Green Smoothies Rock

My go-to (and to-go) breakfast is a green smoothie. It’s convenient, delicious and healthy. What’s not to love?

Think you don’t have time to throw together a smoothie? Here’s how I make it work:

Prep in advance. Using quart-size freezer bags, I add all the ingredients except for the liquid. On the label, I write the name of the smoothie and how much liquid to add. To increase the efficiency of the process, I choose one or two recipes to make in bulk at one time. Then, they all go into a drawer in the freezer.

Most of the recipes I use are from Simple Green Smoothies by Hansard and Sellner. One recipe makes two smoothies for me. Currently, my favorite is Simple Monkey on page 113.

In the morning, I pull a freezer bag out about 30 minutes before I need to leave. Sometime in that 30 minutes, I put the frozen ingredients in my Ninja blender with the liquid.

A minute or two before I leave, I start the blender, the kids cover their ears and act like the blender is louder than they are, I put on my shoes and jacket, and then the smoothie is ready to pour into a Tervis tumbler just before walking out the door.

Breakfast done.

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Instant Oatmeal Packets: Healthy, Quick and Easy!

instant oatmeal packets

instant oatmeal packets

Most days, BP and I pack breakfast, snacks and lunch for little E. Sometimes, we feed him breakfast before he leaves the house, but we usually aren’t ready that early.

Either way, healthy, quick, easy breakfasts that are suitable for a one-year-old+ are absolutely necessary. My idea of a “good breakfast” isn’t sugared cereal or a Pop-Tart (not that we don’t ever indulge in those things — I just don’t want him to eat like that on a regular basis).

Several months ago, I came across these instructions for instant oatmeal packets from Once A Month Mom.

It takes me about 10 minutes to make up about two weeks’ worth of packets at at time. Hurrah! A healthy, quick, non-processed breakfast for my little guy!

A Home-Cooked Meal Every Day? Yes, Please!

E-mealz - a meal planning resource for busy moms and frugal family cooks.Before my Little Bundle of Joy arrived on Christmas morning, I spent a considerable amount of time on food preparation: selecting recipes, creating a weekly menu, developing a grocery list, shopping for groceries and preparing the food.

Well, after my sweet little baby arrived and much-appreciated meals from family and friends stopped showing up on our doorstep, BP and I were once again responsible for feeding ourselves. And that, my friends, resulted in way too much take-out than I care to admit. That wasn’t going to work for me on a long-term basis. It’s not only bad for the budget, but it also is bad for the waistline. In addition, I want the Little Bundle of Joy to learn how to cook for himself, and I believe that sitting down to a well-balanced meal, as a family, is very important. Calling out for pizza isn’t going to teach him any of that.

Several months ago while browsing the Dave Ramsey website, I happened upon an endorsement for E-Mealz, a meal planning subscription service.

At first, I gave it no more than a passing thought. And then, as I ate yet another slice of take-out pizza, it occurred to me that I could really use just such a service.

It is awesome. Seriously and for real.

The entire week’s meal plan fits on one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, complete with really, really simple instructions. The grocery list is already done. The meals taste good. There’s variety. We even get side dishes with our main courses. BP doesn’t have to eat chicken every single day of the week, which makes him very happy. (Chicken was my go-to “quick meal” staple, but only if we were all out of spaghetti.)

You can choose from a variety of meal plans, including plans based on specific stores’ ads that week (how is that not budget friendly?), or plans for a family or just two. BP and I follow the low-fat meal plan for two, since the Little Bundle of Joy is still eating food of the pureed variety.

E-Mealz is worth every single penny of the $5/month that I pay for it. We have saved well over that simply by not resorting to yet another take-out meal due to lack of planning.

If time and money are things you’re short on, E-Mealz may be a solution for you, too. Check it out!

(And in case you are wondering, no, E-Mealz is not paying me for writing this post.)