Category Archives: Parenting

Emergency Preparedness: Water Purification with Berkey

As many of you know we have entered Hurricane Season where we live. (The season officially began on June 1, 2019, and will end on November 30, 2019.) Hurricanes and other natural disasters can wreak havoc all around us and cause many serious issues so it is important to always be prepared.

One of the most important things you need in the event of a natural disaster is clean drinking water. Boy, do I know how fast water flies off the shelves and how hard it is to get if you wait until the last minute. (The last time that happened we had no choice but to wait to the last minute as we had no transportation at the time.) I try my best to stay stocked up but in this little house, there is only so much water we can hide under beds and such.

We have been washing out milk jugs and filling them with water. These have been placed in the bottom of a big chest freezer we have out in a shed. If an emergency hits they will help to keep the freezer cold and can provide us with water for drinking and cooking so I feel pretty comfortable that we would be okay if we had a power outage of a few days but more than 4 or 5 days would be pushing it.

We do have a generator that we can, and have, hooked up to run the water pump but you never know when something like that will fail or if we were to run out of fuel it may be hard to get out to get more for a time as the roads around us are frequently flooded after major storms. We needed a better plan, or at least I thought we did.

Use Code KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

I have been looking at the Berkey Water Systems for quite a while now and really began to take an interest in them again recently. After debating and thinking about it I finally decided to go ahead and take the plunge… yes, they can be a bit expensive but they do have some great ways to save money with the Berkey Filter Scratch & Dent Sale which I had planned to take advantage of and may take advantage of in the future as I can see that these would make wonderful gifts too!

However recently we have been having some water issues here. We have hard water and we have a system for that but the system has been malfunctioning. The water has a slight smell and taste which they have assured us is nothing bad… they aren’t the ones drinking it though. It also has an orange color to it that has been discoloring EVERYTHING from the toilet bowl to the water bottles. YUCK! It made me sick just to look at it.

After waiting patiently for the system to begin functioning properly again, which it is working better but doesn’t quite seem to be at 100% yet, I decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH. I can’t let my family drink this water any longer! I mean the investment in the system is for our health and well being. The cost when compared to the smaller units you can buy for your faucet will be an even better value in the long run. (I believe the estimate the cost to be less than $0.02 a gallon! Now that’s a great value!)

Well, I still wanted to check out the facts and make sure that this was what we really needed. After checking out all the information they have on the website and reading about the different purification reports they have listed on the filter pages I was convinced that this would be the best thing for us.

Click here to learn about why the Berkey Water Filters are so good!

They have a variety of sizes and I believe we have the largest size available (the Crown Berkey) as I know we go through a lot of water. The way this filtered water tastes makes me think I need to invest in some more black filters too so it can be ready faster as we are sure to be drinking even more water from now on! It is a very noticeable difference in both the look and taste of the water. The more filters the faster we can have purified water. Yes, there is a difference between filtered and purified water and boy does it show!

Related image

Not to mention that you can use it to clean virtually any kind of water. I’ve read reviews about people using stream water, pond water, etc. I know they do have suggestions for treating this kind of water before filtering just to be safe so you would probably want to check that out beforehand. This is really good to know though as things can get quite desperate in emergency situations.  Berkey filters can remove 200+ contaminants from water and they have the certified lab results to prove it too!

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They also have several bundles right now that can help you to save even more money! Not only do they have systems for your drinking water but they have a shower filter that is getting rave reviews! They are currently sold out but you can have your name added to the list to be notified when they are back in stock. I did this and I can’t wait to be able to order mine!

They shipped our order super fast too and it was so easy to set up. I had the system set up in less than 20 minutes! Yep, it was that fast. Getting the first batch of water run through the system did take a bit longer though but this morning we had clean, fresh water to drink. The kids were happy that it was clear and I am happy knowing that it is so much healthier for everyone! I really can’t wait to start making some of my Trim Healthy Mama drinks with this!

