Meal Plan Monday 9/25

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope you had a great weekend and are excited about what great things will come this week!  So for today’s Meal Plan Monday I wanted to talk about some ways I try to cook healthy.  Someone asked me about ways to cook ground turkey so I thought I would touch on that and give you something other than chicken to eat that is healthy.  


Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken.  We have chicken at least 4 days a week.  But I need breaks.  Even though you can find 5 million ways to cook chicken, at the end of the day it’s still chicken so I try to make every other meal we have with other meats.


I used to think ground turkey was so nasty.  I remember the first time we tried it we made turkey burgers and they were so bad I could barely eat it.  But years later I gave it a chance and it’s now used at least once every week!  Anything that calls for ground beef is now turkey.  My favorite is buffalo turkey meatballs.  They are low carb and so freakin good!  I normally have them with a salad, but I have also made sliders with them.

~Buffalo Turkey Meatballs~

You will need…

  1. 1 lb ground turkey
  2. ½ cup almond flour
  3. 1 packet of dry ranch dressing
  4. 2 tbs ranch dressing
  5. ¼ cup hot sauce
  6. ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  7. 1 egg

Preheat oven to 500° (yes 500)

Grease baking sheet.

Mix together ground turkey, almond flour, cheddar cheese, ranch, dry ranch, hot sauce, and egg.

Mix well and form 12-18 meatballs.

Place on baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.


I also do a Ground turkey stroganoff that’s so easy and we almost never have leftovers because it’s so good!  It’s not as healthy, but the kids (and me) love it because it’s over egg noodles and it’s still way better for you then Hamburger Helper!

~Ground Turkey Stroganoff~

You will need…

  1. 1 lb ground turkey
  2. 2 beef bouillon cubes
  3. 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  4. 8 oz sour cream
  5. 4 oz cream cheese
  6. 2 tbs onion powder
  7. 16 oz package of egg noodles

Start cooking entire package of egg noodles.

Brown turkey.  Drain any liquid.

Mix in sour cream, cream of mushroom, salt, onion powder, beef bouillon, and cream cheese.

Cook on low for 15 minutes.

Drain noodles and mix everything together!

How I do it is a little different from the original, but here is the link to where I got it from if you would like to see pictures.


We tried spaghetti squash for the first time not long ago and it was so good.  I do my sauce in the crock pot just so it can cook all day and I don’t have to think about it.  The hardest part of part of it all was cutting the squash.  After that it was super easy.  I was cooking for 4 adults and 2 small kids so this was a little more than I would normally make and I didn’t really know how to judge how much noodles it would be (and I still don’t really know how to judge), but we ate a lot and still had a big serving left over.  

~Spaghetti Squash~

You will need…

  1. 2 to 3 Spaghetti Squash
  2. 2 to 3 tbs salt

Cut ends off squash and cut into 4 rings.  

Cover in salt and rub in.

Preheat oven to 400°.

After 15 minutes the salt will pull moisture out.

Take paper towels and wipe dry.

Place on greased baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, turn over and cook for additional 15 minutes.  

Take fork and if the inside of squash easily pulls away from skin it’s ready.  If not cook for 5 extra minutes at a time.  

Pull insides off skin and fluff.

Serve soon after, it cools quickly.


~Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce~

You will need…

  1. 1 lb ground turkey
  2. Half an onion chopped
  3. 1 jar of organic pasta sauce
  4. 14.5 oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
  5. 6 oz can tomato paste
  6. 3 garlic cloves chopped fine or 1 tbs garlic powder
  7. 1 tbs of Italian seasoning
  8. Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix your favorite jar of organic sauce, can of tomato paste, can of diced or crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, onion, garlic glove.  Sometimes my husband sneaks in red pepper flakes to give it an extra kick.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 to 8.

Brown turkey meat and drain.

Add to sauce mix and cook for 1 to 2 hours on low.   

I hope this gives you some ideas.  And I would love to hear how you use Ground Turkey so be sure to drop me a comment!

To finish this week’s post off, here is my meal plan for the week!

