Healthy Eating on a Budget
One of the top excuses I get about not eating healthy is that it's expensive. Generally what I've found is that people aren't actually tracking their food budget enough to know. All of those snacks at the gas station, the coffees before work, the checkout line sodas... all of that counts. So, I broke down how Tim and I spend our grocery budget. It's a priority for us, so we cut in other areas in order to eat healthy. Our food budget (2 people) is $600 a month. That seems very high to some, but we don't eat out, so this is seriously our bottom line budget.
Most of it has to do with where you buy your food and whether you buy in bulk and not filling the house with junk. We pretty much only shop at Costco and load up on necessities. Our meal plan may not have the most variety, but it's clean, healthy, satisfying, and we definitely don't go hungry.
Breakfast: Oatmeal with scrambled eggs/egg whites, 2 cups of coffee with canned coconut milk as my creamer and 2 tbsp of raw sugar. I make my oatmeal with unsweetened almond milk, water, cinnamon, and flaxseed meal. (Less than $3)
Snack: Banana ($.15)
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast, sweet potato, green beans or some veggie. My seasonings are generally pink salt, pepper, and Tony's (Louisiana seasoning). ($3)
Snack: Shakeology. It's a meal replacement that has 70 superfoods. I used to drink protein shakes, but I had to add all kinds of stuff to them to make them a meal and it cost too much $. (VIP price $3.50. No Discount $4.50, send me a message to get VIP pricing)
Dinner: Giant salad with a protein source and some cheese. OR Turkey chili (To make 4-6 servings it only costs me $10) OR Shredded Chicken tacos (2 tacos is a serving and we generally get 3 full meals out of it for both of us and it only costs $10) = $2 per person
Snack: I generally try to only eat protein before bed if I'm still hungry so it will help me with muscle recovery. ($1)
So my total per person/per day is approximately $13-14 for eating 6 times and that's including Shakeology. Without Shakeology, you are under $10 a day.
Depending what your bulk pricing is, it is even cheaper. We pay $2.99/lb for chicken breasts and most of the time I only eat half of one. Our oatmeal in bulk is less than $10 and it lasts us 2 months. We get all of our canned goods for under $1 a piece, but for the above calculations I just rounded up to $1. A pound of ground turkey for us is $4. Our sweet potatoes are $.50 each.
People ask me all the time how I can afford Shakeology when our budget is so limited. It's all about how bad you want it. I know I function better with higher levels of nutrients, so we cut out treats like alcohol and Starbuck's to save $. For the 2 of us, we were spending $7-8 a day on coffee alone. That adds up quickly. I guarantee you can look at your spending and find a couple of dollars here and there. Alone it doesn't seem like much, but saving a dollar or two in a few different areas can make a big difference. Back to Shakeology, it has all the dense nutrition I need in a day. I can't find the ingredients in stores and the cost to make my own similar "shake" would be about 6 times more expensive. Quick heads up, I do get a VIP discount. I also have friends who love it too, so when 3 of them order their Shakeology from me, it pays for mine. I still count it in my $ budget, but I actually have never paid for my Shakeology out of pocket.
I hope this simple breakdown helps you see areas where you can save $. I would love to hear your healthy budget tips in the comments.
Calista's First Cupcake!
I may be healthy, but I love chocolate cake. I am always looking for ways to make recipes "healthy", but I also believe in balance and treats. That might be why her first birthday party was titled "Cocktails and Cupcakes". :)
So, for Calista's first cupcake we decided we had to go chocolate all the way. I tried two different chocolate recipes and bought Trader Joe's Vanilla Cake Mix for anyone who wanted "real" cupcakes. :) One of my icing attempts was a massive fail, so I won't be sharing that one here, but the chocolate icing we made is probably the best I have ever had and it's only 2 ingredients!
Our FAVORITE recipe from The Paleo Kitchen Cookbook by Juli Bauer & George Bryant
3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
10 large eggs
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan. This made more than one dozen since the original recipe is for a cake.
2. Mix coconut flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in small bowl.
3. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine eggs, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Mix until well combined, add the coconut flour mixture and blend until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into cupcake pan about 3/4 full.
5. Bake between 14-18 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Cool completely before icing.
1 can full fat coconut cream/milk (put in fridge 24 hours in advance, only use the cream, drain excess water)
1 package of Enjoy Life Chocolate chips
1. Add coconut cream and chocolate chips to a double-boiler or pan on low heat. Melt together.
2. Pour into a large ziploc bag and place in the freezer for 2 hours.
3. When the cupcakes are cool and you are ready to ice, cut a corner of the ziploc bag and pipe icing onto cupcakes. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe #2: These were delicious but a little sweeter than the first recipe because they use coconut sugar which to me has a very distinct taste. They were a huge hit. I found the recipe here:
Quick Shout Out to my friend, Heidi Rew, for providing decorations! Check out her wonderful blog, http://partiesforpennies.com/
Wait, I like........... Carrots?!?
I have pretty bad vision. Like, can't see 4 inches in front of my face bad. So, I have always been told that eating carrots would help my eyesight. The problem was that I couldn't stand them. Until now...
