Monday, December 10, 2012

This week's meal plan 11.10.12

Total weekly budget: $150
Notes: I have the chicken on hand for the chicken fettuccine.  As a money saver, I cut down on the amount of meat.  The only other meat product I need to buy this week is 1 lb organic ground beef ($5). I love pasta and soup dishes since they're more budget friendly.  All recipes are linked below.

Mon- Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken (breaded with homemade breadcrumbs and cooked on skillet) with salad (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and organic ranch)

Tues - Quiche with whole wheat homemade crust with cheddar and diced organic canadian bacon; cucumbers & feta salad (2 cucumbers + 1/2 c feta crumbled, mixed with 2 T olive oil, 1 t red wine vinegar)

Wednesday - Clean Eating Sloppy Joes with Roasted Green Beans

Thursday - Corn & Cheese Chowder with homemade whole wheat artisan bread

Friday - Homemade whole wheat pizza with organic pizza sauce, organic mozzarella, (with half veggies/half cheese only) with salad (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and organic ranch)

Saturday - Leftover Night

Sunday - Weeknight Spaghetti (without meat) with roasted brussel sprouts

Snacks/breakfast items for the week:  Whole wheat bagels with organic cream cheese, banana muffins, trail mix (oat bran sticks, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins), cinnamon chocolate chip protein bars, lara bars, and maple cookies, scrambled eggs, whole wheat cinnamon pancakes (using only 1.5 c almond milk - instead of 2)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meal Plan +Recipes 11/14/12

Here is my meal plan for the upcoming week:

5 Dinners
Butternut Squash Mac N Cheeze with mixed salad
Peanut Pad-Thai (with Thai noodles instead of spaghetti) with fried organic egg
Veggie Tostadas (with homemade corn tortillas)
Corn and Cheese Chowder with Garlic cheddar biscuits
Slow Cooker Lasagna with caesar salad

Then next week will be meal planning for Thanksgiving.  We will be having thanksgiving at our house with our family!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Put the BUSY in "Fit N Busy"

If you "like" Fit N Busy Mama on Facebook, you might have seen that I have scheduled my first "Fit Mama, Real Food 101" class for this month!  I am SUPER excited to share some info and basics with other people who want to know how to cook healthy for a family.   So I have been thinking a lot about what I should be teaching and what kinds of things people would want to get out of a class like this.  And I feel like the biggest need is for people to learn how to cook real food in a simple, convenient way which works with their busy lives.

News Flash:  I am a BUSY mama.  I have 4 kids with 2 of them 2 & under.  Two of them go to school all day and come home with homework and projects.  The kids play soccer, t-ball, basketball, take music lessons, and have dance class.  We are your typical fast-paced, on-the-go family!  We aren't home-bodies. I have babies home all day with me.  I don't have time to cook up gourmet meals and engineer intricate dishes (my kids wouldn't eat anyway).

Until 2 years ago, my kids were eating frozen corn dogs,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week Review: Refrigerator Oatmeal, Homemade "Lunchables", Veggie Tostadas, & Yummy Veggie/Sausage/Potato dish

The kiddos went back to school last week so I have been crazy busy lately getting everything ready for them and making sure they have everything they need.  I made some AWESOME refrigerator oatmeal for my 9 year old as a quick and easy breakfast for her in the mornings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grocery Store Cheat Sheet for Buying Convenience Foods

As you know, if you have read any of my blogs, I enjoy cooking from scratch.  I truly feel that food just tastes better when it's homemade rather than when it's bought in a package from the store.  Not to mention it is much more cost effective to make it yourself.  With that being said, there are some of you that just plain don't have time to cook many things from scratch.  And I totally get that.  Less than 2 years ago, I had 2 kids and I worked full time.  Most days I was off to work at 8 am and didn't get home until after 7 pm.

So, although homemade is always best, here are some tips for buying healthy/clean convenience items in the grocery store and some items I recommend.

  • First, you may want to check out my blog on how to read an ingredient list.  This can be very confusing and requires a lot of research to find out exactly what all the ingredients are.  

  • Immediately flip box over and look at ingredient list.  Strive for 5 ingredients or less.  It should not have a huge list of ingredients.  The more ingredients, the more processed it is.  

  • Download the "fooducate" app for your iphone (not sure if it's available for other types of phones).  When you're trying to pick out a type of food, scan the barcodes.  This app gives each food item a grade from A - F, depending on nutrient density, level of sugar, fat, and how processed it is.  It also defines some of the ingredients you may have never heard of.  
  • Download the True Food app to help avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).  Health effects of ingesting GMO's include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression, and cancer.  As ingredients change in products all the time, the best thing is to check the ingredients list of the products you buy often. Keep a look out for:

    Corn: corn oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn meal
    Soy: soy protein, soy lecithin, soy oil, soy sauce, soy isolates
    Canola: canola oil
    Cotton: cottonseed oil
So, with those things in mind, here are some convenient substitutions you can make if you just don't have time for homemade:


Monday, August 13, 2012

How to Cook & Shop Healthy/Organic on a Budget

It is a common misconception that you can't cook healthy/organic when you're on a budget.  In reality, we spend, as a family, the same amount now with 4 kids (mostly organic) as we did when we only had 2 kids and had boxed meals and junk food.  So, here are some tips for shopping on a budget!