  1. Turkey Cheeseburger Casserole, Green Beans
  2. Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato Tots, Corn on the Cob
  3. Spaghetti Squash
  4. Teriyaki Chicken, Quinoa Fried Rice
  5. Cauliflower Pizza Casserole
  6. SW Chicken Quinoa, Black Beans
  7. Fish Tacos, Mexican Style Quinoa

Some of these are new for us, but we have been trying to expand our menu so hopefully I have some new stuff to share with you next week!

Things for me?


A couple days ago I went to get my hair cut for the first time in over a year and it got me thinking about what I do for me.  Well it’s pretty easy, not much.  I am bad about putting what I want aside because I can do without.  I used to have fake nails that were done every 3 weeks, I colored my hair every month or so, I would get some type of clothes for myself at least once or twice a month, and I would spend almost 2 hours to do my hair and makeup.  Now I couldn’t tell you the last time I had my nails painted, I colored my hair a little over a month ago, but before then who knows, and if my hair has been washed in the last 2 days and I took 5 minutes to get something on my face I am doing good.  I worry about everyone else looking good and getting everything they need before myself.  Now I am not bitching.  I know if I wanted to go do any of those things my husband would be fine with it and tell me he has the kids.  Just like he was the other day, but I find it hard for me to even say “Hey I want to go shopping alone for something other than groceries.”

I always feel like I don’t really need to go do it so I don’t, but I regret it when I look at how shitty I look at the end of the day.  So why do I neglect myself each day?  Why don’t I take the time to relax and feel better about myself?  Are we wired as moms to think that we are less now that we have to take care of our kids?  I don’t know if I will ever know those answers.  But I feel like it shouldn’t be like that all the time.  I’m not saying neglect your kids and start going out shopping everyday, but I think we should start taking time for ourselves before it’s too late.

I think a lot has to do with how much we spread ourselves thin.  Everyday I plan to do 25 hours worth of stuff and I’m doing good to get half of it done.  I try to plan and schedule, but my kids always have a different plan.  Someone wants to be held, needs to be changed, wants a snack, knocked over something to make a new mess and then you have the animals that can be just as needy at times.

So how do I put all that stuff aside and do something for me?  How do I tell myself it’s ok to leave the mess in the kitchen and go get my nails done?  Or even say “I’m going to take a bath and go to bed early”?  I am making it my goal to start doing this more.  I am so tired all the time and I need to find some time to relax, so today I am going to make a list of things I can do for me.  Things that will help me in the end be a better mom because I will be happy and feel better.

Tell me what you do?  How do you know when enough is enough and say screw all the work and take a break?  We need to find a balance to make sure we don’t go completely crazy.


Baby food!

The other day I posted pictures of my homemade baby food and thought I would go into a little more about how I make my own.  I enjoy making it and I prefer my babies to have homemade baby food, but I do give them store bought baby food as well from time to time.  I don’t always have access to fresh ripe fruits and vegetables so I will give them some.  But both my boys have always seemed to enjoy homemade food better and I feel better knowing exactly what fruit or vegetables they are getting and not just some “mixed berries”.  

When I first started making food for my now 3 year old I had a “Munchkin Fresh Baby Food Chopper & Steamer Green In Box” and it sucked.  The chopper only cut thin paper and you couldn’t do more than a half of a sweet potato at a time.  I froze it in glass baby food jars and just so you know, that’s a bad idea and they will break.  So I changed to filling up ice trays, freezing, and putting them in a big ziplock.  Well it gets freezer burn fast, so I could never make a lot at a time.  

I finally just started to boil everything and then blend it to smooth and it’s so much better.  I do want to get a good chopper, but it’s not that hard to just cut it up.  I normally let everything boil for at least an hour depending on what it is and then let it cool in the water that it’s cooked in.  Harder fruit and veggies I sometimes cook for an hour and a half to 2 hours, but once they break up easily you are good to go.


After it cools, I drain all the water off and start blending.  I always like to let mine blend for a little extra, stir, and blend again just to make sure all the lumps are out.  That’s really all it takes.  I have had a couple things that came out a little too watery and I just added a little rice cereal to it and it was good to go.  I have also made some things and my kids hated the taste, so I would just mix it with another veggie and they would go crazy.  You may have to play a little, but it’s not as hard as it seems.


