Staying Healthy When Traveling

My daughter and I are headed to Florida this weekend.  So many of you ask me how you can stay healthy while traveling. Well, with a little planning, you can easily do it. Here are some tips that I use to stay healthy whether I am traveling by plane or by car.

Stay Hydrated

If you are flying, airplanes have very dry air and can dehydrate you. You can bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it at their filtered water stations. Your flight attendant can also fill it for you on the plane.

I love my Travel Berkey because I can refill it no matter where I am and have filtered water anytime. This filter is so powerful, you can put a Coke in it and it will come out like seltzer. (Not that I recommend that) It also saves tons of money on buying plastic water bottles.

Remember that caffeine also dehydrates us along with alcohol, so avoid drinking these if traveling on a  plane.

A snack with chia seeds or chia in water can keep you hydrated as they absorb nine times their size in water. Include fruit in your breakfast which will also help hydrate you.

Bring Healthy Snacks

It’s a good idea to bring healthy snacks with you when traveling, as healthy food can be difficult to find on the road. Trail mix (not with m&ms) and dried fruit make  great snacks. Apples, bananas, clementines, mini cucumbers, red peppers, and avocados travel well. I like to keep individual packs of nut butter in my purse. Soy/dairy-free protein bars are also good to have on hand.

If I am traveling by car, I always bring a small cooler. Most hotel rooms have mini refrigerators now to keep things fresh. When you arrive at your destination, make a quick stop at the local grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables to have on hand.

I always bring overnight oatmeal with me in a jar, one with liquid and a few others dry. At my destination, I can pick up almond milk to add or just add water so I have a hearty breakfast wherever I go. This also saves money, since we don’t have to spend money in a restaurant or rely on the carbohydrate-laden continental breakfast served at most hotels.

I always bring at least one salad in a jar for lunch. These travel so well. Here’s How to Pack the Perfect Salad in a Jar from

Choose Whole Foods

Just because we are on vacation or traveling doesn’t mean we have to stop healthy eating. If you load up on heavy-laden foods and carbohydrate-filled foods, you are not going to feel well. Try to choose whole foods where you can.

Plan ahead where you will be eating. Search online for organic restaurants that serve healthy options and where a good grocery store is.

Travel Snack Ideas

salad in a jar
non-Gmo popcorn
fresh fruit
kale chips
trail mix
grass-fed beef jerky
celery sticks
carrot sticks
hard boiled egg (not on a plane, smelly)
homemade muffins

Should We Eat Beef?

Beef really gets a bad rap as being the cause of several major illnesses which include heart disease and cancer. These arguments do not make the distinction between conventional feed-lot beef and 100% grass-fed beef.  I personally do not ascribe to a vegetarian diet for several reasons.

Essential Amino acids

Our bodies can produce certain amino acids, but essential amino acids can only be obtained from food. Notice the word essential. We need these amino acids for optimal health. You can obtain protein from fruits and vegetables, but they are incomplete. The only complete protein sources of essential amino acids are found in beef, fish, poultry, and eggs. But not all beef is the same.

Grass-fed beef versus grain-fed

You have probably heard that saturated fat from meat is what will clog your arteries and cause heart disease. Grass-fed beef is high in omega-3 fat.  It is this fat that protects the heart and prevents cancer.A study by researchers at California State University found that beef from cows that exclusively eat grass fit a diet lower in saturated fat and higher in “good fats” and other nutrients. Not only does grass-fed beef contain more omega-3 fats than CAFO beef, but it also is lower in calories and higher in vitamins A and E, antioxidants, beta-carotene.  Omega-3 fat has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Whereas conventional beef, fed on grain is high in Omega-6 fatty acids and is the real culprit in heart disease.

Cooking grass-fed beef

grass fed roast beef

You’ll find pastured beef to leaner than conventional beef, so the best cooking method is “low and slow.” For steaks, you want to just sear them, then reduce the temperature to a low setting until done. Chuck roasts, bottom round roast, or briskets are great in the crockpot. Top sirloin roasts or eye round are best cooked at a low temperature for a long time as in this simple roast recipe.

