Meal planning around my busy life, or just being in the kitchen in general, isn’t one of my favorite things, unless I’m preserving the bounty of my garden, or making a new batch of sauerkraut. It’s just not my passion. It’s not my “blue flame” as Jennifer Fulweiler might put it. I get that people enjoy cooking and that it’s a creative outlet for them. I get that people enjoy showcasing this skill for their friends and family. I even have friends who do this and who say, Cooking for my family is how I show my love for them. I don’t get that. If that applied to our home, my meals would say, Dear family, eh, you’re okay, and here are some chicken nuggets to prove my lukewarm feelings for you.
Luckily, I stumbled upon some pretty good tips for healthy meal planning around our busy homeschool life, and I hope that they will help you, too. I’m kidding, of course. I do love to feed my family healthy meals, it’s just that I have to follow these tips and more in order to bring my family healthy food, instead of chicken nuggets.
Good Planning = Extra Time
We eat gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, and a lot of other-things-free, too. We are mindful of eating healthy foods, but the hard part is that it’s just so time consuming making sure that we have these healthy meals and snacks ready for when we need them. And it makes me want to cry if we don’t. The key is to follow a few tips in order to provide you and your family with healthy meals.
Don’t Stress Over Thanksgiving Planning
Okay, be honest. Who’s stressed out already? All the planning, preparation, coordinating can get overwhelming even when we love to do it! I’ve polled my friends and social media followers and asked what they were most stressed out about when it comes to planning for the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve read these and complied them into a few practical tips to simplify your Thanksgiving holiday.
If you love your air fryers like I do, you’ll love this easy, gluten-free airy fryer recipe for Greek Grilled Chicken Salad! I especially love using the air fryer now since it is summer, and for me, summer in Florida! Can anyone turn up the air conditioning?!
I dabbled in the world of airy fryers by watching my husband use his Christmas gift, the Char-Broil Big Easy (link below). We have made so many delicious meals using that air fryer, and we love it. It is too large for a kitchen counter, though, but it did totally sway me toward purchasing a counter-sized air fryer as well.
You all know that we are a gluten-free family (except for my husband), so any yummy gluten-free recipes are always appreciated! Link to your favorites in the comments. 🙂 (more…)
If you’re one of our regular readers, you already know the story of our journey toward a gluten-free lifestyle. I’ve been eating gluten-free since 2009 with the exception of a few months after being without gluten for almost 2 years in the beginning, and one other ‘cheat’ with quesadillas one night five years ago. Both of those times, gluten proved to me that it doesn’t like me at all, so leaving it behind for good at that point wasn’t a problem.
Most of you already know about the great health benefits of going gluten-free. Lucky for us, it seems that every day a new gluten-free product shows up on the shelves of our grocery stores. Many times the gluten-free options are not particularly healthy either, so If I can find a grab and go snack or quick breakfast that is not only gluten-free but also healthy, it’s a double bonus.
Garden Lites – Veggies Made Great
Imagine my surprise when I found these delicious Garden Lites Veggies Made Great snacks in the freezer section of our grocery store. The package reads, “Veggies: Our #1 Ingredient.” That sold me. My family loves anything that includes gluten-free flours and veggies. The Garden Lite muffins remind me of the snacks I used to make for my (then little) girls which included hidden veggies from recipes from The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals.
No Baking! Grab and Go Muffins
Some of you also know that cooking is not my #1 favorite activity. I’d rather be outside growing the vegetables, rather than inside adding them to my baked goods, so I love anything that we can grab and eat – – especially on those busy mornings when we have to rush out of the house. (more…)
Let’s be serious for a moment. Just about every woman is or has been unhappy with their body at one point in their life, or unhappy with their energy levels, including me. So, what do we do? We immediately start looking for a diet and ways to change this. I have spent hours scouring the internet, rummaging through books at the library, and researching the best way to feed my body for optimal health. Through all of this though, I have learned one thing. What is that? Well, it has less to do with participating in an actual diet, and more on learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.
What a Healthy Lifestyle means to Me
To me, a healthy lifestyle means not filling my body with the garbage of processed foods. Our family practices a clean eating style. Along with this, we also are living a gluten-free lifestyle, have eaten Paleo-style for years, but now we are leaning more toward a plant-based diet. Now, this may sound like a lot, but in reality, making small changes over time will soon become second nature. None of these changes have happened overnight. It has taken planning and careful consideration, to determine if these changes were the best for my entire family or not.
Why Fad Diets Do Not Work
New fad diets seem to be popping up almost daily. I find this scary. These fad diets promise that you are going to lose a ton of weight in a short amount of time, have more energy and a higher quality of life in the long term. Well, research has proven that slow and steady weight loss, is more likely to stay off long term. (more…)
How I Discovered Rachel Hollis
I am a new-ish fan girl of the funny, inspiring and endearing Rachel Hollis. I came across her book Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be while browsing books on Audible. The title immediately caught my attention and the cover photo of Rachel and her family made me smile. Sometimes I just have a feeling about a book that turns out to be accurate, and this time I was right: it was a book I’d like. But here’s the thing: I don’t like, I love it. And I’m now a total Rachel Hollis fan, and I love her new book, Real Life Dinners: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of the Chic Site, too.
Before listening to her first book, I didn’t know that Rachel had a popular blog and a gigantic following of dedicated women from all walks of life who are striving to be not only become the best versions of themselves (as Matthew Kelly would say), and are who are also soaking up Rachel’s no-nonsense advice about how to be the women God created them to be.
Striving to Be Better
I have had many periods in my life when I have organized my pantry, made grocery lists that perfectly coordinated with the meal plan I had for the week, actually stuck to the plan, and felt awesome about my capabilities as a wife and a mother. But, these strategies never lasted. Meal planning was always difficult for me until I discovered some simple tips for healthy meal planning. I mean, who wants to sit inside on the suggested Sunday afternoon and think about what to cook every singe day of the week ahead when they’d rather be outdoors doing anything else today? And for us homeschoolers, we not only have to cook a week’s worth of dinners, but also, breakfasts and lunches, too. Sigh. What’s a culinary-challenged girl to do?
Real Life Dinners
When the publisher of Rachel’s newest book, REAL LIFE DINNERS: Fun, Fresh, Fast Dinners from the Creator of The Chic Site, asked if I’d like to review this book, I couldn’t reply to the email fast enough. It’s no secret that I don’t love to cook, and I especially don’t love to cook under the pressure of the question that rears its ugly head every afternoon at about 4 pm: what am I going to feed my family for dinner?
Yes, I needed some “real life” dinners.