My take on coupons
I could probably save a little more if I went through the trouble of getting the Sunday paper and clipping coupons, but I have found that 90% (if not more) of the coupons out there are for junk food, candy, and the sugary cereals.  I feel like my time is worth something.  So, am I going to spend a day hunting for coupons, buying all the local newspapers, etc just to save a couple dollars at the store?  NO!  My time is worth way more than that.  I do look through the Red Plum deal I get in the mail and I don't think I've ever seen a coupon for healthy foods.  And, to top that off, I believe that coupons can be negative in a way.  Sometimes, you see a coupon and buy that item just because you save 25 cents, when you would have never bought it in the first place.  In some ways, we spend more money with coupons than without.  You just have to be smart about it.  If you do find coupons, ONLY use the coupons for foods you would NORMALLY buy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fit Mama's Most Used, No-Fail Recipes 2012

As I got out my spaghetti/pizza sauce recipe this afternoon, I realized just how much I use that recipe.  The paper is covered in tomato sauce.  Yes, I like paper when I'm following my recipes.  I don't even know why I got out the recipe.  I have made it so many times, I know it by heart.  I realized that there are certain recipes I make over and over, my family's absolute favorites. Any given day I have at least one of these dishes working in the kitchen.  These recipes are guaranteed (by me) to be NO-FAIL!  SO, here they are:

Roasted GB - recipe found here on

Friday, August 10, 2012

My dinner meal plan and shopping list week of 8-10-12

I am making my trip to the grocery store today and the farmer's market tomorrow and here is the list I'm taking with me:

Meal Plan Shopping list
Store Item $
FM eggs  
FM cucumbers  
FM zucchini  
FM squash  
FM 2 tomatoes  
FM cherry tomatoes  
FM white onion  
FM red onion  
FM carrots  
FM orange, yellow, red bell peppers  
FM 1 lb baby potatoes  
FM green beans  
FM brussel sprouts (or other veg for sides)  
WF organic mushrooms  
WM parsley  
WM organic romaine lettuce  
WM 2 avocado  
WM sweet potatoes  
WF organic turkey bacon  
WF 1.5 lb organic ground turkey  
WF organic chicken sausage links  
WM 16 oz organic chicken cutlet halves  
WF organicmonterey jack cheese  
WF clean whole grain corn tortillas  
WM ww mac noodles  
WM can organic  tomato sauce (3)  
WM can organic tomato paste  


Chicken enchiladas

Turkey MB with sauteed zucchini and side salad

Bacon mac n cheese with mixed veg and side salad

Chicken piccata with roasted veg and sweet potatoes

Vegetable tostadas

Breakfast for dinner: eggs, bacon, pancakes and/or toast

Summer vegetables with sausage and potatoes

WM= Walmart
WF= Whole Foods
FM= Farmers Market

I will post my recipes during the week as I make these meals to ensure family satisfaction.  And I will post an update with the prices after my shopping trip.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The truth behind school lunches

I have 2 kiddos that will be starting school again next week and I've already been thinking a lot about what I should put in their lunchboxes on the first day.  It made me think about the fact that less than 2 years ago, I sent my daughter to school with no lunch box at all.  She ate the school lunch EVERY day.  There may be some fit mamas out there that also allowing your kiddo to eat school lunch, not knowing exactly what the school is serving them each day. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What Fit Family Takes to the Pool/Park/Zoo

If you have gotten 1 thing from my blogs, it hopefully is the importance of planning ahead.  This is VITAL to a healthy family.  Whether I'm heading out to the pool, splash pad or the zoo for the day, I ALWAYS have a cooler full of snacks, waters, and usually even lunch for the kiddos.  I never want to be caught off guard with hungry, cranky kids, in a position to where I would be forced to feed them junk food (from the concession stand or fast food joint).

I took the kiddos to the pool today and here is what I brought:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to maintain your (and your kids') healthy eating routine while on vacation

This last week, my husband and I enjoyed an 8 day long beach vacation away from the kiddos.  Although it was very hard to be away from them, it was MUCH needed!

 Beautiful sunsets!
The only things I had to worry about were which bathing suit I was going to wear and where we were going to eat dinner.  No crying babies or dirty was AWESOME!

So how do you go on an 8 day vacation and not gain 10 (or more) lbs?  Especially with this type of temptation:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe catch up: Kid friendly whole wheat pizza pockets, baked tilapia, pork tacos, plus much more!

This blog post will be mostly dedicated to catching up with you on some recipes I've been cooking lately.  Most of my meals have come from 100 Days of Real Food.  I really recommend her site for anyone who wants fairly simple kid-friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  She cooks with only "real food" (clean).  The only downside to some of her recipes is the amount of butter and oil many of her recipes call for.  Although it is all "real" butter, it is still super fatty and not a healthy fat, at that.  So when I cook her stuff in the future, I may try and sub out the butter for banana or applesauce (if it's a baked good).  So anyway, here are some of the things I've been cooking up:


  • baby spinach, carrots, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, mixed with fresh cracked pepper and my lightened up goddess dressing (recipe here on my FB page)

  • 1/4 c cooked organic quinoa, sautéed chopped zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, red onion, mixed with lightened up goddess dressing

  • Pasta salad (adapted from 100 days of real food)

Here is the recipe:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yummy lemon garlic slow cooker chicken meal plus BEST EVER healthy brownies!!

Well, hello there!  I have been MIA lately from my blogs since we were on vacation.  We had an AWESOME time in San Antonio, on our 2nd annual family trip.  Here I am with Eli & Sophie on our balcony at the hotel:
 And our whole family in front of the hotel on our last day:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fit Mama Does Yoga, Anemia Update and Yummy Tomato Feta Quiche!

If you read my blog about the gym, then you know all of my favorite gym classes to take.  But in the last couple weeks, I have become completely obsessed with Yoga.  I used to not like Yoga because I didn't feel like it was a good "fat burning" workout when I was in weight loss mode.  But now that I am at my goal weight, there is literally no other workout that has reshaped my body like Yoga.  There are many different types of Yoga and I am not an expert on all of them but my favorite is Hot Yoga (AKA Hot Vinyasa).  I have never sweat so much in my life and I have ran 3 half-marathons!  It feels good to detox my body as I work my muscles.  For those who think Yoga is all stretching and meditating, let me tell you, it's HARD!  I see some muscle men (probably just there to check out the girls) in Yoga who are struggling to hold the poses.  Now, there are some forms of Yoga that are stretching, such as Yin/Restorative Yoga.  If you have a gym membership, try out the next Yoga class or join a Yoga studio.  I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Awesome whole wheat crepes, greek pitas, meal prep, grocery shopping, and more!

