Easy Weeknight Whole 30 Dinner

Ever have those days where you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off all day… then comes the evening when you finally get to slow down and you realize you haven’t even thought about dinner? And you have two children and a baby screaming that they are hungry? And you are doing a Whole 30 and are freaking starving as well? Ahh seems like this is a daily struggle here in our house. No matter how hard I try to plan ahead I always get caught up in all of the tasks the need to be accomplished…. and Poof all my planning goes out the window!

 

Thankfully I do meal plan, so there are always the components of a healthy meal on hand.  Just putting them all together is sometimes the problem! I usually do a big grocery order every two weeks, with maybe a stop or two in between to restock on whatever we ran out of too quickly.  I swear these kids are starting to eat me out of house and home! I usually plan for about 12 dinners in that two week period, and hopefully each dinner will make enough for dinner and lunch the next day.  The other two dinners  will be either be eaten out or leftovers.

 

Yesterday was one of those especially busy days.  It was my son’s 4th Birthday! Yay! So we are planning for a party, one of the dogs had a vet appointment, I am in the middle of getting ready for a huge consignment sale, and tons of other little things had to be taken care of. Meaning the day literally got away from me! We spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon running around. Came home for naps then had to get big sister at school, do homework, you know the drill. Dinner time was creeping up and I had nothing planned. I took a quick look at my meal plan, four the three easiest things and went to work.

 

I decided on bacon wrapped smoky chicken tenders, butternut squash puree and ghee and garlic green beans. All quick, easy, healthy and family favorites. I mean who doesn’t love bacon?! Bacon makes everything taste good!

 

Bacon Wrapped Smoky Chicken Tenders

Serves 6

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Ingredients:

2 packages Chicken Tenders

1 lb uncured, sugar free bacon

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Covered a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and place a baking rack on top
  3. Rinse and pat chicken dry
  4. Mix spices in a small bowl
  5. Coat chicken tenders in spice blend
  6. Slice bacon slices in half and wrap bacon around chicken tenders, place on rack with “seams” of the bacon on the bottom. use extra bacon slices for bigger tenders that need more bacon!
  7. Bake for 30 min

 

Butternut Squash Puree

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash

2 tbsp. ghee

Salt to taste

 

  1. Peel, seed and cube butternut squash
  2. Steam, bake or boil until fork tender *I boiled in water much like when you make mashed potatoes
  3. Drain and blend in blender or food processor with ghee until smooth * I used a Vitamix
  4. Add salt to taste

 

Ghee and Garlic Green Beans

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

1 package frozen green beans

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp ghee

 

  1. heat green beans to thaw in water on stovetop
  2. Drain add green beans, ghee and minced garlic back to saucepan
  3. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant

 

Alrighty folks there you have it. Three recipes that make for a healthy week night dinner. Easy to incorporate into your busy lives. Now my kids are pretty good eaters and with a little coaxing on the squash part they cleared their plates! Hope you enjoy this meal and can incorporate it into your recipe rotation! I would love to hear your thoughts and the favorite easy, week night meals in your house! We are always looking for new ideas! Have a great weekend!!

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Half Marathon Training Tips!

 

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I’m on the far right… this is before we started! I was so exhausted I didn’t get a picture after we finished!

 

I have been meaning to write this post for a little while now, but for some reason I feel like I have less time now that the kiddos are back in school! How is that possible?! With one in half day preschool, another in full day kindergarten and a baby still at home I feel we spend a ton of time in the car running from one thing to the next. Our life is in a constant state of chaos, which I’m assuming is pretty standard for moms of multiple littles. Ahh and we are just getting started with after school activities and sports, I cannot imagine how much time we will spend in the car over the next ten years?! Guess I will need to come up with lots of car friendly recipes!!

