Weekly Meal Plan

Hi friends! How is it that it’s almost September? I am simultaneously soaking up the last of the summer days while getting ridiculously excited for fall. Are there any other fall lovers out there?  I figured it’s been awhile since I’ve done a weekly meal plan for you guys and decided it was time to bring it back, not that my meals are mind blowingly delicious but they are easy and healthy and that makes me happy! We have been a little more carb heavy than we typically are but that is another post for another time 😉

Monday-

BLTA’s, salad, and tator tots (or minion fries as my toddler calls them). I love to add avocado to our BLT’s I think it adds a depth of flavor. Here is some good information on how to pick the perfect avocado. Because, it’s the worst getting home and cutting into a yucky avocado.

Tuesday-

Applegate hot dogs and grass-fed burgers on the grill. What is summer time without grilling?! We like to load up our burgers and dogs with lots of grilled veggies, fresh crisp lettuce, tomatoes, pickles (only the bread and butter kind for me) and all the condiments!

Wednesday-

Spaghetti and Caesar salad

Hubby isn’t home for dinner so Charlotte and I take advantage and make spaghetti. It’s quite the crime for this part Italian woman to be married to a man who doesn’t like spaghetti. I mean, how is that possible?! But since it’s true, Charlotte and I brown up some Italian sausage for the protein and indulge in some fresh parmesean topped spaghetti and a Caesar salad.

Thursday-

This sausage and roasted veggie dinner served with cous cous and a green salad. Simple but a family favorite around here…

Friday-

Friday is the day I declare that I don’t cook dinner, and it’s glorious! We typically do chipotle or Café Rio salad’s-have you tried them? If not, you should.

Saturday-

Bruschetta grilled cheese, omg! You guys, what’s more to love? Fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, sliced turkey breast and balsamic glaze. All the delicious fresh flavors of summer in one sandwich.

Summer-

Leftovers day!

 

We have a very busy week ahead with lots of fun things. Can’t wait to fill you guys in on what’s been happening around here behind the scenes. Check back later this week for an announcement!

 

Now you tell me…..

Any favorite meals or recipes you’ve tried lately?

Healthy Items to Stock Your Pantry With From Costco

I love Costco, I just started shopping there when we moved into our new house in December. We have a giant pantry and I was excited to be able to have a well stocked pantry with healthy items. I’m going to give you a list of my favorite healthy items that we always keep on hand from Costco.

Cashews!! We have a great love for cashews in our home, but most of their nuts and dried fruits are great options

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Popcorn-we like to have family movie nights on Friday’s or date night’s in and will have some nearly naked popcorn for a snack. It’s a low calorie, crunchy, salty snack option to keep your dietary goals in check.

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Seasonings-They can be so expensive! I love that when I buy them from Costco they are a great value and big jars of them. I particularly like the non-salt all purpose seasoning but the majority of their seasonings are amazing!

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We buy all of our bulk paper products there as well: paper towels and toilet paper.

I made a recent adventurous purchase at Costco recently that turned out well. We have been trying to eat less carbs and more protein in our home so I bought a big box of edamame pasta. I’m impressed with the taste and texture.

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Charlotte LOVES Clif Zbars and I love the stats on them for a processed food. So we buy the variety box and have it in the pantry for when she “needs” a snack.

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For Brent and I we love Larabars and stock up with a variety pack in case hunger strikes between meals.

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I stock up on a lot of canned and dry goods such as: stewed tomatoes, black beans, soups, peanut butter, marinara sauce, pasta noodles, ketchup, mustard, olive oil, coconut oil.

I love their organic grass-fed beef they carry at Costco, they come in 1.5lb portions so I leave one in the fridge for the week and put the rest in the freezer for later use. We do the same with organic chicken breasts.

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Now I can’t leave this post without mentioning some of the “treats” we find at Costco as well, pretty much ANYTHING from their bakery-holy delicious. Also any of their pre-made dips, so good.

Your turn…..Tell me your favorite’s from Costco

If you like this post, check out these:

What Does Health Look Like To You?, 8 Reasons I Put Coconut Oil In My Coffee, My Favorite Items From Trader Joe’s

 

 

 

 

Toddler Meal Ideas

Good morning! Happy St. Patty’s Day!! Don’t forget to wear green!

Is anyone else still trying to adjust to Daylight Savings time? I know we sure are in our house. I’m also really glad that it’s Thursday and the weekend is right around the corner. We have a really fun weekend planned with lots of Easter activities.

