10 things in my shopping cart and meal plan 4/20

Here are 10 things that are always in my shopping cart weekly:

1. spinach

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2. almond milk
The kids drink this and I use this in place of milk for everything

3. bananas
For smoothies and snacks!

4. apples
With lunch daily!

5. almond butter
“PB&J”, baked goods, pancakes

6. frozen berries

7. avocados
Lunch on toast or with a veggie burger many days!

8. applegate honey roasted turkey
Lunch for the kids!

9. broccoli

10. beans
Hummus, dinners, sides.

What’s in yours?

I usually make bread, and buy coconut oil, peanut butter, hemp seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds, and nuts in bulk. I also tend to buy whatever produce is in season weekly. I’m excited for summer berries and produce!

My grocery spending has gone up with the purchase of organic nuts and nut butters, and this month I’m already over my budget with 11 days to go. I’ve visited the grocery store 10 times in 18 days :(  I am trying to use what I have frozen and in the pantry to make up this week’s meal plan.  Next month and for the summer, I am considering having Door to Door organics delivered for fresh produce to see if it helps keep the grocery bill down.

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Meal plan week 4/20 Happy Boston Marathon Monday! Such great memories of that race!

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Sunday: spiralized zucchini with salmon (frozen)
Monday: eggs are hatching at the kids school this night so warm up frozen pizza!
Tuesday: dairy free mac and cheese casserole with broccoli
Wednesday: fish tacos with mahi mahi and corn fritters
Thursday: rice and sauteed kidney beans
Friday: english muffin pizzas or easy!
Saturday: go out to eat or wing it

Today – 33 weeks! Getting there!

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I have been sleeping fine but many mornings when 4am hits I am wide awake and can’t get back to sleep!
I am pretty positive I’m bigger now than when I delivered any of the other kids. I feel like a house!
I have been able to consistently make it to the gym in the morning which feels great!

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“Early risers really do have a distinct advantage when it comes to mental clarity, acuity and energy.”
Loved this quote another mom posted on FB. I always notice the sun coming up with all the colors when I’m at the gym and just stare at it!  Good way to start the day :)

Lots of tabatas and short spurts of cardio this week. Just trying to keep moving! What’s on your meal plan this week?

WOD: Balls to the Wall – Blonde Ponytail. I tabata-ed each move, skipping #2 and 7 with a mile warmup and mile cooldown

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Clif Organic Trail Mix Bar makes it debut

An organic new Clif Bar was unveiled this month, offering seven delicious gluten-free flavors in a fruit and nut snack bar.
The bar comes in seven flavors:

  • Coconut Almond Peanut
    Cranberry Almond
    Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
    Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond
    Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
    Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Raspberry
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My favorites were the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt, both with chunks of dark chocolate! These made a great on-the-go snack mid morning or mid-afternoon.  They are chewy and filling, and I like that the ingredients are healthy especially with the organic nuts. It would be cool if they could get it down to about 5 ingredients but the list looks pretty good:

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The bars reminded me of Clif’s MOJO bars which are 70% organic but these new bars are 100% organic.

If you haven’t seen these in stores yet, you should soon!

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What is your favorite snack bar?

Clif Bar & Company aims to be a catalyst for a just and sustainable food system and believes that using organic ingredients connects healthy people to a healthy planet. Since going organic in 2002, the company has purchased more than 500 million pounds of organic ingredients and has kept 6 million pounds of pesticides out of the soil, water and air. The company’s commitment to organic also helps fight climate change and protect plant and animal biodiversity.

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Meal planning – week of April 13

We had a weekend of great weather around here and it looks like the temps will be in the 60s all week with some sun. Whew! Finally! Lots of outside time which I love, spring veggies coming into season… we’re ready! We were outside until around 6:30 last night! Loved the sun!

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My favorite workout this week included a double kettlebell clean and press – got the heart rate going and was a new exercise for me.


1 mile run/elliptical

5 rounds:
Overhead walking lunges #45 plate
Ground to overhead #35 plate
Kettlebell clean and press #20 each

1 mile run/elliptical

Great quick effective workout!

32 weeks! Workouts are going well right now. Sleep is hit or miss, but overall feeling good. And the weather helps!

For the meal planning week, we have easy meals with t-ball practices starting around dinner time and the husband being out of town. Sometimes it’s easier!


Sunday was turkey avocado BLTs!
Monday – meatballs (leftover) and ditalini with carrots
Tuesday – breakfast for dinner
Wednesday – Asparagus risotto
Thursday –  black bean noodle curry – picked these up at Wegmans – have you tried black bean noodle spaghetti?

