Sunday, January 25, 2015

Groceries + Weekly Menu

I ended up shopping this morning…

Aldi ($67) on the left/bottom, Sprouts ($38) on the right/top.

Not pictured: dried mango that I let the kids snack on while we shopped.

We didn't have to buy much beef this week because there is still stuff in the freezer. Still good on eggs, too. Otherwise the total would be closer to $150.

Breakfasts:
bacon, eggs, spinach, salsa
corn tortillas w/ melted cheese (kids)
extra crispy waffles (weekend)
coffee, heavy cream

Lunches:
ham, spinach, & red bell pepper roll-ups
sweet potato chips, pickles, olives
almonds & raisins
apples or berries with cream cheese dip (kids' request)

Kids' after school snacks:
full fat yogurt-banana-blueberry smoothie
flourless pb cookies

Dinners:
Monday - slow cooker pork tacos/taco salad
Tuesday - slow cooker chicken tortilla (less) soup, sour cream
Wednesday - big O bacon burgers (these are so good, no condiments needed!), oven roasted potatoes, salad w/ italian dressing
Thursday - italian sausage, onion, & bell pepper homemade primal pizza
Friday - chicken parmesan (just bake) with marinara sauce, broccoli
Saturday - salmon, veggies

You see some compromises on here as always. The main things we try to stay away from are wheat and sugar (that includes excessive fruit - just leaves you hungrier).

I usually only shop once a week. So we keep some cheap shelf-stable staples on hand in case of emergency - aka natural peanut butter and fruit jam and rice cakes for when we run out of food for lunches by Friday, ha ;) Not paleo, but that's our choice.

We do what helps us stick with this thing long term. We are coming up our 4th anniversary of being a paleo (-ish?, -mostly? -primal? -whatever label you like) family. Shooting for what makes both our bodies, minds, and budget feel healthy.

I think as time goes on we get a better and better handle on how to eat so that we feel good without complicating our life too much… always learning… have a good week!

Checking In

Hi guys!

Can you believe January is almost over? I usually feel like hibernating from January through April. It would be easy to spend the time wishing the dark days away. But life's demands don't allow it. I have to be awake, so it would be smart to be productive with my time, right? It is a balancing act. I've decided I'm OK with being a little slower and more methodical, as long as  I'm intentionally spending time working on stuff that I need to and that the season allows.

Right now those priorities are school, work, coaching & training, and family.

Of course I better take  advantage of exceptions like today when there is "warm" air and sunshine, so I'm outside with my children. (I wrote this yesterday… today is dark and cold!)

This is how sun makes me feel.

cartwheels make everything even better ;)

However I will admit one thing I like better about winter is at the gym: more weights, less running. Ha. If you asked me 10 or 15 or 20 years ago if I'd ever say that, I would have said you were nuts.

I'm in a really bad habit of snacking. I hate constantly eating. It is so inconvenient and unsatisfying. My goal this week is to eat larger meals. Of good protein and fat. And not snack. Big meals used worry me, but not anymore. I know that when I eat an adequate amount I will feel good and in control and healthy and not be thinking about food all the time.

I don't know yet what our meals will be this week. It is a clean out the fridge weekend, so we'll see what's left when Monday comes. I'll probably shop early in the week at Sprouts and Aldi. I'm going to try to do more photos of my grocery shopping trips with menus. People seem to find those interesting. In the meantime, don't eat boring food in January. That's my advice. Eat well. And yes, that means paleo!

Off to do homework and try to catch up on life while relaxing...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekly Menu

I think (I know) a lot of people struggle during this time of year. On various fronts, for various reasons. All I have to say to that is keep plugging away. Don't give up. Keep showing up. And know that no matter how you feel, you are not alone.

I'll never forget one of my middle school teachers. She honestly wasn't super memorable as far as instruction goes. But she made it clear to each and everyone of her students that they could come talk to her about anything, at anytime. Even if it was  1 or 2 or 10 years down the road. She said if you ever feel at the end of your rope, come find me, I will be here for you. Because your life will always matter to me. I wonder if anyone ever took her up on that. I think that gift was worth more than anything I learned about earth science that year.

Find your community. Be that community for someone. Know you are not alone.

What should we eat this week?

Here's one of my breakfasts from last week.



I ran home from the gym (well, not literally) and chose to eat breakfast rather than get my son to preschool on time. Mom award right here, please. BUT, it sustained me until later in the day when we got home so I didn't eat crap at work.

(my kids didn't love the grain-free gingerbread muffins, so I stole their leftovers)

OK, here's the plan.

Breakfasts:
eggs, greens, salsa
coffee, heavy cream
I may make some of these waffles. And blackberries are on sale at Sprouts again. Homemade whipped cream? Now that's just getting to be like dessert. Hmmm.