Last week, my whole meal plan was one I got from  I liked it because it included meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner!  Here are a couple of the highlights:

Whole wheat crepes (great for breakfast and lunch - according to my 4 y.o.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted + extra for cooking

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eating with Purpose plus Yummy Teriyaki Veggies and Quesadillas!

This past Monday I had a minor surgery on my leg
which left me down for about a day & 1/2.  Plus I haven't been able to work out which is my mommy de-stress time.  Needless to say, it's been a rough week starting out so far. 

During my pre-admit testing, they did some blood tests and found that I have iron-deficient anemia.  This was kind of a relief since I have been experiencing fatigue and headaches almost every day and not sure why.  The anemia answers that question.  However, I was also pretty bummed because if you know me, you know how excellent my diet is.  I eat tons of fruits and veggies.  I pay close attention to the amount of protein, fat, carbs, fiber, sodium, sugar, and calories I eat on a daily basis.  Almost obsessive to make sure that I get all my daily allowances of each, without going over in calories, sugar, sodium, or fat.  However, I NEVER look at how much iron I'm taking in.  Now that I look back over my food diary from the past month, I hardly went over 30% of my daily iron.  And since I've been paying attention to it the last couple days, I realized how hard it really is to get your daily value of iron (from natural sources anyway). 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

FIt Mama Farmer's Market, plus Banana Bread, Chicken Pita and Super Easy Quiche Recipes!

This past Wednesday was my first day going to the Tulsa Farmer's Market (on Brookside).

 I wasn't really sure what to expect since I've never made it down there.  But, I did bring my weekly meal plan and grocery list (from  View the free meal plans here on 100 Days of Real Food FB Page.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fit Mama's Fave Workout Classes, Plus Yummy Parmestan Crusted Chicken Recipe!

Well, it has been about 3 weeks since Lifetime Fitness opened here in Tulsa and I have definitely been taking FULL advantage!  Since I finished my half-marathon, my schedule has opened up a bit to try forms of fitness other than running for my training. 

Do you belong to a gym?  Many people I know that belong to a gym go maybe a couple times a month.  That is DEFINITELY not worth the $60+ per month they pay in dues.  Here are a couple tips for getting more involved at your gym and getting your money's worth! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm Alive! Big Race Results, BEST EVER Chicken Quesadilla Recipe, and Food Prep

Well last week was a complete nightmare.  It started with my 2 year old vomiting, she obviously caught some sort of stomach bug.  Then Wednesday I woke up feeling off and my 9 year old woke up sick.  We went to the Dr and she had strep.  She missed school for 3 days, more than she has missed all year!  I was very sick through Saturday.  I went to the Dr on Friday and was diagnosed with a migraine.  I had never been diagnosed before but it is worse than just a headache!  It affected my whole body and made me very sick.  After recovering from that, I caught the stomach bug my 2 year old had.  That started Friday night through Saturday.  Sunday was my big half-marathon race in Oklahoma City and I hadn't eaten in 3 days and was still feeling very weak.  I knew that I had every valid excuse not to run but I also knew how disappointed I would be if I didn't run my race.

(Here I am with my babies the day before my race in OKC.  I was very ill here but hiding it pretty well)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Read your Labels! Grocery Store Tips from Fit Mama

So today I was at Target picking up some organic apples and a couple other things I needed.  I really needed some more bread and I usually buy the Whole Foods 100% whole wheat bread and last resort, I get Nature's Own bread at Walmart.  Since I was at Target, they didn't have the Nature's Own bread so I decided to start checking out other breads to see which I could buy.  I was completely disgusted by the choices, or lack there of, for good whole wheat bread without added sugar, chemicals, and preservatives!  First of all, there is not a whole lot to bread, there really should only be a couple ingredients to make a loaf of bread.

Here is the first loaf I picked up, Archer Farms 100% whole wheat bread
What is the 5th ingredient?  SUGAR.  Seriously?  I don't understand why all the bread companies add sugar and high fructose corn syrup. 
And of course, you can see how many ingredients there are, such as:
  • Azodicarbonamide - Dough conditioner banned in Europe because studies showed it could cause asthma or allergic reactions.
  • Calcium propionate - preservative which, in the 1990's, was linked to attention deficit disorder in children
Here was the 2nd loaf of bread I picked up.  Target's generic brand whole wheat bread:
I know you can't see the ingredients in this picture, but just look at the sheer length of that list!  It is 3 times longer than the ingredient list on the first loaf of bread I picked up.  What kind of "whole wheat" bread could possibly need like 100 ingredients???

So, it got me thinking.  I was completely unaware of what to look for on the back of a package of food about a year ago.  Basically, I looked at the calories per serving and that's about it.  I realized that most people just pick up things at the store without even flipping the box or bag over to see what's really in the "food" they're buying.  I really wished someone had told me a long time ago exactly what to look for and what to stay away from!  Here are a couple tips on what to look for and stay away from at the grocery store.