The first time I did a post like this I got a lot of positive feedback so I thought I would do another! I really try to do a good job at making sure her plate is complete with fruit, veggies, protein, and dairy. Sometimes she does an awesome job eating and sometimes she takes two bites and is done. I also mentioned last time that Charlotte loved those Applegate sausages, yep, I jinxed myself because she hasn’t touched them since, ha!

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Chicken stir-fry, cashews and cauliflower rice.

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Homemade banana bread, strawberries/blueberries, sausage and a scrambled egg.

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Pork chops with sautéed apples and onions, baked sweet potato, and pomegranate seeds.

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Enchilada, guacamole, sliced bell peppers, and strawberries.

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Organic blueberry pancakes, scrambled egg, and blueberries.

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Healthy chicken ranch skillet, shredded cheese, avocado cubes, and salad.

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Annie’s mac and cheese, turkey breast, berries, and red bell peppers.

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Rotisserie chicken, sliced cheddar, berries, and sliced red bell peppers.

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Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sliced cheddar, and blueberries

So there’s a glimpse of what my 2 1/2 year old has been eating lately. Some days we battle over meal time and some days they go really smooth. I wish I had some really awesome trick on how to get your toddler to eat all their meals but sadly I do not at this time.

So, if you have a great trick for us, please share it below…

Any meals your kids have been loving lately?

Find more posts like this…

What My Two Year Old Eats

Favorite Items From Trader Joes

 

What Does Health Look Like To You?

I think the word “health” brings up numerous thoughts and ideas both positive and negative for most people. When you think about being healthy, what does that look like to you? Do you picture a certain weight or size? Do you have an athletic achievement or ability in mind? Is it all about your body or do you encompass mental, emotional and spiritual health into the whole picture?

I don’t necessarily have the answer but I can say that I have been on a “whole person” journey of health the past few months. I have always been a physically fit person, I’ve enjoyed working out and eating healthy (though I do have a sweet tooth). However, recently I wanted to really focus on my whole self in reference to being “healthy”. I think a good question we should ask ourselves is “how am I doing?” and be bold enough to be brutally honest. One thing that I know to be true, it’s easier to make excuses than it is to make changes. However, in order to be the healthiest-mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually-we are at times required to make some changes and some sacrifices.

The first piece is that of being healthy in your physical body. I know everyone has heard the eat better and move more campaign but it’s really true. The food that goes into your body should be fuel to sustain you more often and treats for fun less often. Sugar is my downfall, can anyone else relate? Mostly I feel this is a vicious cycle for me, I eat sugar because I’m feeling tired and run down but the sugar then makes me feel more tired and run down, then repeat…ugh! Not reaching for the easiest fix for the energy crisis will eventually be the solution to my problem but doing it is a whole other matter. Sleep is another huge component of physical health. When we sleep our body restores and heals itself. Not getting enough sleep negatively affects your immune system, memory, and metabolism.

RESOLUTION

If I’m brutally honest, I reached a place in my life that I didn’t like what I saw. I was snappy, crabby, tired, and quick to anger. I did NOT like heading in that direction so I decided to make some changes. Health to me is a whole picture including my mental and spiritual beings that were indeed lacking and it was showing from my actions.

All that to say, my husband and I started the Whole30 challenge yesterday. Those of you unfamiliar with Whole30 it essential says “no” to sugar, grains, dairy and legumes but yes to meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Essentially foods that are “whole” and in their natural form. I am a sucker for sugar and need to kick my addiction, I’m looking forward to this challenge but I’m also nervous. This will by far be the most clean I will have eaten for this long, maybe some of you think 30 days isn’t very long, maybe some of you think 30 days is nothing. To me, it’s long enough to be a challenge but still totally doable. I’ll be checking in periodically about our progress through the program and things that I’ve learned about my body and nutrition.

To add to this food challenge, I also started half marathon training yesterday as well, ha! I’m obviously a glutton for punishment, but I’m super excited to be training for a race again. The race is June 25th and I’m really hoping to beat my previous PR which is 2:06, which is about a 9:30 steady pace. If I could get my pace down to an average 9:10 pace I could bust the 2 hour mark (which is my ultimate goal), we shall see!!

Getting back to what it looks like for me to be healthy is the journey I am on, mentally/physically/emotionally/spiritually.

What does health look like to you?