Daley, Cynthia A, et al. “A Review of Fatty Acid Profiles and Antioxidant Content in Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Beef.” Nutrition Journal, BioMed Central, 10 Mar. 2010,

Print Recipe
Slow Roasted Beef
This is a simple recipe from Cook's Illustrated that works great for a "low and slow" cooked grass-fed roast.
grass fed roast beef
grass fed roast beef
  1. Sprinkle all sides of the roast with sea salt. Wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
  2. Rub roast with oil and season with pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet and sear roast on all sides.
  4. If roast is not uniform in shape, tie it with 4-5 pieces of kitchen string.
  5. Roast in the oven at 225 degrees until meat thermometer reads 115 for rare, 125 for medium-rare, about 1 1/4 to 2 hours.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the roast inside without opening door, until thermometer reads 130°F for medium-rare or 140°F for medium, 30 to 50 minutes longer.
  7. Remove roast from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.
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home cooked meals

Why Cook Homemade Meals?

Just recently my mother told me about a report she saw on TV that food cooked from scratch isn’t any better than processed food. In fact, you would have to eat tons and tons of processed food for it to cause any harm to your body, she said. Really? Isn’t that what most Americans are doing? And who funded this study anyway? I checked. A well-known BIG food and beverage company funded it. Always look at who is making claims you see on TV and the internet.

Finding the Time

I had a recent discussion with a fellow homeschool mom asking me how I find the time or the energy to cook things from scratch and make home-cooked meals every day. I too am on the roller coaster of homeschooling, kid’s activities, church activities, household chores, and running my own business. I do not have “supermom” powers. It’s really all about priorities. It isn’t just the know-how and organization skills that make me do it, however, that helps tremendously. It is because of the “WHY”.

I will not eat or feed my family processed food.

I really believe that processed food truly hurts our bodies and our health. I will go so far as to consider it poison to our bodies. I have learned and studied enough for a long time to truly have an understanding of what processed food, gluten, dairy, and GMO’s do to our bodies. They make us sick. So many of us don’t see the slow-death it causes until we are diagnosed with some disease. Because I know what is in these foods, I can not feed them to my family.

Benefits of scratch cooking

  1. Saves Time – It may seem like grabbing something at a fast food restaurant saves time. In reality, by the time it takes you to order and drive to pick it up, you could have cooked a homemade meal, especially if you plan ahead. There are so many meals that can be made in less than 30 minutes. Try batch cooking or doubling a recipe and freezing it for a ready meal on those busy days.
  2. Saves Money – Homemade foods are usually cheaper than eating at a restaurant or buying processed foods. Making a grocery list and sticking to it helps us avoid buying extra food which may have to get thrown out if it is never used. If you make a plan, it takes the stress out of deciding, “What’s for dinner?”
  3.  Healthier ingredients – Processed foods contain very high amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. When you cook at home, you know exactly what is going into your food. Keep it simple.
  4.  Portion Control – Portions in restaurants are always larger than what you need. Supersize anyone? Often you will eat all that is in front of you. At home, you can control your own portions.
  5. Eating Together as a Family – I strive for this every day as I know eating together is healthier for all of us. We sit at a table and eat food with a fork and a knife. Everyone can talk about their day and connect as a family. Our fast-paced lives have made eating something we have to squeeze into our day while we are sitting in a car. Share at least one meal a day with your family. Bring your kids into the kitchen and teach them how to cook too.

My strong opinions on what is healthy are what drives me to take the time to cook meals in advance, make everything from scratch, and never buy processed or fast food. I have made it a priority. They have to eat, so what am I going to feed them? I have learned to batch cook. I use meal planning and vegetable prep. Here is my article on Meal Prep Tips and Tricks to help you. Let’s all get back into our kitchens and find the satisfaction we get from homecooked meals.

is organic better

Is organic better?

We had a perfect day to go strawberry picking. There is a local organic strawberry farm not too far from home that was getting ready for their annual strawberry festival that weekend. We hit it on Friday before the crowds and before the fields got picked over. There is nothing like the taste of a ripe red strawberry, warm from the sun and red all the way through. They were so sweet and delicious, it begs the question: Is organic better?

strawberry picking


One thing I have noticed personally with organic fruits and vegetables is the taste. There is no denying that there is more flavor in organic fruits and vegetables. If you find can local produce from your farmer’s market, or even better, grow it yourself, the taste difference is even more pronounced. Why do organic foods taste better? There is a reason.