Kids' Lunches:
turkey & cheese roll-ups or
PB & jam rice cakes
sweet potato chips
apples

Adults Lunches:
leftovers
or a "brunch" (big late breakfast, no lunch)

Snacks:
blueberry and yogurt smoothies

Dinners:
Sunday - homemade primal pizza with sausage & peppers, roasted kale
Monday - baked salmon (it's really better than it sounds!), roasted green beans
Tuesday - crock pot pork (chops, because they were on sale) made into burrito/taco bowls with onions, peppers, pico de gallo, spinach, guacamole, sour cream
Wednesday - dinner with small group
Thursday - chicken parmesan (just bake, no frying!) with marinara sauce, broccoli
Friday - big O bacon burgers, oven fries, salad with dressing

That's all for now. Have a good rest of the weekend.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter Break and the Menu

Thoughts from throughout last week...

Monday:

buffbake.com <-- that stuff is pretty darn tasty. watch out.

I'm feeling poor this week after Christmas (but rich in spirit. of course. right?) So anyways, I decided to only shop at Aldi. Well, except for my no-additive heavy whipping cream that I have to get elsewhere.
My poor-man's meal that my kids will still eat? In a buttered 9x13, put shredded potatoes (buy frozen if you are lazy like me), 2 lbs. of cooked ground turkey (season with salt, pepper, onion, and sage), add some cheese if you like, and pour 8-10 beaten eggs over top. Bake for almost an hour. My kids got really excited because they thought the potatoes were rice. Have I told you that they say white rice is their favorite food? Haha. Joke's on them. I told them the truth and they still liked it. Salad with homemade dressing on the side. Saving leftovers for another day. I might have to use this as a pre-made breakfast idea, too.

My sister stalked my Pinterest boards and got me a new water bottle*. Then I realized how hideous my old stainless steel one was… good riddance. Now I can be a water bottle snob.

We didn't put our Christmas tree up until December 23rd, so it is going to stay up extra long this year. Because I like it :)

Thursday:

Happy new year. We exited 2014 still standing, so I'm calling it a success. It was a year of surprises and  change - mostly revolving around our two moves, and almost all of it can be called good (especially in hindsight), but it was a roller coaster ride. There really was no way around the craziness once we started down the path, we just had to truck through it.

To anyone and anything that was a constant throughout the seasons: thank you. You sustained me.

I don't expect 2015 to be a sudden shift to peaceful waters, but have to admit I wouldn't mind if things moved slightly in that direction… There are some new adventures on the horizon. So there's no fear of life getting too dull :)

I am grateful for the year that was 2014 and everyone who was part of it.

Welcome 2015!

Friday:

I finished this book* about living a good story at the same time that I saw the movie Unbroken last week, and was struck by the connection between the two. It was like seeing the premise of the book illustrated before my eyes. When a character has a purpose and faces great conflict and suffering in order to achieve that purpose, he is shaped, molded, changed… and it becomes a good story that has meaning to others.

I also read a novel for fun. That's exciting news. And rare.

My new planner* arrived. It's pretty and I like it. Yes, I'm a nerd who still enjoys using paper & pen.

Now, I'm off to make the weekly menu before I shop. I guess I just can't quit it.

Sunday:
Menu time. We got kinda lax with what we ate over the break, so we'll ease back into the swing of things.
Oh man, it's back to packing lunches again!

Breakfasts:
farm eggs
coffee, cream
chocolate/pb smoothie (kids)

Lunches:
parmesan chicken sausage
salad greens w/ dressing (adults)
apples, grain-free gingerbread muffins from Primal Cravings* (kids)

Dinners:
Sunday - chocolate chili, avocado, sour cream
Monday - a new crock pot chicken recipe experiment
Tuesday - 2 ingredient crock pot roast beef, leftover mashed potatoes (from the freezer), roasted green beans
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - baked salmon with peach salsa, roasted green beans
Friday - TBD

I stocked up on some decent meat at Sprouts.
Also, I bought some capers on a whim at Aldi (they were a seasonal special or something) so maybe I'll make a version of chicken piccata without flour?

I really want a plaid pillow in my living room. I'm gonna make one.

Would you roll your eyes at me if I wore this?


Haaaa.

Have a great week and stay warm out there!

*Affiliate links used.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ramblings

You know when kids come home from college on holiday break and sleep for like a week straight? No? Just me? Anyways, that is what this past weekend was for me. Recovery. But with adult responsibilities. And my workout clothes will taunt me for another day because I overslept again this morning. I'm disappointed, but what's done is done.

Sometimes I wonder why I blog. I'm not a photographer (obviously) or a professional blogger, so I'm not going to pretend to keep up with those who are. But regardless of if anyone reads or not, this corner does help keep me organized. And I think it actually has helped some people. If you've been here for any amount of time, you have more than a good idea of how we eat each week. So in the future, posts may pop up more randomly, or not at all if I don't feel like it. Don't be alarmed. I still like writing. I'm just giving myself permission to create some space if real life happens to warrant it.

