Weekly Menu: Baby Led Weaning Basics

standard November 6, 2017 2 responses

We’ve been doing Baby Led Weaning in our house for a month now. And even though a big benefit of this method is not having to cook separate baby food for your child, I find myself planning, prepping, stressing, and making all sorts of things for my daughter that are completely separate from what we are eating. Part of it is she really can’t eat some foods yet that I love (like salad or smoothies). But part of it is my weird need to introduce her to all kinds of new and various foods and flavors and textures even though we are creatures of habit and eat a lot of the same foods over and over within a given week. I’m blaming the dietitian in me 🙂

This week I finally said enough. I may pick our meals based on what I want to feed her this week, but we are going to all eat the same things. Or at least close to it.

I am also working on a more intuitive approach to meal planning. Which means I gave up using My Fitness Pal to plan my meals. But that’s a whole separate post for another day.

Making the Plan

  • I pick 3 fruits and 3 vegetables for the week. I try to base these off of what is in season, incorporating at least one new fruit and vegetable, and one that she is already familiar with. This week is red bell pepper, cucumber, parsnips, apples, pears, and strawberries.
  • Each week, I try to make 2-3 combination foods or “recipes” that incorporate legumes, grains, and healthy fats with the fruits and vegetables. Bonus points if it is something I can freeze extra of for later weeks. This week I made hummus, roasted red pepper tomato sauce, and strawberry chia jam. These will be toppers for veggies and items from the freezer.
  • We are slowly incorporating allergen foods, so I look to see if there is an easy way to add something from the top 8 allergens to our meals for the week. We started with peanut butter, and are trying wheat this week, so I bought some low sodium whole wheat bread that we can spread with mashed avocado or hummus.
  • For adult meals, this means using the same veggies to throw together quick salads. I’m also making lettuce cups and a peanut noodle dish this week that includes bell peppers and cucumber. Strawberry chia jam gets stirred into oatmeal in the morning. Hummus and crackers are a staple snack.

Prep

  • Right now I plan out my foods and grocery list on Friday, order groceries on Saturday, and prep items on Sunday. I’m working on condensing this into a better system that works for my schedule, but right now breaking it up is working best for me. (Side note: Instacart is life changing! Use this link to get $10 off your first order)
  • A great resource for getting ideas for fruits and veggies for kids to try is Produce for Kids. They have a list of seasonal produce by month along with a ton of recipes.
  • I get a lot of recipe and meal ideas from the Born to Eat and Baby Nosh books.

Menu

  • Breakfasts: banana pancakes (previously frozen) or oatmeal with strawberry chia jam; blueberry muffins
  • Lunches: lettuce cups, salad
  • Dinners: Hello Fresh meals, peanut noodles, pasta with roasted red pepper tomato sauce
  • Snacks: apples with peanut butter; hummus and veggies

I am slowly trying to incorporate 1-2 new recipes into each week instead of relying just on Hello Fresh, freezer meals, and takeout. I’ve got about 30 minutes max to make dinner at night between work and baby’s internal schedule that insists on dinner at exactly 5:45 each night (seriously, where do they learn these things?), so I’ve had to learn to be even more quick and simplified in my cooking approach. No trying new complicated dishes that take forever to prep or cook. And honestly, my desire and inspiration to make these type of meals has mostly disappeared. I love cooking, but I love sitting down and spending time with my family more than hanging out in the kitchen by myself.

Have you ever found yourself struggling in a new season with meal prep and planning? 

Do you prefer structured meal plans or a more intuitive and loose approach to meals? 

  • Less structure is definitely challenging for me, but also more freeing.

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support neatandnutritious.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Be Present: November

standard November 3, 2017 Leave a response

I’m convinced that the later into the year we get, the faster the months fly by. Although, October started out well, with a lot of tasks getting completed and crossed off the very first week, which helped propel me through the rest of my list.  November is about slowing down a little. Simplifying more. Being more focused and intentional on how I spend my time and doing the right things well instead of all the things okay.

October in Review:

1. Update editorial calendar for Neat & Nutritious.

Since the start of Celebration Nutrition, I was running two blogs, which, combined with having a baby, meant content was sporadic on both sites. In order to streamline and make life simpler, I merged the two and am migrating content over to Neat & Nutritious. Which means more access to nutrition-related topics, more consistent content, and more recipes (down the road!)

2. Finish my first postpartum/stroller race.

My goal was to finish my 3rd Run Free Texas 80s 8k in under an hour/beat my pregnancy time from last year. Right at the end I realized I could even beat 55 minutes if I pushed hard enough, but ended up barely missing that and finishing in 56:10. Still, with a stroller and monster hills, I am super pumped with that time. Ready for another one soon!

