Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Healthier Heflins

I am really trying to be intentional this year about getting our family to eat healthier.  It is not an easy task and takes more time and effort on my part but it can be done. I have been researching clean eating and learning about what goes in to what we eat.
My kids have been juice drinkers which honestly has bothered me for a while.  I think it is because Waylon and I don't drink enough water either.  I would choose a Diet DP, tea or anything else over water any day of the week. I was also justifying the juice since I was buying the Roaring Rapids Capris Suns, which is still loaded with sugar. This is NO longer the case!  I stopped buying juice.  It has been water or milk for the kids for the past couple of weeks.  And you know what?  They are breathing and thriving (not to mention their teeth are probably thanking me)!  Who knew?!  ;)  It was a slight adjustment at first with whining about not having a juice with dinner but that quickly ceased when all we had was water or milk.  Water goes in Austin's lunch to school now too. I know the kids are going to get their juice fix at birthday parties, friend's and family's homes and such. I still by soda for Waylon because I don't want him to completely hate me.  :) Clean/healthy eating has to become a way of life not just for me but for my family. I am easing them into it. My kids don't like veggies so I am taking it slow and hiding the heck out of the veggies in their food! 
So my mom and I have been talking about prepping meals for easy dinners for a while now. Since I work full time, I leave the house at 7:30am (on a good day) and don't get home until 6:45pm after picking up the boys.  The hubs is a lacrosse coach on the side with practice 4 night per week as well. This schedule does not allow for a lot of cooking at night for me, especially when the boys are whining from the moment they get in the car about being hungry. 
We decided to try the meals that I found on Pinterest via Loving My Nest.  Jessica, from Loving my Nest posted her crock pot recipes, shopping lists and more on her blog.  We made all of the recipes from the Slow Cooker Recipes (Round 2) post. It was easier than we thought to prep all of the meals.  It took us over 2 hours to prep 12 meals (6 for my mom and 6 for me). The meals were labeled with instructions and bagged for the freezer. 
So far, I have made the Chicken Taco Soup and the Sloppy Tamale Pie and my family loved them. All of the ingredients are fresh or canned beans/tomatoes with the exception of the taco seasoning (which we will make from scratch next time).  I put cheese and crushed tortilla chips on the soup for the kiddos (and a ton of avacado on Jack's). The Sloppy Tamale Pie is just like a traditional sloppy joe but made with ground turkey (which is all I use anyways) and zucchini, carrots, onion and bell pepper.  I served it on a bun to my kids and they ate it up.  They also had no idea that the veggies were in there.  Score!
From both of the meals I have cooked so far, I have enough left over for 2 more meals.  I imagine by the end of this week, I will have left overs from every meal which would mean that we actually made 12 meals each for approx. $4.50 per meal.  The crock pot is the way to go for me. I was nervous however about leaving it on all day while I am gone for 11 hours. Most recipes say to cook your crock pot meals for 5-8 hours on low. Both of the meals that I have made have been just perfect in the CP for 11+ hours on low. I even continue to keep it on low until Waylon gets home from practice so he has a warm meal.  I am hooked to say the least!
I also make Oatmeal Muffins and Pumpkin Bread Muffins and keep them in the freezer all the time.  Austin loves the Oatmeal muffins so he gets them for snacks and lunch and Jack likes the "puntin' muffins" which makes a better snack for him.
I will post more on here about our clean/healthy journey.  For now, some of the blogs and/or Facebook pages I follow to educate, motivate and inspire me are:

2012 Year in Pictures {1 of several}

I am so behind on blogging. I figure I will catch up by doing a 2012 review in pics with few words. I am going to post the pics in order of events. 

Lacrosse - Austin played on the first ever kindergarten team.  He loved it and is playing again this season. 

My sweet boy before we chopped off his mullet. 

We took the kiddos to the NASA Space Center.  It was awesome and highly recommended.

My sweet Austin turned 6 (and I also got older). 

Birthday presents and birthday donuts before school.

Pizza party at Chuck E. Cheese!

You know I HAD to make cookie and cupcakes for it :)

Pizza favor boxes that my mom helped me make.

He actually caught the golden ticket worth 1000 tickets!


Elementary School fair

More to come...