Stuff from last week:
  • I made these sugared cranberries. Because I had a bag of cranberries in the fridge and they looked pretty. I think I'm the only one who liked them. They'd be a beautiful cake embellishment.
  • Speaking of cranberries, will someone make these cranberry bars for me???
  • I made this super easy peppermint fudge for a cookie exchange and party. It was way too sweet for me. That's good, I didn't want to eat it.
  • We made banana bread waffles with the kids over the weekend. The recipe is from The Paleo Kitchen.
  • Oh, and last week, we actually did make the gingerbread cookies! Personally, I love how molasses-y they are.

(we do have Christmas cookie cutters, I promise)

OK, enough of the junk, seriously.

What we're eating this week:

crock pot chicken tortilla-less soup
I made this way harder than it is (it is actually super easy and that's part of the reason I love it) because I had to make my own salsa beforehand. But then I had leftover salsa to eat with eggs. Bonus!

garbage-free chicken nuggets
I always save pickle juice in hopes that I will be motivated to make these. Yum.

burgers, salmon, taco salad… boring but delicious dinners

German bratwurst, sauerkraut (but not the kids of course), potatoes

I love the idea of a week's worth of NO-CHOP side-dish vegetables!
I will be going to Trader Joe's, so I might pick up a few of these things.

My kids have been picky eaters lately. What's up with that? It is annoying.

I forgot to buy cream at the store, so I made my paleo coffee creamer for the first time in a long time… and I didn't like it as much :(
P.S. I hate the word creamer. Just give me some cream.

Your story matters.
I'm reading this story right now.
And, because it is winter break, I have a bunch of other books reserved at the library, too. :) :) :)

I must be a teenage girl at heart because this under $20 gift round-up reminded me of a bunch of stuff I didn't know I always wanted. Seriously. I'd love just about anything on the list. Except make my water bottle a glass one, please.

(I'm too lazy to use any affiliate links today, but if you order from Amazon because of me, I'd appreciate you clicking through on the sidebar. Many thanks.)

Have a great week!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Greetings + Menu

I got the book Sewing School from the library for my daughter and she is hard at work sewing her first "hat" with scraps from a old t-shirt, which she is super pumped about. (yes, that is an affiliate link) Now that she can read, is it so nice, she can teach herself things. All the patterns were still in the back of the book which is rare for a library book. It's a cool book. However, this also means my little boy decided he wants to sew a "helmet"… I'm expecting frustrated tears any moment. Yep, there it is…

Anyway, I need to get this menu written between a thousand interruptions so let's get to it.

Breakfasts:
eggs, kale, avocados, blender salsa
turkey sausage & sweet potato hash
coffee, cream (loving this store-bought, grass-fed dairy)

Lunches:
adults - leftovers
kids - salami and corn tortilla roll-ups
gf mac and cheese
carrot sticks, ranch
apples and peanut butter or clementines

Preschooler's snack:
dried mango

Dinners:
Sunday - spaghetti squash pizza pie
Monday - chicken parmesan with marinara sauce (just bake, no frying), organic salad greens & dressing
Tuesday - chicken fajita bowl (onions, peppers, avocado, salsa, sour cream)
Wednesday - 2 ingredient meatloaf*, vegetables
Thursday - homemade primal pizza
Friday - burgers & oven potatoes/Christmas party

*I'm using 3 ingredients in my WT version: ground turkey, chopped pepperoni, and sun dried tomato pesto ($1.49 @Aldi).

I'd eat this for dinner tonight to escape cooking if I were by myself. With black olives.

Update on the sewing: I talked the youngest into using hot glue with my assistance. Peace and success.

We shopped at Price Chopper, Sprouts, and Aldi this weekend, with the majority of it at Sprouts.

I want to make some of these molasses cookies, or something like them. Also, these look amazing. Macadamias... Anyways. Maybe when it gets closer to Christmas. I have finals this week. Bleh.

My husband and I were talking about this quote the other day.



Right now I just want to sleep. Have a good night.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekly Menu

What? We are still eating?? Even after last week/weekend?

Just kidding. Of course we are. It just seems kind of like overkill to talk about food right now.
But, if I don't make a plan, we will all be cranky in a few days when the food runs out :) I only went rogue 1 day over Thanksgiving, so I don't physically feel bad, and that is good.

Anyways. The fridge is nearly bare. It is time to restock. Shopping today, at Costco and Aldi, most likely. Our friends gave us some fried(?) smoked(?) turkey to take home with us so my husband and I will be eating that for lunch this week.

Trying to keep it simple and cheap because there are so many other activities and expenses this time of year.

Breakfasts:
sausage and sweet potato hash
farm eggs, kale
banana/egg/pb pancakes (kids)
coffee, cream

Lunches:
adults - leftovers
kids-
salami & corn tortilla roll-ups
sweet potato chips
apples

Dinners:
Monday - chocolate chili, sour cream
Tuesday - pulled pork (no buns), salad with dressing, potatoes
Wednesday - hamburger soup
Thursday - chicken stir fry
Friday - sloppy joes, vegetables
weekend - TBD

No photo to share :/
Have a good week!!

sharing ideas here…
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