I did a scary thing…

I quit the gym today.  

Well, technically I’m doing it tomorrow, when customer service is open to fill out the paperwork.

And, technically I’m putting my membership on hold for three months, but still, it feels like quitting.

To say that I haven’t been feeling it lately would be an understatement.  I totally lost my mojo, and I haven’t been enjoying it.   I’ve barely been since before the holidays, when I was a solid 3-4 day devotee for the last year.

It’s a gorgeous facility, with an amazing staff, but I’m just kind of over it.

I’ve been working out at home lately, and I’m enjoying it.  Like, a lot.  There are a ton of resources thanks to pinterest and instagram and periscope.

One of my favorite people to follow right now for home workouts is Noelle at Coconuts and Kettlebells.  She’s a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, and hosts a podcast I always recommend to new paleo peeps, The Paleo Women.  If you sign up for her newsletter, she’ll even send you an e-book full of home workouts.

I’m nervous because what I love most is lifting heavy things, and that just isn’t possible for me at home.  At least not with my budget, I don’t think it is.   Maybe my Dad could get me a tire for hitting and flipping, but I’m not going to have a squat rack or sled or anything crazy (awesome) just yet.

I think ultimately I’d really love to get into strongman*, or power lifting or something.  But for now, I’m content with building strength and muscle and using the outdoors as my playground.  I’m itching for the warm weather (I’m actually typing this outside right now!) and looking forward to sweet sunshine on my face as I keep on keepin’ on with this whole journey into health.

I’m more excited and motivated thanks to this change than I have been in months, but I need your help!  What equipment would you consider a must-have?  What’s a waste of money?

 

*I can’t believe I said that out loud.  Kinda makes it real.  I feel like I should say “No take backs!”

Clever Title Not Found.

I’m so tired, I can’t even brain right now, so excuse the lack of a title, please.

sleep6

I’m pretty sure that’s not even a joke, just an observation.

Our super adorable kids are not the best sleepers, or even what one might consider decent sleepers.  There was a long time when I was positive that I’d log onto Facebook one day and see that all of my friends had deleted me, because it was basically ALL I talked about.  Sleep.  Lack of sleep.  Needing a nap.  Being tired.  Sleep.  And lack of sleep.

Then, a few months ago things started to change.  It happened so slowly I almost didn’t notice that I was getting more sleep.  I’d wake up feeling refreshed, the brain fog started lifting.  I stopped misplacing my keys every day.

It was glorious!

Was.  As in past tense.

I’m sure it’s just a sleep regression due to a developmental leap, but it’s still hard.  I promise not to complain too much.

Thanks to my new found friend, Coffee, I’ve been making it through the days just fine.

coffee

 Have I ever mentioned how much I love Aldi?  It needs it’s own post!

We tried a few new recipes this week, and there are a few I can’t wait to review.  Until then, here’s a sneak peek at some of the best foods we’ve eaten this week!

Vegetable and Meat Chili

chili2

chili

chili1

Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup1 minestrone soup2

BBQ Bacon Burger Salads

bbq bacon burger salads1

 Roast Beef

salad roast beef

Zucchini and Almond Butter Brownies

zucchini brownies

And of course, my favorite food in the world #BreakfastSalad.  This is the only meal I remember to share on social media 9/10 times.

black coffee breakfast salad

breakfast salad

What Are We Eating This Week?

It’s no secret that I like lazy, easy, healthy meals.  I don’t mess around with recipes that call for 947 ingredients, and I certainly don’t want to extend my time in the kitchen any longer than I have to since I’m pretty much there for hours a day already.  I’m not saying eating real whole food made from scratch isn’t worth it, because it totally is, I’m just saying Can I Live?***

If you’re here, chances are you relate.  You want to be able to prepare a meal of real whole food quickly, without hassle.  Weekday, Weekend, it’s all the same to us, right?  In and out, baby.  Let’s get this food to the table, let the kids decide if it’s a “This is the best dinner ever!  Thank you Mommy!” night or a “I know this is my favorite food ever, but not tonight!” night, so we can wash the dishes for the twelfth time today.  Am I right?

I know I’m not alone, so for all two of you who read this blog my gift to you is “What Are We Eating This Week?”

I’ll share links when needed, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Breakfasts:

Sausage Egg Cups From PaleOMG

These are for my husband, so I use hot ground sausage.  Aldi, my second favorite place on earth right behind the whole state of Alaska, has it for super cheap.

Breakfast Salad   Spinach, cucumbers, avocado, cherry tomatoes with  fried eggs on top.

