October 6, 2012

Menu Planning

In an effort to cutback a little on our monthly spending, as well as help keep me on a schedule of sorts with school and work...I created about a three week menu and shopped for most of it at once. Please keep in mind that fresher ingredients (like Kale) need to be purchased that week or frozen :)
Hopefully this list will help you get an idea of the things we have been eating and loving. I also included the links for the websites where I found them. I try to cook just a little extra for the bigger kiddos lunches the next day as well. Stretching our meals for six into eight is just that...a stretch, but not impossible-thank you Jesus! Some recipes I tweaked for ease...and affordability. Also, I try to use my crockpot as much as possible, if the recipe can be tweaked so I can use the crock-I make it happen.

Baked Chicken Thighs and Acorn Squash - my own recipe
Season chicken with s&p, cut acorn in wedges and season with s&p, garlic and butter. Bake at 375 until done.

"Spaghetti" with homemade sauce in the crock pot - my own recipe
I throw hamburger with s&p, cumin and garlic in the crock on low, add two of the Organic Marinara jars from Safeway in and stir every so often through the day. Sometime during the day (usually lunch time) I pop a Spaghetti Squash halved with butter and s&p in the oven until it starts to soften-just run a fork on the flesh and if it comes apart and looks like spaghetti, its ready-be careful not to over cook. Sometimes this can even be done the day or evening ahead and refrigerated. An hour before dinner, take the "Spaghetti noodles" and mix them into your sauce. Serve with a nice green salad!

Indian Chicken -From EasyPaleo
This was a definite favorite!

Bean-less Chili with Sweet Potato Wedges - From EveryDayPaleo
Perfect for the crock-pot! This recipe will last for several meals and can be stretched :)

Coconut-Almond Crusted Chicken - From EasyPaleo
This was really good, but it didn't make us jump up and down.

Meatballs -From PaleoOnABudget (This website is awesome. She has weekly meal plans so you can see what they are eating and she frequently breaks cost down)
My kiddos loved these. I served them on cooked spinach. I think they would really love them even for a snack.

Smokey Roast - From EverydayPaleo
Can you say amazing? I put this in the crockpot and by dinner time I could smell it in the driveway when I was coming home.

Chicken Soup - From PaleoOnABudget
I had this on the menu and it happen to fall on a day that was fairly chilly outside, so it was perfect. John had come home with two Grouse from his hunting trip the day before, so I just substituted the Grouse for the Chicken. It was awesome!

Secret Burgers - From LatestInPaleo
I couldn't get liver at our grocery store, so I just skipped the liver part and we topped our burgers with bacon, sauerkraut, homemade mayo and homemade BBQ sauce(I have my own recipe). I served it with spinach salad.

Roasted Brisket with Carrots - From EasyPaleo
Ok...so I didn't use brisket for this because it was really expensive when I shopped. So, I got a great deal on a value back of Round Steaks and just used them instead. I stick them in the crockpot and by dinner they were falling apart. Also, I added Sweet Potato wedges with the carrots and roasted them together.

Sweet Potato Chili -From PaleoOnABudget
Hands down...our favorite so far! The kids and I couldn't get enough of this chili. One of my tricks, instead of a traditional sour cream topping- I put a can of coconut milk in the fridge the day before or sometimes just when I get it home from the store I pop it in there. Then, when it's chili time, I open the can, pour off the coconut water and all the cream is left. I just scoop a nice round spoonful out and put it on top of the chili...soooo good!!!

Cubed Steak with Eggs and Green Beans with Bacon - From PaleoOnABudget
Instead of the broccoli the recipe calls for I cooked up some frozen green beans and put some crispy bacon on top(I had cooked it earlier and it was left over in the fridge).

Chicken and Spinach - From PaleoOnABudget
This is coming up this week on our menu...it looks good!

Kale and Tomato Soup - From PaleoOnABudget
This is coming up this week on our menu...it looks good!

Pork and Spinach - From PaleoOnABudget
This is coming up this week on our menu...it looks good!

Sweet Potato Chicken Salad - From PaleoOnABudget 
This is coming up this week on our menu...it looks good!

Hopefully this helps and you enjoy the food!

September 14, 2012

Rodeo time

We went to the Pendleton Round-Up this week with the kids. This was the first time we went as a whole family.