8 Reasons I Put Coconut Oil In My Coffee

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I remember thinking my husband was totally weird when he told me he wanted to start putting coconut oil in his coffee. For one, he doesn’t like coconut, for two, he doesn’t drink coffee daily. At the time I didn’t know much about coconut oil, so I did some research, went to Whole Foods and bought him some. He then became pretty obsessed with “bulletproof coffee”-which is coffee, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter, blended to make a frothy coffee drink. I remember trying it and it tasted great but at the time I thought it had too many calories for just coffee. Since then I’ve done my due diligence and learned about the amazing health benefits of coconut oil and have since put it in my coffee each morning. Here are the reasons I put it in my coffee each day…

  1. Coconut Oil is the most nutrient dense part of the coconut itself. Coconut oil is made up of short and medium chain fatty acid’s which are easier for our bodies to break down and absorb for energy use. The mix of caffeine in the coffee and the MCFA’s is a combination that gives me long lasting energy to start the day with.
  2. One of the most beneficial MCFA’s is that of Lauric Acid, which has been proven to increase the body’s immunity defenses for fighting viruses and disease. This reason alone is a reason to consume coconut oil!
  3. It can increase your metabolism and help you burn fat more quickly. And everyone said, amen! Since coconut oil is made up of those short and medium chain fatty acid’s it goes straight to your liver and isn’t stored as fat!
  4. Your heart! In short, heart disease scares me, and it’s a big problem here in the US. Coconut oil has been proven to help promote normal and healthy platelet function in your blood, which helps to promote healthy function of your heart.
  5. My workouts! I am at a place where I’m really enjoying upping my weights and increasing my workout stamina, since adding coconut oil into my coffee I have noticed a (slight) difference in my athletic performance.
  6. Digestion! Coconut oil helps aid in regular and proper digestion of food and promotes healthy function of the ‘gut’.
  7. Absorption of other nutrients. Coconut oil is an amazing carrier oil  that it helps your body absorb many different vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly.
  8. Blood sugar-Coconut oil helps to improve the bodies secretion of insulin which is really important for those with diabetes.

This list is not all inclusive because there are still some benefits yet to be discovered. At any rate, I am a believer and I think you should be too!

*Bonus* ways you can use coconut oil: as a cooking oil replacement, eye make-up remover (seriously), lotion, shaving cream.

 

Tell me how you use coconut oil? Do you put it in your coffee?

Weekly Food and Fitness Plan

Hello everyone!! I took an unexpected long weekend away from the blog, hope you guys enjoyed the weekend as much as I did! The warm weather this weekend had me craving spring like crazy, hello sunshine!!

Brent’s travel schedule has been crazy lately so he was gone again last week. Thursday we had a special birthday dinner at my in-law’s house, the girls had a blast running around like crazies, ha!

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Happy Birthday!

Friday we enjoyed having daddy home, playing chase around the house and being goofy…

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Cheese!

We all were tired so we hit the sack pretty early Friday night. Saturday we had a big day! It was my niece’s 3rd birthday party so we had breakfast and then spent the day at the zoo!

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Charlotte LOVED feeding the giraffe’s, the zoo gives you a bundle of lettuce for $3, that $3 was worth every penny for the joy it gave Charlotte! Funny story-Last time we fed the giraffe’s I had the bundle of lettuce in my hands getting and we were getting ready to feed them when a thief of a giraffe came up and ate the entire bundle right out of my arms! Needless to say we had to go and purchase more lettuce and try again…

IMG_2396This was my conversation with Charlotte on the way home from the zoo… “Mama, I’m tired” “Close your eyes baby” “But I want to sleep in my own bed” how cute is that? She wanted to nap in her own bed, but obviously you can tell by the picture above that the sleepiness eventually won and she passed out.

Sunday we were all pretty tired from our big day Saturday so we watched church on TV in our PJ’s, best invention ever! Then we spent the entire day outside, we setup some chairs on our driveway with our neighbors and let our girls play in the cul-de-sac, and after nap took Charlotte to the park. She could seriously swing for hours…

IMG_2372Then Sunday night was the Oscar’s (!!!!) Yay Leo, you will forever be my high school crush. Though I’m not going to lie, sometimes watching The Oscar’s makes me feel totally out of the loop when it comes to film.

Here is this week’s food and fitness plan

THE WEDDING OF

 

Did you watch the Oscar’s? Any surprises?

Tell me a highlight from your weekend!

