Juicing

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This weekend, Adam and I officially began juicing.

You know, with fruits and vegetables.

{This was not what Adam thought at first when I mentioned I wanted to start juicing. Sorry, performance enhancing drugs aren’t really my thing…}

Anyway…

It’s something I’ve been looking into the past month or so. We saw this juicer in the store and after talking it over, decided to go ahead with the purchase. So far, we love it! We tried out a few different recipes and have yet to be disappointed. I honestly never thought I would say I enjoy juice with cucumbers in it, but they have all been delicious. And completely healthy.

As of right now, we’re just planning on juicing in the morning and maybe before dinner at night. This won’t replace our vegetables and fruits we already eat, but will add to our intake. I recently heard the average American gets only 5% of their daily fruits and vegetables they need. Five percent!!! That makes me really sad and I am now striving to get my family to eat more of them.

Here are the different juices we’ve tried so far:

~3 oranges (peeled), 1 cucumber, and a handful of grapes

~1 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries, and 2 oranges (our favorite thus far)

~1 orange, 1/2 cucumber, 1 apple, and a large handful of grapes

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Our reasons to juice

1. I like eating healthy and I want to set a good example for our girls.

2. Helps aide digestion, gives energy, boosts your immune system… all great things!

3. It’s quick and easy.

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Our initial thoughts:

1. The juice is really smooth – no pulp whatsoever.

2. Tastes better than something you might get at Orange Julius and so much healthier!

3. We are excited to try so many different recipes!

I’ll update more in a few weeks on our juicing adventures. Since I’ve only been doing this for a couple days, I have a limited knowledge on all the juicing ideas there are out there. But for now, we are very happy with our purchase!

Clean Eating

I’m on a quest for something. I feel most people are this time of year or shortly after the holidays. I decided to start our family on eating healthier. Seeing as I’m the sole person in our family who cooks, buys, or prepares the food we eat, this quest will fall mostly on me.

For our daughters, it won’t be that hard. Brooklyn, our two-year-old, eats mostly organic, whole wheat, or whole fruits and veggies {with the occasional fruit snack or homemade muffin here or there}. Scarlett, our 7-month-old, gets her main nutrition from me {exclusively gets breast milk} and organic baby food. I had the wonderful idea of making her own baby food but, well, life gets busy with two kiddos and to be honest, I just got lazy. But, I figure organic baby food is a good alternative, right?

So, that leaves me and the hubby. I’m a self-motivated person. And, I have pretty good self control when I need it. I’ve done countless years of giving up sweets for Lent — hard for this huge sweet tooth I have, but it was do-able. I know I can do this if I put my mind to it. Convincing Adam might be the hardest part. Ha.

Now, this is where you, my readers come in. While I have scoured the internet for great ways to eat healthier, I would love personal testimonies or great recipes that you love and want to share with me. I’m not looking at going vegan or anything dramatic, just a shift of eating less artificial foods and more whole/natural.

Oh, I should mention I don’t eat a lot of beef or red meat. But, that doesn’t stop me from cooking it for Adam from time to time. We mainly like chicken dishes, though.

Anyone else on a quest for eating healthier?

Operation: Monthly Meal Plan

With Adam coming back soon(ish), I decided to create a monthly meal plan to help make dinners easier. Because, as most “single” moms with deployed husbands know, we consider a bowl of easy mac a successful meal these days. Well, that doesn’t cut it when my husband is back home. I figured I would take some time now to prepare a meal plan, so we can enjoy being with him instead of using all that time thinking about what to make and then preparing meals.

I thought I would share my ideas with you. It’s my first time doing this, so don’t critique too much, okay?

1. Hit up the internet and browse cook books. First, I needed to come up with what we are going to eat. I decided on compiling 20 recipes for the monthly meal plan, because there are always those nights we eat leftovers, go out to eat, or get take- out pizza. And, with it being the holidays soon, I thought 20 would suffice. I went to the trusty, infamous Pinterest to get most of my ideas and filled in the rest with our favorites.

2. Create a word document. When I found a recipe I liked, I would put it directly into a word document. I opened up each recipe that looked good and checked the ingredients because while it may look scrumptious, I know I will only make the quick, easy recipes. So, I would suggest going to the actual website and checking out the recipe first before putting it into your word document. I wrote each title of the recipe followed by the website link directly to that particular recipe. This will make it very easy to open up the document when the time comes to make it and I will be led directly to where I want to be. Quick and easy!

3. Plan. I look at my calendar. I note which days we already have blocked off for date night, squadron functions, or holiday parties. Obviously, I will not be cooking on those nights. I drew up a quick calendar on paper and wrote in what I was going to make and what night. I will keep this and hang it on the fridge for that month so I know (and Adam) what we will be having each night. This also helps for those crockpot meals that you need to prepare before hand or if meat needs to be taken out early to thaw.

4. Grocery shop. You can decide how often you want to grocery shop. Due to our smaller fridge and freezer space, I go shopping once a week. I put together a grocery list of those meals for the week and see once what I need and what I already have.

5. Enjoy!! My goal with this monthly meal plan is to save time, first of all. It will also save money because there’s nothing better than going to the grocery store having written down exactly what you will need for the following week. It helps cut down on last minute impulse buys that I am guilty of.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Due to many requests for this recipe, I wanted to post it here and share it with you!

It only involves THREE ingredients.
I don’t think you could get much simpler than that.
(Plus, it doesn’t involve eggs so you can eat the batter guilt-free! haha)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
30 oz. Pumpkin pie mix
2 boxes – yellow cake mix
semi-sweetened chocolate chips
Pour the pumpkin pie mix (make sure it’s not the real pumpkin puree) into a large mixing bowl.
Mix in the 2 boxes of yellow cake mix.
Mix well.
Add chocolate chips.
(I didn’t measure the amount, just kept pouring until I felt it was enough)
The mixture looks like this once you have it all mixed and have put them in a muffin tin.
Bake according to your cake mix box.
 I cooked mine for 18 minutes.
I made mine pretty large, and it yielded 35 muffins,
so be prepared to share or bring this to a get-together or something.
Or keep them all for yourself. Whatever works.
may have burnt my mouth on this muffin because I ate it too soon after it came out of the oven.
It. was. delicious.
Enjoy!!