We are on a roll and just getting the hang of meal plans. The amount of time it takes this week will be shorter than the first two weeks. The process gets quicker and easier every week.
With week one and two’s meal plans in front of you, use it as the base for week three. If you loved each meal then just repeat the prior week’s meals. If you found a few meals that just didn’t work for your family than adjust that meal. It might be time to make a new recipe meal night. Adjust one or two meals. Don’t go crazy and change up everything that is working. Lets keep the changes small and consistent. Mix up the side dishes you served with a different meal and move forward. Don’t forget to make your grocery list too. Week three is done. Simple is Easiest, Simple is Best.
Still struggling to make it happen? Don’t give up. Anything new takes a bit longer until we have made the system our own. All this planning saves you time and loads of stress each day.
Start with the basics and keep moving forward.
Making and preparing a dinner meal for your own family can be time consuming and taxing. The thought of feeding 15- 20 people can feel like an overwhelming event. I've found two recipes that make a crowd happily fed but its easy on the time budget as well.
These two dinner meals go in a crockpot and can cook while you're doing other things. Glance over the recipes now, you'll see the time to put them together doesn't take long.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chopped bell pepper (or 1/2 bag of frozen peppers)
¼ cup of lime juice
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 TBSP cilantro
3 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
I cup chopped onion (or ½ bag frozen chopped onion)
Everything goes in the crockpot and you cook it on low for 5-6 hours (or on high 2-3 hours).
This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook about 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low. Shred the chicken with two forks before serving.
Green Chili Pepper Stew
(This recipe came from Hall of Fame peep- Judie who modified the original recipe from the Green Chili Bible Cookbook)
2 pounds of beef stew meat
1 1/2 onions chopped (or a bag of frozen chopped onion)
1 garlic clove minced
2 - 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
3 4.5 ounce cans of diced green chilis
2 squares of beef bouillon
Place all the ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
This meal can also be made into a freezer meal for later. Combine everything in large Ziploc bag and toss to coat. When ready to cook, thaw overnight or just put straight into the crockpot frozen. If thawed, cook 7-8 hours on low. If frozen, cook 3-4 hours on high, and then 5-6 hours on low.
To Your Best Health,
Five Very Good Reasons for Keeping a Food Journal
Starting a food journal is as easy as an empty sheet of paper and a pen. Use those two tools to write down everything you eat and drink for 3 days. You'll want to add details to your paper as well. Things like how much of each food did you eat, when, were you hungry? How was your food prepared? Did you eat at home? at the table, in the car, or inside a restaurant.
Those questions work for me. But let me know what helps you best.
To your best health,
These Breakfast “Potatoes" are a great low-carb alternative to starchy potatoes. Turnips have a very similar taste and texture so you'll never know the difference.
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
1/4 onion, diced
3 slices bacon
1/2 teaspoon each of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
Add the turnips, onions, bacon, and spices to a pan that has been heated to medium high heat. Cook 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Cook until the bacon is crispy and the turnip is soft. Top with green onion before serving.
Add an egg or two and voila, breakfast is served.
Shhhh……The first time I made this, I didn’t tell the kids I used turnip. They never asked so I never told.
To your Best Health,
Vegetables and Your Health
"Eating higher levels of veggies and fruits are associated with a lower incidence of:
Colon, prostate, cervical, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, thyroid, and breast cancer
High blood cholesterol
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
and a lot more that aren’t on this list…” – Dr. John Berardi
There is no magic pill, potion, or lotion that is going to do all that. Now if that list doesn’t speak to you, do vitamins, minerals and fiber? PLUS you get to try an amazing variety of incredible tastes from all over the world – right from your very own kitchen!
Did You Know? Vegetables (and fruits) provide an alkaline load to the blood. Both proteins and grains present acid loads. Too much acid can cause loss of bone strength and muscle mass – not cool. Osteoporosis is not just about calcium. Stay balanced by getting enough veggies.
Here's what you can do:
Our goal is to get at least 2 servings of vegetables every time we eat. 1 counts, but at least 2 is way gooder!
What’s a serving?
1/2 cup raw chopped veggies
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
Here’s are some other (non-measuring cup) examples:
5 broccoli florets
10 baby carrots
4 slices of onion
1 cup of leafy greens (spring mix)
15 cherry tomatoes
0.5 bell pepper
1 cup of spinach
“But” you whine “I don’t like any of those!”Lucky for you there are hundreds of vegetables in this great big wide world. Check out this alphabetical list to get you started.
And there is even more good news.Filling up on those cancer fighting, free radical busting, vitamin and fiber packed veggies help you stay full longer
I fell in love with Pomegranates. They are just a fun little fruit right from the start. I love opening them up, I love the smell of the fruit, and those little seeds are delightful. This is one of my favorite salads in the Fall. It brings thoughts of summer back to me.
