Lately I have been cleaning up and categorizing my pinterest boards so that they are nice and organized. As I was going through this process I decided I should really start trying some of those recipes that I pinned and if I found any that I loved I’d share them with you. I finally tried my very first pinned recipe and it was delicious!
This recipe comes from the blog Vegetarian Ventures, a blog that I was no familiar with until I tried this recipe. I love how easy this recipe is to prepare and how it is chocked full of nutrition . This was the perfect recipe for yesterdays rainy weather and I even warmed up with a bowl for breakfast this morning. Edith loved it as well so if you are looking for a toddler approved soup recipe this is a great one to try!
To check out the recipe for yourself head over here.
To check out other recipes and more that I have pinned head here.
Thinking about: Cleaning and unpacking. Yay that’s right we have been here two months today and still aren’t fully unpacked. Wondering how I am going to do at the Saturday race especially since I’ve only back to running for 3 weeks. I am thinking about blogging; improving my blog, posts to write and everything else that goes with it. (Finally) finishing my babywearing test.
Feeling: Anxious. Overwhelmed.
Watching: Lately I have been back to watching Supernatural; mostly on my phone in bed on those ever to frequent nights lately when Edith won’t sleep unless I am in the room with her, so 8am bedtime for me it is. Neil and I have also been watching The Black List which I am really getting into and we have started to watch Top Chef.
Reading: Nothing. I still have Orange Is The New Black to finish and I have a mile long list of other books I’d like to read.
Looking forward to: The Ugly Sweater Run on Saturday- despite knowing how slow I am going to be I am looking forward to running it with Edith and Neil especially after this terrible week we have had. I am also looking forward to date night next week.
Making me happy: How successful I have been with the 12WBT plan. My amazing husband and crazy and loveable child.
This post was inspired by Sometimes Sweet.
Healthy. Cheap. Easy. Three keywords when it comes to recipes lately at our house. Lentils are just that healthy, cheap and easy to work with and they are so energizing and filling. Last week I made this dahl for dinner and Neil took it to work for lunch the next day. That same day he had the opportunity to go out for lunch (for free) but decided he would rather have leftover dahl, brussels sprouts and rice <-- that's how good this recipe is; don't believe me? Try it out for yourself and see.
French Lentil Dahl
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 red onion, Diced
- 1 carrot, Peeled and Diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 15oz lite coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon ume vinegar
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 2 cups French Lentils, cooked
Melt the coconut oil in a medium heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the carrot and onion; sautee for 7-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper. Add the coconut milk, tomato, ume vinegar and lentils. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce to low. Cook for 30 minutes. You can leave it as is but if you would like it a bit creamier remove 1-1.5 cups of the dahl and blitz in your blender until smooth; return to pot and stir to combine. Serve with rice over a bed of baby spinach.
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Vitacost. All opinions are my own.
With a toddler at home getting out to the market is often a big ordeal so I often do a lot of my shopping online. On top of that I’m always on the search for a great deal especially on my favorite products so when I was offered an opportunity to check out Vitacost I was thrilled. Vitacost is an online retailer of a variety of products including nutritional supplements, beauty products, natural food items, herbs and even products for your pets and home.
When I first visited their site I was impressed to find a number of my favorite brands including Vega, Nutiva, Bob’s Red Mill, Tinkyada, Navitas Naturals, Sunwarrior and Eden Foods. They also have some of my favorite non-food products such as California Baby, Dr. Bronners, Jason, and Seventh Generation. Honestly they have just about everything that I tend to buy at other stores but the prices are better and I can do it from the comfort of my own home while Edith naps. Best part is there is free shipping on orders over $49 and when I can order everything I love in one place it’s easy to meet the minimum.
Here are a few of the things that they sent me:
> This was as new to me chocolate bar and it was so good! We go through at least one chocolate bar per week at this house and I think this one will be added to our rotation. Also I’m sure Neil is reading this right now and wondering why he didn’t get any- sorry love it was too good to share!
> Now I have had these yummy power snacks from Navitas Naturals before and was beyond thrilled to find them in my Vitacost box. These snacks are bite-sized and a perfect mid day pick me up or post run snack. Edith loves them too. Also side note Vitacost has a ton of other Navitas Naturals products that I use regularly including chia seeds, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs and goji berries all at 20-40% of the price I usually pay.
> Lastly two of my favorite products were also in my box. I love, love, love Vega Energizing Smoothie and Nutiva Hemp Shake. I love to mix these protein powders with banana and unsweetened almond milk and have as a morning snack or post run snack. On Vitacost this Vega Energizing Smoothie protein powder goes for $15.99 and I usually buy it for $19.99 at other stores; that’s $4 I could use for a Sunday morning coffee date.
Overall I am thrilled with the products that I received from Vitacost and I can tell you that I will be shopping from them in the future. Anytime I can get a good deal on my favorite products I’m all in and Vitacost is the perfect place.
Have you ever ordered from Vitacost? Tell me about it!