The mineral content in the soil gives the vegetable or fruit its flavor. Through industrial farming, the mineral content of the soil has been deteriorating throughout the years. As it deteriorates, there are fewer microorganisms in the ground. It is the microorganisms that transfer nutrients from the soil to the plant. So the healthier the soil, the better the flavor.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science concluded that agriculture chemicals used on conventional farms kill off the microorganisms, leaving the soil devoid of nutrients. This is why the flavor is gone from most conventional produce. It is also why our fruits and vegetables are less nutritious.

According to Dr. August Dunning, chief science offer or Eco-Organics, “in order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples!” Since organic farms have to rely on natural methods of deterring pests, the plants must be stronger and the soil must be healthier. Organic soil contains more microorganism than conventional soil, thus more nutrients, and more flavor!

Antioxidants and Phenols

Organic produce has also been found to contain higher amounts of antioxidants. The British Journal of Medicine published a study in 2014 that found organic foods contained 18-69 percent more antioxidants. Antioxidants are vital to good health and anti-aging.

Many studies have proven there is a higher phenol content in organic food. Phenol compounds in food play a vital role in cancer prevention. Phenols are associated with the nutritional content of the food.

Pesticide Exposure


photo from

Over 100 million tons of herbicides have been sprayed on crops in the past ten years. Children are the most susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticides. The chemicals being sprayed on our foods have been found to be hormone disruptors, carcinogens, neurotoxins, and reproductive toxins. Glyphosate is one of the most common herbicides used today. This has been connected to birth defects and infertility. It is also responsible for destroying the soil.

Harvard University has found that pesticides are affecting brain health in children. They linked ADHD and lower IQ with pesticides found in the mother’s urine during pregnancy. The also found through MRI’s, altered brain structure in children whose mothers were exposed to pesticides. The average American diet exposes people to high amounts of pesticides through our food.

BT Corn

The most disturbing thing happening in our food culture is Bt Corn. Bt Corn is a genetically modified corn crop that contains a gene in it that causes a pest’s stomach to explode when the bug eats it. This corn is used by food manufacturers to create all sorts of corn products that you can find in virtually every food that comes in a box in the grocery store. It is also being fed to feedlot animals, and you may be consuming the meat from these animals.

At first, the EPA claimed this chemical was harmless to humans. However, in 2011 the Sherbrooke Hospital in Quebec found this claim to be false. The BT-toxin was found in 96% of pregnant women, 80% of umbilical blood in their babies, and 67% of non-pregnant women.

Another study found that the Bt toxin does indeed cause an immune system response in mammals. This is associated with infections and allergies, asthma, arthritis, food allergies, cancer, MS, and connective tissue disorders.

Here are names of foods containing this corn derivative to look out for: citric acid, confectioner’s sugar, corn flour, corn fructose, corn meal, corn oil, corn syrup, dextrin and dextrose, fructose, lactic acid, malt, mono- and diglycerides, monosodium glutamate, sorbitol, and starch. Many vitamins also contain this corn.

How to know if your food is organic?

The USDA does place strict rules for food to be labeled certified organic. This certification assures the farmers are not using chemical pesticides, sewage sludge, synthetics fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms. It also places strong restrictions on food companies processing and distributing organic food. Often your local farmer may be following organic methods, but may not have gone through the expense of government certifications. In this case, it is best just to ask the farmer. Certified organic food will be labeled with this seal:

organic food

is organic better?

So is organic better and worth the extra expense?

In my opinion, it is best to try to buy organic whenever you can, especially if you are pregnant and for your children.  At least avoid conventional foods on the Dirty Dozen list which contain the highest amount of pesticides that cannot be washed off.  Here is the list:

The Dirty Dozen

Sweet bell peppers


Barański, M., D. Srednicka-Tober, N. Volakakis, C. Seal, R. Sanderson, G. B. Stewart, C. Benbrook, B. Biavati, E. Markellou, C. Giotis, J. Gromadzka-Ostrowska, E. Rembiałkowska, K. Skwarło-Sońta, R. Tahvonen, D. Janovská, U. Niggli, P. Nicot, and C. Leifert. “Higher Antioxidant and Lower Cadmium Concentrations and Lower Incidence of Pesticide Residues in Organically Grown Crops: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analyses.” The British Journal of Nutrition. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 Sept. 2014. Web. 17 June 2017.

