School Lunches

School Lunches – Week 4

Another week in the books for school lunches. For me, school lunches are a great way to finish up leftovers. Makes menu planning and prepping a breeze. It is also a way to have your kiddos help out if they are old enough. I keep my weekly menu board up in the pantry. Olivia, my daughter, loves helping out in the kitchen. When she is done getting ready for school she will step in and see what needs to be done for school snacks and lunches while I am making breakfast. She can look at the board and start going to town putting everything together. It helps me out, and gets them excited to help pack lunches and snack bags.

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Week 4 meals were kind of a mixture of odds and ends left in the fridge. I have emergency protein on hand if we go through more of dinner than what I had planned. One of my favorite things to have on hand is Wallace Farms Nick Sticks. They make great snacks, after workout protein, and easy to cut up and throw into lunches! Here is a break down of what my kiddos enjoyed eating this week!

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Monday: Hard Boiled Egg, buffalo chicken, lettuce wedges, mango, and cheese stick.
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Tuesday: Hard Boiled Egg, Jello, Pickles, mango, and Lettuce Wrap Ham Rolls. Ham roll: guac, goad gouda cheese, carrot slices, and uncured ham slices.
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Wednesday: Pulled Pork with Frank’s Red Hot, Lettuce wedges, Celery and Sunbutter, White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey and Strawberries, and Green Beans.
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Thursday: Plantain Chips, Uncured Hotdogs, White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey, Grapes, Carrots, and Pickle.
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Friday: Wallace Farm Nick Sticks, Carrots, Plantain Chips, Apple Slices, and Cheese Stick.

Another great week of healthy, wholesome school lunches. Providing nutritious food for growing bodies. Living life one day at a time!

 

Enjoy ūüôā

Clean Eating, School Lunches

School Lunches – Week 3

Week 3 into my weekly school lunch theme.  I hope you all are finding these useful. At least for me, it gives me a place to come back to when I am in a pinch for ideas. You know when you meal plan and trying to decide what to have. A lot of times I look through pictures I have taken or old blog photos for meals to revisit.  Take a look at Week 3 school lunches in our YumBox lunch boxes.

Week 3- Healthy School Lunches:

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Monday: Tuna cake, kale salad with raisins and grilled chicken, pickles, blueberries and strawberries, and sunbutter ball.
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Tuesday: Carrots, kale salad with cranberries and pepitas, pickle, ham and cheese wrap, and blueberries.
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Wednesday: Carrots, kale salad, hardboiled egg, steak, cherries, and mini banana muffin.
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Thursday: Pickles, ham/carrot/cheese wrap, jello, celery with sunbutter, and strawberries.
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Friday: Carrots, grilled chicken, green beans, pickle, chocolate avocado pudding, pineapple and blueberries, and sunbutter ball.

Another week has gone by with another week of freshly made school lunches. Keeping my kiddos fueled with healthy and nutritious lunches! Living with purpose on this journey called LIFE.  Enjoy!

Clean Eating, Dessert

Cassava Flour Mug Cakes

I am a sucker for a great mug cake. Usually I make them with almond flour and/or coconut flour, but I wanted to try something different. My oldest child’s birthday is coming up in October so wanted to try a new version of a mug cake.

I have an awful sweet tooth so when it comes to making desserts in the house I try not to make a lot as I would go to town on it! So mug cakes are amazing for portion control. I spit them in half or even into thirds. Now I don’t have to worry about extra cake/dessert laying around the house.

This mug cake is a definite winner in my household. Plus I can make it nut-free by substituting in sunflower seed butter. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Whisk egg, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup together in mug.img_0751
  2. Whisk in chocolate coconut peanut butter img_0755
  3. Add in baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in Cassava Flour. Mixed until combined IMG_0310
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.img_0748
  6. Microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds (depending on your microwave)img_0753

Eat it plain…Top it with fruit…Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream!

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Clean Eating, School Lunches

School Lunches – Week 2

Happy Saturday and it is time for another week of school lunches in our YumBox lunch boxes. ¬†This week I made some of Against All Grains Jello using Trader Joe’s Cherry Cider. ¬†Let me tell you, it was delicious. I love cherry and so do my kiddos. Typically I do unfitted apple juice or Newmans Grape juice, but I was in the mood for some cherry. As I was pouring the warm jello into the glass container, it totally reminded me of when my mom would make me warm jello when I was sick. Oh the memories… Now lets get to what we had this week for school lunches!

Week 2- School Lunches

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Monday: Carrots and green beans, grilled chicken, Stoneyfield yogurt, kind bar, and orange.
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Tuesday: Stoneyfield yogurt, G-F pancakes with sunbutter and raw honey, Nick-Sticks, Jello, Carrots, and half banana.
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Wednesday: Carrots, jello, uncured hotdogs, cheesestick, and apple slices.
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Thursday: Pickles, romain lettuce with grilled hamburger, strawberries, cheesestick, and jello.
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Friday: Carrots, strawberries, jello, cheesestick, and beef roast.