You can follow Vitacost on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
The following post is sponsored by Girls Gone Sporty on behalf of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. As always all opinions are my own.
So I have completed two weeks of Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program and I’m pretty proud of myself that I have made it this far. As you may know I have a tendency to get lazy about things but I have been making a real effort to stay on track. That being said I have had a few times where the best decision wasn’t necessarily made like the chips and salsa and beer at a Friday night happy hour get together or skipping my workout yesterday (oops). I’m not letting this little slip ups stop me from jumping back on track. Everyday is a new opportunity and every meal is an opportunity to make a better decision.
One thing to note is I switched up my workout plan. Initially I had been on the beginner running program because based on my fit test I was just over the running time cut off to be an intermediate. I did that plan for a week but it just didn’t seem to be the right fit so I bumped it up to the intermediate plan and it has been going really well. The workouts in this program are diverse, challenging and hurt so good.
Let’s talk about food for a minute. This is the only challenge that I have really found with this program. I am vegan and while the program has vegan options or recipes that could be veganized there is still a very limited selection. I am still trying recipes out and there are a number of them that I really like, some that are meh and one or two I didn’t love. I plan to do a full review at the end but so far the workout plan is an enthusiastic two thumbs up and the meal plan is a okay, not bad not good. If you are an omnivore the menu plan seems to go over a little better and I would like to add that this is a preview of the program and the team behind Michelle Bridges 12WBT is working to improve things.
Until our next check in here are a few meals and workout photos from my journey.
Every since pregnancy I have been kind of obsessed with lentils. I started eating them more for the nutritional benefits and then I just kind of fell in love. There are so many varieties of lentils from red to beluga but today I used French lentils for this recipe. French lentils are hearty and give this sauce some meatiness while began a healthy vegan sauce. My toddler devoured this so if you’re a parent looking to get your kid to eat more protein, fruits (yes I think we forget tomatoes are a fruit) and veggies this is a great sauce to have.
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1-14.5oz can salt free diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup cooked French lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon ume plum vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- Olive Oil Spray
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil spray and then add the onions and carrots; sautee 7-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and oregano. Add the tomatoes and lentils; stir to combine. Add your remaining ingredients and then cover and cook cover medium-low for 15 minutes. With a hand blender or a stand blender puree the ingredients. This will leave you with a thick sauce which is fine as you will want to add your pasta directly to the sauce, carrying a little pasta water with it. If you are not planning to toss this with pasta then you may want to add additional water to thin the sauce out slightly.
*I made extra of this to freeze so once I try it I’ll come back and let you know how freezing worked out.
I don’t know why but this year the time change has really thrown me right off schedule. Absolutely nothing, except my run, got done yesterday and Edith’s naps and our meals and everything were just way off. Anyways it has also thrown my mornings off when I normally work so I have been lagging on getting this (and many other) posts out. So anyways lets get down to it.
So last month I wrote about a food spending challenge that I had set out for our family. We challenged ourselves to spend no more than $825 and it was broken down like this:
- Groceries: 84 meals at $5 per meal +Coffee/Alcohol/Chocolate/Snacks + Oil/Spices = $550
- 9 meals out + Coffee Out = $275 (mini goal $200)
Now for some of you $825 may still have seemed like a lot but since we had been spending closer to $1000+ on everything. I know crazy. So now the question is did we succeed?
It feels so good to actually tell you that yes I actually successfully completed one of my challenges.
We even had a date night in which is why we didn’t meet our mini dining out goal but overall we did really well.
So how did we do it:
- Menu Planning. I tried my best to create a menu for the week and a shopping list and buy only what was on my list and to stick to the plan as close as possible.
- Shop Deals. I really shopped the sales and swapped out ingredients when I was able to for less expensive ones.
- Dine out at Happy Hour. This nice thing about Portland is that most places have happy hour from 4-6 and sometimes later and since having a toddler means we turn into old people eating dinner at 5/5:30pm works for us. This means less expensive drinks and eats for the whole family!
- Chinook Book (or any local discount book). In Vermont we used to buy deals on Localvore Today and yearly we bought a Buy Local Coupon book. Out here in Portland we buy the Chinook Book app that we can use right from our phone. Both have local deals at restaurants, coffee shops, stores and other local businesses. We are able to support local businesses while also saving money!
Dining out actually feels like a treat and more FUN! We have really cut back on meals out that are just out of laziness and are focusing on going out for a treat. Now when we do go out to eat we really enjoy the family time and get more out of the experience.
We have been going to the grocery store less. Before when we were going out to eat so often we were also going to the market all the time. I mean like almost every day. CRAZY. Now we go on one big grocery trip and then mid/end of the week we might pick up a few things because I seem to always forget my list or forget to get everything on my list even when i do bring it.
I want to keep with it. Now I want to keep with eating the majority of our meals at home however the one change I will be making is I might spend a little more here and there on ingredients that are a little fresher. I found we ate a lot more frozen veggies, beans and grains and I would rather be eating more fresh vegetables.
How do you save money while still eating well?