 

 

A Super Simple but Yummy Dinner

I have this super simple but yet super delish recipe that every time I make it gets devoured. I also have shared with some friends and they love it too! I am kinda embarrassed to call it a recipe since it’s seriously so easy but I’ll share it anyway!!

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One Pan Sausage and Veggie bake

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 russet potato peeled and chopped
  • 3 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • bushel of Brussel sprouts sliced or chopped
  • 2 packages of your favorite chicken sausage sliced (we really like a spicy one like mango chipotle and a sweet one like apple and chicken)
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbs. salt
  • 1/2 tbs. pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Chop all veggies, place on baking sheet
  3. Coat veggies in olive oil and toss with seasoning
  4. Top veggies with sliced sausages and place in oven
  5. Bake for 45mins to 1 hr depending on how crispy you like your veggies and sausage
  6. Enjoy!

*Note* We like to put this recipe over the top of some cous cous or quinoa and serve with a side salad, glass of wine is optional but recommended 😉

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Hope you enjoy!!

Weekly Food and Fitness Plan

We had a really great, low key weekend over here. My husband was gone all week traveling for work so it was really nice having him home Friday. Friday We went to story time at the library and picked our books to check out for the week. Charlotte loves to read, we read throughout the day but mostly she really enjoys her 2 library books we read each night before bed. Friday afternoon and evening we really just relaxed and enjoyed Brent being home!

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“Mama, take my picture in front of this tree!”

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Playing with Playdoh outside!

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Best cuddle partners

We had a really great dinner Friday night, I’ll share the recipe later this week.

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So good!

Saturday I literally didn’t take one picture, we spent the whole day outside because it was so nice. We took the dog to the dog park and Charlotte to the park. The park we took Charlotte to has a really awesome stair incline on one side, so while Brent played with Charlotte I got a killer workout.

MAC incline

I went up this and ran down the half-mile trail that brings you back to the bottom of the stairs twice, so good!

Sunday was church with my loves…

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“What did you learn at church today Charlotte?” “About Jesus, He bit a shark!” haha! PS my husband is hot!

Meal and Workout Plan

Monday-Spaghetti with meat sauce and salad. 60 minute cycle class

Tuesday-Tortilla Soup-We are supposed to be getting a cold front with some snow (boo) so this yummy soup will be in the crockpot but I’m subbing chicken for Turkey. Tuesday is a 60 minute Muscle Max class

Wednesday-Healthy Ranch Chicken Skillet-60 minute Cardio Strength Class

Thursday-BLT’s with tator tots (or as Charlotte calls them-Minion fries)-60 minute B.U.R.N. class (HIIT class)

Friday-Homemade Pizza and salad, yum! 60 min Body Pump class!

 

Any highlights from your weekend?

What’s on your food/fitness plan this week?

 

 

What My Two Year Old Eats

I’m going to start the post with a preface; my daughter has always been a great adventurous eater with a good appetite, until she turned two! I love the topic of nutrition and try to be responsible in my food choices for our growing daughter. I homemade all of her baby food with organic fruits and veggies, I started adding probiotics to her milk when she started drinking it, she didn’t have any sugar her first year of life, etc. Things quickly (and annoyingly) changed after she turned two. We now have DAILY I mean d.a.i.l.y. struggles over meals, something I’m still kind of trying to figure out! So here are some meals that we she has been eating lately.

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Applegate chicken sausage, organic cheddar cheese, apple with peanut butter, organic mixed veggies

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Whole grain toast with peanut butter topped with sliced banana’s and a sprinkle of chia seeds, fried egg, apple gate chicken sausage, vitamins, whole milk

Blueberry Chobani yogurt, protein pancake, apple gate sausage, defrosted organic cherries and blueberries, vitamins and milk.

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Egg bake, whole wheat toast with grass fed butter and organic strawberry jelly, vitamins and whole milk.

 

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This was Valentine’s breakfast, heart shaped pancake with pink sprinkles, heart shaped apples and sausage.

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Chicken burger, salad, and sliced strawberries.

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Jasmine rice, sliced steak, stir-fry veggies, and stir-fry sauce for dipping.

As you can tell we really love the apple gate chicken sausage around here, it’s easy/nutritious and has protein. You’ll also notice a lot of these pictures are from breakfast, it’s the least crazy meal around my house. Lunch is almost always leftovers from dinner the night before or some sort of snack plate and dinner is just usually too crazy for me to remember to take a picture.

So tell me…

What’s your toddler’s favorite meal/food right now?

Any ideas you would like to share?