1.  Don't read the advertising/marketing on the front of the package!   Food companies are very tricky.  They might boast about having lots of fiber and then you flip the box over and one serving has 20 grams of sugar.  You MUST look for yourself.  I very rarely look at what is printed on the front of the package anymore.
2.  Look at the number of ingredients.   The more ingredients, the more processed the food.  When they make, say chips, they break it down and have to keep adding things to it to make it taste more like real food.  If it has a long ingredient list, IT'S NOT REAL FOOD...put down the box.
3.  Look for and avoid hidden sugars:
Corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, glucofructose, honey, molasses, maple syrup, maltose, sucrose, and artificial sweeteners (such as saccharin and aspartame)
4.  Here are some additives and preservatives to avoid 100% of the time:
  • Artificial colors (red, green, yellow, FD&C colors) - some studies have linked this to childhood behavioral issues
  • Benzoate preservatives (BHA & BHT) - known to cause hyperactivity in children and is considered a carcinogen by the US Dept of Health and Human Services
  • Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) - is banned in more than 100 countries and the FDA calls is "suspect" as a carcinogen
  • Potassium Bromate - Food additive banned in Europe, Canada, and most other countries, considered carcinogenic
  • Propylene glycol - a chemical found in personal care products, linked to cancer, reproductive issues, allergies, and endocrine issues.
  • Propyl Gallate - food additive that some studies have shown to cause cancer, skin irritability, allergic reactions which cause breathing issues, and kidney and liver problems.
  • Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite - additive in 99% of all deli meats and hot dogs, is one of the most well known carcinogens
  • Mono sodium glutamate (MSG) - flavor enhancer found to cause headache, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, nausea, and weakness
  • Olestra - A fat substitute, which has shown to be a carcinogen, along with causing diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues.
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup - a sweetener which has been linked to obesity, weight gain, and diabetes
Print this list and take it with you to the grocery store or put it up on your fridge.  I refer to it all the time!
5.  Breads:
  • Make sure first ingredient is whole wheat flour and there is no white or processed flour ingredients
  • Look for breads that have only a few ingredients.  The best breads have no preservatives and must be stored in your fridge because they go bad faster than other breads.
 (Here is Whole Foods 100% Whole Wheat Bread.  Only has a couple ingredients and no added sugars!)

6.  Canned Goods:
  • Watch the sodium!  Many canned soups contain 800+ mg of sodium (for 1 serving, but most soups have 2 servings in 1 can), so with 1 can of soup you're eating 50% of your daily intake of sodium!  Can we say water retention?
  • Make sure your soup doesn't have MSG or equivalents.  Most soups that say "healthy!" on the label contain this flavor enhancer.  See above list on chemicals to avoid.
  • Don't buy your fruit in a can!  They always add a thick sugary juice to the can.  Fruit has enough natural sugar as it is, you don't need any more.   
  • Try to find BPA- free cans, where available.  
7.  Cereals:
  •  Make sure your cereal is a natural color, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS...this means you, Fruit Loops.  See above list on which chemicals, additives to avoid.
  • First thing, check the sugar content!  See the best and worst cereals list from EWG to know which cereals are better for your family. 
  • Go for the "original" version of the given cereal.  Such as Cheerios Original or Kix Original.  When you add fancy versions like "honey nut", it just ups the sugar content!
8.  Snacks:
  • Check sugar amount
  • Check and make sure there are no artificial colors
  •  Make sure there is no added high fructose corn syrup (I think you will find 90% of all kids snacks have this in it).
  • Chips are not at all healthy, but if you do buy them, check for fewer ingredients, no saturated fat, and organic corn chips, if available.
  • Nuts - raw, unsalted only! 
With just these couple rules, I basically don't buy kids snacks anymore.  I do like to make my own trail mix, or I use the dry cereal I buy as an easy snack.  When we're home, we try to eat more fruit and real foods as snacks instead of the boxed kind.

Anyway, when was the last time your child was hungry for a snack and a little bag of "fruit snacks" actually satiated their hunger?  I'll answer that for you, NEVER.  We need real food for "snacks" if we're truly hungry and NEED a snack.  If we're just eating out of sheer boredom,  the boxed snacks may help, but we really shouldn't be doing that anyway.  Here is a blog I wrote on Healthy Snack Options.

9.  Frozen Foods:
I only buy a couple things frozen, some veggies and berries (for smoothies/yogurt/pancakes)

  • Make sure the veggies you buy have no added sauce or cheese, just the veggies as the only ingredient.  
  • Make sure there are no preservatives or chemicals.
  • Frozen berries I try to find organic just because many of them are on the "dirty dozen" list for high pesticides. 
10. Dairy

  • I buy organic dairy 100%.  Why?  No hormones or antibiotics!  
  • Check for rennet-free cheese
  • Make sure cheese comes from rBGH-free cows (no hormones)
  • Yogurt - check the sugar.  Some Yoplait yogurts have as much sugar as a Snickers bar.  I buy only organic plain non-fat greek yogurt.  If I need it sweeter, I put a little agave on top.  SO DELISH!
  • Cheddar cheese should not be orange.  If it is, it's because they add a chemical, annato, for color.  
  • Buy your cheese in the block form and shred or grate it yourself.  When it's already shredded or grated, they have to add lots of preservatives so that it won't go bad.  
  • I don't buy cottage cheese anymore.  I haven't found a "clean" version without added chemicals and preservatives
  • DO NOT BUY's not real food!  If you buy butter, go for REAL butter or I buy Earth Balance Soy Butter and it's very good.
  • Organic grass-fed beef
  • Organic hormone/antibiotic free chicken
  • Look for deli meats with no nitrites or nitrates on the ingredient list, such as Applegate brand
  • "Uncured" hot dogs, nitrite/nitrate free

I hope these tips help some of you!  I sure wish I had this list a year ago when I started on this "real food" journey.  If you have any question about any of the foods I listed, see My FB Page, under Photos: Kitchen Staples.

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mommy Daughter Time, More Organized Home Day 4, & Healthy Beef Stroganoff!

Today was the 2nd Annual Mother Daughter Tea at our church and Addy was SO excited and has been looking forward to it all year.  It is some of the only one on one special time we get!  So we got dressed up in our finest and had a great time!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 1 Organized Home, More Half-Marathon Training, and Yummy Chicken & Rice Dinner Recipe!!

Last week, I saw that Money Saving Mom was doing a "4 Weeks to a More Organized Home" project.  Every day starts the with the same things:
  • Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.  There’s something about dressing in clothes that make you feel great that just gives you more energy and zest for life!
  • Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 things you want to accomplish today.
  • Complete your morning routine

After you complete your morning routine, you are to set the kitchen timer and complete the listed task for that day.  Here is what today's was:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fit n Busy Mama's 6 Tips for a Healthier Cookout!

If you're like us, you have lots of cookouts during the Spring and Summer months.  As a matter of fact, we had one today for my brother's birthday!  Cookouts are usually notorious for junk food: chips, dips, potato salad, etc.  But, with a little planning, it can be a lot healthier!  Here is a couple ways to make your next cookout a success without the processed foods. 