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until soft. I tossed them in olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. I also devoured the entire tray in one sitting. Oops. 😂
For You, I will wait all day long.
Our God is so good. Lately, I've been praying for God to open my eyes to his goodness in the small, mundane tasks. I am struggling in this season of motherhood. Sometimes, I feel like my dreams and goals are on hold, yet I am constantly reminded in Famous in Heaven and at Home by Michelle Myers, that being a mom is my "for sure, for sure" calling. So, I'm praying. I'm waiting on Him to reveal things to me. I am praying for him to change my heart and y'all, He is. In the smallest, seemingly insignificant moments I feel him telling me to "hold on". He's here. He loves me and He is good.
Zucchini Bacon Eggs
I have recently been trying to cut gluten and dairy from my diet. I don't have an intolerance, but a lot of gut health imbalances can be caused by those two. Since we still haven't figured out what is causing my fatigue, I'm willing to try anything natural. I found this recipe on ibreatheimhungry.com. Amazing recipe! The original has cheese, but I simply eliminated it.
*This recipe is husband approved.
4 cups zucchini noodles or shreds
4 slices raw bacon
salt and pepper
*optional: 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
Baby Pancake Success
I am always looking for finger foods for Calista and I read that pancakes are a great one. We love this gluten free recipe from the Fixate cookbook.
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I ground up so rolled oats for oat flour)
3 tsp. Baking powder
1 dash Himalayan pink salt
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 large egg
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
5 tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Combine dry ingredients; mix well. Set aside.
2. Combine wet ingredients; whisk to blend.
3. Add flour mixture to almond milk mixture; whisk until no lumps. (Note: The baking powder makes it rise, so don't stir again or you will lose the fluffiness.)
4. Heat large nonstick pan over medium heat.
5. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto pan; cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbles form on the edges. (In my experience, the longer the better.) Flip and cook 90 seconds.
6. Continue with remaining batter.
We keep some in the refrigerator for snacks and pre workout fuel. Enjoy!
For more delicious, clean recipes from Fixate send me a message. The cookbook has 101 recipes to pair with 21 Day Fix. We love it.
2nd Peace & Power Fit Camp
It's that time again! Round 2 of my Peace & Power Fit Camp starts Monday, July 18th!
I have created this program to incorporate my daily desire to spend time with Jesus, my body's need to be strong and flexible as well as my body needed to be fueled properly. What to expect:
•Week 1: I'll walk you through grocery shopping, meal planning, and your workout plan. Basically, we prepare and plan so you can be successful.
•Week 2-5: Check in with the group daily for recipes, encouragement, fitness tips, and more. You will log your workout each day, as well as your superfood shake, Shakeology.
This group is for those who are ready to COMMIT. I want to see you reach your GOALS. I will be there every step of the way, through struggles and successes. We are in this TOGETHER!
Email me at email@example.com so we can schedule your first goal setting CALL. :)
*You must not already be or have a Beachbody Coach.
*Cost is simply your challenge pack, which is generally $147 after tax and shipping.
My Struggle with Obedience
I have been doing a new study on Proverbs 31, Famous in Heaven and at Home. While I'm only halfway through, this study has helped God show me some hidden, ugly corners of my heart. My struggle is always that I am not "good enough". I constantly feel like I should be doing more. I should be more. I need to be a better wife, a better mom, a better house keeper. I need to have a successful business that I run from home during nap times. I need to have a larger reach. I need to have more money. I need to, need to be, need, need, need. Nope, I need Jesus.
Yes, I have many seeds of selfish ambition. I also struggle with discontentment and wanting my way over His. I know that His plan is better than mine. I know that His promises are true. Yet, I sin. I doubt. I struggle. I question my worth.
I've been praying that God would help me see all of those nasty corners. I have learned from this study that He "placed a void in my life that can only be filled with You (Him)." Pg.90. He has blessed me in so many ways, yet I sit here and want more. Sin. Sin. Sin.
So let's get back to me not feeling "good enough". Bear with me. That's my fall back feeling, so when I keep uncovering my sin, it makes me feel justified in my "suck". I yearn to be obedient. That's why day 14 of this study rocked my world. Jesus "laid down His preference to walk in obedience to God." Pg. 113. He laid down His deity, His rights, His life, to be obedient to God. I can't be that perfect. I'm not "good enough". But guess what?!? God saw this in my heart and brought words of comfort to me today in the form of Philippians 3:8-9.
"... For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and I count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith..."
Jesus was obedient. Jesus was righteous. He laid down His life so that we could be made righteous THROUGH our faith in Him. I am not "good enough", but He is, and I am covered in Him. When God sees me, He sees Jesus, and I am stunned.
I pray this blesses you as much as it has me. I needed these words of truth today.
This study has blessed me tremendously. You can join me through it on Facebook, simply add me as a friend and send me a message. (Natalie Donner Eskew).
Famous In Heaven & At Home: A 31-Day Character Study of the Proverbs 31 Woman https://www.amazon.com/dp/0996400923/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_ABODxbCNWV3P2
Be sure to follow Michelle's accounts on IG.