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Friday –  english muffin pizzas
Saturday – L is 3! birthday celebration/dinner

It’s been 10 days since I’ve had my vitamix and I really want a smoothie!!
Also the new cheese product I was telling you about by Field Roast has been out of stock everywhere!
I’m ready for those 2 things to be back in my house!
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Iron sources for vegans/vegetarians

When I was nearing the 28 week mark, I asked my doctor for an alternative for the glucose test after I did some research into it. I wish I was smarter about all this stuff the first 3 times through! I found the Food Babe site to be informative:

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Yuck. My doctor said as an alternative I could eat a meal then get my sugars tested 2 hours later.  The day before I was trying to consider what might be a smart breakfast to eat, but the morning of, who had the time? I didn’t! It was a rushed morning and almond butter on a spoon ended up being breakfast. The results came back fine for glucose but my blood was low in iron! It wasn’t super surprising because I’ve mostly been eating a vegan diet since December and stopped taking pre-natals and take Juice Plus instead.  You also need more iron when you’re pregnant, so you’re more likely to be iron deficient at this time.

According to the CDC, here are some of the recommended intakes:

Pregnant Women: 27mg
Women 20-50 years old: 18mg
Children 1-3 years: 7mg
Children 4-8 years: 10mg
Males 20-70 years old: 8mg
Source: CDC

I started researching the foods high in iron and bought a supplement:

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I like the supplement!

Here is what I found:

One of the symptoms of low iron was being cranky. I blamed the low iron on that as soon as I found out of the deficiency :) Other side effects are feeling tired, winded when going up stairs, and feeling weak and run-down (because you aren’t getting enough oxygen).

Heme Iron is derived from meat, and non-heme iron is derived from other sources and the body does not absorb it as well. Different combinations help in absorption.

SOURCES OF NON-HEME IRON (source: No Meat Athlete)

  • Legumes: lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans
  • Grains: quinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistacio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame
  • Vegetables: tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens,
  • Other: blackstrap molasses, prune juice

Vitamin C + any above at the same time helps boost iron.
{Vitamin C: kiwi, oranges, broccoli, sweet potato, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, strawberries, mango}
Cook in a cast iron skillet for more absorption.
Spinach is up in the air as a great iron source because it contains oxalates that block the absorption. I thought I was getting a good amount with spinach! Try other greens!

BEANS + GREENS is like a good combo!

Foods that decrease absorption: 

Calcium, Coffee, Tea. Don’t consume these within 2-3 hours of eating iron sources!

So for a while I was drinking my green smoothie (spinach, almond milk) with coffee in it – which wasn’t helping the iron from the spinach which was questionable anyway…to be absorbed! I’m now trying to be more aware and using the supplement to be sure!

 This handy dandy chart was on veganinspiration on instagram!
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If you are vegetarian or vegan, are you aware of your iron intake? What are your top sources of iron?

7 months pregnant today! 2 months to go!



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Happy Easter! 7 mos and meal planning 4/6

We are having a beautiful day today which I’m so thankful for! Hope everyone had a happy easter! Some of our favorite treats were Detoxinista’s PB eggs and Two Peas & Their Pod Raspberry Coconut Waffles. Yum! Clif and Annie’s snacks filled the baskets this year.

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My vitamix started acting up on Thursday, and I have not had it since! I shipped it back to be fixed and boy am I missing it! I love doing smoothie bowls for breakfast everyday, so it’s killing me!

The latest week that I hit was 31. I feel like I have a med ball in my stomach :)
I have a serious look on my face bc I felt shady taking the pic!!

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I will be 7 months tomorrow – officially 2 months to go. I was really grumpy the month of March but I’m making a turn around – I think the weather helps! Also being able to sweat more! My workouts have actually been good in the last week and I can run some days! My favorite workout is one with 1/4 mile repeats with strength work in between. Today’s workout was tabatas with 1/4 mile in between each one. It smoked me! Great workout!

Warmup, then

tabata goblet squats
1/4 mile
tabata pushups
1/4 mile
tabata kettlebell swings
1/4 mile
tabata alternating single arm thrusters
1/4 mile
tabata sumo squat to upright row
1/4 mile
tabata push up to T
1/4 mile

Other than that, sleeping is going okay, and I know spring is going to help. I feel huge (actually like I am the same size I delivered #1) at 7 months.

For meal planning:
Monday – leftover egg casserole put into wraps and zucchini!
Tuesday – fish tacos and fried rice
Wednesday – peanut thai noodles with tofu & veggies
Thursday – cream cheese chicken pockets w/ garlicky swiss chard and beans
riday – meatball sandwiches and mac & cheese + carrots
Saturday – Stuffed Portabellos with Mediterranean plate

New product spotlight – I found this last week:

Chao Cheese! Yum! I tried the creamy original. It melts well and is yummy!