3. Complete phase 2 of Celebration Nutrition services updates.

This got completely scrapped. Going in a whole different direction. My focus right now is on doing a few things well and not ALL THE THINGS, even though all the things are super awesome and I really want to do them. They will come, in time.

4. Plan WEEKLY date nights.

The husband ended up being gone for half the month, so this did not happen. But the weeks he was home, we snuck out, even if just for a quick lunch to catch up.

5. Walk 10k steps every day (work days make this surprisingly difficult!)

Averaged about 5 of 7 days each week, which I will take. Some days are so taken up with client appointments that I don’t get a run in, let alone a stroller walk. And I’ve noticed my body loves having one day completely off, so on Sundays we rest.

November Goals:

  1. Pick and sign up for Marathon #6.
  2. Set up a new meal prep routine that works.
  3. Network weekly to build brand awareness.
  4. Donate milk to Mother’s Milk Bank.
  5. Outsource and time manage better to maximize work days.

Ready to start intentionally goal setting in 2018? Grab a set of Powersheets and plan with me next year! The big 2018 goal setting prep week is happening December 4th.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support neatandnutritious.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Present 2017: Rethink Goal Setting

standard October 25, 2017 Leave a response

I started goal setting back in 2012 and have been actively sharing yearly and monthly goals on this space for over 3 years now. As someone who has always loved the idea of goals, I somehow never managed to make, keep, or share them until I began blogging. Outward accountability has some perks by publicly posting even the seemingly smallest of things.

The holidays are approaching, and before we know it, the year will be over. A shiny fresh new one will start. We will plan ALL the things we want to improve, change, cut out, altar about our lives. And then February will hit, and our excitement will wane, and we will slowly get busy, forget, give up, move on.

So how to we actually make goals for the year we can actually make STICK? By working on them little by little, every day, every week, every month, every season. Revisit and reshape as life happens, as it inevitably does, instead of letting circumstances take over. We adapt with them. And by doing this we can actually look back at the end of the year and see the progress we made, even if we don’t feel like we did anything worthwhile.

2018 PowerSheets Collection

So how do I do all this year after year? With POWER SHEETS! I love, love, love these. And they keep getting better and better each year I’ve used them. Both due to HOW I’ve learned to use them and because the awesome Cultivate What Matters team keeps improving them year after year to make them the best they can be for users. I just got my 2018 set and they’re AWESOME. The prep pages especially get better and better each year, really letting you hone in on what is important and at the heart BEHIND the goals.

Intentional goal setting is at the heart of how these work. Making progress, little by little, instead of driving for perfection. As someone who procrastinates because of perfection, I NEED the accountability to keep going, one step at a time. Otherwise, I just see the huge big picture, get overwhelmed, and end up on the couch with Netflix and a pint of (non-dairy) ice cream. Powersheets are the reason my business happened. They’re how I managed to do full-time school and full-time work and travel all at the same time. They made me feel like I accomplished something after my daughter was born, because that month my goals included showering and resting (and YES, those are good goals for a new mama!) Powersheets don’t help you make it all happen, they help you make the RIGHT things happen. Even when that thing is simply surviving new mamahood.

2018 PowerSheets Collection

Every month, I set aside time to look ahead and make a plan, for my business and for my life, all in one space. There is space to brain dump, brainstorm, scribble, get messy, be creative, dream, and discover. I use my power sheets in conjunction with my paper planner to make sure that progress happens instead of gets forgotten about. And I honestly love having it all on paper. There is something about WRITING IT DOWN that helps make it real, make it stick.

Powersheets WORK. You will feel the impact right away if you are faithful to the process. They will help you prioritize with confidence, giving you more time for what’s truly important in your life.

I love these so much, I became an affiliate partner for them. So yes, I do get a small commission for purchases made from links on this post. But I’ve loved and used these for years, well before an affiliate program existed. And I’ve purchased my powersheets every year myself. It is helpful to be able to bring in income to support my blog and my business from promoting products that I love, but I will continue to purchase and use these, regardless, for many years to come. Thank you for your support of businesses that support Neat & Nutritious! It is part of the reason I’ve been able to keep this space ad free.

The BEST part of this entire post? 2018 Power Sheets launch TODAY and are available to order for anyone who wants to get intentional with goal setting next year. I’ll be sharing my 2018 goals here later this year and would love to stay accountable with you! Grab yours here! And happy goal setting!

2018 PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases from these links may result in a small commission used to support neatandnutritious.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.