Don’t forget to use Code

KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

Here’s a few pics of our system as it arrived and was set up. I was so excited to see it out on the porch when we came home from a dance I stayed up after midnight to set it up!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. This means that we can keep bringing you great recipes, ideas, and tips for FREE! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: June 23 – 29, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Good Grub Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 64

Fried Eggs

Lunch:

Personal Pita Pizzas

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Taco Soup (Double Batch**)

Rice

** This will make enough for a meal plus leftovers. Use the optional ingredients and don’t eat with rice.

Snacks/Desserts:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Orange Smoothie (Creamsicle Shake)

Lunch:

Soup & Salad

Dinner: ++

Salmon & Okra 

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 380


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

-or-

Fat-Stripping Frappa from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Lunch:

Tuna Salad Sandwiches & Veggies

-or-

Salad w/tuna

Dinner: ++

Leftovers

-or-

Crunchy Chicken

Cheesy Squash Casserole -or- sauteed squash

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Try a new muffin recipe from Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table 

Lunch:

Hot Dogs

Veggies

-or-

Soup (Use leftovers)

Dinner: ++

Creamed Spinach and Bacon-Smothered Chicken Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table  p. 219

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Collagen Berry Whip from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 375

Root Beer Floats… try this recipe: ROOT BEER SHAKE


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Fat Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

PB & J Sandwiches & Fruit

-or-

Cottage Cheese Salad Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 190

Dinner: ++

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters -or- Baked Sweet Potatoes

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

-or-

Celery with Peanut Butter


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal -or- Can-Do Cereal – Quick Version Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p.349

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Sopapillas

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Saturday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Big Boy Smoothie from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 414

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Perfect Stuffed Wraps

-or-

Salad in a Jar Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 188

Dinner: ++

Mississippi Pot Roast

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters -or- Baked Sweet Potatoes

Vegetable Casserole or add some chunked veggies to the pot roast if desired.

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Cake from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table 

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: June 16 – 22, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal Recipe (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

-or-

Banana Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Hot dogs

Veggies

-or-

Perfect Stuffed Wraps

Dinner: ++

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Potato Salad (with cauliflower alternative)

Land Your Man Baked Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Muffins from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Salted Caramel Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Choco Secret Big Boy Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.415

Lunch:

Leftovers

Salad w/cucumbers, tomato, feta cheese, black olives, and an oil and vinegar dressing

Dinner: ++

Red & White Pasta

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Magic Salted Caramel Cupcakes Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 378

 


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

-or-

French Toast in a Bowl

Lunch:

PB & J Sandwiches

Fruit

-or-

Soup & Salad

Dinner: ++

Fish w/Honey Mustard Sauce

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Pudding Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 350


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 364

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Veggies

-or-

Salad topped with cooked shrimp, chicken, or other meat

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

Buttered Bread

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Muffin in a cup recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table.


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Fat Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

Tuna Salad

-or-

Tuna Wraps 

Dinner: ++

Easy Bean Tostadas

Brown Rice (Make a double batch and use leftovers for tomorrow)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

Lemon Cake

-or-

Sheri’s Chocolate Cake


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal -or- Can-Do Cereal – Quick Version Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p.349

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

-or-

Creamless Creamy Chicken Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 78

Brown Rice

Pan Fried Green Beans

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

Orange Dream 


Saturday

Breakfast:

Cheese Danish

-or-

Low Carb Cheese Danish

Fruit

Lunch:

Leftovers

-or-

Crispy Salmon Siesta Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 80

Choco Chip Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.421

Dinner: ++

Free Day

-or-

Chicken Stir Fry (I usually just buy the HUGE bag of veggies and add some cooked chicken  or steak to it)

Chinese Fried Rice with Veggies, Brown Rice, or Cauli Rice

Snacks/Desserts:

Cake

Tummy Tucking Ice Cream Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 363

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Super Busy Start To The Summer

Oh my goodness, the past few weeks have been so super busy… but then again it seems that we are always so super busy anymore which is something I definitely want to work on because this Momma is exhausted! Anyway, hopefully, we will see the rewards of some of the projects we’ve been on and will be able to share them here soon.

The past couple of weeks we have been doing some major cleaning and organizing around here. I started in the storage shed where I bought a couple of big shelves from Sam’s Club when they had a special going on for Memorial Day.

 

 

The kids wanted to make bunk beds out of the shelves and I’ve seen some Pinterest ideas where they have used them as such but I needed them for organization. They did go together fairly easily which was a good thing. I put both shelves together one morning and then worked on the shed for a couple of days. Here is a rather embarrassing picture of the shed before:

img_7454-2

As you can see, it was nearly impossible to find anything without moving a ton of junk beforehand.

And after:

 

I can find my square dance outfits easily and the kids love having space where they can play with some of the neat homeschool resources they haven’t seen before. I do need to sort through a lot of stuff and donate a bit but I am so happy that I finally have all of my homeschool stuff in one place! Really, you just don’t know how happy that makes this Momma! Continue reading Super Busy Start To The Summer

Meal Plan: June 9 – 15, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Toast

Fruit

Lunch:

We had a family cookout so this ended up being a FREE DAY.

