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...
My Thoughts on Aldi

My Thoughts on Aldi

I’ve shared in the past some great ways to save money on healthy food – and I still do most of those things weekly.  Lately I’d been hearing about how Aldi now has a line of organic food.  Of course I had to check it out. For those of you unfamiliar with Aldi, it is a grocery store chain (owned the same company who owns Trader Joe’s) that carries a small selection of products.  Most of the food Aldi sells is it’s own brand label.  Just like Trader Joe’s, if you want ketchup, you have one choice, not the twenty you’ll find in a typical grocery store.  At Aldi, you also bag your own groceries using your own bags – this helps keep the costs quite low. I’ve often run into Aldi to check out their produce or pick up some staple like dried beans that I know I can purchase inexpensively, but I’ve never done a full out shopping trip there. This week I decided to go in specifically to check out this new organic line.  I have to say, I was quite impressed!  Most categories (dry goods, snacks, dairy, frozen, even meat) carried at least a few organic items.  And at excellent prices!  Check out what I purchased (note the seeds weren’t organic, they were just a really good deal, and I used them for a big batch of trail mix!): A few examples of what I found: Organic Vegetable and Chicken Broth -$1.79 Organic Coconut Oil – $4.99 Organic Spices – $1.99 Gluten Free Bread – $3.99 Based on my experience, I will definitely be adding...

Food Prep for Weekly Success

It’s pretty apparent I believe strongly in preparing ahead of time.  Last week I shared how I keep lunch making stress to a minimum.  To keep things even easier and to help with all meals during the week, there are a few things I regularly do right after grocery shopping.  These few tasks will make EVERY working mom’s mealtimes go a little bit smoother. I know some of you will read this, roll your eyes, and say to yourself  “NO WAY!  I don’t have time for this nonsense.”  BUT, I timed myself and it took me twenty minutes start to finish.  The benefits include healthier eating and less stress for the whole week.  that’s worth twenty minutes to me.  Got older kids?  Make your life even easier and enlist their help. As soon as I get home from the grocery, I pull out the cutting board and a knife and prep a bowl of veggies.  Once that’s done, I can pack the veggie portion of school lunches in seconds, and if dinner is rushed, this bowl can be pulled out as a healthy side.  I also make a small bowl of dip or hummus to enjoy with the vegetables, and a pint size mason jar of healthy salad dressing (Just mix a few T of extra virgin olive oil with a few T of some type of vinegar, add salt, pepper and any other herbs you’d like.  You can also add a t or 2 of dijon mustard.  Yum!). Greens are washed and spun dry, then packaged in bags with a damp paper towel.  Now they are ready to be...
Easy, Healthy Snacks for MOM!

Easy, Healthy Snacks for MOM!

After two weeks of school, we are back into a solid routine.  Yes!  Part of it means that due to nightly sports practices, dinner are being eaten much later.  So, in addition to fixing the kids a snack after school each day, I’ve been fixing myself one also!  If I’m going to eat a snack every day, I need to make sure it’s healthy, right?  I’ve found that by adding a filling and healthy snack to my later afternoon routine, I can avoid stuffing my face with everything in sight as I prepare dinner (not that that has ever happened!). Since I’m hungry, tired and dealing with homework, carpooling, sports and cranky kids, I created a list of go to snacks.  This way it’s one less decision to make.  I can grab my snack (and often the kids eat the same thing), and feel confident I made a good choice. What’s on my list? There are three main categories I enjoy:  savory, salty and sweet. Savory Tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and basil (frequent right now while the tomatoes are ripe!) Hummus with sliced cucumber and celery Crackers and cheese Salty peanuts popcorn edamame with sea salt Sweet apples & peanut butter dip “healthy” fudge yogurt, frozen blueberries and granola Having the snacks ready (or at least the ingredients prepped) makes life SO easy!  I just pull out what I feel like enjoying and I’m satisfied and able to wait for a later dinner.  All of these snacks can be prepped ahead of time (I cut up veggies on Sunday or Monday night to have on hand all...
Super Refreshing Strawberry Mint Lemonade

Super Refreshing Strawberry Mint Lemonade

My kids love to make “fancy” lemonade – which in their minds mean they add their “secret ingredient” of fresh mint to regular lemonade.  Yesterday my daughter and I decided to take it up a notch and use some of our MANY fresh strawberries from the garden. Super Refreshing Strawberry Mint Lemonade 1 lemon 3 – 4 small strawberries 2 leaves fresh mint, torn into small pieces honey water crushed ice Step one:  Squeeze your lemon into a glass and add the strawberries and mint leaves.  Muddle. Step two:  Add a few teaspoons honey, stir and then fill glass with crushed ice and pour water over top.  Stir again.  Add more honey if needed to taste. This was delicious and very pretty – we added a little strawberry to the rim and served it with brownies, ice cream and more fresh strawberries – yum!  (You could also easily add a shot of vodka to make a “grown up version.”) Look at how many beautiful strawberries I picked – this was only twenty minutes of me sitting by the strawberry patch – YUM! Ready to make healthy changes in your life?  Contact me today and we’ll schedule a 30 minute breakthrough session – we’ll dive into your current life and come out with three areas you’d like to improve! Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday and The Mommy...

Pin It on Pinterest