hope there’s nothing important I’m forgetting about…

 

10.  Washing my hair regularly and looking cute

I can’t remember when I washed my hair last.  It may or may not have been six days ago.  But it’s cold, and I’m so tired, and I HATE washing my hair!  And all of my pants are too tight and I hate my one pair of maternity ones so it’s yoga pants day in and day out and I already want to burn them.  And I’m cold and I have practically zero winter clothes that fit me right now so I’m schlepping around in my husbands sweatshirt, but at least I’m warm!  Maybe some day it will warm up and I will have a cute maternity top and bottoms I can wear (when I ever end up leaving the house)  But until then, I’m looking a bit like a bag lady.  Sorry Honey.  (Did I mention how wonderful he is yet?)

 

So yeah.

 

There it is.  A small list of things I’m not doing and feeling free about….or at least ok with until I feel more alive again.

 

Are there things you gave up doing for a season?

 

God bless,

Heather

 

In case you missed the baby post, we are about 11 weeks along with Baby #2.  Which means the entire holidays have been a haze of nausea, bone deep exhaustion, and a complete lack of enthusiasm, energy, or enjoyment for pretty much anything.  And since my brain is just barely starting to put together coherent thoughts again, I am going to write this as a list.

 

There came a point somewhere during the holidays that I decided there were things I was ok not doing right now.  I felt a lot of freedom in it actually.  Letting go of the unspoken “should do’s” that I for some reason keep coming up with and following them as if anything less was failing.  My husband usually breaks through that for me with a “I never asked you to do any of that.  Why do you put so much on yourself?”  Just yesterday he said something to the effect of, “I don’t care about any of that.  All I really want is for the table to be cleared off.”  Ummm….  I can do that.  Did I mention my husband is wonderful?

 

So here’s the list.

 

THINGS I’M NOT DOING

1.  Making my own yogurt.

I really like making my own.  It’s not that hard.  Still not doing it.

 

2.  Making my own broth

Even though I have like 5 bags of bones and veggies ready to go in the freezer and it’s WAYYYY cheaper.  Do I really want the noxious smell of chicken broth pervading my home for 24+ hours?  I hate the smell when I’m not pregnant.  Let me tell you, that is a recipe for a vomit explosion right now.

 

3.  Scrubbing my toilets.

I’m embarrassed to admit the last time I cleaned them.  We are probably talking in the months here.  I think my husband cleaned them a couple weeks ago for me.  Hallelujah!

 

4.  Doing (much) laundry

Juan has been kinda taking over here too.  I think we went three weeks with the last load of clean clothes just sitting in a laundry basket in our room and me trying to figure out where all my underwear went, before he jumped in.

 

5.  Cooking (many) dinners

I didn’t cook anything the whole 2 weeks he was off for Christmas.  I’ve barely cooked anything since he went back to school.  Either he cooks, we eat out, or it’s something UBER easy like frozen pizza or baked potatoes.

 

6.  Coming up with fun, creative things for Joseph to do

Ummm…”Play with your toys while Mommy lies down on the floor.  No, please don’t hit Mommy in the head with a block.  PLEEEEASE go play with your toys!”  Perhaps if I’m really desperate, I take him to the grocery store or something to kill time until lunch and the golden nap time hour where I will stumble off to bed as soon as he’s in his crib.

 

7.  Keeping up with the bank accounts

I’m making sure the bills get paid.  Period.  Which is really only two of them since the rest are auto pay.  I’m pretty sure we still have money in the accounts….or at least we did when I last checked.  Which may or may not have been in November.

 

8.  Doing pretty much anything social

I go nowhere and see no one if I can help it.  No offense to any of my friends or church family!  I just don’t have it in me right now.  First trimester coupled with a depleted introvert is a recipe for hibernation.

 

9.  Planning and goal setting for the year

I definitely have a side that loves to plan and make lists and goals.  NOT right now.  I can’t even get close to thinking about a goal or plan or making a list without wanting to throw up.  So New Years has come and gone and we are just coasting into January.  Hope there’s nothing important I’m forgetting about…

 

10.  Washing my hair regularly and looking cute

I can’t remember when I washed my hair last.  It may or may not have been six days ago.  But it’s cold, and I’m so tired, and I HATE washing my hair!  And all of my pants are too tight and I hate my one pair of maternity ones so it’s yoga pants day in and day out and I already want to burn them.  And I’m cold and I have practically zero winter clothes that fit me right now so I’m schlepping around in my husbands sweatshirt, but at least I’m warm!  Maybe some day it will warm up and I will have a cute maternity top and bottoms I can wear (when I ever end up leaving the house)  But until then, I’m looking a bit like a bag lady.  Sorry Honey.  (Did I mention how wonderful he is yet?)