Feldscher, Karen. “Health Benefits of Organic Food, Farming Outlined in New Report.”News. Harvard, 21 Feb. 2017. Web. 17 June 2017.

Finamore, A., M. Roselli, S. Britti, G. Monastra, R. Ambra, A. Turrini, and E. Mengheri. “Intestinal and Peripheral Immune Response to MON810 Maize Ingestion in Weaning and Old Mice.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Dec. 2008. Web. 17 June 2017.
don't drink milk

Milk, Does It Really Do a Body Good?

We’ve all been told to drink our milk, but is it advice we should follow? The truth is that milk is not healthy for us for a number of reasons. We are the only mammals on the planet to drink another animal’s milk. After we are weaned from our own mother’s breast milk, most humans no longer produce the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose in milk, which is why so many of us get stomach aches from too much dairy. Commercial milk which is pasteurized and homogenized is highly allergenic as well as inflammatory.

According to Frank Oski, MD, Physician-in-chief in Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, “commercial milk is responsible for most of the gastrointestinal problems in infants and children and causes, among others, chronic low-level intestinal bleeding, leaky gut, tooth decay and tension fatigue syndrome, while increasing the risk for developing diseases such as multiple sclerosis.”[V]


It is required by law in most states that all milk sold to consumers must be pasteurized. The process of pasteurization heats up the milk, killing any possible harmful bacteria, but in turns kills all of the healthy bacteria as well as vitamins and minerals. You may now have noticed many dairy products labeled “ultra-pasteurized,” especially in organic milk. This milk has been heated to a very high temperature in order to extend the shelf life of the milk. Unfortunately, this milk is very difficult to digest and can lead to all sorts of health problems.



The homogenization process became a practice in the milk industry because it extends the shelf-life of the milk. However, this process breaks down the fat molecules in milk and changes the proteins and fat.  Thus instead of slowly absorbing the nutrients in milk, it quickly goes into our system, causing inflammation.

What about Calcium?

It is also a myth that we can obtain calcium from drinking milk. The problem is that pasteurized milk is very acidic. So to maintain a Ph that is alkaline, our bodies will pull the calcium out of our bones to keep that balance. This explains why the populations in the world that are the highest consumers of dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis and bone fractures. What’s even more disturbing is that studies have found that consumers of commercial milk also have higher mortality rates, particularly in women. [IV]

Antibiotics and rBHG

One glass of milk contains the residue of over 100 antibiotics. Because most of our milk comes from sick cows in confined animal feed lots, antibiotics are used to treat the animals. It is the use of these antibiotics in the food we are consuming that is leading to “super bugs” which are bacterial infections that have become resistant to antibiotic treatment.

A genetically engineered artificial hormone known as rBHG is injected into cows to make them unnaturally produce more milk. This hormone has been linked to several cancers.[I]

Is organic better?

While organic is better in the sense that these cows are fed organic food, this milk still comes from cows in feed lots who are eating grains, and their milk is still pasteurized and homogenized, therefore killing all of the beneficial enzymes needed to digest the milk.

Low fat

In no way should any human ever consume any dairy product labeled low fat, or non-fat. In fact, no one should consume any food labeled low-fat. Consumers must realize that when you take the fat out of dairy, which is the main component, you must replace it with something. That thing is almost always sugar.  On top of that, the process of defatting dairy products, so denatures the food, that it will do more harm to your body than help. You will often find people who consume diets of low-fat foods are overweight because fat does not make you fat. Sugar makes you fat.

Raw Milk?

raw milk










Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. 100% grass-fed raw milk has been shown to have some medicinal properties. A-2 raw milk is easier to digest and can be beneficial for some health conditions. It can be purchased directly from farmers in some states.

