My Basic Monthly Meal Plan

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Meal planning is a big deal to me, it keeps me sane!

We are busy and dinner is the one time of day that all four of us can sit down together and reconnect.  Between work schedule, kids sports, and life in general it would be easy to get take out several nights a week… but I make it my mission to avoid it.  There are tons of other things that I am willing to give up, but making my family a decent meal isn’t one of them.  Honestly it brings me joy to cook and to hear G say “good dinner Mom.”

Before we get much farther… If you are expecting beautiful “food porn” photos, a complete grocery list including prices, a cute little printable, nutritional information,  all organic ingredients (gluten free, paleo, dairy free) or anything else like that, you can look away now.  I don’t have the time or the technical skills for that. I WILL give you my basic list of easy meals that we eat (and like) on a regular basis.  Each meal has 30 minutes or less of hands on time and no hard to find ingredients.

All these meals can be doubled for larger families.  There are 4 of us, but my kids eat like adults and each meal is plenty enough for dinner. (Most days the hubby takes left overs for lunch the next day.)  You can always double them and save one for later too!

 

Click here to view my list: Basic meal planner  It contains 9 recipes, so if you double it that’s 18 meals!  I also gave you a few small changes you could make to shake up your menu.  For instance make Parmesan Pork Chops one night and the next week sub chicken for pork, it’s like a totally different meal.

So let’s just say you don’t double the meal, but you do use my substitutions… you end up with 13 meals.  So what do you make the rest of the month?  I try to make 3-4 new recipes a month.  If it is something we like then I can add it to our regular rotation. I also have my stand by meals, the ones I always have ingredients on hand for:

Breakfast for dinner (Pancakes, bacon, and eggs)

Fried rice (I use left over meat and 2 scrambled eggs for protein)

Whole wheat pasta and salad

Chef salad

Spicy Pork Noodles

Burgers on the grill

Pork Tenderloin on the grill with veggies

 

Of course we have our nights when nothing goes my way and we eat frozen pizza or grilled cheese.  I’m no Mary Poppins! I also plan that we will eat out once a month (twice if I have a coupon.)  That pretty much covers dinner for 20+ days.

 

Do you already meal plan or are you new to it?  What are your stand by meals?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Outside

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Today my kids get to leave school a bit early (thanks Grandparents day!) and I cannot wait to take them to the park.  Lately life has been so busy.  I have had a hard time being the mom.  I have had a hard time balancing work, kids, sports, my marriage, and keeping up my house.  But today I am going to put all that on the back burner and I am going to play with my kids, because they deserve it and I do too!

happiness

What Is a Challenge Group?

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Okay Friends the 21 Day Fix is on sale this month! I have 2-3 spots available in my Summer 21 Day Fix Challenge group. I have received messages asking what is a challenge group? Why would I join? What do I get?

A Challenge Group is a secret Facebook group for my clients so support each other, get advice, share struggles and of course celebrate reaching our goals!

Why should you join? Why not!?!? I love being surrounded by positive people that lift me up, that’s what a challenge group is all about.

What do you get? When you join my group you get personal coaching from me, I’m there to answer any question you have and offer helpful advice. Also my 21 Day Fix Challenge Group includes 21 Day Fix approved recipes, and a free meal plan for the full 21 days. There won’t be and hard to find food, or meals that take hours to prepare, just good, tasty, healthy food to fuel your body.

Are you ready to join me?

Find me on Facebook AlmostSuper Mom Fit

Fancy up your Coffee for Pennies

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It’s been a long time… a really long time.  No excuses or grand stories, life just happens!

So today I bring you a short post on how to fancy up your coffee in 3 seconds and it only costs you pennies. Get ready for it….
Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the coffee grounds before brewing it and wallah you have a yummy coffee in the morning (or all day if you’re like me.)  A word of caution the cinnamon won’t drain through the filter so don’t dump 3 tablespoons in or it will clog up your coffee maker and cause a huge mess (I may or may not have done this.)
Enjoy!

Back to School and Getting on Schedule

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Ahh yes, back to school time… G started last week and he loves it!  It’s only two days a week, but he is already learning so much and it’s nice for L and I have to have some one on one time.  Starting back to school also means getting back on a regular schedule and a not so “lazy summer” time frame.  Most mornings we are up and out the door by 8:45, which I know isn’t super early, but without our routine we never get anywhere.  So I thought I would share how we made on transition from lazy summer to busy fall schedule.

I made a VERY BASIC printable schedule to keep me on track at home. The weekly list is what helps keep my head above water on the days I feel like I might drown in to dos.  I list my errands, workout schedule, kids activities, work info, to do list, and daily chores all in one place.  Under the To Do section you will see 5 10 15 I write the task next to the numbers, this way I do each task for the allotted about in time then cross it off.  For example if clean out refrigerator is on my to do list I take five minutes and do as much as I can then cross out the five and go on to the next task.  I do this all week until all my tasks are completed!  My daily chores have the days of the week next to them so I can cross them off as I go as well.  Easy peasy, right?