 

So yeah.

 

There it is.  A small list of things I’m not doing and feeling free about….or at least ok with until I feel more alive again.

 

Are there things you gave up doing for a season?

 

God bless,

Heather

 

Moosetracks & Beetles

posted in: Food, Uncategorized | 0

 

Are there certain things you are addicted to?  Things that you can’t seem to say no to?  I lack will power.  I know it.  I admit it.  God is helping me but it’s a long road.

 

Exercise.

Bad track record there, let me tell you.  I think part of me rebels against it because it just seems so boring.  If I don’t make it fun, I just won’t do it.  Cardio DVD’s?  I want to shoot myself.  I do it for a week and know exactly what the trainer is going to say in exactly the right tone and I just can’t bear it.  I need variety and something that feels like I’m doing it because I enjoy it and not because I feel guilty about the ice cream I just ate and want six pack abs.  Which I would never be able to obtain, I mean, let’s live in reality.  Biking and dancing and hiking, are all things I like to do but then it seems like life always gets in the way.  And once you stop it is just soooo hard to start again.

 

Food.

I can do really well for a while and then it’s like my stomach rises up in rebellion and takes control of my hands and I find myself walking to the freezer and grabbing the Denali Chocolate Peanut Butter Moose Tracks ice cream and eating half the carton in one sitting.

 

I know.  I feel like I should do the walk of shame for that one.  Especially since I’m eating it as I write this.  I think the baby is starting to teeth and his fussy factor has increased the last week or so, which is eroding some of my willpower.  And I thought maybe I was pregnant again and could blame it on that but I took the test and no such excuse will work for me today!

 

But it’s Chocolate AND Peanut Butter.  How can you say no?  Chocolate and Peanut Butter in Ice Cream no less.  *Sigh*  And this is why I need the Holy Spirit to work with me on my self-control.

 

Oreos.  I am a closet Oreo lover.  I finally had to acknowledge the truth to myself.  I know I should be repulsed by them and all the non-food processed junk that is obviously in them, but don’t leave me near an open bag of them.  All that will be left is crumbs.  Especially if they are double stuffed mint.  Chocolate AND Mint???  Be still my heart.  They are like crack.  I’m not even kidding.  It’s like my brain checks out and my hand just keeps reaching for another one and before I know it, I’ve eaten twelve of them and feeling sick.  Because really, no one should ever eat that many Oreos in one sitting.  One is probably more than enough for our poor bodies.

 

But alas!  It is one of those things that I just can’t seem to keep from reaching for.  That and a good brownie.  Another dessert that goes amazing with peanut butter or mint!

 

*Quick bunny trail.  As I’m typing this outside, a little black beetle was crawling across the patio and totally fell into a big crack and landed upside down on his back and spent the last couple minutes waving his little crunchy beetle legs in the air trying to flip back over.  Maybe I’m distracted easily but it was kind of funny.  I was waiting to see if he would overcome his predicament or if next week there would be a little beetle skeleton stuck in the patio crack.  I guess to a beetle it would be like falling in a canal or something.  That medical alert commercial popped into my head and I pictured him saying in a squeaky little bug voice, “Help!  I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

 

Ummm…where was I?

 

Oh.  Addictions.

There are some days that I just feel totally lacking in my ability to say no to those things and then the enemy comes along with a heaping dose of steaming guilt and I feel even worse and that it is impossible to overcome.

 

But that is when I have to remember that I am a work in progress.  That I need to have grace for myself.  That the Lord is faithful and just to complete what He has started and that He loves me exactly the same in all of my failures and triumphs.

 

Even when I’m sitting here with a Denali Chocolate Peanut Butter Moosetrack mustache.

 

 

Oh and here is my attempt to slow the ice cream consumption…

 

20140228-173912.jpg

 

I’m going to put one on every ice cream container.  Think it will work?  =)

 

 

What about you?  What things do you struggle with saying no to?  What helps you to overcome?

 

God bless,

Heather