We took:

Boston Baked Beans

Apple Sonker (I used frozen blackberries sprinkled with a bit of sugar instead of apples)

Dinner: ++

leftovers

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruits (We were gifted with some yummy watermelons that we will be snacking on this week.)


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Fried eggs over cubed zucchini fried in butter

Lunch:

Salad topped with cooked shrimp, chicken, or other meat

Dinner: ++

Personal Pita Pizzas

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

Cottage Cheese with sliced strawberries


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Chocolate Fat-Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

Leftover French Toast w/jelly

Fruit

Yogurt

Dinner: ++

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole (I’ve made some adaptations to the original recipe to make it a little bit more waist-friendly.)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Peanut Butter Pudding


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins

Chia Pudding in a Jar Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 352

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Veggies

-or-

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

w/small Salad

Dinner: ++

Chili Dog Casserole

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Muffin in a cup recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table.


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

-or-

Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 190

Dinner: ++

Mustard Crusted Pork Chops

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Lemon Cake


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal or Apple Pie Crunch Granola (E) p. 255

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Field of Greens Om Cake Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 240

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Philly cheese steak sandwiches

Salad

Use Wonder Wraps Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 204 in place of bread

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Saturday

Breakfast:

Bagels w/Cream Cheese

-or-

A plan approved toast with laughing cow cheese

Fruit

Lunch:

Tuna Salad (use lettuce to wrap the tuna instead of bread for an on plan lunch)

Choco Chip Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.421

Dinner: ++

Salmon Patties

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Creamed Peas

Snacks/Desserts:

Butterfly Wings Cake (FP) p. 301 with fruit and whipped cream (I never got around to making this last week)

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Meet Our New Berkey!

Oh my gosh! I was so excited last night when we got home from the dance. I had a couple of big boxes sitting on my recently cleaned off porch… another story for another day as we’ve been doing a lot of changes around here and may have even more to come.

Ya’ll know that we’ve really been trying to make some healthier choices around here and one of those is to drink more water. Now we did drink our fair share but I know that I need to increase my water intake a bit because water is so vital to being healthy and I want to set a good example for my kiddos. I just had a harder time with it for a couple of reason.

Our water is hard water and even with the water system, it has had a kind of smell and taste. Well, to me it does. There are a few people who don’t seem to notice it at all but I grew up on spring water from the mountains and this water is not spring water! On top of the smell and taste, it has had a bit of an orangey color to it… GROSS! TRIPLE GROSS!

Related image Continue reading Meet Our New Berkey!

Meal Plan: June 2 – 8, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Breakfast In a Cup

Toast

Fruit

Lunch:

Tuna Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Cole Slaw

Potato Salad or Cauli Potato Salad (S) p. 231

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruits


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

Grilled Cheese

Celery w/Peanut Butter

Dinner: ++

Leftovers

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Super Simple Egg Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Corn Muffins for those not on the weight loss plan.

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Meatball Sandwiches (those on the weight loss plan can omit the bread)

Salad

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Mama’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce

Dreamfield Pasta or Zucchini Noodles

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread (as long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan)

Snacks/Desserts:

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake or Pineapple Upside Down Cake (E) p. 290


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal or Apple Pie Crunch Granola (E) p. 255

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

leftovers

Dinner: ++

Laura’s Sweet Pork

Cole Slaw

Cheese Potatoes (I’m going to attempt to make a cauliflower version of these and will update the recipe as needed.)

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies


Saturday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Sweet Pork Quesadillas

Salad

Rice or Caulirice

Snacks/Desserts:

Butterfly Wings Cake (FP) p. 301 with fruit and whipped cream

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Brown hamburger meat, drain and place in containers for the week
  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • Marinate the pork roast the night before for extra flavor
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


This was a Pantry Challenge Week for us.

Sunday 

Breakfast:

Banana Crumb Muffins or Banana Nut Muffin (S) p. 277

Scrambled eggs

Lunch:

Tuna Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Cowboy Grub (E) p. 59 or Briarpatch Casserole

Salad

Baked corn chips

Snacks/Desserts:

Cinnamon Toast


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

Grilled Cheese

Celery w/Peanut Butter

Dinner: ++

Taco Ring (If you are on the weight loss plan you can save a little taco meat out and eat it with your salad.)

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Super Simple Egg Salad with or without bread

Lettuce and Sliced tomatoes

Pickles (the kids love pickles)

Dinner: ++

Manly Meatloaf

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes  (Yes, there are some sweet treats included in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbooks.)