1.  Make your own dips. 
Have you ever read the ingredient list of that canned dip?  It is LOADED with calories, fat, added chemicals, salt and preservatives.  It is SUPER EASY to make your own and tastes better!  Here are a couple examples:
  • Guacamole (3 ripe avocados mashed, 1 t garlic powder, juice of 2 lemon wedges, 1/2 t sea salt)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Produce Score, New Awesome Gym, and "Sausage" Arrabiata Recipe

So yesterday I got tired of going to Walmart or Target every 2 days to buy more fruit for the household. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the kids are eating tons of fruit, but it can get pretty pricey!  We have an Aldi's near our house that always has the best prices on produce.  I don't ever think about it because it's just one more stop when I already have to make 3 stops to get my weekly groceries.  But, I decided to run by there and see what kind of deals I could find on produce.  Here is what I scored:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Busy Referee Mama, Cleaning Closets, and Shepard's Pie Recipe

Well I hope everyone had an awesome Easter.  We sure did!  I have been so incredibly busy lately.  So busy that I feel like I don't even have time to eat or drink.  My babies (Chris 15 months, Sophie 27 months) are at an age where they basically fight over all the toys and me.  I play referee all day between the babies & Elijah. 
 (Eli squirting sister with the hose in typical big brother fashion...)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Busy Mama Kitchen Gadgets, Yummy kid friendly cheesy zucchini, plus more!

So today I had to run to Target to get some meat & such for the Easter cookout we're having...  Like many trips to Target, I found myself on aisles I didn't belong.  All of the cookware, dishes, and kitchen gadgets were so colorful and new I just had to get a couple things.  80-90% of the gadgets, cookware, and even plates in my kitchen are hand-me-downs from my mom or mom-in-law.  They're likely 2-3 decades old and many convenience items, I just don't have.  Here are a couple of things I picked up today while I was there:
  • An olive oil mister

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Half-Marathon Training Update, Make Your Own Kids Cereal, AWESOME Veggie Panini Recipe!

Well my half-marathon training has been going swimmingly....or runningly, shall I say?  Sorry that was cheesy.  My pace has been at a steady 10 min/mile even on my long runs!  Just to compare, my first half-marathon I finished about 11:10 min/mile, so that is shaving off over a minute a mile!  Of course, I am about 10 pounds lighter now than I was and I am eating a lot better now since I have converted to a "clean/organic" diet.  On Wednesday, I ran 12 miles and I felt AWESOME!!
(view from a spot on my long run)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Recipes: Strawberry Spinach Salad, Red Beans & Rice, Healthy Chk Nuggets, +More!!

Well, I realized I've gotten behind with posting some of my dinner & lunch recipes, so I am dedicating this whole blog to all my recent recipes. 

The other night, I made red beans & rice with organic greek yogurt & chopped avocado.  It was pretty easy and VERY delicious.  The kids really liked it, Chris had 2 servings!  Here are some pics and the recipe:

Red Beans & Rice (adapted from Skinnytaste)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My 9 TOP Free Iphone Apps you MUST HAVE for Fitness & Nutrition

So I got the first installment of my fitness magazine in the mail last week and I was super excited.  I got a year subscription for like $3 or something ridiculously cheap.

And in there, they listed out some free fitness apps for the iphone.  I only had 1 of them already, Nike Training and the others I did not have so I downloaded them.  They are all GREAT and I have personally tried them out so I thought I'd share them with you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fit Mama Runs 2 Half-Marathons in 1 mo?, Vegetarian Meal Plan, Food Prep, AWESOME Falafel Sandwiches

So, I'm officially signed up for another half-marathon in April!  On April 14th, I am running the 13.1 miles in the Bixby Legacy Run.

 It is to help support the Bixby Outreach Center, which is a place that helps needy families in Bixby.  I thought running this race would be good training for my OKC run on April 29th!  So, I'm really looking forward to it and setting a great pace.  BTW, I wasn't sore today at all, following my 10 mile run yesterday.  Usually my legs would be a little sore and they were not at all today!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fit Mama Runs 10 Miles...Set PR!!

Well, this morning, I had my scheduled 10 mile run.  I wasn't too excited about it because I haven't run much since we were on vacation all last week.  But, I was booking it this morning.  I finished the 10 miles in 1 hour 40 minutes, which is exactly a 10 min/mile.  My usual pace is 10.5 minute/mile so that busted my average pace by a full 30 seconds per mile!  I felt GREAT.  I'm not sure if it was because I went to bed by 10:30 last night, or the excedrin I had this morning before I left for a headache, or what.  And despite the faster pace this morning, I didn't feel like I was over-exerting myself.  In fact, I felt like I could go faster if I really wanted to. 

After I got home, I showered up and had a cup of coffee with breakfast

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A couple Fit Mama Lunches, New Family Cereal Discovery, SUPER DELISH Black Bean Burgers!

It has been a crazy couple days since we've been home!  I have been working so hard to get us unpacked, laundry done, and refrigerator replenished.  I was SO tired Sunday night that I went to bed at 8:00 and slept for 11 hours!  I can't say enough about the healing properties of adequate sleep.  I felt GREAT yesterday.  So, after a delicious lunch, I decided to go to Whole Foods to replenish our fruit and veggie drawers.  My lunch was this:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back on the Health Regime After Vacation & AWESOME Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Well we're back!!  We have been on vacation for 8 days and we got back late last night.  It feels so good to be home!  We had an AWESOME time in St Louis and Branson.  While we were on vacation, we really tried to make healthy choices as much as possible.  Now don't get me wrong, eating out and having treats is all part of vacation!  When we did eat out, we all drank water (NO SODA!) and the kids shared 2 kids meals, for portion control.  If the restaurants had a salad available, that is what I ordered.  And we stayed on the vegetarian Lent diet (except for some fish my husband ate). 