To make G’s life more easy I picked up a weekly calendar at Target for $2 and stuck it to our fridge.  Next I used the cards I had printed, laminated, and stuck magnets on from Confessions of a Homeschooler and wa-la he had his own weekly picture planner!  Now he can find the day of the week and know what we are doing without having to ask.

Even with both those ideas in place life doesn’t always go according to plan… we are doing our best, one step at a time!

What have you done to get ready for the Back to School season?

 

Labor Day Virtual 5 mile Recap

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Yesterday I ran my first ever virtual run!  Laura from Mommy Run Fast was nice enough to organize the whole race for FREE.  I was also lucky enough to be able to run it with a member of my local Moms RUN This Town Chapter (Hi Angela.)

We met up at 9:45 yesterday, it was really not the best day to run… it was 80 degrees and 100% humidity, but we were going to do it!  Pushing our strollers weighted down with toddlers, drinks, toys, sunscreen, and enough snack for an army we made our way for a flat 5 mile run.  Before I go any farther let me tell you I am NOT fast, I consider my self a runner and I have no shame in walking when I need to.  We ending up taking to short walk break before the 4.5 mile point, but ran most of it feeling hot, sweaty, stocky, and glad to be out running together.  At the 4.5 mile point we stopped to let our kids get out and play at the playground, because that’s what you do when they are both screaming and trying to climb out of the jogger!  After a few minutes it was back to the pavement to complete our last half mile, when finished in 1:14:10.
It wasn’t an easy run for this Momma, but it was made easier by running with a buddy, someone to keep me going when I wanted to stop.  That’s another reason virtual races are so great, you sign up then you are committed to run the distance!

If you’re looking for some running pals checkout Moms RUN This Town they have chapters all over the country!  And please checkout Laura’s Blog Mommy Run Fast for some great motivation to keep running or start running!

Taking Care of Mom

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Last night after getting both kids bathed and into bed I came downstairs looking ragged and worn out.  I looked at my husband and said “I am so exhausted.  I haven’t been this exhausted since… well, I guess yesterday.” And that about sums up my life as a stay at home mom to 2 kids under the age of 3.  I always feel tired.  Being a parent (working outside the home or stay at home) is hard and it’s tiring!

My wonderful husband’s response was “go to bed.”

He was right, I needed to head to bed and catch an extra hour.  As he said the words my brain was going on over 6 page to do list.  I dragged my sorry butt to the kitchen to finish my nightly routine and most importantly get my coffeemaker ready for the morning.  I was surprised to see my husband standing in the door way when I turned around.

“Go to bed.”

“I will I just have a few thing to do.”

“Like what?”

“Make coffee, cut coupons, feed the dog, pack snacks…”

“Go to bed.  None of that is important.”

“Coffee is important.”

“I will take care of it, all of it.”

I don’t know if more wonderful words have ever been spoken.  At that very moment I remembered why I loved my bossy husband.  He just tells it like it is.  Truthfully packing snacks and cutting coupons did not need to be done right away.  My husband knows that I get side tracked and start working on little projects around the house and before I know it it’s midnight (in fact I am typing this at 9:34 pm and he has ordered me to bed by 10.)

I don’t know what happens to a woman when she becomes a mother.  Something changes… You get these strange super powers like being able to function on less then 4 hours of sleep, or carrying heavy loads like an infant carrier, 3 bags of groceries, a diaper bag, and a screaming toddler.  These super powers are awesome but eventually these changes cause us to stop taking care of ourselves.  The past 3 months have been eye opening for me, seeing what really matters and trying to let go of what doesn’t.  Last night I was so tired, tired because I had been ignoring my bodies signals that it needed more rest and better nutrition.  I got my 9 hours of sleep last night and woke up feeling like my Almost Super Mom self, so good that I headed to the gym for a run.  What?  A run and a good night’s rest all within 24 hours.  How does that happen? I know, I know, I am super lucky to have my husband to help keep me grounded.

For the month of September I am really focusing on what I can do to take better care of me.  I started a journal (Shawn at Awesomely Awake gave me the idea, but her’s is a bit different than mine) to help me unwind.  Each night I take 5 minutes to write about my day, exercise, nutrition, rest, what we did, and general recap of the day.  After that I list Good/Bad/Need Work, it’s nice for me to see stuff that was awesome, stuff that didn’t go so well, and stuff I need to work on.  It’s just a list, so I can get it out of my mind by writing it on paper, and it has really helped!

What areas of self care are you lacking?  Do you journal?