OOk on to the real point of this post! A few weeks ago I ran my 4th Half Marathon, high five for me! Now, I never really considered myself a runner. I was a competitive swimmer for what seems like forever.  Starting as a young child and continuing through college.  And for most swimmers running can be considered a cruel form of torture.  It wasn’t until I finished my swimming career that I really had the opportunity to run for fun.  Actually, I don’t know if I really started running for pure enjoyment. I think it was more of a way to fill the competitive void that was missing when I stopped swimming. And it grew into something that I truly love to do and that is both a physical and mental outlet for me.

I am the type of person that enjoys running without music! Shocking I know but I enjoy the quite and the time alone with my thoughts. I also enjoy the commitment and dedication that training for a race entails.  Over the past 7 years or so I have run a handful of races.  Sticking with a running routine is always easier for me when I have a goal that I’m working towards.  I try to sign up for races as often as I can fit it into to our hectic schedule!  As moms it is hard to find the time to do things for ourselves, but if something is important enough you will find the time to do it!  My heath and fitness have become a top priority for me, I think ever more so not that I am a mother. I cannot be the best mom that I can be if I am not fit, healthy  and able to keep up with these three monsters.

Finding a solid training plan and giving yourself enough time to train is essential.  And I’m not going to lie I did not do either one of these things this time! I decided a little late to sign up for the race.  Only giving myself a little less than 8 weeks to train. Now this wouldn’t be so bad if I had been running consistently, but with a new baby and two other kiddos my running was few and far between. My second downfall this time was I didn’t follow a solid plan, well I guess I didn’t really follow a plan at all! Big mistake! Running by feel was not the best choice and looking back I wish I had a little more structure. Mainly because I tried to run too much too soon and think I may have burned myself out a little.

The only way for me to get in my runs was to get up in the wee hours of the morning and run before my hubby had to leave for work.  Now this was nice because I got my runs done and over with early and I could  partake in some quite time, which let’s be freaking honest I do not get the rest of the day! I was able to train about 4-5 times a week and got up to running 13 miles for my longest run. The last three weeks or so of training got a little hairy because school started and my presence at home in the morning was essential.  So my runs got cut short at times and were a little more rushed than I would have liked.  Come race day the weather was super humid  which did not help me at all! I was able to finish in 2 hours and 3 minutes. Far from my fastest but with all things considered I am just happy to have finished and ran the whole thing!

I felt pretty awful physically at the end of this race, the humidity really got to me! I remember telling my husband I will never do another one shortly after I finished! But here I am a few weeks out and I am already planning my next race. It’s an amazing feeling to have your family cheering you on as you cross the finish line!  And I think it’s great for children to see their parents work hard and accomplish something! My oldest daughter is already telling me she can’t wait to run a race with me, so awesome!

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After Half Number 2… 6 months post baby 2!
  1. Pick a race! Pick a race far enough out that gives you enough time to adequately train! There are so many fun ones out there so do a little research! It also helps to sign up with a friend. Even if you aren’t able to train together you still have someone there for support. I ran this race with a friend and the daily texts about how our training was going was a huge motivator!
  2. Decide on a training plan. Depending on your race length, the amount of time you have to train and the time until your race there are endless options out there! A simple google search will yield thousands of result! For me a 16 week training plan running 4-5 days of week has made me feel the most prepared!
  3. Stick with a schedule! Plan out the days you are going to run and make an “appointment” for your run each day! Thinking of it that way helps me to stick with my schedule. Finding the time isn’t always easy, and I have to get up at the crack of dawn most of the time to get my runs in but it is important to me to keep my commitment to myself.
  4. Stay hydrated and eat enough to fuel yourself! Follow your body cues and eat when you are hungry. Training for a race is a whole lot of cardio, more than you may be use to! So you will be burning lots of calories! Be sure to fill up on healthy proteins, carbs and fats… real for real food and not processed junk! And keep refilling your water bottles… all day long!
  5. Have fun! Don’t get all caught up in the stress of training! Take it one day at a time and do your best to enjoy each run! You will not feel your best everyday, if fact some days will be really awful and you will not feel like running at all. Some days you will hate running, but believe me you will always feel better after your run is done for the day!