So there you have it, another week of healthy prepared school lunches. Simple, filling, and nutritious. Have a great weekend y’all!img_0719

Clean Eating, School Lunches

Weekly School Lunch- 1

So I decided to change things up with my school lunch post. I will be posting my weekly lunches on Saturdays. That way I can compile my weeks worth of lunches all in one spot. This will provide a better snap shot of how I do our lunches during the week, and how you can really utilize dinner leftovers throughout the week!  Oh and I am really liking our YumBox lunch boxes this year.

Week 1 School Lunches:

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Monday: Carrots, romain lettuce with raisins, grilled chicken, pineapple, cheesestick, and organic ketchup.
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Tuesday: Carrots, romain lettuce with pickle, hardboiled egg, oranges, ham and cheese wrap.
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Wednesday: Celery with sunbutter, romain lettuce leaves, grilled chicken, cheesesticks, oranges and raisins.

 

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Thursday: Carrots, romain lettuce leaves, grilled chicken with organic ketchup, Siggi’s yogurt tube, and strawberries.

 

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Friday: pickle and carrots, Stonyfield  yogurt with raw honey and Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, romain lettuce, uncured beef hotdog, and strawberries.

So there you have it, my kiddos weekly meals. Some days my kiddos get through all their lunch and some days not. They never waste food at school and I always pack their lunch in a lunch bag with freezer packs. So if they don’t get through their lunch they finish it either on the way home or as soon as they get home with their after school snack. Keep lunches simple and I never worry about repeating protein or veggies as you can see ūüôā

Making healthy lunches to fuel their bodies one day at a time!  Happy packing.img_0701

Clean Eating

Tuna Salad

Wow it has been awhile since I have posted. I have been compiling my blog post, but haven’t blocked out the time to post them. With the school year in full force, it has been crazier then what I expected. Dropping kiddos off at two different schools and then taking my youngest back four days a week in the afternoon for speech/language class has me on my toes. Plus Rob and I both training for triathlons coming up makes it hectic right now, but I am loving every minute of it. So I am trying to dedicate more time to my blogging!

With things keeping me busy I need something I can easily grab quickly and eat on the go if needed. There are times I am working out right up until I have to go pick up the youngest ¬†two in the morning. I don’t like to wait until I get back home before I get something into my body to eat after working out. So lately it has been tuna salad. I eat it with plantain chips, apples, celery, or cucumbers. It is refreshing and hits the spot every time!

I make my own mayo that you can find here. Feel free to substitute with a healthy store bought one too.

TUNA SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of tuna ( I like Wild Albacore Tuna that I get from Costco)
  • Chop fresh onion or a handful of shakes of dried chopped onion
  • 1 tsp of ground fennel ( I use whole seed and ground in a pepper shaker)
  • Himalayan salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of mayo

Directions:

  1. Empty tuna into bowl and break up with a fork
  2. Add seasonings and mix in
  3. Add the mayo and mix until combined

Serve with apples, plantain chips, celery sticks, or put make a cucumber sandwich.

Enjoy!

 

Books, Clean Eating, Menu Planning

Life Choices and Healthy Eating

It is summer break and with that comes easier meals for me and NO more school lunches to pack! We get to enjoy the outdoors, lots of time at the pool, and of course books in hand. ¬† I am really am liking¬†The¬†Rhythm of Life -Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose by Matthew Kelly. It is a great easy read. If you haven’t read this book, I strongly urge you do! IMG_0552

When I look at the life I have, I realize I have been given life. The Lord has given me the ability to make choices in my life with the hopes of course that I will choose to follow him. I have lived in the past of negative thinking Рwhy did this happen, why am I not where I want to be, if I only had this I would be happy, the list can go on and on. Over the last year or so I have been doing a lot of reflections on life. How I live each day, really is MY CHOICE. I can choose to be happy, or choose to be sad. I can choose to exercise, or choose not to. I can choose to eat healthy, or eat junk. I can choose to manage my money or let my money manage me. I can choose to love myself, or tear myself apart. I can choose to pray and go to church, or choose to stay home (or go to an event) etc.

Lets take eating healthy for an example. When talking with other people in my life, one thing I hear about is I want to make better food choices. Then next comes the long list of excuses as to why it is so hard or why they can’t do it. Really when it comes down to it, it is YOUR CHOICE to CHANGE! Only you can decide to take the steps in the choices you make. So okay you know you want to eat healthier. Now how are you going to get there? What goals and steps are you going to take to get to making better food choices? What resources are available to help you get to where you want to be?

