Eat Better and Spend Less in 2015

15
Jan
2015

Eat Better Spend Less

Are you trying to reign in your budget after the Christmas spending season and also trim your waist-line?  I have some great tips to share with you from my friends at eMeals to help you trim your budget and eat healthier in 2015.

Take Stock

A well-stocked refrigerator and pantry are critical to maintaining a healthy diet. Get rid of anything that’s expired or unhealthy, and then restock with more healthful staples like brown rice, dried beans, canned tuna and prepared pasta sauce for quick and nutritious meals. Keep containers of chopped fresh vegetables and fruit, and good-for-you, homemade snacks in the refrigerator to nibble between meals.  I have been loving having baby carrots ready to eat and cut celery too!
 
Choose Budget-Friendly Superfoods

Superfoods contain higher concentrations of nutrients and relatively fewer calories per serving than other foods.  Making sure what you are eating packs power behind it’s punch is critical!

Beans and Peas: Legumes, including kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas and lentils, are an excellent source of meat-free protein, fiber, folate and potassium. Diets high in beans and peas may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent diabetes.

Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables: Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens are excellent sources of fiber, folate, Vitamins A and K and antioxidants that contribute to heart and bone health and may help to prevent some forms of cancer.

Berries: Prized for their naturally sweet flavor, berries are also bursting with a host of healthy nutrients, including fiber; Vitamins A, C and E; calcium and potassium. The antioxidants in berries may help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer.

Broccoli and Cauliflower: Cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts and cabbage, contain powerful antioxidants that have been linked to reduced risk of several cancers. This group of vegetables is also low in calories and high in fiber and Vitamin C.

Cinnamon: Polyphenols in cinnamon help to reduce inflammation in the body that can lead to heart disease and cancer. Sprinkle on oatmeal, coffee or toast for an added antioxidant boost.

Plan Ahead

Say goodbye to the angst of having to decide what’s for dinner or making the drive-through the default by planning out your meals. You’ll save time and money—and eat healthier—when the week’s meals are planned ahead and all ingredients are combined into one, easy-to-use shopping list.  Specifically why I love eMeals – it takes all the guesswork out of things for me!  (I currently am using the Clean Eating Plan!)

Pile on the Veggies

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we all need to eat more vegetables, which are naturally low in calories and high in hunger-curbing fiber. The best strategy: Fill half your plate with vegetables rather than calorie-rich carbs and meat. Add fresh or dried herbs and citrus zest or juice to veggies for extra flavor without adding extra calories. Be sure to visit local farmers’ markets when possible for the best selection of seasonal, just-picked produce.
 
Downsize Your Plate

If there’s one thing you can do to push your weight and health in the right direction, it’s controlling the amount of food you eat. We all tend to eat everything we put on our plates—and usually that’s way too much, especially when dining out. Remember, a standard serving of cooked meat is just 3 ounces—about the size of a deck of cards. If you’re worried that smaller portions will leave you unsatisfied, have no fear: A well-portioned diet should actually leave you feeling more energetic and truly satisfy your hunger.

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

If you’re trying to lose weight, there are plenty of diet plans, weight-loss products and miracle foods that promise to deliver quick and easy results. How do you know if a diet or product is too good to be true?   You didn’t put the weight on overnight, so it won’t come off overnight either.  As I have gotten older it is clear my body finds it harder to lose the excess.  

It takes eating habit changes, more movement and dedication, but is worth it in the end!

I know you’ve heard me talk about eMeals before, but their new Budget Friendly meal plan is the perfect solution to get you back on track and eat better! 

The just-introduced plan from eMeals stretches the savings they already provided by helping families put dinner on the table for an average of $85 a week—all without sacrificing flavor, variety, nutrition or the cooperation of picky eaters.

The secret: super-economical dinner menus created by eMeals’ food staff with an ever-changing mix of shelf-stable items, frozen foods, value cuts of meat and efficient ingredients used throughout the week to limit spoilage and waste.

eMeals’ expert tips for making homemade broths and other “convenience foods” jump-start meals, pump up the flavor and add extra savings. And the roster of needed staples on every weekly eMeals grocery list saves you time and trips to the grocery store by keeping your pantry well-stocked.