 

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Half Number 3, pushing these crazies the whole time!

 

Ok there are just a few of my tips for training for you best race! Maybe next time I will follow my own advice! Hopefully this helps you all who are looking to train for your first race. Isn’t there some saying about how the first step is always the hardest? If you have been contemplating of running a race, weather it be a 1 mile, 5 k or a full marathon the first step is to sign up! Then take it day by day and run by run from there! Good luck fellow runners!!

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Whole 30 Go To’s for Lazy Days

So far today has been a struggle! Usually I am on top of my mom game. The house is clean, dinner always made, kiddos groomed and happy… but these past few days I have been LAZY! I am attributing it to running my half marathon on Sunday, combined with little Miss A and big brother not sleeping so well lately. I’m talking up every hour with one or the other. Being a mom is rough.

It’s so easy for bloggers to put only the best of their lives out there for everyone to see.  But seriously no one is perfect, everyone struggles. I am no better than anyone else, and am just trying to get through each day! Some days are harder than others… like today!

Things are far from perfect in our house. Today the laundry is piled way too high, dishes are in the sink, and instead of completing all my mom chores I snuggled on the couch with baby girl for her nap and indulged in a few episodes of Criminal Minds. I feel guilty because there is so much that needs to get done, but I have learned that I need to listen to my body and mind when I get in this mode.  Usually I’m telling myself to chill out.

So today I am going to rock my leggings and a baggy T-Shirt and relish in my laziness and snuggle my babies. And the cherry on top of my struggle is that I am in the middle of my Whole 30 and I don’t feel like cooking at all! So today I have been turning to all of my easy grab Whole 30 foods. Take a look at my favorites below!

 

Quick and Easy Whole 30 Foods-

 

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  1. Eggs- I think this one is so easy for me because we always have eggs on hand. I usually always hard boil a bunch and have them in the fridge.  Or it takes me 2 minutes to fry up a couple a eat them with a baked
    potato or some leftover veggies.
  2. Larabars- These awesome bars have always been a favorite for our family. So yummy, kid approved and not full of crap.
  3. Fruit and Almond Butter- Apples and bananas are my favorite! And lately I have been subbing Cashew butter for almond butter because it has been cheaper. Whatever works! Just be sure to check you labels for added junk
  4. Dump Ranch and Veggies- My
    favoriterecipe for Whole 30 approved Ranch is from Nan and Nicole at Whole Sisters, find the recipe here! I always have some in the fridge and pair it with whatever veggies I have on hand cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, carrots… whatever!
  5. La Croix Sparkling Water- I enjoy and Diet Pepsi now and then… agh I know how horrible they are but I do my best to stay away! During my Whole 30 these babies help satisfy my soda craving!

 

There are so many others I can add but these are for sure my top 6, and are all included in my Whole 30 meal plan pretty much daily. Hopefully this list helps some of you when you are in a bind and looking for something quick and easy to grab! Here’s to hoping the second half of my day is more productive than the first! Happy Tuesday 🙂

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Novice Homesteaders

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Happy girls in their new home!

Ah last week was exciting here on our little farm! We purchased three goats, a momma and her two baby girls, way back in June.  They are awesome and have been living in half of our chicken run until we could get their permanent home finished. Soo after several revisions, due to a reckless child on a 4-wheeler and having to start completely over because of an escape artist momma, we FINALLY got them into their new home! And they absolutely love it! They have lots of grass, so much space, logs to jump and climb on and no pesky chickens cramping their style. It was a happy day for us and a mini achievement in the backyard farming thing.

I’m not really sure when we decided homesteading was something we wanted try.   My husband grew up a little more in the country than I did, but neither one of us grew up on a farm. But after living in San Antonio, we knew the city was not where we wanted to raise our family.  So when we came up with the must haves for our new home a little bit of space and some country views were on the top of our list. Our home now is a great starter homestead, but eventually we would love to move to something with a little more acreage.  We currently have about 5.5 acres, but we have some neighbors that are a little closer than we would like.  It’s always possible to upgrade but for right now we are doing all we can with what we have!

