Welcome to a rather warm October day. We are just starting to get those hints that winter is coming, but not enough to need heavy jacket or long pants just yet. I have been quiet for awhile, and thats no ones fault but my own. I thought it would be no problem blogging all the time, working, and dealing with life. Out of those three one fell by the wayside and i’m sure you know which! Lol.
I am trying to get back to the healthy lifestyle. I haven’t gone off the rails by any means but sometimes convenience and desire got the best of me. I think sometimes I forget the work I do all day sometimes can hinder what I come home to do. It makes me realize prepping is ESSENTIAL. I can’t stress that enough. It might take up my day but man does it make the difference in succeeding and failing.
I forget to factor in my work can make the difference in what I want to come home to do. Sometimes when you do my work (again I’m a CNA) you can do a lot of the same things. Don’t get me wrong-i LOVE my work. LOVE IT! It can be a pain somedays but I truly think this was my calling. OK, so after my gloating onto reality. I love taking care of people, doing things to make them feel independent and worthwhile. Reality is after you’ve made a few breakfasts, multiple lunches, and various dinners you get tired of it. I even have to pre plan and prep for clients as well. The last thing I want to do is come home and cook and clean. Sometimes you can’t get around it, but that when the fast easy ideas come rearing the ugly heads it can be oh so tempting.
i took today to really get back into getting things done. I started with canning. I don’t can a lot. it can be scary but its really simple enough. I got 10 pounds of apples last week when my sister in law went up to pick apples. Two weeks ago I made my first batch of Apple Butter. Yes, I said it. APPLE BUTTER. No-not apple sauce, not stewed apples, not filling. Let me clarify for my Canadian friends. Most haven’t heard of it, and I constantly get asked what it is. Apple Butter is like a spread. You are going back past apple sauce or filling and cooking it way down. It is heaven on a piece of toast, plain bread, ice cream topping, and even the very Canadian thing of cooking it on pork. We all know my love of slow cookers. Thanks for the kindness of my in-laws they peeled the 10 lb. of apples while I was at work and put them in the slow cooker with simply enough brown sugar, cinnamon and touch of nutmeg. After they have cooked good and down you puree or blend them up. Then they go back without the lid cooking out further the liquid until you are left with a thick spread like. I have the best memories of my Aunt making apple butter every year. I had to wait until I had time to can. I am hoping these will make some nice homemade gifts touch and spread my love of Apple butter. I think they all turned out except for my bigger jar. Im not sure it sealed right, but I was really happy with my results.
Then my prepping continues. Do any of you buy big bags of spinach? I love it for steaming, and making a simple tomato garlic spinach pizza. well after picking through the bag (because they are always pieces that have wilted and have gone slimy), i have my trusty salad spinner. After they are good and dry I put aside some for dinner, and saved the rest. I have found a way so it keeps almost all week. You use a big plastic bag, lined with double paper towels, and then pushing out all the air they keep almost all week. I do the same trip for my Kale, and Lettuce and it works great.
Next I made a new batch of soups for my lunches. Some people can’t stand soup all the time but I love it. I opted out of my beef cabbage soup (check previous entry for that recipe), and went for what they call poor mans soup or hamburger soup. Its really just veggie soup with beef or ground beef. I used a ton of veggies mixed with frozen and fresh, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and great northern beans. I can’t wait for it to finish. The smell of it in my second slow cooker (don’t judge I have..a few…) is so good. I am making pork roast tonight in my other slow cooker and the soup smell has taken over.
Then I soldiered on. Next came prepping meals for the next 3 days. I cut so many onions, veggies and peppers. We had this amazing sale at a local store and I got 3 kinds of peppers for 27 cents a pound! I paid 1.50 for 10 big peppers! You have to love a deal. Also they always have meats of sale, so dinners were quite affordable this week. One of my meals is pulled pork and I am making that for $4 (not including the bbq sauce.)
We can’t forget our fruit and smoothies. I got some juicy clementines and grapes for snacks while between clients. I find if I have them I am less likely to go for chips and sweets. I also started using a banana trick/hack again. I was having a heck of a time with the heat with my banana’s browning too fast,even when I bought them green. I use a small piece of plastic wrap and you wrap it around the stems of the bananas. It keeps them for turning too fast. Try it out and let me know what you think.
While I was browsing for yogurt yesterday I found a great deal. I love greek yogurt, not so much just by itself but in lots of things. I sometimes make overnight oats and its great for that. Also for making jello yogurt snacks. Anyway it can be quite expensive. You can usually get a 500ml carton for no cheaper even on sale less than $5. They have a 750ml sizes in a pouch (think of those kids squeeze snacks you can buy) just with vanilla greek yogurt. I always put it my smoothies for a good smooth taste. It was a awesome addition to my smoothies this week. It really gave it good flavor.
I finished off with cooking up my meat for tomorrows spaghetti sauce so I can throw it together quickly after cooking the big container of veggies I throw in it. I also pre-made my spaghetti squash. Its a great alternative to eating lots of noodles which I could easily do. Dinner will be quick tomorrow and can eat at my last clients before exercising. Then I made my eggs for a few days. I usually do a egg wrap for Monday’s since I am up and gone so early in the morning. Its quick, easy and takes 20 seconds to heat up and eat in the car. What are ya’lls go to on the go meals?? My smoothies are a great snack but not filling so can’t have to just that. I recently tried a small packet of those protein powders in my last batch. They were ok but I think I would need to add way more to make the difference.
I am not ready for a few breakfasts, snacks for between clients, lunches for awhile, and prepped for 3 dinners. I am attempting my first turkey soup this week. Stay tuned to find out how it turned out.
So…..after reading all my prepping and planning I hope it helps, or lets you see how vital it is. I spent a few hours to make for a successful week, less reasons for me to be tempted by those delicious chips, and to get some time for myself. Feel free to comment on some of your favorite meals, tips, tricks, or plans for your week!