I personally am a dive on in kind of gal, but not everyone is like that. Also every situation I may not be able to just dive all in and need to take steps. So create small goals to accomplish your one big goal of eating healthier. Maybe first is clean out your fridge and pantry of the unhealthy foods. Next you commit to only buying healthy foods when going grocery shopping. Start with buying more fruits and veggies and less processed food. ¬†Maybe you start researching healthier meals to make and make a list of meals you would like to try. Another option is take meals you like already and substitute in healthier alternatives. For instance, instead of pasta noodles, you make zucchini noodles. Then ¬†maybe you start to meal plan. You can start with just a couple of meals a week and then build up to a weeks worth of meals. Some people discuss the cost factor of eating healthier. This could then turn into a goal of setting a budget for weekly meals. Maybe limit the amount of times you go out to eat and instead bring your meals with you. I can always make adjustments in my budget, but when it comes down to it the cost really isn’t that huge. This is just a thought process to get you started. This same concept applies for all aspects in your life. I can tell you that you will hit barriers (ups and downs) along the way. Again, it is your choice to continue through, pick yourself back up and continue forward on this journey called life! ¬†Keep in mind though, you never have to do it alone!

My goal here is to share pieces of my¬†life in hope to inspire others or give them the encouragement they need to keep going on whatever journey they are on. So with that, comes in summertime meal planning. I still continue to meal plan, but it isn’t necessarily as strict as it is during the school year. I have a master snack list that I list on my board my kiddos¬†can choose from twice a day instead of me planning them out each day. The snacks that need to be prepared I will meal prep so they are ready to go when they choose to have them during the week.

Week to week the snack list really does not change. Maybe one or two things I may switch out. This is my master snack plan for this week:

  • Banana Muffins
  • Rice Rolls with Sunbutter
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Raw Veggies
  • Apples with sunbutter and toppings (mini Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, Shredded coconut, chopped nuts)
  • Ants on a log
  • Lemon Coconut Protein Balls -Link out to the recipe here.
  • Plantain Chips and Guac
  • Sunbutter Balls
  • Banana chips
  • Larabars
  • Trail Mix (raw nuts with dried fruit)

 

Breakfast for the week still stays the same as it does during the school year.

  • Fluffy Paleo Pancakes – find recipe here. Seriously the best pancakes hands down!
  • Daily morning breakfast -Sausage/Eggs/Potatoes. I blogged about it here.

 

Lunches during the week are leftovers from our dinner the night before. Making it easy peasy!

Dinners: I plan 5-6 main dinners and then will have at least 1 leftover night to clean out the fridge before the next round of meals. This ensure we are eating up what we brought and reduces the amount of food waste. You will always know when it is grocery time in my house because my fridge is almost bare. Each dinner will have salad available. Here is my meals I planned for the coming week:

  • Tuna cakes and Sweet Potatoes
  • Ginger Lime Meatballs and cauliflower rice. I use turkey instead of pork for the meatballs. You can find the recipe here.
  • Chicken Salad Lettuce Boats with raw veggies. Recipe coming this week so check back!
  • Grilled chicken and grilled veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, and carrots)
  • Taco Night
  • Asian Zoodle Bowls

Now to update my grocery list in Wunderlist, and off to the store I go.

Enjoy!

Clean Eating, snacks

Mini Banana Muffins

I enjoy making muffins for my family. Usually it is only during the winter months because that is when pumpkin is in season. I typically¬†only make ones in which they can also take to school as part lunch or snack. This is my favorite pumpkin muffin recipe. When I make muffins I make them into mini muffins since there is no reason to have an entire large muffin in one sitting. Plus the mini muffins are easy to pack and take along if I need to (less messy too). ¬†So I was in search of making an easy nut free muffin recipe when I had the idea to turn one of our families favorite donuts into muffins. Donuts are a special treat in my house. I hardly ever make them because they are time consuming and I don’t enjoy the clean up from them. ¬†My recipe is below, but was based off this recipe.

Mini Banana Muffins (paleo/gluten-free/nut-free/refine sugar free)

Ingredients

Mini muffin tin and mini muffin baking cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Made 51 mini muffins.

Grab all your ingredients except for the bananas and chocolate chips. (not picture is my nutmeg and salt I forgot to add them to the picture. I have also made them without both of these and they turned out just fine)IMG_0387

Crack 6 eggs and beat until frothy. Add in coconut oil and beat again. Add in the maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the bananas and chocolate chips.

Next grab the chocolate chips and bananas.IMG_0388

Dice up the bananas and add to the mixture. IMG_0389

Add in the chocolate chips and fold in until combined.IMG_0390

Grab your mini muffin tin and liners. There are my favorite muffin tin liners. Fill the liners almost to the top. I used a mini scoop.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Made 51 mini muffins. Keep leftovers in the fridge. Mine have lasted up to a week in the fridge no problem.  IMG_0393.jpg

Keep it simple…Keep it clean. ¬†Baking with purpose…living life to its fullest…on this beautiful journey!