Fermented dairy

There are some forms of dairy that can be beneficial to humans, and those are fermented foods. These include kefir, plain yogurt, sour cream, and aged cheese. These foods should still be made from raw milk as the pasteurization process again kills the beneficial bacteria in the milk.  All flavored yogurt contains high amounts of sugar and is not a health food.

milk substitutes

There are so many milk substitutes out there that work great in baking and taste great. Almond milk is one of the best. Click here to learn how to make it yourself!

[I]Epstein, S. S. “Unlabeled Milk from Cows Treated with Biosynthetic Growth Hormones: A Case of Regulatory Abdication.” International Journal of Health Services: Planning, Administration,   Evaluation. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1996. Web. 31 May 2017.

[II]International Dairy Foods Association. 2013. Milk Pasteurization: Definition and Methods.–views/media-kits/milk/pasteurization-/

[III]Laugesen, M., and R. Elliott. “Ischaemic Heart Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, and Cow Milk A1 Beta-casein.” The New Zealand Medical Journal. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Jan. 2003. Web. 31 May 2017.

[IV]Michaëlsson K, Wolk A, Langenskiöld S, Basu S, Warensjö Lemming E, Melhus H, Byberg L. “Milk intake and risk of mortality and fractures in women and men: cohort studies.” BMJ. 2014 Oct 28;349:g6015. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g6015.

[V]Roumeliotou, Eleni. “In Defense of (Raw) Milk.” GreenMedInfo. N.p., 02 July 2015. Web. 31 May 2017.

[VI]Virtanen, S. M., T. Saukkonen, E. Savilahti, K. Ylönen, L. Räsänen, A. Aro, M. Knip, J. Tuomilehto, and H. K. Akerblom. “Diet, Cow’s Milk Protein Antibodies and the Risk of IDDM in Finnish Children. Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group.” Diabetologia.U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 1994. Web. 31 May 2017.





benefits of bone broth

Benefits of Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is so easy to make and a staple in the kitchen, you should be making it all of the time. Store-bought stocks aren’t really bone broth. They are loaded with sodium and rely on meat “flavors” rather than real bones. They also usually contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is a neurotoxin.

Save money

Bone broth is also a money saver as it is much cheaper to buy a whole chicken, cut it up yourself, and then use the bones and giblets to make your stock. Here is a video to show you how easy it is to cut up a chicken. Jacques Pepin can do it in under three minutes. With a little practice and a sharp knife, you can do it under five.

health benefits

Homemade bone broth has also been found to have many health benefits. In a study by The University of Nebraska, chicken broth was found to prevent infection and to have anti-inflammatory properties. Stock has also been found to boost the immune system and may be beneficial in healing asthma, allergies, and arthritis.

The longer you cook it, the more nutrients you will pull out of the bones. Make up a big batch and then freeze it in mason jars. Short on space? You can concentrate the stock by boiling it down, then reconstitute it with water when you are ready to use it.

Print Recipe
Chicken Stock
  1. Put the bones in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. As the water boils skim the foam that rises to the top. Gently boil for one hour.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. When finished, strain bones and vegetables. Once cooled the fat will rise to the surface and you can discard if desired.
  4. Alternate: Place all ingredients in a crock pot after roasting and cook on low for 24 hours.
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Print Recipe
Beef Stock
Beef Stock
Beef Stock
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roast bones in a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Add onions and carrots and roast for 30 more minutes.
  4. Remove bones and vegetables from pan and place in a large stock pot. Add remaining ingredients. Fill pot with water to cover about 2 inches over bones.
  5. Bring to a boil and skim off fat from the surface. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 6 hours and up to 24. Continue to add water as needed.
  6. When finished, strain bones and vegetables. Once cooled the fat will rise to the surface and you can discard if desired.
  7. Alternate: Place all ingredients in a crock pot after roasting and cook on low for 24 hours.
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natural easter egg dye

How to Naturally Color Your Easter Eggs

I don’t even know why we color Easter eggs since we don’t teach our kids there is an Easter bunny. I still don’t even know what eggs have to do with a bunny. I do however have fond memories of coloring eggs in my childhood and my kids have grown to love the tradition as well.

