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.