A Week in the Life…

Tuesday-Grocery Day

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Tuesday is usually grocery day for us. We shop mainly at Aldi’s both here in Florida and in Michigan. A few months back I asked the cashier what was the slowest day of the week was. She said Tuesday. Tuesday it is. I also found it slowest around 2-2:30pm, so that’s what we shoot for.

Afternoon shopping is good because I blew off both my run and creating the menu and grocery list yesterday while enjoying a lazy rainy day. And now I will have time to get caught up on my duties as head nutritionist around here before the trip to Plant City.

Get up, do some deep breathing (my take on meditation) sip some coffee, journal a bit, and watch the news with Bruce is usually how I start the day. Today was no different. After the morning routine, I dug out my running gear, downed some oj, and set out to get four miles in.

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this is the trail I run on

After a nice refreshing run, the air was very cool and dry for once, I returned to the rig to whip up my morning green smoothie. I will leave the recipe at the bottom of the page. It is a recipe I concocted to get a couple quick servings of produce in, some quality carbs, protein, and fiber. It tastes good too!

Menu and grocery list are next on the agenda. When you live frugally, but aim to eat as healthfully as possible, a menu is a must. I love tasty, well-prepared food. I have no tolerance for boring bland food. Not in my kitchen! So I try a new recipe at least once a week. I now also have time to prepare fresh food daily. My sous chef Bruce, and I do a lot of prep ahead so it doesn’t become drudgery. My food service years gave me great knife skills, and Bruce is learning also. Truthfully, even when I worked, I made time to prepare good food. It is a priority in our home wherever it may be located or parked.

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my latest creation, carnitas!

From the menu I create the grocery list. Approaching grocery shopping in an organized manner is good for both the waistline and the wallet. This saves disorganization in both the grocery store and at dinner time.

Remember, shop the perimeter, avoid the middle where all the processed “food” resides. And get real friendly with your knives and cutting boards, you will use them often if you intend to live to eat over eat to live.

After a quick salad for lunch, don’t forget the protein; can’t live off veggies alone, it’s out the door for the half-hour (if traffic is good, it’s all about the traffic here in FL) trek to Aldi’s.

Fortunately, for once, I do not need to go to Walmart. The majority of our food is purchased at Aldi’s, but there are a few items, mainly health and beauty and RV stuff that require a trip to Walmart. Walmarts here in the south are crazy. There is virtually NO competition for them. I don’t enjoy shopping there, but I do save money over the pricier stores. So it is usually in the grocery day plan. But not today!

Should you want an awesome upscale grocery store and you are in FL, visit Publix. Such a beautiful layout, top notch gourmet items and deli, great service. It’s the whole package. Unfortunately, the prices are a bit high for our budget, so we only shop there on occasion, but we always enjoy our experience.

After a couple hours of modern day hunting and gathering, we headed back home, and did not get stopped by one school bus. Score! It is spring break for the public schools here in Hillsborough And the surrounding counties.

By the time we completed the round trip, and prepped everything to fit in the fridge, it was time to get dinner on the grill. Just some simple pork chops, a sweet potato, and some peas. I like an easy dinner on grocery day.

After dinner and dishes, we laced up our sneakers for our evening walk. The weather was about to turn cool for a few days and the wind was very brisk, but it felt amazing.

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pom-tail

After the walk, I whipped us up a couple of mocktails with some Pom, sparkling water, and a squeeze of lime on the rocks. Yum!

Time to settle in for an evening of ABC sitcoms, and a bit of relaxation before bedtime.
See you tomorrow…

Power Green Smoothie:

Ready to blend

Finished product

  • 1 c almond, soy, or cashew milk
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • Banana (freeze if you like it more milkshakey)
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp honey

Blend and enjoy! Three servings of produce to start the day. I enjoy a boiled egg with this, on the side not in it, and it bumps the protein to about 22g. Protein helps us feel full longer and also is the helps restore and repair the body. As I tell the grandkids, it makes you strong!

Simply Nutritious Living-Salad Mix

Shortly after I finished up my series on goal setting/motivation last month, a friend rolled into town from the cold and gray north ready to vacation Florida Gulf Coast-style. I took the opportunity to repost an older post, Strong Backs/Flexible Spines, last Monday while I attended to other important duties as a Tampa Bay area tour guide. It’s a good gig.