(My friend Jaci at Chasing A Hundred once said that anything is better with a fried egg on top.  She’s right.  She should also start blogging again! Ahem!)   I literally eat this every day.  It’s my favorite meal.  There’s something about using the egg yolk kind of like a dressing that’s extra amazing.  Add in the creamy avocado, and bacon, and it’s making me drool all over myself just thinking about it.

Lunches:

Salads with Rotisserie Chicken

Leftovers

Tuna Salad Wraps with homemade mayo, carrots, cucumbers, and olives

Egg Salad Wraps (also with homemade mayo)

Zoodles and Meatballs

Dinners:

BBQ Bacon Burger Salads

Featuring Home Made BBQ Sauce from Happy Wife Style  It’s really the star of the show!

Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli

Rotisserie Chicken with Kale Chips and Salad

Bangers and Mash  (Have I mentioned that Aldi carries ground sausage for cheap?)

Slow Cooker  Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef with Swiss Chard, and Cauliflower

Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken in Boston Lettuce Wraps with olives and raw veggies

(Have I mentioned how good that BBQ Sauce is?)

 

The kids love helping, and their favorite thing to make is Kale Chips.  They’re pretty much experts at this point.  I just pull up their Learning Tower, give them a bowl and watch them skillfully rip the leaves into pieces and throw the stems on the floor.  (I’m not kidding, they totally do that every time!)

IMG_7123

Kale is serious business!

***Yes, I did link you to an Urban Dictionary entry because I’m super hip.  Don’t hate.  I’m actually fairly certain that none of these things I’ve said in this line are still cool.  Please don’t go.  I’ll try my best to not be so, um, uncool?

I’d love to hear what’s on your menu this week!   What’s your go-to easy meal?  Do your kids insist on throwing food items on the ground even if you’re standing six inches away with your hands extended?  

Recipe Review: Stupid Easy Paleo’s Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

I’m secretly convinced that Steph Gaudreau and I would be BFF’s if she knew I existed.  Her  Podcast Harder To Kill Radio is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.  Her website Stupid Easy Paleo is the first place I look when I want to try something new.

I appreciate that the recipes are actually easy.  I spend all day in the kitchen as it is, the last thing I feel like doing is making a dinner that has 947 ingredients and 312 steps.

Her recipes are tasty and easy, perfect for someone like me who is lazy and a novice chef. 

When I thought of reviewing recipes, I immediately knew the first one I wanted to share:

Paleo Chick-fil-A Recipe – Grain-Free

 

So good.  So, so, so, so good.

Easy.  Fast.  Cheap.  Delicious.  Everything you could ever want in a recipe!

How does it stack up?

Lazy Scale:  9/10

Taste:  10/10

Lazy Novice Tips:

  • Read the whole recipe.  It calls for at least an hour, preferably more, to soak in the pickle juice.  The longer it soaks the better.  Do it the night before, trust me.

  • Don’t cut the chicken pieces too small.  You’ll want to be able to cut them to check for done-ness.  The first time I cut the chicken into chick-fil-a sized pieces, only to be left with little pieces once I cut them in half to check.  I’m a freak about under cooked chicken, so I always need to be sure it is done.

Sunday Funday: Football Edition

It’s Big Game day.  Remember when you couldn’t say the words Super Bowl a few years back?  Was that only if you were trying to profit from it, or was that some weird thing that no one cares about any longer?

We don’t have cable, but I’m streaming the game.  The kiddos are in bed, finally and my poor husband is at work, alone.  Don’t feel bad for him though, he’s getting paid to watch the game.  Alone.  In silence.

And he totally got the hook up when it came to Big Game Munchies!  I cooked from 11:30am-4:00pm just to finish them all.

Chick-Fil-A knock off wings, fried pickles, hot wings, and deviled eggs.  I didn’t even sneak in a single vegetable!  You can find all the recipes here.

LAZY NOVICE TIP:

When making deviled eggs, add the filling mixture to a plastic ziplock bag.  Just cut the corner off to make a handy, mess-free piping bag.

You’ll have less waste, and it looks way prettier that way!

IMG_6932

On to the Super Bowl Grub:

IMG_6886

Hot Wings with diablo sauce

IMG_6934

Deviled eggs with homemade mayo

IMG_6917

Chick-Fil-A knockoff nuggets with homemade BBQ sauce, fried pickles and deviled eggs

IMG_6885

…just because no post of mine would be complete without a breakfast shot.

As you can see my husband ate well despite having to work, so don’t feel too badly for him.

IMG_6912

I mean, maybe a little bit because he did miss this.

How was your Sunday Funday:  Football Edition?  Did you go to or host a party?  What did your plate look like?  I’d love to know!

