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Meal Planning for Two

Recently, my husband came home from another deployment.  Since living in New Jersey, it is either 6 or 7, but I can’t remember.  Homecomings are always great, and since then we’ve had an incredible time together.

Getting back into a routine (for both of us),  takes a couple of weeks.  It’s a bit of challenge going from one person to two again in the house.  Things like making dinner for two or meal ideas change.  With my husband’s short but frequent deployments, I never quite get into a routine of making dinner for one or two.

Recently, I discovered Frelii which is a monthly subscription service that provides a customized exercise and dietary plan based on your personal needs.  This post is sponsored by Frelii, but all thoughts, and opinions are my own.

What is Frelii?

Frelii is a preventative medicine is designed to give the best options for a healthier lifestyle.  Preventative means it’s not meant to diagnose a health condition or concern.  It does not take the place of a doctor or medical professional.

Like with running shoes, every person is unique and different from one another. Frelii aims to provide people with the knowledge, recipes, and even products to leave healthier lives.

For many people that is losing weight or even gaining weight.  For my husband and I, it was to prepare meals that were best fitted to our needs both physically and mentally but not as a dieting program!  Frelii helps each person differently.

After filling out a short questionnaire, each Frelii member is made aware of any potential health hazards and risk factors in their life.

They tailor meal plans, foods, and the entire program to what will help lead to a more balanced life. There is even an option to purchase vitamins and supplements that help your specific needs.  As a public health major in college, I appreciate Frelii recommends people get their blood work done before buying vitamins/supplements.  It never supports anything in the place of a doctor.

It took about 20 minutes to the complete the survey but when I finished it listed one of my health hazards as mood and depression.  It was spot on, as I’ve talked openly about having both anxiety and college through college.

Just as they provide meal plans, Frelii also recommends exercise plans for those who want it.  Personally, I have stuck with the meal and recipe side because I do prefer that for running but it’s nice to know it’s out there!

The Meals:

By far my favorite component of Frelii is the meal plans and new recipes they provide.  There are a lot of new and fun recipes that I would have never thought twice to try but once they recommended them…I figured might as well!

Another thing, I appreciate about Frelii is how quick meals can be made.  I don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and will also choose healthy, fast options, over the top dinners that take an hour or two to cook.  They are simple, easy, and affordable.  We could make time to spend an hour or two in the kitchen, we would instead make time for other things.

Here are a few meals we chose to make:

We’ve made several more and Frelii has a database of hundreds so there is something for everyone.

Peanut Pancakes Using Almond flour and Eggs:

Spinach, Kale, and Farmers Quiche

Roasted Cauliflower and Beets.

Before cooking cauliflower, I had one bad experience and never tried cooking it again.

roasted cauliflower and beets

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Mozzarella

We’ve made several more and it’s been a fun and unique experience.  Thank you Frelii for sponsoring this post!

Questions for you:
How long on average do you spend to cook dinner?
If you or your spouse travels or is gone, do you find it difficult to get back into a routine?

 

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Real Life Adventures

The last few weeks have been a busy time for both my husband and I.  For me, work has picked up because of cross country season and marathon season!  I don’t foresee having a lot of extra time for a few months but I don’t mind.  Considering my husband has also been gone 3 out of 4 months we have been married, I also want to enjoy being a newlywed.  I still have personal time but far less of it!

For our date night last week, we went to the Creperie Beau Monde in Philadelphia.  Crepe Beau Monde was on the Best Thing I’ve Ever Ate for their Crepes.  So of course we had to go.  For an appetizer we split the smoked salmon and leek crepe.  I love that they split it for us and made it easy.  If we tried to cut it ourselves, the melted cheese would have squirted halfway across the restaurant.

With more smoked salmon on top

With more smoked salmon on top

For dessert we split the apple, toasted almond and creme with hazelnut ice cream.  It was one one of the best desserts I’ve ever had!  Everything about the crepe was delicious and I wanted to eat 10.  It is a top contender for the Best Thing I’ve Ever Ate.