Clean Eating, Uncategorized

What’s for Breakfast?!?

Breakfast is one meal that I never have a hard time planning. My breakfast consists of pretty much the same thing every day.  This makes it easy on me for planning and gives the kiddos a great meal to start the day. I like to be able to serve them a warm breakfast every morning! If I am ever in a pinch for time I will warm up leftovers from the night before. No need to feel like you always have to have traditional breakfast food for breakfast.

I buy the majority of my meats from Costco. It is a cost savings for me since we cook large quantities at a time for a family of 7 and growing kiddos with endless pits. If you are looking for a great resource for paleo and/or gluten free goodies to get from Costco, Paleo Parents have provided a great shopping list of ideas.  You can check it out here and tuck it away for future reference!

Breakfast hash is what I make in the mornings.

  1. Sausage/Bacon/Pork (or any meat of choosing)
  2. Scrambled Eggs
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Sweet Potatoes or Russet Potatoes
  5. Avocado Oil ( I get the Chosen Food brand from Costco or here)
  6. Fruit
  7. Salad or Broccoli slaw-Optional

First I start with cooking the sweet potatoes. Sometimes I will use rustic potatoes or a combination as not all my kiddos favor sweet potatoes. I grab the organic bags of sweet or rustic potatoes from Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s has a great organic line that is reasonably priced. I cube up the potatoes and heat up a cast-iron pan. Add avocado oil to pan and toss in the potatoes. Fry up until done.IMG_0367

As the sweet potatoes are finishing I start to¬†cook the Kiolbassa sausage. This is the kind I get from Costco. Sometimes I will get organic ground turkey and make my own sausage using Diane’s (from Practical Paleo)¬†italian sausage blend¬†recipe.¬†IMG_0366

Next crack the eggs and scramble them up in some coconut oil. Chino Valley Ranchers is a local farmer that supplies organic free range eggs to my local Costco.  I urge you to check your local Costco to see what they carry, and be sure to price compare. Even though I have to buy these by the dozen they are cheaper per dozen compared to the Costco organic eggs plus these are free range chickens!  These are reasonably priced usually at $2.79/dozen. Sometimes they may be a little cheaper. IMG_0368

Serve the food up in dishes and add a fruit of choosing if you like. I added blackberries for this breakfast. Also I usually offer broccoli slaw or a mixed salad to go with every meal even breakfast.IMG_0369

 

Quick and healthy breakfast to make. Keeping it simple every morning.

Enjoy!

Clean Eating, Uncategorized

Chicken Dinner

Dinner can be one of the hardest meals to prepare, but it really doesn’t have to be. Just a little bit of planning and quick easy dinner can be put together. Key here, is PLANNING. With kiddos being rushed here or there, homework needing to get done, and all else life throws our way can make “what are we having for dinner” a rush to get something on the table.

When I plan out my meals and do some meal prep during the week, my life goes so much smoother. Even if I didn’t get any prep work done, I try to keep my meals simple so they are still easy to throw together. I wasn’t always a planner when it comes to meals, but it just clicked one day with me. I plan for almost everything else in life (sporting events, meetings, church, school, etc.) why wouldn’t I take the same time and plan meals? Why wouldn’t I want to be sure they get a good balanced meal? Why…Why…Why… Really something to think about. ¬†I am in control, I have the options available. I know at times I may get in a bind, so a quick breakfast for dinner is what we have if I am short on time. I can quickly throw eggs and veggies with a salad on a table. I can fire up the grill and have a meal out in less than 30 minutes. That is exactly what I did this week. Fired up the grill and made some chicken!

Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese:

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken breast (I did 5)
  2. Goat Cheese
  3. Lemon Pepper Dressing ( Tessemae’s is the brand I use. Can find it¬†here)
  4. Toothpicks

***I buy organic when I can

Here is the 3 ingredient needed to throw this quick dinner together. IMG_0358

Lay out the chicken breast on the cutting board and some parchment paper, or put in a zip lock bag.IMG_0359

Pound chicken to even them out and flatten them a little.IMG_0360

Transfer them to a dish bowl and add the lemon pepper dressing. Enough dressing to coat them. Massage the dressing in. IMG_0361

Lay chicken breast one at a time on the cutting board and add goat cheese.IMG_0362

Roll chicken and secure with a toothpick. IMG_0363

Grill until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. ( I did a couple breast without goat cheese in them too)IMG_0364

Serve with your favorite sides. A few of mine are green beans with almonds, acorn squash with coconut cream, baked potatoes, salad, etc.

Enjoy this simple and easy dinner!