Now the other day I did try something new and I am changed forever.  I have said that the jars didn’t work and the “ice cubes” were ok, but I have found something so much easier and I will never go back.  BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS!  If you ever nursed you probably have storage bags. I bought some, had tons given to me, and had a lot sent to me as samples.  So when I stopped nursing I still had a box full of them.


Well they have a new purpose now!  Fill them bad boys up with baby food, lay them flat to freeze and then they can be stored easy in the door, and they can be thawed in less than a minute.  They have measurements on the side (I do 4 oz) and the label is already there so it’s super easy.  I would recommend buying a funnel so you don’t make a mess like I did trying to pour straight from the blender into the bags, but other than that it’s great.  When you need some you just pull a bag out, turn on the hot water and fill a cup up with the hottest water you can get from the sink.  Drop it down in there and you will have ready to go baby food in a minute!   

Don’t be scared to try this.  It’s easy, cheap, and you know what your baby is getting.  That alone is enough for me.


Mental Health

David Satcher said, “There is no health without mental health.”  Too often when we think about getting healthy we only think about our body, but we have to remember what it really is that keeps us going and a lot of the time holds us back.  The mind is powerful and can take us to great places when we keep it thinking positive, keep learning, give it time to rest, and don’t beat it up when it’s not so positive.  

Growing up I fought with my mind a lot.  I had a mostly verbal abusive father that turned physical when I was 13 and pushed me to abusing drugs to clear my mind.  I tried to find anything I could to numb the thoughts.  I was very lucky that I got away from it all before it took me away for good.  Too many times that’s not the case and I’m very thankful that I had people that helped me overcome it.  Unfortunately I lost a very close friend to their mind about 5 and a half years ago and it makes me more aware of my own thoughts.  So I think it’s extremely important that everyone be aware of their mental health and know they have options and don’t have to be alone.

As a mom I think it’s very easy to put your health aside because you are too worried about your children’s well being.  After my first I remember being overwhelmed at times, but it wasn’t till my 2nd son was born that I really felt like I was going down a very bad path.  I was nursing him at one point for 7 hours a day.  7 HOURS.  That’s crazy for a 1 month old.  After talking to his doctor, we decided that I wasn’t able to give him enough so we supplemented and it got a little better.  It was still hard trying to keep my 2 and a half year old happy and healthy on top of the very needed new born, so I was very up and down with how I feft.  I started gaining weight and never really felt happy so I went to my OB and we decided I should probably stop nursing and go on a different birth control and see if that would help.  So at 5 months I stopped nursing and tried to start working on losing the weight and be happy with myself again and I had been doing good.

Then my still not so easy baby seemed to be getting worse with sleeping and for the most part is never happy throughout the day unless he is being held.  I started losing my temper with everyone and felt extremely stressed.  I would try to talk to the people closest to me about how I felt, but they would all just say “oh you don’t really feel like that” or “it’s not that bad” so I stopped even trying to talk to them.  I didn’t want to get up at night when he would start crying or scream at him when nothing would calm him down knowing it wasn’t his fault.  I had a night that he had been up 3 or 4 times in 3 hours and I was so tired and sick of trying to get him to sleep.  I was mentally breaking and I was on the verge of crying when I finally got him to sleep.  I went back to bed and wrote in my journal that I was ready to give up, I couldn’t take care of him anymore and that he would be better off with someone else.  I needed to write it down and get it out of my mind.  I needed to sleep and wake up in a better place and start fresh.

Since then I have dealt with everything much better.  I didn’t want to take my own life, but I was ready to pack my bags and find a nice quiet place to never leave.  I know I am going to have bad days when nothing goes right and my mind will try to go down that path, but I know I will get through it.  I also know that if I ever get to a place where I feel like it could go too far I can talk to my husband or call either my insurance help line or the national mental health hotline.  No one is alone if you feel you need help.  Being a mom is stressful and hard so don’t feel like you are doing it alone.  Even for people that are not parents go through things that are hard and take a toll on your mind.  Talk, write, get out of the area that makes you feel bad, meditate, listen to music, or whatever clears your mind.  Never be ashamed of how you feel.  You are going to be ok.  It may take some work and changing some things, but there is always someone who cares.  You may not know them and they are just a voice on the other end of a phone call or they may be your best friend that didn’t know you were having such a hard time.  You just have to open up and be honest.  I promise someone cares and wants you around.