August 26, 2012

School starts in a little over a week.....YAY! Then will be the beginings of "birthday season" in our home. I can't wait for all the fun and the memories to be made!

May 1, 2012


We love food in our house. I'm not ashamed. The smell of bacon, steak or fried onions on the grill makes ma salivate. Here is something I am going to have to try this week for sure:

April 19, 2012


How many times have you set a goal and given up? I am sure I do it almost daily. I'm gonna get x, y, z done today....fail. I'm not going to get frustrated with the kids today...fail. I'm going to take time for me today....fail. At the end of the day I look back and thank the Lord for getting me through another day and that's when He reminds me that it wasn't a fail, it was a success. I am reminded that He never gives me more than I can handle and that each day is training for better patience, stronger faith and unfailing love and grace. Today was one of those days...it started out fantastic and then boom...fail. I am going to be using a healthy dose of grace tonight, for sure!

Now that I have that off my chest...on to my fantastic morning: I was getting ready for a morning at the fire department. As I put my uniform on I realized that I had to use the last hole on my belt. The last time I was able to do that with this belt...I was in high school. Ever since our family made the Paleo switch, we have only weighed ourselves a couple of times. I had not weighed for at least a month....so I did it. I was shocked. My weight is 3 lbs over what my driver's license says...from high school! I can't believe that I have been eating - a lot- and living life and my body is loving it enough to be efficient. I have never felt better and I NEVER thought getting down to this weight would be this easy....well, it's not easy, but it's worth it!

March 1, 2012


(I love this pic...it's what John and I would probably look like if we worked out together!)

Well I think it's obvious that my blogging skills are lacking. Who has a blog and never posts in it? Oh wait...me! LOL

Our family has still been going strong on the Paleo lifestyle. We love how we feel and the energy we have to make it through each day. I love that I don't have to have an energy booster or special supplement to get me going each day. Don't get me wrong, I still love my coffee, but if I skip it I can still function.

John and I decided to step on the scale yesterday just to see where we were. Keep in mind we have a dumb scale that doesn't always like to work properly. Also, we hadn't stepped on the scale in probably two months. Since last March John and I have lost a combined total of ......drumroll please.......90 lbs! John lost approximatly 60lbs and I have lost 30lbs (since October). We are so happy and this has just further confirmed the lifestyle we have chosen to live.

John is preparing to undergo knee surgery in the near future and I am excited to see how quickly he will heal now that we eat such an anti-inflammatory diet. I am getting a list of anti-inflammatory and healing foods together so we can be ready.

I decided to cutback on my school hours this next term. Instead of my 20 credits I am currently taking I will have 15 and I will be assisting in my dad's class. I am looking forward to the small, but important slow down.

I hope everyone is ready for spring...if it ever comes! Happy Spring peeps :)

January 30, 2012

I can't believe I let two weeks go by without blogging....eh, oh well. :) We celebrated Judah's birthday yesterday. I can't believe he is already 3...where has the time gone??? He is such a cutie and I love every moment of our lives. We celebrated with lunch with my parents and yummy Gluten Free Chocolate cupcakes with a Paleo chocolate frosting....YUM! Hopefully I will post pics asap...but at this rate, who know! LOL

January 16, 2012

Wowza Week

This last week was my first week back to school since the holidays. Oh my was it a doozy! I have 20 credits this term and only one of those classes am I really truly concerned about passing...anybody that loves math is welcome to help me with my Math 111 class!! My other classes, for those truly interested, are First Session of Anatomy & Physiology, Writing 121, EMS Rescue & Transportation and the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician(This one is 6 months long!). John has been amazing, as usual, with the running of our home and managing the children while I have been pulling my hair out trying to get used to the new schedule. I was completely unorganized this time around and I didn't even get my books ordered until Wednesday...terrible, I know! The biggest problem I had this term was actually finances. Although I receive a Pell Grant that covers all my tuition and books, plus some, this term posed a challenge. I wanted to take the AEMT course, but it is not a degree-seeking course which means...I have to pay for it. After I applied my leftover financial aid, which was required by the college, I had no money left for books and a small remaining balance for tuition. I was feeling very stressed about the situation, but knew God wanted me to take this course as it had been on my heart. Early in the fall, I learned I was going to qualify for a scholarship from a neighboring community hospital, the amount was only for half the total scholarship, $205. This scholarship had not been applied to my account yet and although it wouldn't cover all my books...every little bit helps. I called the person in charge of the scholarships at the college and left her a voice message....then I went to the car and cried. This was the first time in the last year and half that I was really unsure of how we were going to get me through school. I knew God had it in control though, so I wiped away the tears and went about my morning. An hour or so later I had missed a call and had a voice message...it was from the scholarship people. The woman left me a message saying that she would be applying my scholarship that day and get this...she had looked at my schedule and felt that I needed the entire scholarship of $510 since I had such a full schedule and was so hard working!!! I couldn't believe it, so.....I cried some more. God is so amazing. I was able to pay for all my tuition and my books without spending a dime out-of-pocket!!