FOR THE SALAD
4 cups any leafy greens (I like mixed greens)
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted
1/4 cup pecans
FOR THE DRESSING
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Juice from 3 mandarin segments
1/8 tsp garlic powder
To taste sea salt and pepper
Prepare all salad ingredients and toss several times to mix. In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients and pour lightly over the salad.
To Your Best Health,
Eating the food we need and not overindulging is challenging. The more consistent we are with portion control the better we maintain the body we want or the faster we get to the body we want. There are three things I want you to start doing.
1. Use a smaller plate size. Simple but effective way to see a plate full of food and yet the portions are smaller because the plate can only hold so much.
2. Don't go back for seconds. Enjoy the first serving but don't reach for a second spoonful (helping) of foods.
3. Put a reminder on the table to eat slowly. By eating slowly you will your body the chance to naturally signal it is satisfied or 'full'. You can do this in a variety of different ways. Moving the kitchen clock so it is directly across from where you sit will remind you to eat slowly during your meals. Put out different placemats or place a vase of flower on the table. Use that cue of something different on the table to trigger you to act differently. Using a smaller forks and spoons will naturally slow you down as well.
Take one of these ideas or all three and use them to help you.
To Your Best Health,
As we age, we tend to just fall into Old Age. We don't really know what to expect, we just judge what happens as part of aging and accept our new selves and our new life as OLD people.
Here are ten things you can do to ensure you will be miserable while you enjoy OLD age
So Did you get ALL that?
How many of the rules are you following right now?
Be honest with yourself. You see, even just a couple of the steps above are enough to guarantee yourself a less than ideal circumstances to age gracefully. The trouble is most of the rules above work as a vicious circle and one bad habit leads into another.
Change yourself by no longer following one of those rules and break that cycle.
To Your Best Health no matter the age,
This school year is all different for me. I have one going back to 'real' school and two staying with me for another year of homeschooling. If it was the right thing, I'd keep all my kids home with me every day forever. I don't think my married boys would like that, and I also am willing to admit they can gain from being away from the nest.
School schedules can make life a bit more hectic and harried in the morning.
Here are a five things I do for my specific situation that make sure each morning is enjoyable, stress free and ready to go:
1. Prepare the coffee pot. I put fresh coffee grounds in and make sure the water tank is full. I then hit the automatic button and voila in the morning my coffee is ready for me. I even put the mug next to the coffee maker; all I have to do is pour. If you are a tea drinker, you can have your tea bag out and water ready to go. It may sound silly, but sometimes we’re a little foggy in the morning and spend a lot of time trying to remember what we were just about to do.
2. Box up your lunch. Whether it is left overs or a fresh salad, put it in Tupperware the night before so that all you have to do is grab and go. Since I stay home and send one to school, he boxes up his lunch the night before. This mom isn't able to run a forgotten lunch down to the school.
3. No dishes in the sink. This is a house rule. Who wants to start their day by cleaning up a mess? A clean home really is a happy home. This is one I am working on, so please be patient if you see that kitchen clutter at my house.
4. My kids make their own breakfast. I know a lot of you have young kids who need to get up and get ready for school…how can you help them and you have a better morning and not feel rushed? You would be surprised what a minute here and a minute there can do to change the mood of the entire day. If you don’t have kids, then all you have to worry about is YOU and getting yourself ready for the next morning, and you can use the same practices for your own breakfast. If you usually have veggies with your eggs, make sure your veggies are chopped and ready to go for the morning.
5. Make a daily list. What do you WANT your morning routine to look like and what CAN happen the night before to help that run smooth. I live and operate off of lists. I know we have to veer off that path because things come up every now and then, but routines are a good thing and we can’t get into a routine without a plan.
What are you going to do to make sure you have the day you want to have? You are in control, but not without a plan!
To Your Best Health,
Beginning in August and going through the first week of October our family has managed to pack in 6 birthdays. That is almost a birthday every 10 days. I love birthdays and I wouldn't change my family at all. All that celebrating can add on quickly though. (Did you see my daughters made three cakes for 1 birthday?)
I'm going to take it a bit easy this year. I'll totally love on my family and I will hang out and celebrate but I plan to do it with self control too. My birthday is the last one on this merry list and I want to enjoy it.
Here is my plan:
Karalynn's birthday started off this list, next is my oldest son's, Tim. I probably won't be seeing him so if you happen to, give him a hug from his mom and tell him Happy Birthday. I'm sure Coach Dean will tell you when his birthday is but if you write it down now you won't forget September 13th.
To you best Health,