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Meal Planning: Getting Started

I feel like I hear “meal planning” in the air everywhere now. It’s such a popular idea, and it’s time to jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already. It seems simple enough. I am going to plan what meals my family will eat this week. Done. But then you sit down to do just that and realize that an hour has gone by and you are still searching through recipes you saved on Pinterest and you have only decided on one meal for the week. My goal is to walk you through getting started in your meal planning.

First, you will need to start by asking yourself these questions.

  • What produce do you have in your fridge, freezer, or pantry that you want to use up?
  • What meats, proteins, beans, legumes do you have for the center of your meals?
  • What does your schedule look like this week? What days would a crockpot meal work best? What social events do you have? What are the kids’ schedules like this week, and how will that impact your dinner time?
  • Use the meal...
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Eating Healthy on a Budget

Do you find yourself wanting to have healthier eating habits, but concerned about the cost of doing so? We so often find that the healthier we want our food to be, the more money we have to spend - and for less food! Don’t let that frustrate and deter you! I have some quick tips that will help you save some dough at the grocery store so you can eat healthy while being on a budget.

First, eat more beans and lentils!

  • Canned and dried goods tend to be cheaper.
  • Use 1 pound of ground beef with 2 cups of beans or lentils. This will make the meal last longer and will certainly fill you up faster.

Second, eat more fresh vegetables and fruit!

  • Buy these fresh items once or twice a week. By doing this, you won’t overbuy to the point where you see yourself throwing away produce that’s gone bad.
  • Buy produce that is in season. It tastes better and is cheaper.
  • Don’t forget that canned fruits and veggies are a great option too. Just be sure to rinse canned items before...
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Brussel Sprout Hash Recipe

Lately, in an effort to make sure I eat enough vegetables throughout the day, I’ve either been making a healthy morning juice smoothie or adding vegetables with my morning eggs if I'm not doing Intermittent Fasting. One of my latest obsessions is my Brussel Sprout Hash. It’s spicy, crispy, and easy to make! I’ve also used this dish as a side dish for dinner on occasion if you’re not interested in having it for breakfast!

Why should you add brussel sprouts into your diet? Well, like most people, as a kid I hated them, but as an adult I’ve grown to appreciate and love the taste!
Here are some benefits of brussel sprouts:

  • Have lots and lots of antioxidants
  • Helps fight cancer and heart disease
  • Restores healthy digestion
  • A high amount of protein for a vegetable
  • All the Vitamin C & K you need for the day (along with other vitamins and nutrients)
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Decreases your risk of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and neurodegenerative...
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A Review on Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips as a food review, what? I know it sounds a little silly. Perhaps you have your go to brand that you always buy. Maybe you’re not brand loyal in the least and are always trying new ones. Either way, I feel it’s necessary to review because there are so many chocolate chips and chocolate candies with fillers, too much sugar, or things that could be unknowingly harmful to you, or at the very least, not as good as you think it is. If we’re going to splurge on chocolate (and let’s be honest, it’s worth the splurge), then let’s get the biggest bang for our health buck.

As a chocoholic myself, I feel completely qualified to share my honest opinions and reviews of different chocolate chips. Seeing as how we use it all the time… everything from a little after dinner treat with my girls to homemade trail mix to a drizzle over fat bombs… I wanted to make sure we were eating the best kind. Chocolate chips are rarely just...

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How to Help Your Friend Who Just Had a Baby

After having my first baby, I remember feeling so isolated. So alone. My whole world had just changed, but it was just a normal week for my friends without babies. I remember even going out to get lunch with friends shortly after, and not once did anyone ask me, “how are you doing?” SMH.

There were questions about how my baby girl was sleeping, how much she pooped, and other typical baby questions. I can still recall leaving that lunch date and just crying my eyes out on the way home. I called my sister (who has three children), so I knew she’d get it. All I had wanted was to go talk to my friends like friends. And to my surprise, as I’m sitting there trying to nurse my baby in public for one of the first times and not let my boob pop out of my shirt, worrying about germs everywhere and whether or not she was eating enough, I realized that my gossip girl days might be over. I’m sitting there stressing about everything instead of enjoying my time out. I...

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How to Have More Energy as a New Mom [Part 2]

Not a fan of coffee?