Here is the next great thing about this story...I found out after I had been awarded the scholarship that it was a memorial scholarship for a dear family friend who had passed away the year before. My husband had known the woman and her family for many years when my father-in-law was in ministry years ago. John and I had later re-connected with the family when we first were married and attended the same church. The woman had been hit by a delivery truck in a horrific accident and survived for some time before passing away. She was a woman who was driven by her faith and family, served her community and was a friend to all. I was overwhelmingly honored when I learned I had received this scholarship. God is SO good.

Obviously, I had a somewhat stressful week...so eating was an interesting experience. I had decided at the beginning of the year to do a sugar detox. After about a week, I decided that since I had just started the Paleo thing in early December and detoxed already, the more intense detox was just making more freaked out, especially with all the stresses of school and finances. I bailed on the detox Day 8. I have to say that this hard-working girl HATES not finishing things I start. It makes me bonkers. I am an all or nothing type. So, I have just worked extra hard to stick to the Paleo...which I have to say, has been fairly easy...especially since I got rid of all the non-Paleo items in our home :)

The food: Most days we start with eggs, veggies and fruit. I have nuts/seeds for a snack or some dried fruit. Lunches are usually leftovers from the night before-if there are any left! Dinners we have tried lately- Shepard's Pie, Spaghetti, Salmon, Steak, Chicken Thighs and a veggie fry, Spinach salad, Hot wings and potato fries, Turkey &Mashed sweet potatoes.

I haven't officially started working out yet. I felt like I wanted to do one thing at a time-first get a handle on how I eat, then incorporate some exercise. I have been craving the need to run. I want to run, I think about it, I dream about it. The problem, the last few times I have set out to do it...the weather or schedule hasn't cooperated!! I have to make it happen soon...but the snow just started falling today. I guess there will always be something to get us distracted or off-course, right? So my goal for the rest of January is to at least go a running a few times! I really want to get myself fit again so I can try to get back into the fire fighting (didn't know I used to be a fire fighter, did you?? lol).

Good luck with all your goals this week! I am down close to 20 pounds and at least 2 sizes and this is week 6 of Paleo!!!

January 5, 2012

A day in my life

I thought I would just do a short run down of what I ate today.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrammbled with onion and a handfull of spinich, 2 slices bacon, coffee

Lunch: Leftover Kremer's Cold Killer Soup

Dinner: Paleo Lasagna

I didn't snack today because I was feeling like I might be getting a cold AND I have been doing a Sugar Detox which I think is why I felt icky.

Here is what the kids had:

Breakfast: "Cereal" made of pulsed Almonds and cranberries and topped with Coconut milk.
Snack: Banana

Lunchbox(older kids): Leftover Soup, Carrot stix with Paleo mayo, trail mix(I made)
Little kids: Nitrate free turkey, fruit gummies , sliced orange, scrambled egg

Little kids snack: Almonds and cranberries; later Sliced apple and almond butter.

Big Kids After School Snack: Organic Golden Apple

Dinner: Paleo Lasagna

Nothing to fancy-schmancy....just real food!

January 3, 2012

What to do about those kids!

As I have previously shared, and some may already know, our family is no stranger to a somewhat restrictive diet. We have waivered from time to time how strictly we followed, but nonetheless, it was there. For many years our kids ate little to no wheat, minimal amounts of refined or processed sugar, and rarely drank cow's milk. I used to feel very bad about not letting have the "fun" stuff. But, I came to a realization after this summer: it's not fun. After letting my kids chow down on hot dogs and ice cream, candy or summer desserts, their moods changed almost instantly. They would whine and cry over the stupidest things. They became disobedient and rude. My oldest son, who was 7 at the time, would get emotional and then quickly get a headache in his eyes and a constant place on his head. Shortly after telling me his head was hurting, we are talking 20-30 minutes, he would begin to vomit-for hours. In the last year, this has probably happened at least half a dozen times. He would be so sick sometimes, that he would have to have IV fluids. Looking back, I can specifically remember what led up to each episode- eating the "fun" stuff.