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sunset Florida style

After a week of fun with my pal, with all the extra food, drink, and general relaxation that vacation demands, I am certainly feeling the need to get some serious clean eating habits back into my lifestyle.

Serious clean eating begins with a base of plant foods. Bright, colorful plants foods that add all the magnificent vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other things our bodies naturally crave to maintain good health.

We live in a 240 sq. ft. RV and consume a lot of produce. In order to get it all to fit in my tiny fridge in my tiny home, it must be prepped on grocery day.

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my tiny fridge

Prepping on grocery day is a great habit to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle, and one I will carry with me when (?) we become stationary at some point in the future. It’s just nice to have the prep work done and ready on those days it feels hard to eat healthy due to time constraints or even plain laziness. And it really helps save on waste.

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time to prep

Although pre-prepped bagged greens are certainly an option, they are pricey, and not so fresh sometimes.

I prefer to buy mine fresh, and then chop and bag them at home. No special type of greens are needed, they are all healthful. Even the lowly iceburg head lettuce can be dressed up and made more nutritious by all the colorful add ins. I buy whatever looks good and is on sale. This week’s selection was romaine lettuce hearts. Get yourself a salad spinner to keep those greens dry after washing.

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get your tools ready

Green is pretty, but not enough color for me. We eat with our eyes first. I like to shred some red cabbage and carrots to add brightness. This will create your basic salad mix. And can all be bagged together. A full large bag makes about 6 large salads.

Next chop up your extra veggies; cukes, tomatoes and, radishes are rounding our salad veggies this week. Store the chopped veggies in separate containers.

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veggies prepped for the week

(Excuse the hideous decorative wallpaper. Apparently it is a requirement in a RV of any sort. No one knows why…kinda looks like lettuce)

 

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Lunch is just about ready

From here you could enjoy the salad as is for a side dish, or as I like to do, simply make a meal out of it by adding some protein. Leftover chicken, fish, pork, beef, eggs, cottage cheese are all good protein options.

Do beware once you get beyond the veggies and protein the calories can add up quickly. Use very small amounts of any extra toppings. I also like to add some blue cheese (it has a very strong flavor so you don’t need much), a few seeds or nuts, raisins or craisins, and croutons for added crunch.

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salad as a meal

I have nothing against pre-bottled dressings. Whatever will get people to eat their veggies is fine by me. I use and enjoy them when time-crunched (or feeling lazy). But if I have time I whip up a quick vinaigrette. Really, it only takes a couple minutes, and tastes so fresh. The one I used today is a lemon vinaigrette which is great bright taste for salads and doubles as a dandy marinade for fish or chicken. The recipe will be listed below.

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a little Florida citrus flavor

Of course, every good meal deserves a good drink to go along with it. I am feeling cocktailed out at the moment after my week of tour-guiding, so I opted to make mocktails instead. I call this one a Pom Spritzer. Recipe also below.

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a tasty mocktail with lots of potassium

With a few advance preparations it becomes somewhat easier to eat healthfully and reach the recommended 7-10 servings of produce per day.

Cheers!

Recipes:

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Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 c white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine in a container with a lid and shake. Makes about a cup of dressing and keeps for a week.

Pom Spritzer

  • Fill glass 1/2 way with ice
  • 4 oz pomegranate juice
  • Top with sparkling water
  • Garnish with a lime

Salad Mix

  • a big head of romaine, or a 3 pack of romaine hearts chopped, rinsed, and spun
  • 1/3 red cabbage shredded
  • 2-3 carrots shredded

mix into a large size baggie

Veggie mix

  • whatever you have lying around, left over, or are craving. Anything goes.

No calorie counts gang. I gave that up a few years back. Too time consuming and militant for me. A definite DE-motivator.

All of the recipes (minus the croutons) happen to be gluten-free, although I am not. I tried it for a year or so, but found it cumbersome, the results were minimal for me, but many others have found it works for them.

This girl’s motto:

eat healthy most of the time, and then thoroughly enjoy your pizza.