On our 2nd day at Silver Dollar City, I packed us a big cooler full of grapes, apples, organic PB & agave sandwiches (on whole wheat bread), cheese sticks, and some pretzels.  Instead of ordering the fried lunch foods, we had a pretty healthy lunch! 

The whole time we were on vacation, I did not exercise one time.  Although I didn't really plan on working out, it was pretty hard not getting my daily exercise in.  I didn't gain any weight on vacation but I feel like I have an extra layer of flab from not working out.  However, my left bicep is sore from carrying Chris on my hip for 2 days straight.   For me, diet is 80% of the equation when it comes to losing or maintaining weight.  But, that 20% keeps me toned and I am a better mood overall when I get my daily workout in.  Even though I didn't work out, we were SUPER active.  We spent a full day at the zoo walking around

Thursday, March 15, 2012

How Fit n Busy Family Stays Healthy on the Road

So I've been feverishly packing for the last 2 days, getting us all packed and ready for our 8 day long trip for Spring Break.  It's not an easy task to get 4 kids packed, laundry done, and snacks/meals planned.  We are leaving in the morning for St Louis, MO.  We will be there for 4 days, then we're driving to Branson, MO for 4 days!  Going on a road trip can be very trying on not only your sanity, but also your health.  It is MUCH easier to go through the drive-through or stop at the gas station and get candy, snacks, and soda.  But, I have been working very hard and planning ahead to ensure that it doesn't happen that way.  Yes, there are times that we get fast food or stop and get snacks at the gas station, that's part of the fun of a road trip after all!  But, I want to minimize that as much as possible.  Here are some of my tips for staying healthy on the road and during travel:

1.  Get a cooler for the car and pack it with some healthy snacks & drinks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Busy Mama Stays Fit on the Go, and YUMMY Vegetarian Chunky Chili Recipe!

I knew today was going to be a very busy day.  So, I got my exercise in this morning with a quick circuit workout.  I did 10 push ups, 20 burpees, 30 mountain climbers, 40 squat jumps, and plank for 1 minute.  I repeated this circuit 4 times and I was done in about 25 minutes!

I had plans this afternoon and evening, with no time to prepare dinner, so I popped dinner in the crockpot at noon, to cook on low for 6 hours...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Soccer Saturday, New Kids' Gear, and Yummy Mozzarella Pesto Panini Recipe!

Well yesterday was a crazy day! I was at the soccer fields twice, for Addy & Eli's games. While they were playing, I realized that I have kind of slacked on working with them on soccer skills. I can't expect their coaches to teach them everything they need to know to excel at the game in 1 or 2 practices a week. And, if we're going to take this sport more seriously, I really need to get after it and help them to learn some more soccer skills. Our neighbor (whose kids are also in Metro Tulsa Soccer Club), was telling me that there is a complimentary soccer skills training class every Tuesday night starting at 5:30 pm to any MTSC players.  Here is the link to the info on that.
So, I'm going to think about taking them to that next week! Since the weather is nice, there is no excuse for me not to be at the park with them practicing too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Family Tennis Night, Leftover Taco Dinner Remix, and Healthy Soccer Game Snacks

So tonight, we decided to meet another family out at the tennis courts for a family tennis match.  We enjoy tennis when the weather is nice.  It is a great workout and there is usually several courts right next to each other so the kids can play their own "game".

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Countertop Oven, Strawberry/banana/PB Smoothie, and BEST EVER Chickpea Tacos

We have one of those kitchens that only...sigh...has 1 oven.  I do SO much cooking now and there are many times that I have multiple things that need to be put in the oven, all at different temps of course.  Cooking can sometimes take twice or 3 times as long as it should. 

So, I am STOKED about the new countertop oven I got in the mail today!  We needed to replace our ANCIENT "toaster oven" which was nothing more than a glorified toaster that took up more space than one.  We did a ton of research, looking at reviews on and  When we buy appliances or something like this, we always check reviews first and don't make an impulse buy.  Here is what I was looking for in a new countertop oven:
  • Can fit a 13x9 pan
  • Can fit a 12" pizza
  • Has 2 racks
  • Looks nice (stainless)
  • Has convection feature
  • Is affordable (less than $100)
This one had it all! After checking the reviews for this model on several sites, it had RAVE reviews.  We got the Hamilton Beach Countertop oven with Convection and Rotisserie Option.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fit Mama 7 Mile Long Run, Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food, and 8 y.o. Lunchbox!

So this morning was my 7 mile run, as scheduled for my half-marathon training.  It went really well!  It was 63 degrees, overcast, with 20 MPH winds.  The winds did suck when I was coming to the end of my run, which was uphill and I was running directly into the wind.  But, for the most part, was not an issue.  I finished in 1 hour 10 minutes, which is not quite the pace I was hoping for.  But, felt great when I got home.  I didn't feel like I over-exerted myself.  Just a nice casual pace. 

After I got home from my run, I of course took a few moments to stretch.  And my 2 y.o. decided to join me:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BUSY Day! Fit Mama Workout, Day 2 Vegetarian Grocery Shopping & Kids' Boot Camp!

Well today was CRAZY.  It started out at 7 am this morning, I took my 8 y.o. to Bixby Kids For Christ and every other week, I lead games with the kiddos.

I got my workout in at around 11 am this morning, after I laid Chris down for his nap.  Today, I did Cardio sculpt (GAIAM on HULU), a 11 minute workout.  Then, I did The Firm Boot Camp (on HULU also), a 12 minute workout.  BTW, if you have Hulu, you must get on there and see all the workout programs available.  Just search GAIAM on Hulu to find them all.

After taking my son to pre-k, I had my day 2 of grocery shopping planned for Walmart.  Here is what I got at Walmart:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Week 2 Vegetarian Menu, Half-Marathon Training, & AWESOME Blueberry Muffin & Veggie Lasagna Recipes!!