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And last, got a gluten free, dairy free pizza at a local restaurant – the Couch Tomato West Chester – on Friday. Yum!
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Traditional versus healthy food

Yikes! I’ve had a hard time lately at family gatherings with traditional food that we’ve grown up eating, versus what I know to be good and healthy for my kids today! I’ve learned so much since having kids that I realize many things that we ate as kids are what they would refer to here as a slow poison!

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So now in lies the frustration of trying to explain to elders who are set in their habits and what they cook and eat, that I don’t want my kids eating it!  And you get the eyes rolling back at you. Have you experienced this? I have to say that my mom did a fine job giving us mostly healthy food, based on what she knew to be healthy, but here are a few things I’ve gathered that I would have liked to know growing up.

Food dyes are in every kind of candy! Food dyes have chemicals in them shown to cause cancer!  Color that cake or cupcakes or icing naturally, not with a food dye.
Natural food coloring. I’ll be honest, it DOES NOT look as pretty, but it is much better on the inside!!
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Dairy. Got milk? I know this is an advertising campaign from the past few years, not many years ago, but milk was ALWAYS advertised as being great for you and your calcium when truly it’s not! Who knew? My older two drank organic (at least it was organic) whole milk for their first two years but the youngest has never had it. I stopped drinking milk a few years ago and am 99% off dairy since the start of the year.  I’ll eat it here and there so as not to be a total stickler, but I know it’s not something my body feels good about after eating.  I don’t think we are meant to eat cow byproducts!

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Photo credit: amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Allergy-Alert-Stickers-Dairy-Set/dp/B003J4OXS4)

Organic organic organic.   Not everything you buy has to be organic, but knowing which produce is considered to be in the dirty dozen is helpful.  This list seems to change annually so keep an eye out.  Photo source: http://www.practiganic.com/p/dirty-dozen-and-clean-fifteen.html

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Apples is always on the list and maybe the most common food out of everything else on the list that a family would purchase. Other things to definitely buy organic are chicken, meat and dairy.

Yes, it’s more expensive but it’s worth it for your health!

Here’s a great quote from eatlocalgrown.com

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Artificial sweeteners, fat free food, “lite” food,  – eat the real stuff in moderation!! What do you think the process involves making something fat free or lite, or what is added to keep the taste???

PROCESSED FOOD – If there are more than 5-6 ingredients or ingredients you cannot pronounce, I usually steer clear.  I also limit sugars and don’t bake that much with processed sugars anymore.  I love the site 100 days of real food for recipe ideas!

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I’ve found that the best thing that works for us is sticking to as much unprocessed food as we can, real food in moderation, very little dairy, little meat, and a mostly vegan diet, but I try not too be too crazy or strict which is hard for me as an all or nothing type A personality :) What works for you?

Here are a few of my favorite websites for real, healthy food:

What are your favorite sites?  I’ve found lots of great recipes and gems through instagram as well!

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30 weeks! Ahh. Meal planning 3/29

It’s a milestone. Into the 30 weeks. 10 weeks to go, secretly hoping more like 7-8 :)  I kind of gave up running, but I was able to do an interval workout with 1/4 mile runs and strength work this week which felt great. Running is giving me pressure and shin splints and just doesn’t feel good! I have been keeping the workouts strong with lots of strength work with cardio built in. I’ll share some workouts below.  Here’s the 30 week belly:

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Last week I was reading up about almonds and the heat process they go through if they are not organic! Every day I find something else that is scary!  It is not easy to find organic almonds that don’t go through this process, and organic almond butter and almond milk brings up the grocery bill! Read more about almonds here and here.
Pic from Detoxinista article~
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Here is the meal plan for the week MARCH 29 – on to April!

Sunday – TBD. Family meal out with my sister <3 and parents!
Monday – Polenta with mushrooms (picture from TwoPeasandtheirPod)

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Tuesday – Lemon Orzo Salad with grilled chicken
Wednesday- Rice and beans with quinoa burgers
Thursday – out to dinner with swim girlfriends!  Egg & avocado sandwiches/breakfast for everyone else
Friday – Make your own Taco Salad in a Taco Bowl with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, dairy free cheese, lettuce!
I don’t know about you but I could eat tacos and burritos everyday (vegetarian and dairy free!)
Saturday – {Easter Dinner} have to think about something fun for this!

A few favorite workouts this week – from Blonde Ponytail. Felt like I actually broke a sweat. Yessss!

run 400m
20 power cleans
run 400m
20 kettlebell swings
run 400m
20 overhead squats
run 400m
20 pull ups
run 400m
20 dead lifts
run 400m
20 thrusters
run 400m
20 pushups
run 400m

You are supposed to do this one 10 times. I did it 5 times with a one mile elliptical warm up :)
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Current favorite workout?  Favorite meal for spring?

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