Creperie Beau Monde crepe

Finally, the coffee creamer dispenser was one of the most unique creamer dispensers we have come across.  It is a cow and the milk poured out from the nose.  I could not stop laughing!

Me Coffee Creperie Beau Monde

My blog is not known to document my own personal cooking.  That is because I’m not that great at it.  I don’t think my meals are noteworthy.  At our house we tend to eat very simple: a meat, potato and vegetable.   Something we have been working on lately is cooking together.  Last night we roasted a spaghetti squash (one of my favorite vegetables!).

Roasted Spaghetti Squash 

We used this recipe but also added garlic and butter.   Then we topped with goat cheese, parmesan cheese grilled chicken and roasted tomatoes. We also served with a side salad. It is simple, easy and delicious.

grilled spaghetti squash

The other major cooking adventure we are pursing is homemade ice cream.  We bought an ice cream maker last month and have been experimenting with different recipes.  Right now we are using variations of this recipe.  The last time we made ice cream we also grilled fresh peaches and it was perfect.  I never knew making ice cream was that easy.

homemade peach ice cream

So there you have it.  I haven’t gone too crazy but have been enjoying cooking and going to other restaurants that aren’t diners.  😉

Questions for you:

Have you ever made homemade ice cream?

Do you like crepes? 

Trying Everything and Anything

I wasn’t planning to do a post about vegetables and how I’ve been eating relatively healthy (for me) but I was contacted from a company to do a post about food processors and blenders.  At first I turned it down because honestly I couldn’t figure out to relate my blog to blenders.  I use a blender at my house to make smoothies and I use a food processor occasionally to mix pancake batter to chill in the fridge overnight.  I’m not sure it has even ever come up.

After letting the topic sit for a couple of days I realized I’ve been using my food processor and blender a little more then normal since I’ve been injured.

When I first became injured a few weeks ago I talked to a lot of people about cures to plantar fasciitis.  (half said fixing their diet and the other half said cortisone saved the day).  A lot of people I talked to suggested cutting out sugar and eating healthier. Some people even went so far as to say that eating better got rid of their plantar fasciitis.  It isn’t as if I eat extremely unhealthy but Tim and I do enjoy both healthy and unhealthy food.  I don’t have a strict diet that works for me just as I don’t have a strict training plan that works for me.

I read up on nutrition a little bit myself to see if other people’s personal experiences were common.  I found a lot of people raving about drinking cherry juice (apparently it reduces inflammation).  I also found that a lot of people had success with limiting sugar.  Since I was (and still am) trying to nip this injury in the bud, I was willing to try everything and anything.

The only thing I really hate about actually cooking is the fact that meals don’t take 5 minutes to make.  It normally takes twice as long for creating fresh, healthy meals and drinks. I do admit to using a blender or food processor to mix up pancake batter and leaving it in the fridge overnight though…

I’ve been eating a lot less sugar and sweetener in general (yes this includes splenda).  For me this means having more savory breakfasts like omelets.  My omeletes are generally 2 parts eggs, 10 parts vegetables and 2 parts cheese.  Besides salads, I pretty much get my vegetables for egg combinations.

While looking on the website I chose the Black and Decker EHC650B for  chopping vegetables.

Why?

It pretty much described everything I want in a kitchen applicance (or honestly technology in general…see why I have a Garmin 10 and don’t use any of the features…).  It was easy, simple and compact.  It didn’t have a lot of fancy features that I would never use and is a lot of cheaper than other models.

Looking back at the last three weeks of eating healthier, while I feel a lot better I don’t think healthier eating helped fix my foot injury.  I do enjoy how I feel when I don’t eat a ton of cookies and cake but with everything…everything in moderation.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite blender?

I actually could use advice on this because I need to put one on my wedding registry.

Have you ever had a running injury that has been fixed by better nutrition?

I think nutrition plays an important role in preventing injury (like more calcium for stronger bones) but I have never had the experience of proper nutrition fixing an injury completely. I do think nutrition does play a key role in recovery but nothing can be fixed by one single factor.