I think taking a good hard look at what we were eating and where our food was coming from sparked so many lifestyle changes for us. Wanting to raise our own food and provide for ourselves has become increasingly important.  We watched several documentaries and read lots of literature and determined we cannot truly know what is going into our food unless we raise it ourselves or source it from a local reliable source.

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First time in the coop

We started our homesteading adventure about a year and a half ago.  We purchased 12 baby hens from a farm not too far from our home. As well as two pekin ducks we couldn’t resist at Tractor Supply. I like to think of laying hens as the “gateway animal” to the novice farmer.  Once you tackle chickens you open the door to so many other opportunities!

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Finished chicken coop and run and two of our lazy pups!

Now we did all the research online, purchased all our feed and supplies, bought a coop and my handy husband built them an amazingly huge chicken run. We kept them in brooders in our upstairs living room, under heat lamps until them were big enough to go outside. Come to find out 2 of our hens were roosters in disguise, which opened a whole new adventure! Over the next few months we acquired 6 more chicks and flew by the seat of our pants in this backyard chicken thing!

Now we are getting over a dozen eggs a day from our amazing girls! And have even hatched out a bunch of our own chicks. It’s pretty amazing to know our eggs are coming from happy, healthy girls that have

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Grown up ducks and chickens!

the opportunity to have an awesome life. It has also been difficult as well in dealing with mean roosters, losing baby chicks, injured birds and so on.  But it’s a learning process and I think we are getting the hang of it! And this week we have also started another adventure on our little farm.  We received 16 Freedom Ranger meat chickens in the mail last week. Come December they will be grown and ready to butcher.

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Meat Chickens!

They are super cute right now, which makes me a little nervous that come December we won’t be able to get the job done.  But again we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to raise our own food.  We know these animals will be well cared for, loved, and lead a happy life.  That makes things a little easier. Now we don’t have a ton of land or really any experience with this lifestyle, but we are learning as we go and utilizing all our space.

I am thankful to have a supportive husband that values same things I do.  I am also so freaking thankful he is handy! In our two years here I can’t tell you the number of things he has built, it’s amazing! So these next few months will be an adventure with these new chickies. Please stay tuned for updates! Also I look forward to heating any advice you experienced homesteaders have!! We have big plans for the next year and are thinking of expanding our homestead with some honeybees and maybe a pig! Stay tuned!

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Ramblings of a Sentimental Mom!

img_0079This morning our littlest lady had her 9 month well visit. 9 months! It’s amazing that the moment you become a parent it seems like the fast forward button is pushed on your life. Time simply just starts to fly. This time last year I remember enjoying these quite mornings at home, while both of the big kids were at school. I remember thinking just how am I going to manage being a mom to three children. Now I sit here watching this amazing little girl crawling around here like a mad woman! Seriously, where have these last 9 months gone?!

 

When I was pregnant with my first child everyone and their mother told me how fast time starts to go once that baby comes.  I remember smiling, nodding and thinking ok if I have to hear that one more time! But seriously… Everyone is right! Sometimes, I still can’t believe I am 31 and have three children! Seriously, wasn’t I just in college living it up in Boston?! What happened to the last 10 years?! I would not change a thing about my life, except maybe just slow it down a little.  With all the day to day tasks that need to be accomplished, I feel I don’t get to appreciate all the little moments! I am making a conscious effort to live in the moment and celebrate every little thing!img_4421

 

I am not a very sappy person, but when it come to the kiddos I have a soft spot, obviously. I am so thankful to be able to spend so much time at home with them.  And when I think about how truly fast time is going I get a little choked up!  I’m not sure we ever really planned on have three children. This is just kind of where life took us. We moved around a little when Collin was in the military and it just so happens we had a new baby with each home we have had. Now we don’t plan on moving again any time soon, so I’m not sure if there are any more babies in our future.