I found this article that is simple, but is really good.

Take a moment to look over it.  They have some great resources as well.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Our physical health is important, but our mental health is everything.  Don’t let it slip away!



1 month down


I can not tell you that I have done everything I wanted to everyday in the last month.  I can’t tell you that it’s so easy now that I don’t even have to try because that’s total bull shit.  I haven’t lost a ton of weight or dropped 3 sizes in a month.  It hasn’t been an overnight transformation with my body, but let’s talk about what has changed and what is working.

I will tell you first that I rely on my fitbit for most of my motivation.  I jog at 11pm because I need to get my steps for the day or it tells me when I haven’t got 250 steps in the hour and I have 10 minutes to get my butt up and do something.  It tells me how many calories I can eat depending on how active I have been so far that day.  I just add my food and water in throughout the day and it’s super easy to do.   I love this little thing and the app.


I have went from struggling to jog for 15 minutes to being able to get in 25 with no problem most days.  Yes that’s only 10 minutes more, but I can feel a difference and try to push myself a little more each day.  Jogging has been the one thing that I have been most consistent with.  If I don’t jog, I have walked a good bit that day or done some dancing to really get moving.  So jogging has been my most successful goal and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it as much as I have.


Now I believe that you can’t just change one thing and get the results that you want.  So on top of being active I try and stay under 1200 calories a day, but stay around 1000 most day’s.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I eat a good bit of the right foods.  And that’s what it’s really about, eating the right foods throughout the day so you don’t feel like you are starving between meals.  I try to go light for breakfast and lunch so I can have a little extra for dinner.  My suggested amount is about 1500 calories a day, but I normally have no problem staying under so I do and then when I do go over I don’t feel as bad.

I am not happy to say I am only doing yoga about 3 days a week.  Sometimes it’s only for about 10 minutes a day, but I feel so much better the days that I do and more at peace with how I feel.  I am still a very tired mom with a 7 month old that hates me (that has to be it because he is never happy and sleeps almost as little as I do) and a super energetic almost 3 year old.  I don’t know how I get up most nights when someone starts crying, but I do and the next day I need to feel as good as I possibly can and I feel yoga will help.  My goal is to do it 6 days a week and I hope to be there soon.


Meditation, well that’s not going so well.  It’s been really hard for me to carve out time when I am alone to do it.  I can do everything else when the kids are up if I need to, but meditating is not something that can happen with them.  I have to be more dedicated to this because I truly feel it’s one of the most important things I can do for myself.  As a mother and wife I seem to put myself so far on the back burner that I forget I need to take care of me so I can take care of everyone else.   I know this is such a huge problem with so many moms and stressed out, overworked people that don’t think they should take time for them, but YOU NEED TO!  You need to let go of all the crap you deal with and feel like a person again.  Go take a bath and put headphones in so you can’t hear the kids screaming in the living room.  Or go hang out on the front porch for a while.  Do what makes you feel good.  Just do something for you.  And I’m going to work on making time for me!

Now let’s get down to the numbers.  I have lost a grand total of 2 pounds and dropped 1 pants size!  Yea yea that’s not much and believe me, I wish it was a lot more.  But my stomach is flatter and I am able to wear things that I would only wear with my waist trainer to smooth everything out at Christmas.  So yes it’s only 2 pounds, but I am happy with how much my body has started to change.  My body has wanted to hang on to what I had left of my last pregnancy and I have the kid (screaming all the time), so I don’t want to look like I did right after I had him.  But I also know that it is going to take time and how I feel can not be put into numbers.  I have to keep going and I know I will get to where I want to be.  


So to recap for you, I am good at getting my steps, ok at yoga, I suck at meditation, I eat pretty good, and I am super tired all the time.  But I also feel better than I have in a long time and am slowly starting to like my body again.  

It’s going to take time, dedication and hard work, but I know it’s going to happen.  So here is to one month down and a lifetime to go.