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins or Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting (S) p. 364

Lunch:

Hot dogs

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet

Salad or another veggie

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

PB & J sandwiches – Use the Peanut Junkie Butter recipe (FP) p. 481

Fruit

Dinner: ++

Tater Tot Casserole (we use Cauliflower tots in place of tater tots)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Lunch:

leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

PB Crackers


Saturday

Breakfast:

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

Salad

Steamed Veggies

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Lemonade With A Twist

I’ve really been trying hard to incorporate some of the Trim Healthy Mama ideas into my everyday diet and one way I’ve found to do that is with this version of lemonade. I’m not sure if this would be entirely on the plan but it has been a lifesaver for me as I’m constantly wanting something sweet to sip on and Mr. Awesome doesn’t want me messing with his Sweet Tea! Sometimes I do mix this half and half with sweet tea for myself though.

You don’t have to add the ‘extra’ ingredients but they make this a vitamin-packed drink that is full of prebiotics and all kinds of good stuff that help keep you healthy while you stay hydrated too! I mix up a gallon of this and it lasts me 2-4 days. I love using my new Pioneer Woman drinking glass for this stuff too!

If you want the ‘real stuff’ you can check out this Old-Fashioned Lemonade recipe.

Lemonade With A Twist

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 lemons, juiced to make 1 cup (or use 1 cup of bottled lemon juice)
  • 1 -1 1/2 c. sugar (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 2-4 T. honey, optional
  • 6-8 T. apple cider vinegar (I like to use one with the mother)
  • 3-4 t. ground ginger
  • 2-6 T. Baobab powder (Start with just a little of this until you get used to it)
  • 8 c. water (cold water)
  • ice cubes (enough ice to fill the rest of the jar)
  • mineral salt to taste, if desired
  • sliced lemons (optional)

Directions:

Combine everything in a gallon size pitcher and stir well.

Add ice and then add enough water to fill the container, stir again.

Adjust the sweetness to your taste. Chill and Enjoy!

Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

You could also try this with sparkling water for a little something extra.

You can also serve this with ginger ice cubes if desired.

Take some grated ginger and place small portions in an ice cube tray. Fill with water and freeze. Once frozen these can be stored in a Ziploc baggie to use in whatever you desire.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

2019 Meal Plans

These are some of our most recent meal plans after converting some of our favorite recipes to be healthier with inspiration from Trim Healthy Mama. I find it easier to plan out my meals so I can make fewer trips to the grocery store. I always hate it when it’s almost dinner time and I have no idea what I should make. A little planning goes a long way to help me keep my sanity… well what’s left of it that is.

I also find it easier to go ahead and plan a day or time to prep some of the items ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute. I will boil eggs, cook chicken and ground beef, prep veggies and all ahead of time so that when it comes time to make dinner it seems to go so much easier.

When I have time I also try to make a couple of extra batches of our favorites so I can put some in the freezer for emergency or quick meals. I’ll try to include some tips and tricks along with the menu plans to make your life a little easier too.

Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2019

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

I love eggs whether it be fried, boiled, deviled, egg salad, omelets, or even a scrambled egg sandwich. They are so easy to make and so good for you. Here is a quick and healthier version of the scrambled eggs that we eat on a regular basis.

I just made a couple of sandwiches for Mr. Awesome and myself yesterday when we were feeling a bit hangry in between meals and they certainly hit the spot. These would also be really good for a quick breakfast with some sausage or bacon and a side of Super Simple Sauteed Spinach.

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten (or use 1 cup of egg whites for a lighter version)
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast, optional
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 T. milk or cream, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • a sprinkle of Turmeric, optional
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheese, optional (we like cheddar, swiss, and pepper jack but use your favorite)
  • 2-4 T. butter

Directions:

Whisk together all of the ingredients except the butter.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour in the eggs and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Give them a little stir and flip to make sure everything is cooking.

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve.

For a sandwich:

You can cook them as directed above or flip instead of stirring so you have a firmer egg.

I like to use a little mayonnaise on my wheat bread and some people like to add a slice of cheese and or tomato.

You could probably get away with some cooked bacon too for a BET instead of a BLT? Lol… anyway you eat them will be fine.

Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by Markéta Machová from Pixabay

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

This is such an easy and delicious way to get some greens into your diet. They are good served with any meal as well. I know I always wanted to eat my spinach so I could be strong like Popeye but most kids nowadays don’t know who Popeye is and they don’t want anything to do with green veggies. My kiddos love this stuff though!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the spinach to the skillet and cover; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle in the seasonings and cover again for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or nutritional yeast, if desired.

Serve immediately.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!