Ever notice how the egg inside turn the color of the dye? Well, eggs are permeable, and I do not want my family to be eating those artificial dyes for several reasons.  Food dyes have been linked to allergies, hyperactivity, and autoimmune diseases.1 I also find it disturbing that other countries like the European Union have either banned food dyes or require warning labels on foods that contain them.

So here are some natural ways to color your eggs without harming your health! The longer you submerge the eggs in the dye, the deeper the color! Have fun!


natural easter egg dye

Bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of chopped beets, and 2 tbsp white vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid.


natural easter egg dye

Bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of chopped red cabbage, and 2 tbsp white vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid.


natural easter egg dye

Bring 1 cup of water, 1 cup of chopped spinach or 2 tbsp. spirulina, and 2 tbsp white vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid.


natural easter egg dye

Bring 1 cup of water, 2 tbsp. turmeric, and 2 tbsp white vinegar to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid.



1.David W. Freeman. “Food Dyes Linked to Allergies, ADHD and Cancer: Group Calls on U.S. to Outlaw Their Use.” CBS News June 29, 2010.

Curb sugar cravings

Curb those sugar cravings!

I know… those cupcakes look so good. You know the feeling.  We all do, because most of us struggle with sugar addiction.Sugar addiction is a very real thing.  In fact, scientists have found that sugar can be more addicting than cocaine. But we can overcome it!

Here are some tips to help you fight that battle against sugar:

1. Eat regular meals

Always eat with 30 minutes of waking up.  Then eat again after 2 hours, but not beyond 4 hours. This should entail 3 meals each day, plus 2 snacks.  Eating regularly with the 3 three elements of Fat, Fiber, and Protein will help balance your blood sugar and avoid those blood sugar drops.  It will also help keep you satiated and keep your energy balanced so you are not reaching  out for a sugary “pick-me-up”


I love telling people that.  So many of us are under the false assumption that fat will make you fat, but this is just not true of good clean fats.  Sugar makes you fat, and sugar makes you want more sugar.  Good quality fats like coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, salmon, and pastured animal fats help our bodies feel full, and if you feel satiated you won’t crave sugar as much.

3. Stay hydrated

Most people do not drink enough water and often when we are dehydrated, we feel hungry and crave sugar, but we are really just thirsty. So next time you crave sugar, try drinking a tall glass of water instead.

4. Exercise

Exercise plays such a vital role in your health.  It helps improve your mood, controls your weight, and promotes better sleep.  It’s also a great stress reducer, boosting endorphins (you know, the happy chemicals in your brain). Regular exercise can keep those sugar cravings at bay.

5. Feed Your Gut

Probiotic foods help keep our gut in balance and diminish the desire for sugary foods. By starving the yeast that may be growing in your gut, you will crave less sugar. Fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, or kimchi are great for keeping the gut healthy!

6.Get a good night’s sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential to our well-being.  If we feel rested, we don’t need those sweets to keep us going throughout the day.

7. for chocolate lovers

This is my weakness. Just the word “chocolate” sounds so soothing to me. If chocolate is your weakness, there could be a reason behind it.  Studies have shown that a craving for chocolate can be linked to a magnesium deficiency.  Magnesium rich foods can improve our bodies uptake of glucose into our cells which will also prevent a sugar crash  So try eating more magnesium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkins seeds, and green beans.  Even some raw cacao powder in your smoothie is a great way to increase your magnesium without chomping on a bar of chocolate.

You can do it!

Kicking the sugar habit can be tough, but the fewer sweets you eat, the less you will crave them.  Sugar consumption leads to obesity, inflammation, and a lack of energy.  Sugar consumption has even been linked to depression.  By curbing those cravings, you will start to lose weight and to feel great. I know you can do it, and you will be glad you did! Feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way.

meal prep

Meal Prep Tips and Tricks

meal prep

Making healthy meals easy

The key to making quick, healthy meals each week is all about meal prep. For some of you, though, getting started may not come easily to you. So this post is designed to motivated you one step a time a time with simple tips and tricks to get a wholesome meal on the table faster than you can order and pick up take out, or heat up a frozen pizza!

Now I don’t mean cooking an entire week’s worth of meals ahead of time. That would be totally overwhelming! Choose a few of these steps to get started. Week by week, add something new to find what works for you, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro!