Why I Stopped Posting Recipes

I have gotten a lot of questions of why I decided to stop posting waffle and pancake recipes as well as my once a year recipe.  The truth is I posted a year’s worth of pancake and waffle recipes.  I could have kept going and created new and strange waffles.  I was running out of ideas and the more recipes I posted, the slightly stranger and weirder they became. Perhaps later on I’ll add new recipes but for now it was a perfect time to end.  I was moving, I haven’t been eating too many waffles lately and it was getting stale.  I also don’t see myself ever becoming a food or recipe blogger.

As someone with a degree in health and 16 credits in nutrition classes I learned quite a bit about what is healthy and what is not.  It is different than the blogging world “healthy”.  At my house we aren’t eating strange foods you can only obtain at the highest shelf of trader joes.  We are happy with regular peanut butter vesus super almond deluxe.  We are happy eating eggs and toast versus oatmeal.  We are happy eating simple recipes that take about 5 minutes to make.   We would rather go out to eat a few times a week then buy 15 dollar jars of peanut butter or shop at high end grocery stores.

Sure we experiment in the kitchen sometimes (see this dessert pizza).  Literally we just added ½ cup cocoa powder to normal pizza dough and topped with peanut butter…but we don’t cook fancy and gourmet recipes.  Let alone go into the kitchen and create new recipes.

dessertpizza

If I want to cook a brand new recipe (fat chance) then I’ll probably google “easy/simple and quick recipe for ______”.

A while ago I thought I could fashion some interesting and creative food posts but then quickly realized that isn’t for me.  The only way my food looks decent most of the time is through 5 or 6 instagram filters and the blur technique.

So yes, while I enjoy eating and would consider myself a “foodie” while eating at restaurants I don’t enjoy cooking and cooking fancy foods.  So in reality I don’t have much to share.

Questions for you:

Do you enjoy cooking? Baking?  Being in the kitchen?

I enjoy being at the fridge and would rather eat cold leftovers then take time to cook a brand new fancy dish.

Asking for Help

In college I didn’t ask for a lot of help.  I thought I could do everything myself and not have any issues.  I would rather go along my way doing something completely wrong then ask for someone for help.  Part of my social anxiety was the thought of people judging me and if I asked for help then I would be clueless.  This gave me a fair share of problems in college and made situations far more complicated than they ever needed to be.  That quiet and do it myself mentality followed me throughout college and throughout some of my time in Oswego.  It wasn’t that I was a “know it all” or a legend in my own mind…it was more that I was so fearful to ask for help and that I wanted to keep to myself.

Well that doesn’t work at all. 

It wasn’t until this summer that I truly learned you need to ask for help.  I started asking questions (possibly too many) to my bosses and coworkers.  I didn’t really care if I looked like the idiot anymore at least I wouldn’t have to second guess myself.   Despite not knowing what anyone thought of me (other then I ask far too many questions) I certainly increased my productivity since I wasn’t making mistakes.  So no longer was I afraid to ask for help at work but it also translated into real life situations too.  I started to branch out asking friends, family for help and advice about my move.  Even if it was advice and help I didn’t want to hear I wanted to hear all realms and all possibilities.  The more prepared I was the less nervous I would be.

This summer I learned this:

  You can’t do everything by yourself and the longer you wait the longer is stresses you out.  Think of your problem as a tiny snowball on top of a giant hill.  Once you decide you aren’t going to ask for help the snowball begins to roll down the mountain.  It continues to grow until you are so far lost that you you’ll have to ask for help eventually.  The help that you needed at the very beginning of the process.  That is something it took me several times of it actually happening to realize I needed. 

Letting so many problems fester until I truly needed help. 

Now that I have a small flashback story, I’ll tell you how it relates to me now.  First, I don’t have very many friends down in Texas right now.  I just moved and while the community is very helpful you don’t go from strangers to great friends in a week.  (most of the time).  I have been exercising all my options as far as job searching goes.   I’ve began reaching out to people on twitter with questions with everything from job searching to how to prepare fish.

In this time of job searching and soul searching, I’m taking time to better myself and realize that asking for help is okay.  It’s a part of life and no one can fault you for that.

Question for you: Is it hard for you to ask for help?

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