We spent some time talking to our kids about how they were feeling. Other than the emotional and behavioral changes, they would also get diarrhea, headaches, and just feel icky. We decided as a family that this wasn't good. The kids agreed and were on board with changing things too.

This week I was trying to come up with some good ideas for the kid's lunchboxes. I stumbled upon this blog. Not only was their family story great, but they were a Christian family just like ours trying to live not only a healthy spiritual life, but a healthy physical life. Plus, she boldly states that her kitchen is rarely clean...I love that!

In her blog, Mrs. Grok has posted over 140 lunchbox posts, which include a picture and list of what she made her two preK girls and sometimes her hubby for lunch. It gave me so many great ideas! Right now we aren't doing dairy, but their family is ok with whole and raw milk cheese and yogurt(I am hoping after another month of cleaning out our bodies we can slowly add this as well). I have taken some of her ideas and tweaked them for my kids the last two days and so far, so good.

The biggest thing I have found for our family, is that we may not eat Paleo/Primal by the textbook at all times, but we are pretty darn close and that is just perfect for me! We will learn as we go along and even if we don't do things perfectly, we are still eating better than we ever have in our lives and if you EVER see me in the grocery store and I have anything that resembles a box or jar or can of processed crap....slap me.
(There is a link to the above mentioned site on my blog list also. Right over there ---->>)

January 2, 2012

No doubting here...

These last few days have been interesting. I haven't really missed the "bad" foods, I feel great, I am still losing....I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why can't I just be satisfied and call it a success? Because I am woman. I have this ridiculous habit of second-guessing my success at most things. I find myself wondering if I really can achieve my scholastic goals, home goals, relational goals and yes, most definitely my health goals.

The truth is....I am successful. I am awesome wife and best friend to my husband. I am an amazing mother to my four children. I am a caring and thoughtful friend to those who are close to me. I am a hard-working, Dean's List earning college student. I am a freshman to the world of Paleo, but I have been successful this far. I have not gained one pound, I have not felt worse than before Paleo, I have slept better than before I had kids(a miracle in it's self).
I am a beautiful, wonderful, joyful gift and child of God. Only He knows the purpose He has for me, therefore I will continue to seek Him in everything and trust that He has led us down this path for His purpose only.

Isn't it great to know that someone greater and bigger than you are is there to guide you through every step?!

Ok...now to the food, because we all know it's about food!

In one of my previous posts I talked about our awesome deal on turkeys. Well, we called around to a couple of our friends who had smokers and found out that in their specific smokers, the temperature wouldn't be high enough to kill the bacteria. So on to Plan B, smoke them in our oven. I had some leftover Hickory chips from a smoking project this summer. I soaked the chips in water overnight and then removed the liquid the next morning. I set the oven (ours is gas) to 250 degrees and put the turkey in a roasting pan with a little of the brine liquid and placed it on the rack above the chips in the oven. Every couple hours John or I would baste the turkey with it's juices. After about 5 hours, I checked the temp of the turkey and decided to increase the oven temp to 275 degrees. An hour later, the turkey temp was still not where it needed to be so I bumped the oven up to 300 degrees for one last hour. Finally! The internal temp of the turkey reached 165 degrees.
This is the turkey about half way through the process.

This is the finished product! Yummy!!

Our lunch yesterday was soooo yummy! We got some all natural Hot Chicken Sausage at the store and made a burger out of it. I took two avocados and a tablespoon of Paleo mayo with some lime and made the guacamole/mayo on top. We had to have some veggies too and since I need to go to the store all I had was some lettuce and mushrooms I sauteed in the drippings from the burger.

And finally....Sunday morning breakfast was so good-At least that's what the kids said! I decided to fore go the sweet pancakes. I made Applesauce Pancakes and eggs.

AppleSauce Pancakes
1/2 C applesauce, unsweetened
2-3 eggs
1/4 C almond meal(adjust for consistency)
Cinnamon to taste