Step 1: The Plan

meal planning

To get started, start with some simple recipes that you already know. This is not the week to attempt that new complicated recipe you found on Pinterest that you’re dying to try. Now creating a weekly meal plan may take some practice in the beginning, but it will save you so much time in the long run! After a little while, you will have a few complete meal plans with a prep schedule and grocery list that you can reuse over and over again! meal prep

First, take a look at your week to see what is going on. Are there days when you need to have something in the crock pot, hot and ready, for when the family returns from a busy day? Is there a night you can make a meal ahead for days when you are running from piano lessons to soccer practice to scouts? For some of you, it might be easier to have the same meal on a certain night each week.

Next, put together a weekly meal plan. Do you want to make a soup one night? Fish? Something grilled? Then write the days of the week across a piece of paper and list your meals and snacks underneath. I plan three meals a day plus two snacks. Write on your list which meals include recipes and where you can find that recipe.

Over time you can start to add a new recipe each week and expand your menu. I find this exciting to try something new and expand our tastes. Make a note of what works and what doesn’t.

Tip: Think of ways leftovers can be reused for breakfast or lunch another day. Perhaps make a little extra, so you have some to reuse. Make a day of the week that combines all of your leftovers so that you can get a day off. (Sadly, my extras disappear through the night with four teenage boys in the house right now, so that nugget NEVER works in my house!)

meal prep

Step 2: The List

Now the next step is preparing your grocery list. Going to the grocery with a list and sticking to it saves you so much time and money. You will be much less inclined to pick up extras and less likely to have to throw out produce that went rotten because you never used it. The best part of the list is that it reduces your trips to the grocery store. I hate grocery shopping. With a list of all my ingredients for the week, there is no more running out to the store to pick up that one item I need for a recipe. Nor do I have to grab convenience food because I have no idea what to make for dinner, and those hungry boys are scouring the pantry!

Write your list at as you are planning your week and note what you need for each recipe. Also, write how much you need of each ingredient. No need to write down what you already have. I like to break my list into categories like produce, meat, etc. to make getting through the grocery store quicker. (Did I mention I hate grocery shopping?)

Note: I often hear that buying healthy food to cook at home is too expensive. That is just not true. Grocery shopping becomes expensive when we fill our carts with chips, processed food, cookies, and juice that have no nutritional value. Preparing healthy meals and snacks is not more expensive if you STICK TO THE PLAN.

Step 3: The Prep

meal prep
This step has changed my life! As I am looking up my recipes, I make a prep list too. First I add my ingredient to my grocery list. Then I put how that ingredient needs to be prepped, how much, and what it is for. It looks something like this:

Ingredient Amount Recipe
Carrots 3 chopped
2 sliced
Carrot Ginger Soup
Coconut Curry Chicken
Zucchini 1 shredded Bolognese sauce
Cashews ½ cup soaked Cashew cheese

Within 24 hours of grocery shopping, I prep all of my ingredients for the week and store them in glass containers in the fridge. At first glance, this may seem like it takes a lot of time. But since I am doing it all in one shot, it takes much less time than prepping ingredients each day for each meal. I only have to take my food processor out once, and I only use one cutting board and knife which saves on clean up. Then through the week, I only need to pull out the ingredients for each meal, and I can easily throw together a quick, simple and healthy dinner with minimal clean-up.

meal prep

Prepped ingredients in the fridge

Step 4: Putting it into action

My final step is making a daily task schedule that I can follow each day. This can be as detailed as you want. It looks something like this:

Day Task Estimated time
Sunday Prep veggies 1 hour
Sunday Prepare overnight oatmeal 5 minutes
Monday Bake pumpkin muffins 20 minutes

Meal prep and planning may all seem overwhelming to you at first, but start small. Don’t try to do everything at once. Maybe try doing a menu plan for just one day with a grocery list, and then work up to a full week over time. Maybe just try prepping your vegetables or snacks for the week. The best way to continue to eat to nourish our bodies with wholesome food is to make it from fresh, real ingredients and organization is the key. I promise you, that if you can eventually incorporate these steps to meal planning, the stress of what’s for dinner will finally disappear.

east meal prep