Healthy Eating Recipe Corner

Tips for Planning Meals with a Busy Schedule

Figuring out what to make can be the toughest part of putting a meal together. As a busy mom, you have a hard enough time getting everyone together for a meal, and then you don’t even know what to cook on any given night. 

This can often lead you to choose something quick and easy or you may find that you are eating the same meals repeatedly. The best solution to this problem is to start meal planning, and to look into other convenient options, like having kids meals delivered. With a little bit of planning, you can add some variety to your meals and take some of the stress out of putting them together.

If you’re not into the idea of sitting down once a week and making a formal meal plan, that is okay – you can use the following tips to help streamline the meal planning process.

Set a Time Limit

If you let meal planning take too long, it will become unmanageable. Set aside ten minutes a week to come up with seven dinner ideas. Make quick decisions about what to eat on different days and stick to your choices. If you don’t feel like planning the whole week of dinners at once, you could just give yourself a few minutes in the morning to pick a dinner idea for later that night. When you know what you are making beforehand, it will save you time and cut down on the stress that comes with preparing dinner.

Get Help from the Family

There is no reason to think that you have to make all of the decisions yourself. Get your partner and the kids involved in choosing dinners. If you assign everyone a night to pick the dinner they want to have, it will make the task easier for you. You can even set a rule that doesn’t allow anyone to pick the same meal two weeks in a row. 

Save Recipes that Work Well

Keep track of all of the recipes that work well in your meal plan. You might save some because they offer a meal that the whole family likes. In other cases, it might be a recipe that is quick and easy for the nights where you have less time. If you save all of the best recipes in one place, it will also make for a handy reference when you are trying to plan meals.

Make Extra

With some meals or food items, making extra can save time. Some meals can be frozen and then reheated as leftovers if you make twice as much the first time you cook. For basic staples like rice and pasta, you could also cook twice as much and use the leftover with a different meal later in the week. By cooking extra, you can cut down on some of the work. This is also a way to plan two nights of dinner at the same time.

Try Themed Meals

Everyone has heard of taco Tuesdays, but there are plenty of themed dinner ideas that can make your meal planning easier. You could plan a pizza night, a pasta night, or you could even do breakfast for dinner. It’s not the theme that matters –the idea is to narrow the options for that night and make it easier to pick a meal. You could even pick one night of the week that is a themed night and change the theme from week to week.

The main point to remember is that meal planning doesn’t need to be as stressful as it may seem. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll save a lot of time, no matter how busy your schedule is.

Healthy Eating

Raise Your Hand If You LOVE Sugar

Getting Real with Tammy Torres

Raise Your Hand If You LOVE Sugar

My hand goes up…Me! Me! Me!

But I can’t eat sugar anymore.

After moping and sabotaging with carbs and sugar, I am using the only thing left in my arsenal: mind over matter. No one likes to be told they aren’t working hard enough, and we have to work hard to get results. I know when I am cheating and being lazy.

Weighing 226 on my 5’6 frame was too much. Being an avid tennis player, biker, and volleyball player should have kept me motivated, but giving in to injury, kids, work, and life became my go-to excuses. Moms do it all the time. We don’t have time … we’re too tired…

Can’t we count chasing toddlers, teenagers, and our grown children around as exercise enough?

I wanted to blame Keto, my doctor, someone for my failure, but my food journal said it all! Sugar in store-bought jerky, in BBQ sauce, in ketchup, in the cherry coke I drank to stay awake or a the baby cone from McDonalds that I couldn’t resist. It all affected my glucose numbers. I thought I could have some sugar, but in my case, it just can’t happen. So, I’m trying to eradicate sugar from my diet.

Every day is trial an error! What food works?  Foods I would never eat are now staples (meat and vegetables, fats). My palate is changing to accept food. I don’t work well with recipes; creative concoctions are my answer. For example, Allen orders a fat-free, sugar-free, skinny latte from our local Dutch Bros. coffee shop. I normally order a Dutch Bro freeze (espresso blended). Now what? I can’t have sugar! Water? Tea? Yuck!

This weekend, I found a no sugar cashew milk made by Silk. And I’ve switched to Adams Smooth Peanut Butter from Skippy. Slowly, the changes will happen.

Try it: Allen’s Cashew PB Cocoa Blend

2 oz of Cashew Milk   (2 carb & 0 sugar)
6 oz Heavy Whipping Cream (0 Carb & 0 sugar)
1 tsp. of unsweetened cocoa (0 carb & o sugar)
1 tsp. Adams peanut butter or peanut butter powder (1 Carb & 1 sugar)
Some sugar free hazelnut (0 carb & 0 sugar)
Add Ice & Blend

Now I can have a smoothie to wake me up. I use it as a breakfast substitute when I get tired of eggs or need dessert at night. And I don’t just go out to eat anymore on a whim. I have to research, journal and explore all your options.

Sugar is the devil!

Health Let's Talk

Healthy Snacking

Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

From fruit snacks and juices to crackers and cookies, there are a lot of snack choices in the grocery store isles. If your kids are like mine, they are begging for all of them. What’s worse is that every single one of these potential snacks is likely to have some label boasting about its nutritional value. It’s not that they are lying. There really are essential nutrients buried somewhere beneath the sugar.

It’s frustrating to navigate, because even the snacks you thought were healthy probably aren’t. Fruit snacks are loaded with sugar and other go-to snack choices have high sodium levels and trans-fats. You also have to watch out for organic products, because the label for organic by itself does not guarantee healthy eating, as organic products can have just as much sugar and calories as a non-organic snack.

When it comes to snacking for both you and your child, try to shop fresh produce as much as possible. Vegetables and hummus make for a delicious snack and  a piece of fresh fruit satisfies the sweet tooth. It’s pretty easy to pack a small bag with an ice pack to keep snacks cool, and if you do really need a portable snack, consider a handful of nuts (for those without food allergies) or a string cheese.

Making smarter snack choices is good for your kids and teaches them better eating habits, but it’s good for you, too.