 

As a mom and woman I’m not sure if I will every truly feel like I am done having children. I think about this often.  We are not at a point where we are ready to say we are completely done having children, but we are content for now. I am putting all my energy into being the best mom I can be to these three little crazies I have now. If another one comes along later then that’s a huge blessing, if not then that’s fine too.  Of course money and time play huge factors in the decision to expand our family. I think we are at an amazing place right now and we are trying our best to live in the moment.  As we all know those moments go way too fast!

 

Ok sorry! This post got to be little Dear Diary, but I am using this blog as a place to put out exactly what is going on in our lives right now. These are the thoughts that go through my crazy mind and some of the conversations Collin and I have been having lately.  So amongst the messy house, sleepless nights, struggled days and dinner thrown on the floor I am doing my best to get by and enjoy every little moment. I am sure there are so many moms and parents out there that face these same struggles. I would love to hear how you are all navigating the mom life and what special things you do to help you live in the moment!?

 

 

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Whole 30 Check-In and Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

Happy Tuesday Everyone! Wow, things have been busy! And with picking up an extra day at work this weekend I feel like I haven’t posted in forever!! I just wanted to give a few updates on how my Whole 30 has been going and share what I have been eating especially super easy and delicious dinner recipe!

 

Last week I confessed that I was really struggling with finding the time to eat. But I have found that if I can entertain the kids for an hour I can get a ton of meal prep done. This allows me to have compliant options always available, making it so much easier to throw a meal together. In one hour I can make an egg bake that will take care of breakfast for a few days, boil eggs for a quick protein component to a meal, and prepare and roast a bunch of veggies to always have on hand. As busy mom’s planning ahead is essential. If not I ponder over what to eat until I give up and eat nothing because I can’t make a decision. The other things need to be taken care of and eaten gets pushed to the back burner.

 

So this past week I have done much better and I feel fantastic! It really makes me realize that this is how my body should feel all the time, and that the food I eat can have such a huge impact on my health…craziness! Hopefully I feel this good for the next 18 days!

 

Breakfasts have consisted of either an egg bake I throw together or eggs and veggies. Find me awesome Spicy Sausage and Veggie Egg Bake recipe here! We always tend to have a surplus of eggs from our backyard chickens this time of year, which is perfect for a Whole 30! Lunch has been leftovers or a big salad. And dinner is meat and lots of veggies. I look for recipes that are quick, easy, filling and nutritious!

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Typical Breakfast… Egg Bake and Roasted Veggies!

 

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Great Lunch… Huge salad with HB Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Grilled Chicken!

 

I work weekend nights as a nurse, usually just Fridays and Saturdays, but this weekend I also worked Sunday. So dinners on these nights need to be quick and easy, as well as filling and nutritious. I am going to share a family favorite of ours, we call it Butternut Squash Lasagna. Perfect warm, filling meal for this time of year!

 

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Butternut Squash Lasagna

 

Serves 8

 

Ingredients:

1 large Butternut Squash

1 lb. Italian Sausage

2 26 oz. Jars Sugar Free Spaghetti Sauce

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brown sausage in skillet, once browned combine with sauce
  3. Peel and slice squash, remove and discard seeds
  4. Pour enough sauce/sausage mix to cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish
  5. Layer squash and sauce/sausage mix as you would a lasagna
  6. Cover with remaining sauce/sausage mix
  7. Bake uncovered for 1 hour or until squash is tender

 

So easy and so good! Hope you all can add this to your Whole 30 recipe rotation!

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The Whole 30 Struggle and An awesome Egg Bake Recipe

Hope you all are enjoying the beginning of your week! Those first few days back to real life after a long weekend are always hard for us, so we were pretty slow moving yesterday. Although I did get up early to get my run in before sending big sister off to kindergarden.

