Do you plan your grocery lists?

Do you plan your meals ahead of time?

Do you typically plan your meals for the week ahead of time?

Or do you shop throughout the week for a few days at a time?

I know people on both sides of the fence:

Those who rotate the same recipes week after week, and those who like to try new recipes and mix it up each week.

Which one are you?

One Good Thing

What’s one GOOD thing that has come from your time at home through the quarantine?

Did you learn something new?

Learn to rest more?

Do some house projects?

Connect with friends and family more?

Give yourself space to grieve and learn this new way of life?

I know many things have been difficult, but I’d love to hear what’s been GOOD for you.

 

My Emergency Freezer Meal

One thing I always keep on hand is an “emergency” freezer meal for those busy days I’m tempted to order take-out instead of finding the time to cook.

Stir-fry is a great freezer meal option.  You can keep a frozen bag of stir-fry veggies, a microwaveable brown rice option, and any protein you’d like to add to the mix.  Mixing all of this together can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. I like to use an Asian sauce to the pan when mixing everything together — and it’s always a crowd-pleaser!

What’s your go-to “emergency” meal for when the time has slipped away from you?

What is your typical routine

Do you typically multitask while you’re eating?

If you are used to scrolling on your phone or watching television while you eat, try something different this week.

Try eating with no distractions, even if just for a few days. Try to be mindful of chewing each bite well, breathing calmly throughout your meal, and taking your time.

It can be challenging to recognize the cues from your body to stop eating when you’re busy with other things. Leaving this mental space for you to pay closer attention to what you’re doing while you’re eating can help you tune in and see what your body is telling you.

What’s your typical meal routine?

Notice where you feel this in your body

Learning to listen to your body and be present with your feelings and emotions takes time and reaps bountiful rewards.

For example, most people feel anxiety as tension in their chest or their stomach. We can easily move through our day holding our breath, experiencing this feeling without giving it much thought. Next time you notice yourself feeling anxious, do a mental body scan and see where the feeling has gathered inside of your body. Does your chest feel tight? Do you feel knots in your stomach? Something else, perhaps?

Once you nail down where this feeling of tension rises in your body, you’ll be better equipped to notice and combat it promptly. Sometimes, you may not even notice you are anxious until you realize the tension.  This is the perfect time to check in with yourself. Do a quick scan and ask yourself what’s weighing on you, what’s causing you anxiety, or what’s bothering you.

Make Your Own Pickles

Have you ever tried to make your own pickles at home? It’s quite easy, and a fun experiment to see what different flavors you can add to them to spice them up a bit.

A great simple recipe to try as a base:

1 Pint-sized mason jar with lid

Pickling cucumbers

Fresh dill sprigs

3 Garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup apple cider vinegar

8 cups of water

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup Himalayan salt granules

1 teaspoon pickling spices

 

Slice your cucumbers into spears and set aside with dill and garlic.

Combine all other ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir until all salt and sugar have dissolved.

Place your cucumbers in your jar with dill and garlic. Pour mixture into the jar and refrigerate for 24-48 hours before eating.

What are your favorite items from Trader Joes?

What’s your favorite Trader Joes item!?

One of my favorite threads to run across online is a list of everyone’s favorite item at Trader Joes.  There are so many fantastic items to choose from, and I’ve almost always found a new recipe staple when perusing these lists.

So, tell me. What’s your favorite item(s) from Trader Joes?

Salt Saga

Salt often gets a bad wrap, but it’s actually an essential part of your diet that’s necessary for optimal health. Finding the balance between enough and too much is important — it’s suggested to consume about 1 tsp of salt per day.

We tend to eat way more than that, though. Salt is hiding in places we don’t expect, and there are foods you may not realize are high in sodium such as:

  • salad dressings
  • soups
  • broths/stocks
  • canned foods
  • frozen foods
  • cold cuts

One thing all of these have in common is they are pre-packaged foods. A simple way to cut out excess salt is to eat as many whole foods as possible. You can even try making these items at home, such as salad dressings and making your own stocks. These are easier to make than you might think!

Make Your Own Disinfectant Wipes

No matter where you’re located, I can bet we have a similar problem. For months now, disinfectant wipes are impossible to find.  They’re in high demand, for sure, and also essential to have so we can keep our surfaces as clean as possible.

There’s a very simple way to make your own disinfectant wipes at home.

In a 1-gallon glass jar, cut a roll of paper towels in half, length-wise.

Place the paper towel half into the glass jar.

Mix 1 cup Isopropyl alcohol (70% or above), 2 cups water, 1 tbsp dish soap, and 3-5 drops essential oil (optional). Some great essential oil options are orange, tea tree, or lemon.

Pour the mixture around paper towels and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Once it soaks into the paper towels, pull the cardboard middle out and toss. This will allow you to pull your wipes from the center, like in a regular disinfectant wipe canister.

Say Bye-Bye to Bloat

Dealing with uncomfortable bloating can really put a damper on things. It’s painful, can cause your clothes not to fit well, and can overall make you feel unwell.

Here are a few of my favorite foods that help you battle the bloat:

  • watermelon
  • berries
  • cucumber
  • oranges
  • sweet potatoes

Adding fresh ginger into your food helps with this, as well. Many recipes work well with ginger, so whenever you feel it’ll be a good fit for your meal, add a sprinkle in to help.