Be Present: February

standard February 3, 2017 Leave a response

One month into 2017, and I am already feeling calm and confident with the rate of progress and balance this month has provided. While focusing on each moment, person, situation, has not always come easy, the notion of being present in what is currently happening has helped keep me calm through a lot of otherwise hectic events. An extra busy work season, unexpected major home projects, and a mile-long to-do list before baby arrives can easily make me go crazy. Instead, I leave the house, focus on today, and get things done! One day at a time.
2017 PowerSheets Collection

January in Review:

1. Read one book.

Read two! Last year I read over 65 books, so a goal of only 12 this year was a little silly to me, but once baby comes, reading time will be harder to come by. For anyone interested, Grace Not Perfection is a highly recommended read for anyone else trying to focus on being present this year.

2. Finish baby’s room.

Pictures still need to be hung on the walls, but we do now have all the furniture delivered and set up, clothes washed and folded, and gifts put away and organized.

3. Update Celebration Nutrition website.

This was going to be a big, one chunk project, that I realized is currently more doable for me with my work schedule if I break it down into baby steps. One item from my massive to-update list per week happening currently and through February, until I get it all done.

4. Have a date night out.

This did not happen, but honestly, the idea of going out is not appealing to me right now. Takeout and a date on the couch with the DVR or Netflix is all I need to be happy. Scheduling a few of these evenings in February to relax and recharge.

5. Make 3 freezer meals each week.

I was overly ambitious and made about 5-7 recipes each week, and my freezer is now filled to capacity. Lots of nutrient-dense, easy-to-eat meals ready to heat and go!

6. Take 1 day completely off each week.

This is harder than it sounds, but I stuck to it, and it greatly helped to make the weekdays more productive and efficient. I used Sunday as my off day, and one week when that did not happen, I was able to take a weekday off instead. Grace and flexibility!

February Goals:

  1. Read 3 parenting books.
  2. Connect with 2 friends.
  3. Do 1 thing for myself each week.
  4. Delete 1 item from my to-do list every morning.
  5. Walk 3 miles every day.

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Friday Favorites: January

standard January 27, 2017 Leave a response

As January comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on those 2017 goals that we were so excited about on New Year’s. How are you doing? Still going strong? Losing steam? Planning and ready to start in the coming months? To give us all a mindset boost to keep going into February and beyond, here are some great nutrition-related articles from fellow RDs and other reputable sources. And to add to the momentum, a roundup of delicious, nutritious foods for on the go or to freeze for quick meals later when we’re really running out of steam!

Neat:

  1. This is How Your Body Detoxes // Skip the juice cleanse, and let your body go through its natural detoxifying process.
  2. How to Make Almost Any Recipe Vegan // Trying a plant-based diet for the first time? Here are some super simple swaps for your old favorite recipes.
  3. 7 Tips for Sticking to Your New Vegan Diet // To go along with the above article, a few terrific tips from The Vegan RD.
  4. Adding, Not Subtracting for a Healthier New Year // Tired of cutting out foods and feeling deprived? Try adding a few things instead.
  5. Healthy Habit Challenge // Continue the “adding, not subtracting” by starting a healthy habit challenge next month!

Nutritious:

  1. Curried Cauliflower Chowder // Simple, flavorful, and filling on a chilly night.
  2. Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes // Hearty and freezer friendly!
  3. Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad // As the weather starts to warm up and the days get longer, this salad makes me long for Spring!
  4. Marinated Peanut Tempeh // A protein and healthy fat packed addition to your standard salad or stir fry.
  5. Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies // Treats for breakfast! Or a midnight snack. Or freeze for anytime.

Simplify: Freezer Meals

standard January 13, 2017 Leave a response

Welcome to a whole new year of Simplifying! While most of these monthly posts this year will be centered around making life easier with a baby, they are definitely universal enough for everyone! January is a perfect month for cleaning out and restocking the freezer. A lot of us are gearing up for new schedules, big goals, and with the momentum of the new year, we have the energy to prepare ahead for the approaching slow down that usually happens late February. We are ready for Spring, but it may still be cold and snowy. We have lost our energy from the new year’s sheen. And a freezer full of healthy meals will keep us going until the warmth and sunshine comes back. Ready to get started?

Make a plan.

Ready to go all out and make all this month’s meals at once and eat out of the freezer every night? Or do you just want a handful of staples for those extra hectic weeknights? Making a list of meal ideas, recipes, and a schedule for making it all will really help once you get to cooking day. You may be able to do it all at once. Or you may need to break it up. For example, I am working on stocking my freezer for after baby comes, so I have a plan for breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners for at least a month to balance out what friends will bring over. Each week I pull a handful of meals from this list to shop, prep, cook, and store to keep things manageable over the coming weeks.

Don’t try new recipes.

It may be tempting to make all the recipes from a brand new cookbook you just got for Christmas. Or a blog recipe you saw yesterday. But since these meals won’t be eaten right away, you want something you know is good to look forward to. And you want something that you know will hold up to freezing, thawing, and reheating. While adding one or two new recipes can be okay, make sure most of your plan include tried and true family favorites, that everyone can look forward to eating.

Store in manageable portions.

It may seem convenient to freeze entire casserole dishes of food, but if you are wanting to feed just one or two in a hurry, thawing a whole casserole can take a while. And once an item is thawed, you don’t want to refreeze it. Think ahead to how each dish might be enjoyed and store accordingly. For me, this means single serving containers of everything, so I don’t have to worry about the husband wanting something else or needing to feed myself for lunch during the day or wasting the food already in the fridge.

Keep it simple. 

Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Start out small. Make Plan A, then build on it with Plan B, until you get an idea for how long it takes you to shop, prep, cook, and store meals. Some people can multitask easily, cooking up two or three dishes at once. Others, like me, prefer to do one recipe from start to finish before starting on the next one, cleaning as I go. Whatever your method, keep it simple. And don’t stress out about it. This is supposed to be helpful, time-saving, and possibly fun (if you are someone who loves being in the kitchen and the sense of accomplishment of filling your freezer with delicious meals!)