My Children


This past week I have been struggling to keep all this up.  I somehow messed my back up (probably from carrying my 22 lb baby around), I have had no energy, nothing makes the baby happy, and stress has been pretty high.  So you can say it hasn’t been the best week.  I have made sure to at least get my steps in with jogging and for the most part eating really well.  Yoga most days, but I have been so bad at meditating and I know I have to find a way to work that in.  If only just to feel at ease for a couple minutes after going crazy being with kids all day.  

But I have had a heavy heart about some things this week.  The world is stressed right now.  So much is going on and there is more negativity than anything.  Many are angry for reasons they have every right to be angry about and I am angry about a lot as well, but I feel it’s my job to protect my small children from all the bad.  Now I am not saying that they need to be pulled away from reality their whole lives, but my 3 year old doesn’t need to learn hate.  Because believe it or not, that’s how it starts.  We were not born with a closed mind to this thing or that.  At some point we heard that was bad and it stuck and I want to teach my children that they should always have an open heart and open mind.  They should give everyone the right to have their opinion and not put them down for it, but stand for the better good.  Know that we are all human and we all have to be good people to everyone.  Help people in need, even if you get nothing back.  Pick up that trash in the park even if you didn’t put it there.  Always say please and thank you, even when the other person is rude.  Those things could make someone else’s day better and if it doesn’t you still know that you did the right thing and be proud of it.

I also want to teach my children to be good to themselves.  Your body is a temple that should be taken care of every day.  You shouldn’t leave trash laying around your house, so you shouldn’t put trash in your body.  You don’t let your house fall apart, you work on it and make sure it’s in good shape and will last.  Same with your body, you can’t just lay around doing nothing or your body will fall apart.  

I see so many people give their kids junk food, sugar drinks and let them watch TV all day.  Well guess what? You are teaching them that it’s fine to not do anything.  Just because they are little and have an amazing metabolism right now does not mean they need that junk food or sweet tea.  You have to be an example to them now and only teach them good habits from the start.  You are their #1 teacher and they see everything.  And I’m not saying never let them have a birthday cake or a piece of candy, but be mindful of what you’re doing to them and ask yourself if that’s the best thing you could do for them.  If they see you eating well it won’t be as hard to get them to.

So I am doing everything I can to keep my kids healthy by cooking for them and not just stopping at the drive thru.  Crockpots and easy meals are my friends.  I meal plan a week at a time and do my best to stay away from packaged meals.  I only give my toddler water and juice (half water/juice) to drink.  I wish he would drink milk, but it’s not going to happen so I give him those vitamins in other juices.  I only feed my 6 month old baby food that I make.  I will start buying some baby food jars of fruits and veggies that are not in season or available to us, but he will not get any table food or “meat” baby food before a year old.  We don’t get the sweet cereal and I do not allow them to have any type of gummy snacks.  They are awful for their teeth and even though we brush their teeth that stuff isn’t coming off easy, so it’s not going to happen.  My toddler for the most part will not eat meat.  He can not take the texture, so I make stuff I can blend the meat in or make sure he gets his protein from something else like beans or eggs.  It’s not hard to make good decisions for yourself and your children.  They will thank you one day, I promise.  

I also try and get my son to either jog, dance, or do yoga with me each day.  He is an active kid, but I want him to see me being active with him.  It’s a little harder in the winter, but we find ways to get moving.  And that’s all it really takes with them.  Just move around and play.  Let them chase you around the living room or in the yard.  Go for a walk on the beach or at the park and let them see the world through experience and not through TV or the internet.  We don’t let our toddler have our phones or tablets unless we are somewhere that we need him to be still and quiet.  Yes he watches TV, but we limit it and don’t let him watch just anything.  I know it’s different now to when we were kids, but we are still the adults and we have to know when they need to step away from technology and go play in the dirt.  

All I’m really trying to say is do good to yourself, your body, other people, and show your children that it matters.  Teach them to care in everything they do, say, or put in their body.  Remember your body is a temple and you have to take care of it inside and out.

Please know that I am just a mom trying to give my children a healthy life.  I am not a doctor or a nutritionist.  I’m a mom that cares about my children’s well being and mindful souls.