So, what if you aren’t a coffee drinking but you’re human and a sleepy mom and need more energy? If you missed part 1, go back and review it here. Here are more tips to help with natural energy:

5. Drink Tea

Start by drinking tea. Find a tea that’s yummy for you. Black tea will have the most caffeine. Try matcha! It’s very earthy tasting and a concentrated form of green tea. It’s likely that if you don’t like green tea, you won’t like matcha without adding some type of sweetener like sugar or honey; unfortunately, that is going to defeat the purpose of limiting sugar intake, but it still might be worth you considering.

6. Eating will also give you energy!

You will need to begin with removing foods that cause inflammation. The common culprits include: gluten, dairy, and soy (which are all hidden in almost all processed foods). Within hours of consuming these triggers you will feel things like fatigue, sore joints,...

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How to Have More Energy as a New Mom [Part 1]

Frazzled, run-down, beat, drained, exhausted. I.AM.SO.TIRED. Let me just start off by saying that mom’s never get enough credit for how much energy they exert and how little sleep they get to make up for it. We are all sleep deprived.

Because of our long days and even longer nights, I joke that “coffee is my love language”. I don’t know how I’d survive without it. Currently, I can drink coffee black, but I didn’t always like it this way. I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was in college. I would add so many little packets of splenda, Dunkin Donuts sweeteners, or buy the heavily, artificially sweetened coffees. Yikes. #Cancer

For those of you that know me personally or follow me, you know I am pretty honest about my health struggles in the past. I’ve changed a LOT of my nutrition practices since college. It certainly wasn’t easy. If you’re a coffee drinker like myself, you want to limit coffee intake to 300 mg or less...

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Getting Your Spouse to Eat Healthier

Having someone to keep you accountable on your trek to reaching your health goals is important. Hopefully your spouse is the best accountabilibuddy since their proximity to you makes it easier for each of you to keep the other in check. Alas, not all spouses are ready to jump on the healthy lifestyle train. What are ways that we can get that slightly stubborn significant other to eat healthier?

My sister-in-law grew up in a “meat and potatoes” kind of household. Any vegetables that were eaten were of the starch variety (e.g. potatoes, corn) or they came from a can. Not too surprising, but as an adult, there were few vegetables that she would eat. My brother had to come up with a way to expand her horizons. He played around with the way he cooked them (broiling brussel sprouts vs. sauteing them). He tried different spices and flavor combinations. Basically, he would pick a veggie that he wanted to eat, then tried to make it appetizing to her. It worked!! She loves eating...

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Grocery Shopping Tips

The pantry and fridge are cleaned and organized if you followed last week's Kitchen Spring Cleaning! You’ve thrown all the junk out and, hopefully, have made a list of some items that need to be replaced.

Download my free Busy Moms Snack List at the top of the page for help with what to put on your list!

The grocery store can be very overwhelming for all of us. Grocery stores can be challenging because they are designed to overpower your senses. Stores like Costco don’t even label their aisles because they want you to get lost and buy things you never intended to. Here are some tips to help you navigate your way through grocery shopping.

  1. Make a list … and stick to it!

    1. A list is a great way to make grocery shopping efficient and effective! It keeps you from adding extra, not so healthy foods in the cart. In turn, you save money by avoiding those impulse buys.
    2. For additional savings, check the local flyer or browse the website of the grocery store beforehand...
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Kitchen Spring Cleaning

That itch we feel to clean out and clean up our homes in the spring is approaching! If you’re like me, then you might be finding yourself digging around in your pantry for a snack or something to make as a side dish for dinner when you come across that chocolate Easter bunny from last year or that discarded bag of chip crumbs that was kept for a just-in-case midnight snack. It’s time for the crap to go!

One of the wonderful symptoms of spring and warmer weather is not just the need to organize and purge, but also to begin (or hopefully continue) eating right. We become increasingly aware of summer; and that our sweats will retire to the back of our closets and be replaced with shorts, dresses and bathing suits. That’s all the motivation I need to toss the tempting junk food I’ve hoarded for months and get back on track.

Let’s start with the junk in the pantry!

  • Toss the foods that are overly processed and high in sugar. Leave yourself a treat or two...
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