 

We had a great long weekend! A total of three family picnics and I am proud to say I managed to stick to my Whole 30! Mind you there were not very many compliant options available and I was too lazy after working Friday and Saturday nights to make something and bring it! Night shift problems. But, I made it work. And I really wasn’t tempted by all of the delicious looking options I could’t have, shockingly! My body feels so much better that I don’t even want to eat things that will make me feel gross again. Huge motivator!!

 

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My Whole 30 Picnic eats! Hamburger with mayo, salad with balsamic and oil and fruit salad.

 

Today is day 7 of my third round of the Whole 30 Program and I am feeling freaking fantastic! No stomach issues what so ever and so much less bloating, I feel like I already lost 5 pounds. But, to be completely honest I am not the best at this thing. I have really been struggling with eating enough. I seriously feel there are just not enough hours in the day. I get consumed in all the other things that need to be accomplished and hours will go by before I realize I have no eaten a single thing.

 

With three kiddos under 6, school starting, work, house and farm things and attempting to have a relationship with my husband every hour in my day is consumed. How do you other busy moms do it?? All I managed to shove in my mouth was a green smoothie! Yesterday the big kids actually played together peacefully and the baby slept for long enough for me to get some meal prep done, which NEVER happens! I made a freaking awesome sausage and veggie egg bake, roasted a huge amount of other veggies, made a large pork roast, boiled some eggs, and cut up fruit. All this makes for things I can quickly throw together for a delicious meal.

 

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Green Smoothie!

 

Over the past 7 days my favorite meal has been some kind of meat and some kind of veggie with a runny egg. Who needs sauce when you have all of the delicious yolky goodness? I have also been loving hard boiled eggs, raw carrots, raw almonds, and bananas with cashew butter! Dinner has mostly been a meat, veggies and a sweet or white potato. Nothing too exciting. I am grocery shopping tomorrow and came up with a pretty sweet meal plan for the next two weeks so I should have some exciting recipes to share soon!! But you can find my awesome egg bake recipe below.

 

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Average meal… Meat and Veggies!

 

Sooo at this point in my Whole 30 my biggest word of advice is to plan ahead! And set up a time to meal prep. Cut up all your veggies, hard boil some eggs, slice up your fruit, cook of a bunch of chicken for salads, slow roast a large piece of meat, make some egg muffins or a quiche for easy breakfasts… whatever works so you have food on hand you can throw together for a meal. I am really going to try to practice what I preach and will have an update for you next week! Good luck all my fellow Whole 30ers and let me know what works for you!!

 

 

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Spicy Sausage and Veggie Egg Bake 

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Whole 30 compliant spicy sausage
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • Generous bunch of your choice of greens (kale, spinach, whatever floats your boat!)
  • 4 tablespoons of Ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Franks red hot to taste

 

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees and grease a 8×8 baking pan with ghee
  2. Dice all veggies
  3. Cook sausage, remove from pan and set aside
  4. In same pan melt 2 tablespoons of ghee and cook peppers and onions till tender
  5. Add in greens and cook for about 5 more minutes
  6. In the meantime break 10 eggs into a large bowl and whisk
  7. Add in sausage and veggies when cooked
  8. Stir and pour into greased dish
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
  10. ENJOY!!

 

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Happy Thursday and Tips for packing a delicious school lunch!

Hi All! Hopefully your week is going wonderfully! Things are going well here. We started school this week and are starting to get back into that groove. I now officially have a Kindergartener! How is that possible?! I must say, I held it together pretty well on the first day, only a little teary eyed in the car dropping her off.  She on the other hand was her amazing, confident self.  Although she did admit to being “A little nervous, but mostly excited.”

 

Of course she was a bundle of excitement when I picked her up. Recess was her favorite part of the day, as well as music and of course lunch! Kids are seriously amazing and I hope her positive outlook and confidence stick with her forever!

 

Next week little man starts Preschool, again! He did a two day program last year and will start a three day program on Wednesday! He has a late September birthday so he will end up doing one more year of Preschool next year before Kindergarten. He will just miss the cut off but, I think the extra year will do him good.