Well it's that time again for my weekly shopping!  Last Tuesday I spent $165 and I bought enough food for 5 meals and it lasted me 7 days.  Here is what my shopping list looks like this week:
The items highlighted are ones I can't get at Walmart & have to go to a different grocery store, such as Whole Foods.  Meals upcoming this week include:
  • Baked Ziti with organic mixed salad
  • Slow Cooker vegetarian chili with homemade cornbread
  • Chickpea Tacos with Mexican rice and organic black refried beans
  • Caprese Panini with strawberries & pita chips
  • Spinach, Feta & Tomato Quiche
  • Spinach & Lentil Soup with homemade whole wheat artisan bread
So far, the vegetarian eating has gone really well!  Mike has still not complained (except for last night when we went out after a concert and the restaurant was having a $7 gourmet burger special). 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Soccer Season Starts & DELISH bean & pasta soup with homemade cornbread recipes!!

Well March is the start of a VERY busy season for this Mama!  It's officially soccer season.  Anyone else's calendar look something like this?
Both my kiddos play soccer, which equates to Saturday being an all day affair.  Plus, 3 practices per week (between the 2 of them), and a sports conditioning class my 8 y.o. is starting next week.  That means 5 days/week are called for!  I must say that dinner is going to be a bit of a challenge during soccer season.  Thanks goodness my mom helps some evenings for practice and on Saturdays since my husband works these evenings & all day Saturday, it would be really hard for me to do it all by myself.

It would be REALLY easy to eat a lot of fast food or have unhealthy snacks available during this time since I am so busy and we are on the go.  Here are a couple tips if you have a schedule like mine, with sports, practices, and other activities taking up your evenings:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Busy Mama Runs, Cooks, and Bakes - LOTS of great recipes here!!

BUSY day today!  I went out the door to the bus stop this morning at 7:40 in full run gear, runkeeper app ready to go, tunes ready to pump.  But, when I looked back at the front door, I saw my babies' faces pressed against the glass.   My husband had to work and was getting ready so I knew I had to go back in and get breakfast started for them instead of my run....but I did get on my treadmill after I laid my 1 y.o. down for a nap and ran 3.1 miles, as scheduled for my day 3 half-marathon training. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fit Mama Day 2 Half Marathon Training, Family Bike Ride, and Fave Dressing!

So today was my 2nd day of officially training for my Half-Marathon coming up on April 29th.  As you might know, I enjoy running and have been running just for fun since my last Half-Marathon in November.  On any given day, I pump out 2-5 miles just depending on how I feel.  I picked a super easy training schedule, which has only 3 days of training runs per week.  That way, I can spend the other days cross-training or as a rest day.  Today I ran 6.2 miles and I felt GREAT.  I finished in a little over an hour, so about 10:30/mile pace.  Not very quick so I'll work on my speed a bit before my race.  I'd really love to finish with an average 10 minute mile! 

Today was a BEAUTIFUL 70 degree day in Tulsa so we decided to go for a family bike ride after the kids got out of school!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Fit n Busy Mama Does Clean Vegetarian Grocery Shopping

So today was my first shopping day for our vegetarian diet (for lent).  After scouring recipes and preparing my grocery list last night, I was ready!  My dear friend and clean eating protege, Sara, tagged along today for some shopping to figure out how to buy organic/clean on a tight budget such as ours!

Best Ever Chickpea "Burger" Recipe and Fit n Busy Mama's Clean Vegetarian Meal Plan!

Let me just start this blog by saying that tonight's dinner (day 1 of our vegetarian meal plan) was one of the best dinners I've had in a LONG time.  Usually, I cook meat dishes for my family but I just end up eating the veggies and carbs as my meal and omit the meat all together.  So, I was really looking forward to cooking a whole vegetarian meal.   I had a recipe I found on the blog Oh She Glows for an easy avocado cream pasta dish.  I had several avocados I needed to use up and lots of bags of brown rice spaghetti on hand (they were on sale for $2 at Walmart last week so I bought every bag they had).  But, I knew that I needed some extra protein with it and a veggie side.  I always have lots of beans on hand and I knew that people made "burgers" out of beans all the time and I really wanted to try it.  So, I got the idea to make a chickpea "burger" and serve it on top of the avocado cream pasta.  IT WAS AWESOME!!!  And even my meat-loving husband was in heaven!  I am still completely satisfied and so is Mike, who was concerned he was going to be STARVING for the next 40 days during our meat-fast for lent.  Here are some pics and my recipes!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Holy Sweet & Crunchy Guacamole! And How Busy Mama does Gourmet Leftovers

Today was kind of a lazy day, as many Sundays are!  My husband took Eli & Sophie to church and I stayed home with Addy & Chris since Addy was not feeling well.  She has a slight fever, headache, and stuffy nose....  So after he left with 2 of the kiddos, I laid Chris down for a nap and got my workout in for the day!  Here was my workout:


26-31 (COOL DOWN)

Then, I hopped off the treadmill, and did:
  • 10 real push ups
  • 20 leg lifts (ab workout)
  • Pilates Hundred
  • 1 minute plank
  • 10 real push ups
  • 5 minutes stretching
For lunch was the Mediterranean salad I put together yesterday and it was AWESOME!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Busy Mama Lunches, Other Food Prep, & Awesome Healthy Meatloaf recipe

Today was a very busy day!  Elijah had his first soccer practice this afternoon for the Spring season so I got a lot of meal and food prep done before and after. 

I made up a big batch of Mediterranean Salad, for quick lunches for me next week.  I am a very busy mama and many days I don't have time to make up a nice healthy lunch.  When I was trying to lose weight last Spring, that was one thing that sabotaged my goals all the time:  being too busy, not having time for a healthy lunch, and then when I would finally eat, I would be so starving that I would make bad choices or grab for the quick (unhealthy) snacks I had in the pantry. 