For as little as $5 a month, you get seven menus delivered to your email inbox and the eMeals mobile app every week, along with recipes and a grocery list covering all seven dinners. And now you can try before you buy. Simply go to eMeals, then click “Try Us” to sign up for 14 days ’ worth of Budget Friendly menus and shopping lists for free.

Here is a great recipe to try it out – I am fixin’ to make this over the weekend!  I heard there was a BIG Football game going on!  YUM!

Smoky-Chili

This Smoky Chili recipe from the Budget Friendly plan will have you so glad you signed up!

1½ lb ground beef
½ (9.6-oz) pkg ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1½ cups homemade chicken broth
2 (15-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15.5-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ (15-oz) can corn, drained
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp liquid smoke

Cook ground beef, sausage, onion and bell pepper in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbly; drain. Stir in broth and all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Super Easy Recipe!!!!

I know you will love the eMeals Budget Friendly Meal Plan – go grab your FREE trail now!

12 Homemade {DIY} Gifts With Essential Oils

4
Dec
2014

diy-gifts-eo

It’s that time of year to begin thinking about gift giving – unless you are an early bird and have all your shopping done!  I often do, but this year I have fallen behind schedule more than I care to admit.

So if you are like me and want to be frugal in your gift giving but really share something that can be helpful to a friend or loved one, I know you are gonna love this post with some homemade gifts using essential oils.  You know I am not a big DIY’er and really stretch myself when I do, but I have found when I take the time to make gifts myself they mean more to me and I know are loved by those receiving.

When you add therapeutic grade essential oils to homemade recipes you are truly adding ‘drops of love’ into your gift.  

I can’t wait to try some of these recipes!!

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Bath Bombs

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Peppermint Twist Face & Body Scrub

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Men’s Shaving Cream

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Homemade Body Butter

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Lime and Mint Foot Scrub

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Scented Room Spray

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Peppermint Cocoa Lip Balm

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Detox Bath in a Jar

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Foaming Hand Soap

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Mason Jar Oil Candles

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Moisturizing Body Wash

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Lavender Linen Spray

I use and recommend only Young Living essential oils . All of these recipes can be made using Young Living essential oils and I plan to doing just that!  :-)

If you would like to read the other posts I’ve shared on how I use essential oils in my home with my family and how you can get your own essential oils, click here!  I have a great BONUS for those who join in December… truly the BEST one I’ve ever offered.

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Do you have a favorite DIY gift idea that is made with essential oils?  I would love to add to the list!

Free Holiday Meal Plan from eMeals

21
Nov
2014

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I just printed out my Thanksgiving meal plan compliments of eMeals!!  I love the ease of having these special menu plans available so I don’t have to search – it’s all done for me!

Join eMeals During November and December and Get a Holiday Plan for Free – yep – that is right!  Also, did you hear that you can get a 14 Day FREE trial now?  This is the perfect time to try it out and grab this extra bonus too!

eMeals has a Traditional Holiday Menu Plan, a Paleo Holiday Meal Plan and a Clean Eating Holiday Meal Plan available for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are even complete with a pre-made grocery list!

eMeals knows it can be daunting to enter the kitchen to cook for your family during this time of the year, so take this as your easy way out!  Go grab your FREE trail now!

As you prepare for the holidays this year be good to yourself and let eMeals be your game plan. Along with the free holiday plans, save money and make time for family with delicious eMeals weekly meal plans everyone will love. eMeals provides easy recipes with concise directions and a grocery list for budget minded and busy people. eMeals is the new way to organize and simplify the usual chaos of dinner at home.

Check out this Traditional Holiday Meal Plan recipe below. Doesn’t it look SO good?  (Even though I am gluten-free I am making this one for the rest of my family and I can’t wait!)