If you fail to plan…

Pretty sure that’s my favorite colloquialism, and I’m also pretty sure colloquialism is my favorite word to say out loud.  (Try it now, seriously.  I’ll wait!)

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.  It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity, right?

We’re on a pretty strict budget, so meal planning is so important for us.  I do my meal planning on Wednesday, and go shopping on Thursday.

I’m working on a post where I share my system for meal planning and shopping, because until I figured this out I floundered.  We overspent.  We ran out of things too soon,  but we also had a ton of waste each week.  I’d have “ingredients” but not things I needed to make meals.  It was a mess.

I’ll share that just as soon as I can, because I know I’m not the only one who struggled with meal planning.

Until then, it’s time for a new weekly feature:  What Are We Eating This Week?

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Leftovers
  • Salads with protein (Tuna, Deli Meat, Leftovers)
  • Tuna salad wraps with olives, carrots, and cucumbers

Dinners:

And because it’s Superbowl,  I’m making a whole fun, but still pretty healthy spread!

  • Knock-Off Chick-Fil-A Nuggets from Steph at Stupid Easy Paleo (I’m not sure if I love her or this recipe more, and I’m a total fangirl!)
  • Oven Fried Pickles from Paleo Leap  (The CFA nuggets need pickle juice, and I don’t want them to go bad so this seems perfect!)
  • Hot Wings for my hot sauce lovin’ husband
  • And a SECRET SURPRISE for my husband and kids:  Deviled Eggs!  After my Mayo Fail yesterday, I’m thinking I might have to experiment a bit and use avocado in place of mayo.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

IMG_6861

 

It doesn’t even make sense…

I’ve been making homemade mayo for what, four whole weeks here?  That basically qualifies me as an expert, right?

Had you asked me before today I would have told you it’s so easy, fool-proof even.  I opened a fresh new bottle of light tasting olive oil, cracked in the egg and mustard powder, and slowly added the rest of the olive oil.  And then?

Liquid.  No emulsifying.  No thickening.  Just liquid.

I figured I could fix it.  I’m smart, I’m good in the kitchen.  And I have literally all of the knowledge in the world in the palm of my hand!  

I found a bunch of tips.  Add more egg.  Add boiling water.  Make another batch and mix this in instead of oil.

Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Well, something.  But just liquid.

Apparently sometimes it just happens*.  Or that’s what I (along with hundreds of others who sought out advice online after messing up a batch) hear.  It just happens sometimes.  You didn’t do anything wrong, ok?  It just happens.  Let it go.  It’s just mayo, you’ll be fine!  (I’m only slightly exaggerating, I seriously hate when things go wrong in the kitchen.  I may take it a smidge too personal!)

On the bright side, dinner was amazing.   We had Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef, cinnamon sweet potatoes and swiss chard.  It got a big thumbs up from all of us, kids included.  It was super flavorful and super easy, too!

IMG_6852

 

 

*Personally, I’m blaming the cheap olive oil for the mayo fail!

My favorite lazy meal

How in the world have I not shared my absolute favorite, most yummy, incredibly cheap, super easy perfect for a weeknight lazy dinner ever?

It never fails to hit the spot.

It’s really a BBQ bacon burger without the bun, but I can pretend it’s a salad.   What’s not to love?

bbq bacon burger salads1

BBQ Bacon Salads

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of your favorite lettuce (Boston lettuce is my go-to)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Dill Pickle, diced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 c. homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. Grab the biggest bowl you can find, trust me you'll want more!
  2. Combine the first six ingredients. (You know how to make a salad!)
  3. Top with BBQ Sauce and crumbled bacon.
  4. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.lazynovice.com/?p=608

I’m a sucker for a bundle…

Some women love handbags, some love shoes, some love home decor.  Me?  I’m a total sucker for a bundle.  Throw some amazing bloggers/podcasters/experts and their materials into a package and I will eat it up.

I mean, first I’ll make the recipes included in the bundle and then I’ll eat it up.  But before that I will download whatever is included in any bundle and immerse myself in all of the e-books, guides and resources that are now available for me.  For hours, maybe days.

So, imagine my giddy grade school giggle when I saw an email in my inbox today from Arsy at Rubies and Radishes about a free bundle!  

I actually found Arsy and her site when her book Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Meals was included in The Family Resolution Revolution bundle put out by Paleo Parents in January 2015ish.

You can signup and get the free bundle by clicking her link any time before February 12th.   I’m not being endorsed or paid for this in any way, I’m just sincerely sharing this because I’m excited and I want all three of you who actually read this to be able to grab your copy today!

There are a ton of resources included covering topics like recipes, sleep, stress reduction, fermentation, fertility, skin care and saving money while eating real food.

Grab it while you can!  And let me know your favorite resource!