Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Peas Please! Another Easy Baby Food Recipe

This is super easy and takes very little time. I made a bag of frozen peas and then let them cool a bit. Put in my blender and pulsed, adding breast milk (or formula) as needed until desired consistency.  Put in to small containers, some in fridge, some in freezer. $1 for the bag if peas yielded six servings!  I have yet to see what the diapers will look like after these but he sure seemed to like them!! :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos - 21 Day Fix

1 lb of chicken breast in crock pot with a jar of salsa and a pack of low sodium taco mix on low for 3-4 hours.  Heat corn tortillas on stove or oven, take 1/2 red container of chicken mix on each and melt 1/2 blue container shredded cheese on each. Serve with just about 1 green container of romaine lettuce (there is some green mixed with the chicken from the salsa) and 1/2 red container of 2% cottage cheese.  Eat with a fork or roll up and eat like a taco.  My hubby loves this recipe and doesn't even know it's 21 day fixed approved!! Enjoy!! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Easy Affordable Fall Homemade Baby Food

It's the perfect time of year for stocking the freezer with nutritious homemade baby food. Here are tips for making acorn squash and sweet potatoes.

Preheat oven to 400. Cut acorn squash in half with a large knife and scoop out seeds. Put in a 9x13 pan with some water in the bottom to keep the squash from burning. Place skin side down in the pan. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork and place on the oven rack next to the squash pan. Cook 1 hour give or take. You should be able to easily pierce each item with a fork to know it's done. Take out from oven and let cool about 15 min.

Using a blender, food processor or your fav similar gadget, scoop the fleshy part of the squash out and pulse, adding breast milk or formula to thin it out and make it creamy, to a puréed texture. Put in to small containers* and refrigerate or freeze. Clean out the machine and repeat process with the sweet potato, removing the flesh from the skins and pulsing with breast milk or formula to desired consistency.  In freezer these will be good up to 3 months.  I put two in my fridge and six in my freezer.  I spent $2 total on the squash and potato which comes out to $0.25 per serving compared to $1 per jar of baby food at the store!

*use an old ice cube tray if you don't have access to enough small plastic containers and freeze the food in cubes, then plastic storage bags

Will post more baby food ideas soon!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

21 Day Fix Workout Prep

To prep for the 21 Day Fix workouts, see my thoughts below on space, equipment, general preparation and getting through the first week.
  • Space: make sure you have some room near the TV you'll be working, though not too much space is required. 
  • Mat: You will need a Beachbody mini mat or standard yoga mat.  The video says these are optional but I think it makes a big difference especially on the yoga and pilates days. 
  • Weights/Resistance Band: You will also need a set of light and heavy weights.  If you have not used weights before, or it has been a long time, I'd recommend to start conservatively, for women using 2, 3 or 5 lb. weights for your light weight, and 3, 5 or 8 lb. weights for your heavy weight and building from there.  For men you will likely be okay with 5, 8, 10, 12 or 15 lb. or more depending on your strength level.  Most importantly you should start slow and build, taking care of your body.  You can also use a resistance band if you do not have weights, though I personally think the instructions for using weights are much easier and you spend less time trying to figure out the band.
  • General: Plan to wear athletic clothes that are comfortable and not constricting and tennis shoes with socks for every day except the yoga day (I also do not wear them on the pilates day though they do on the video).
  • Workouts: The workouts vary day by day which keeps things interesting and fun.  They vary in length from 27-32 minutes and offer a warm up and cool down, as well as modifications to each exercise.  You may feel really sore the first week especially if has been a while since you worked out.  On my first day I could hardly walk up the stairs after my workout!!!  It was a good sore.  It's really important to keep moving, stretch and stay hydrated when you're sore and just keep going.  By the middle of the week I felt better and by the next week I went from feeling sore to feeling STRONG!
  • Form: I cannot stress enough how critical it is to listen to the instructions and move slowly as you begin - taking great care of your body to do the exercises right and not fast.  Protect your joints by moving slowly and wisely as you're learning the program.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

21 Day Fix Meal Prep

To prepare for the 21 Day Fix exercise and meal program, I dedicated a few hours this weekend to grocery shopping and meal preparation.  This is not an easy feat!  To find the time, my husband and I discussed each of our own personal non-negotiable plans for the weekend - mine for groceries and food prep, his for putting his new grill together and getting the grass cut.  The other was on kid duty during these times so we could get our things done and then have time together once the kids were in bed (insert here: fond memory of lazy weekend mornings and doing things together w hubby all day - okay, back to reality). 

The plan: I kept it simple to start my 21 Day Fix journey by finding one new recipe to try, and then fruits, veggies, salads and easy protiens. 
  • Breakfast: Shakeology
  • AM Snack Options: Greek Yogurt, Fruit, Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Lunch Options: Salads, Peanut Butter Toast w/ Veggie Crudite, Dinner Leftovers
  • PM Snack Options: Veggies w/ Hummus, Fruit, Nuts, Cottage Cheese
  • Dinner Options: Taco Casserole, Chicken w/ Roasted Potatoes & Broccoli, Chicken Tostadas, Scrambled Eggs w/ Toast & Tomato, Salads
  • Sweet Tooth: Peanut Butter, Piece of Dark Chocolate
The work: I organized my grocery list in the order I'd grab stuff in the store and made sure I went when I wasn't hungry and during the mid-afternoon "lull" at the grocery store so it wasn't over crowded.  I stayed focused to keep on track with my list and budget.  Once at home I put stuff away, and started in on my cooking.  I started by hard boiling a dozen eggs.  These are great for snacks and my daughter will also eat them so they make for great quick lunches.  While eggs boiled, I start on my turkey taco casserole found on Pinterest and when I had breaks in the cooking I would do my fruit and veggie prep - washing, chopping and storage.  If working out of the home or planning to be on the go, I measure things out and put them in plastic bags or storage containers.  If at home for most of the week, I keep things in larger storage containers ready to go.  When the oven is still hot, I bake 4 chicken breasts to have on hand to put in salads, make healthy tacos, etc. and two for dinner. This way, I have the hardest part of my week's work done so it leaves no guess work and quick meal prep for the rest of the week.  My husband is good with just about everything I make for myself on the program which is great but I do make sure to keep some easy things on hand for him (deli meat, freezer meals made in advance, peanut butter LOL).  While I do my prep, I listen to music or podcasts to pass the time and am grateful for my hubby giving me a break to get this accomplished!  Ready to start the week!!  And I have the fridge to prove it!