So, here is what I put together:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fit n Busy Mama Dinner "Party"

Since I've started my blog, I have had several friends of mine that started trying to eat healthier and feed their families healthy home cooked meals.  Let me just say that this TOTALLY makes my day!  I LOVE getting random texts from friends with pictures of food they're making.  It makes all of this work worth it!  So, we had plans to go out to a nice restaurant with some friends tonight but when it came down to it, we didn't have a babysitter set up and decided not to spend all that money on a night out.  So, we had the brilliant idea to have a dinner "party" instead.  I guess I can't really call it a party since it was just us 2 families....but hey, wherever we are, it's a party right??

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Fasting" for Lent, Fit Mama Workout and Green Monster SUPER HEALTHY Smoothie!

As many of you may know, yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season (which lasts for 40 days until Easter Sunday).  Lent is a time of sacrifice for Christians in which we should give up something dear to us or something that may be blocking our relationship with others and with God.  This is all in an effort to get closer to God in this season.  Last year, Mike and I gave up sweets (dessert).  It was really hard but I was glad we did it because I didn't realize how addictive sugar was until I broke my "habit".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kid's Bike Shopping, AWESOME Family Dinner Recipe, & Slap-Yo-Mama Rotisserie Chicken

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day in Tulsa!  75 degrees and sunny...felt like Spring and it's the middle of February.
Here I am basking in the sun in the backyard as the kids played after school!
What are those?  Oh yes, those are my legs in shorts with flip February!  This time last year we were covered in so much snow!

I have to say I'm not complaining about this Spring-like weather.

So, we are less than a month out on our 8 y.o.'s birthday and we knew that we were going to get her a new bike, remember our last family bike ride disaster?  Well, Addy's bike is too small and she was complaining the whole time about how small it is for her.  So, we decided today that since it was such a nice day, we would shop for a new bike for her and give it to her as an early birthday present.  We shopped all around:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Busy Mama does Mardi Gras, healthy vegetarian family dinner, & Mama B-Fast!

You know every busy mama needs a night out with friends!  Our friends had a mardi gras party this weekend at their house.  We had an awesome time meeting new people, catching up with acquaintances, dancing, and just having fun!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fit n Busy Family Bike Ride Disaster and AMAZING healthy dinner recipe!

So after lunch today, the weather in Tulsa was 55 degrees and sunny.  We decided that it would be a GREAT day for a family bike ride!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Hair-Do, Roasted Rotisserie-style Organic Chicken Recipe, and Yummy Strawberry Muffins!!!

Every busy mama must make time for herself too!  Sometimes I get caught up with the kids and my husband and working so hard for them that I forget about myself.  Many days, I just pull my hair back, put on my yoga pants and call it a day.  But, even though I am very busy, I still want to try hard to look nice!  It had been 4 months since I had my hair done last.  I usually do it every 2 months but with Christmas, we were trying to spend as little as possible. 

So yesterday, I went to the best hair stylist in the Tulsa area, Amara at Ascend Hair Designs in Jenks.  And here is how it turned out:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Busy Mama in the Kitchen & AWESOME healthy enchiladas recipe

I am not a chef.  I never really had a passion for cooking or a love for the culinary arts.  My experience in the kitchen has been purely necessity based. 

I started cooking for my family about a year and half ago....I know I know why didn't I do it sooner?  By then, my oldest already had 6 years of McDonalds twice a week (at least) and junk food.  I'm pretty sure one of her first words was "McDonalds".  I'm not proud of this.  In fact, it makes me sad that I didn't try harder when she was little or when my son was little.

Fit n Healthy Kids

One of the hardest things about becoming healthy has been my kids' attitude toward food and nutrition.  If you read my weight loss journey blog, you know that I have tried for a long time to eat healthy but that never translated to my kids.  I was always at a loss for what to make for me and the kids that would be healthy and they would actually enjoy.  So, just to save the complaining, I would make myself dinner then make theirs separate:  mac n cheese, frozen nuggets, french fries, corn dogs, pizza, etc. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Registered for the Half Marathon! & some AWESOME recipes!!

Well, I am officially registered for the OKC Half-Marathon in April! 

I have been kind of putting it off, thinking about the full marathon, not really sure, going back and forth...  and finally I decided to just go for another half.  I am very confident that I could run a full marathon if I decided and committed to do it.  But right now in my life, I just don't think I am ready for that kind of time commitment.  I am a VERY busy mama, after all!  Maybe when all the kids are in school?  I'm not sure...  I definitely want to accomplish the 26.2 miles at least once in my life.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cooking Healthy/Organic for Your Family on a Budget

It is a common misconception that you can't cook healthy/organic when you're on a budget.  In reality, we spend, as a family, the same amount now with 4 kids (mostly organic) as we did when we only had 2 kids and had boxed meals and junk food.  So, here are some tips for shopping on a budget!

My take on coupons
I could probably save a little more if I went through the trouble of getting the Sunday paper and clipping coupons, but I have found that 90% (if not more) of the coupons out there are for junk food, candy, and the sugary cereals.  I feel like my time is worth something.  So, am I going to spend a day hunting for coupons, buying all the local newspapers, etc just to save a couple dollars at the store?  NO!  My time is worth way more than that.  I do look through the Red Plum deal I get in the mail and I don't think I've ever seen a coupon for healthy foods.  And, to top that off, I believe that coupons can be negative in a way.  Sometimes, you see a coupon and buy that item just because you save 25 cents, when you would have never bought it in the first place.  In some ways, we spend more money with coupons than without.  You just have to be smart about it.  If you do find coupons, ONLY use the coupons for foods you would NORMALLY buy. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Healthy Homemade Bread & Pizza - SUPER EASY!!!!

I always thought that making your own bread was a tedious, painstaking, time-consuming process so I never even considered it.  I am a very busy mama after all!  I don't have time for kneading bread all day!  Then, I came across this website, artisan bread in five minutes per day.

Here is the video I use when I'm ready to make my bread.  It is really short and a must-watch:

The whole point is to have the dough made up and in the refrigerator so when you're ready to make a loaf of bread or pizza, you just have to pull off some of the dough from your batch.

Here is the recipe and some of my pictures from when I made up a batch of dough the other night: