Real Food on a Budget?

When we are traveling, one of our favorite things to do is find local restaurants and try them out.  Although we are all very adventurous eaters, we do try to eat as healthy as possible, even while on the road.  You’ll often find us enjoying vegetarian dishes, beans & rice, salads and fresh fruit.  Not to say that we don’t tend to indulge a little more when away from home, we just try to keep what we eat as close to real food (food that isn’t heavily processed, has simple, whole food ingredients, and isn’t high in sugar) as possible. Because we aren’t as strict when traveling, when we are at home, it’s super important for me to create meals that are as healthy as possible.  That way I can ensure we are following my 80/20 rule of 80% healthy eating and 20% not quite as healthy.  I do love to cook, but with a full-time job, kids in two different schools, and year-round sports it can be challenging to get a real food meal on the table. One of my favorite tricks is to find cookbooks I love that have pages full of delicious real food recipes.  Then I’ll plan the weekly menu using just that one cookbook – it’s fun for me, easy as I’m not looking up recipes all over the place, and if I like the author, I find I’m happy with the meals. Lisa Leake’s cookbooks are some of my favorites.  I’ve been using 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food and 100 Days...

Color for your Thanksgiving Table

It’s the time of year most of us think about cranberries.  Even if you don’t normally enjoy them, you might consume some cranberry sauce this week while enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner. However, we really should be eating cranberries much more often than once a year!  Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants, vitamin C AND they are great for your digestive system. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you may have been advised to drink cranberry juice.  That’s because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins.  This helps prevent E.coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Thanks to all those antioxidants, they also help our body get rid of toxins that can cause our immune system to weaken – and a weakened immune system makes us more likely to pick up an icky bug. If you’ve never had real cranberry sauce – this is the year to start.  Here is my favorite recipe – it’s incredibly simple, delicious and can even be made a few days before you want to serve it. Other ways to add more cranberries to your life include drinking them (make sure it’s real cranberry juice and not a bit of juice with tons of additional ingredients), adding fresh ones to baked goods, or dried cranberries to your salads.  Or just snack on them raw – yum! This is also the time of year to stock up on cranberries – they can be pretty hard to find at the grocery after December.  Buy an extra bag or two and stick it in your freezer.  They’ll even keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator’s crisper...
Kick Start Your Eating

Kick Start Your Eating

How’s your summer going so far?  Hopefully by now you’ve done at least a few FUN things and gotten a few good workouts in.  Please keep that up!  Your family and your body will thank you. This week we are going to jump into healthy eating.  Summer is a great time of the year to switch up your diet.  Food tends to be fresher, we often don’t want to eat as much when it’s hot outside and we don’t have to contend with sports practices and homework every evening. For the next few days I want you to concentrate on breakfast.  It’s a super important meal, and one most people don’t take seriously enough.  When you eat in the morning, you are essentially “breaking the fast” from not eating throughout the night.  Breakfast will also set the tone for the rest of your day.  Eat sweets and a coffee and you’re just not going to crave that healthy salad for lunch.  Skip it completely and you’ll be so hungry by noon you’ll probably overeat. So you can see why what you eat first thing each day is critical.  Something I have all my clients do is drink a glass of water as soon as they wake up.  I drink mine while my coffee is brewing as part of my morning routine.  Next be sure to enjoy a breakfast that consists of a healthy fat and a light protein or whole grain.  Fruit and/or vegetables are an ideal compliment.  Some ideas: Avocado toast (1/2 an avocado on a piece of toast – sprinkle sea salt, pepper and a splash of...
Spring Cleansing – Food

Spring Cleansing – Food

With summer coming and school ending soon, it’s a great time to clean out the pantry.  I know I need to be ready for the kids to be home most of the day.  I need a pantry that helps me get quick lunches on the table, and makes it easy for them to grab snacks on their own.  In addition, with a daughter in 4-H I need to be stocked up on baking supplies so she can practice her project easily. After a crazy warm winter, the last few days in Indiana have been cold and rainy.  Without the desire to be outside every minute of the day, I was able to spare some free time getting my pantry cleaned and organized.  And it had become quite the mess after the busyness of the last few weeks! I started by taking everything out on one wall (which was a project), throwing out everything expired (not much luckily) and then reorganizing based on food category.  Ditto for the second wall.  Canned foods are now on one shelf, snacks on another, breakfast food is together, grains are together now and in glass or plastic containers, baking supplies, etc.  I found I have a crazy amount of cereal (we only eat cereal on vacation and I suspect that is from a trip to the store my husband and kids handled for me a while back), so some of that needs to be donated, and I’m a bit low on baking supplies.  I also don’t think I ever need to buy barbeque sauce again.  Good to know. Overall, my pantry isn’t full of a...

How I use the Essential Oil Joy

I hope you’ve enjoyed playing around with the Essential Oil Joy this month.  I know I did – it definitely became a habit for me to run a few drops through my hair, and I had several people comment on how nice my hair smelled.  What an easy and natural way to get delicious smelling hair!   I also shared how to make delicious scented note cards. It was a lot of fun making the lotion bars.  For those of you who missed that Facebook Live episode, the recipe is HERE so you’ll have it handy whenever you get the desire to make some of your own. I know this was one of the more expensive oils we will cover this year, but it is composed of so many wonderful oils that it’s truly worth every penny – and the bottle will last you a long time!  Even though the month is over, you can still order some and refer back to this post for ways to use it. Next month we will be diving into Lemon.  You don’t want to miss that as this oil is one of the least expensive while having a HUGE variety of uses.  Make sure and check back throughout the month here and on my Facebook Page to learn all about the essential oil Lemon. Want to play along next month?  Check out the Oil of the Month Club Page for more info. Need a quick start on making the most of every day?  A way to jump in and start enjoying life while you are planning out your next year?  Check out...

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