 

This is my first year packing a school lunch, which after the first week, I think I’m getting the hang of it.  She ate the entire thing, every day!  It’s very important for me to fill her belly with nutritious, fresh and real food… so I take this lunch packing thing pretty seriously! I plan on starting a weekly post containing all of her lunches for the week and here I will share her first few!

 

Bento boxes are all the rage right now and we jumped right on that band wagon. It’s easy to throw together a little of this and a little of that into those cute little compartments! We went with the Yumbox, which we love so far! It’s the perfect size for her, comes in cute colors, is easy to clean, and has a leakproof lid that seals each compartment. Easy for her to open and pack in her lunchbox!

 

I also pack a drink in a insulated water bottle as well as a snack for snack time. Packing a lunch should be a fun and creative way for you to make sure all their nutrient needs are met! I also think it’s important to include a little treat or something you know they will really love now and again. Just a little way you can make them smile and remember how much you love and miss them!

 

Here are some tips for packing a lunch they will love, that won’t break the bank, and that will help carry them through the day…

 

  1. Pack food you know they like! And food you know they will eat. Why pack them things that will get eaten and leave them hungry? Waste of money and will not help them function their best.
  2. Save time in the morning and pack their lunch the night before! This has been a life saver for us! I am half marathon training and do my runs in the morning. So I try to get the kids ready before I leave so my hubby has an easy time getting out the door with them. So this is one less thing I have to do in the mornings.
  3. Keep things simple! Things don’t have to be elaborate. With the bento boxes it’s easy to pack a little of this and a little of that.
  4. Save money by avoiding the single serving packs!  I buy a bigger bag and portion out the servings myself, this saves money overall. We like Boochickapop Popcorn and Annie’s Organic Products.
  5. Included Fresh Foods! My oldest daughter is the pickiest eater of my three. But I still make it a point to include at least some fresh fruit and vegetables in her lunch each day. I cater to what she likes. She loves cherry tomatoes and most fruits, so I included those.
  6. Pack a drink in an insulated water bottle! Don’t waste money on juice boxes or bottles of water. Buy a reusable water bottle that can be filled with their favorite drink. We like an insulated one because it keeps her drink really cold, she still has ice in it when she comes home.
  7. Include something special sometimes! I think packing their lunch should be fun for you and them. Include a special little treat or maybe a little note now and again to make them smile.
  8. Include your kiddo in the process! Let them pick what fruits or veggies they want to take, have them fill up their drink, or pick their snack. Kids are way more likely to eat when they have a say in what they are eating!
  9. Pack leftovers! We had meatball sliders for dinner the other night and had a few leftover.  So that turned into the next days lunch. If it is a meal your kiddos enjoyed and isn’t took messy it can absolutely become lunch!

 

OK friends, there you have it. These are a few tips I came up with to make this whole lunch packing thing easier. Check out our lunches for the week below. And I would love to hear all of your lunch ideas and any tips and tricks you can share with me. Remember I am SOOO new at this!

 

Monday- 

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Applegate Farms Ham with mustard, Horizon Organic cheese, Grapes, CSA tomatoes, a pickle, Annie’s Organic Crackers, and yogurt raisins for a treat!

 

Tuesday-

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Applegate Farms Chicken and Horizon Organic Cheese Quesadilla, Extra Cheese on the Side, CSA tomatoes, a Pickle, Grapes, Boochickapop and yogurt raisins for a treat!

 

Wednesday-

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Leftover Meatball Slider, Boomchickapop, Beans, Grapes and Chocolate for a treat!

 

Thursday-

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Applegate Farms Ham and mustard, Horizon Organic Cheese, CSA tomatoes, a pickle, Annie’s Organic Crackers, an apple with a little lemon juice and almond butter!

OK there ya have it! Our first week of Kindergarten in meals! Hopefully this gives you some inspiration!

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