Green Bean Casserole with Bacon

2 (12-oz) packages steam-in-bag green beans
1 (8-oz) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 (2.8-oz) container French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook beans in microwave as directed. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sauté mushrooms in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once after 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add to beans in bowl.
Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Crumble bacon, and add to beans. Reserve 1 Tbsp drippings in skillet. Cook onion and garlic in drippings until tender. Add to beans. Stir in Alfredo sauce and cheese.
Spoon into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake

24
Oct
2014

GF-Coffee-Cake

Over the weekend I decided to wipe up a quick and easy Gluten Free Coffee Cake using my Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix – love that stuff.  I had all the ingredients except cinnamon.  I had forgotten to put it on my grocery list.  I began putting the ingredients back in the cupboard, when I could smell the cinnamon bark essential oil I had in my diffusing (which smells incredible!) and decided to try adding it to my recipe in place of the ground cinnamon.

It turned out incredible!!  So I had to share this quick and easy recipe for those who amy have gotten the Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil for FREE this month on the promotion. (I only use Young Living Essential Oils in my cooking)  Your family will thank you!

The recipe is adapted from the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe on the back of the Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix package.   Just keep in mind… I am not a food photographer, but wanted to show you the final product!

Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Fabulously flavorful Gluten Free option to serve with coffee or tea
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Cake Batter
  1. 2 Cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
  2. 1 Cup coconut sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. 2/3 Cup butter
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1 Cup sour cream
Filling
  1. 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
  2. 1/2 Cup coconut sugar
  3. 3 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  4. 1/2 Cup raisins, soak in cup of hot water to plump, then drain
Glaze
  1. 1 Cup powdered sugar
  2. 2-3 TBSP water
  3. 3 drops Young Living Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together FILLING and set aside
  3. Cake Batter: soften butter in mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla.
  4. On low speed, alternately add Pancake Mix, then sour cream until incorporated.
  5. Grease 9" bundt cake.
  6. Spoon 1/2 batter into pan, covering the bottom.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 of the filling over batter evenly, repeat with layer of batter, then sprinkle remaining filling evenly over batter.
  8. Take a knife and insert straight down into batter moving up and down around the pan in a zig-zag motion to marbleize cake. (I did not do this step)
  9. Do not smooth out the batter.
  10. Bake 45-50 minutes when inserted toothpick comes out clean. While warm, run a knife around the edges.
  11. When cool remove from pan and pour thin stream of glaze back and forth over the cake.
Adapted from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix Package
Adapted from Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix Package
The Confident Mom http://www.theconfidentmom.com/tcm/

Emeals Family Favorite Recipe

25
Jul
2014

Ham-Broccoli-Pastry-emeals

We are on vacation this week but I wanted to share with you one of my family’s FAVORITE eMeals recipes.   This recipe dates back to October of 2009 -YES – I have been an eMeals lover that long!!

It’s REAL name is:  Ham and Broccoli Pastry – but we have lovingly re-named it the Ham and Broccoli Bake.

Even though I am now more of a Gluten Free and Paleo lover, this recipe finds it’s way into our meal planning for special occasions. It is often THE most requested meal item for birthday dinners.  :-)

So, as I asked for suggestions for our vacation meals, it was no surprise this one made it into the top 5 choices!  I thought it was certainly time to share the fabulous meal with you too.

This recipe has coveted my family’s rating of 5 stars……. now, when we rate any eMeals or other recipe, it is always done off the “Ham and Broccoli Bake” rating scale – so you know this is a BIG deal at our house!

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The recipe is simple and is perfect when you serve some fruit or a small salad along with it.  I also love this recipe because you are kinda sneaky  –  you are getting that broccoli in, and for many in your family, they may miss it since it tastes so good!

Here is what it looks like as you pull it out of the oven.  Easy to cut into serving size pieces.

Ham-Broccoli-Bake-emeals

Emeals has so many meal plan options to choose from, making dinner prep and planning simple for me.  Right now, you can get 20% off any new meal subscription using the discount code:   SCHOOL   

Now is the time to make your meal planning simple and easy – why waste your time on something that someone else can do for you better or more efficeintly?  That is my motto!!  Plus, they do it well.