Food, Giveaways, Healthy Living, Meal Plans

Staying Healthy with Faithful Workouts – 1 Year Plan Giveaway

I have partnered with Faithful Workouts

 

Staying Healthy with Faithful Workouts - 1 Year Plan Giveaway

No scale, no stress, no anxiety, no focus on results. Just actions- God, water intake, exercise and natural food. That is what you get from Faithful Workouts. You get to choose what you want to do according to your schedule. All you need is some space, sometimes some standard exercise equipment (but not always) and and a few moments a day. This is a program that focuses less on inches and a scale number and more on total health while losing that weight and feeling great as well as learning to live a healthy and enriched life.

Michelle Spadafora started Faithful Workouts because she loves to eat healthy, loves to exercise and loves to talk about Jesus. So you put all of those things together and divide it by days in a calendar and you get a daily map that includes more than just a workout where you hit a stop button and go take a shower. At the end of the first workout I did she showed us how to make 3 ingredient banana cookies I went downstairs and made them myself and enjoyed a snack with my son that morning after my workout video. ON that day 1 of August I had a quote and a little excerpt about that quote that read:

“We can either spend our days living to please others – or we can live them trying to please God. We want to love others, of course, but you cannot try and change yourself just to “make everyone happy.” The fact of the matter is, you can’t make everyone happy, but you can ensure that you are filled with joy and peace and light by putting God first.”

 

That was followed by a 20 minute workout and a recipe. What is the cost? How much do you spend having to drive to the gym (not counting gas money and that intimidation feeling around others)? I just cancelled my husband and I’s membership this year as our schedules could not get us out of the house so I had begun working out in home when I get up in the morning. We were paying $37 a month and no recipes, menu plans or inspirational quotes were included. The Faithful Workouts F4 plan will cost you $7 a month or $70 a year and that begins after your 30-day free trial. That is a no-brainer! The free trial is available to everybody right now.

 

 

Here’s what’s included in your Faithful & Fit Plan:

  • Menu plans, grocery lists & cookbook (gluten free & dairy free options!)
  • 150+ Online Exercise Videos for every fitness level
  • Faith & Fitness Calendar to make getting healthy simple!
  • A forum to keep you inspired, connected & accountable
  • Monthly Live Chats to address your health questions
  • Inspirational articles sent to your inbox every week
  • Podcasts so you can take us with you on your walk, bike, or run!
  • A 10% OFF Member-only store discount

Michelle wants me to offer all of you a chance to win a 1 year Faithful Workouts F4 membership. Enter below. It is open to my US readers and will end on 8/30. Good luck!

 

 

Food, Healthy Living, Meal Plans

5 Tips for Making Low-Cost Meals in the Slow Cooker

Most of us have a slow cooker and if you are like me you got it to create more meals and save money in the food budget. Once you start cooking more meals with the appliance, you will realize just how useful it can be. Follow these easy tips for making meals in the slow cooker.

5 Tips for Making Low-Cost Meals in the Slow Cooker

Use Less Meat and More Vegetables

 

The great thing about slow cookers is that they allow you to have a flavorful dish with even minimal ingredients. If you are trying to save money, consider starting with cuts like pork shoulder, chicken thighs and beef brisket. This are cheaper cuts of meat that pack a lot of flavor. Use less of the meat than you normally would, then fill up the rest of the crockpot with more vegetables. So much flavor can be extracted from the meat that is flavors the entire dish and you don’t feel like you are missing out.

 

Trim the Fat From Your Meat Beforehand

 

Speaking of preparing meat in the slow cooker, you don’t need to keep the fat on just for juice and moisture. There will be enough moisture without it, so it is a good idea to trim the fat before putting meat into the slow cooker. If you fail to do this, you will end up with too much moisture, most of which is oil from the meat. This can really affect the flavor and consistency of your dish. Trimming the fat also helps to make it a little healthier.

 

Don’t Overcrowd the Slow Cooker

 

A common mistake made by people cooking meals in the slow cooker for the first time is adding too much to it. Just because it is a certain size, doesn’t mean you need to fill it up to the top. Try to keep all of the contents, including meat, vegetables, grains, and water, to no more than ½ or ¾ of the way to the top of the slow cooker. If you go beyond this, you might have difficulty getting your food to turn out right.

 

Brown Your Meat First

 

When you brown your meat on the stove, it helps to boost the flavor and give you the best results. While this isn’t required for a fully-cooked and tasty dish in the slow cooker, it is often recommended. If you don’t mind taking a little extra time to brown your meat before putting it in the slow cooker, you will be glad you did.

 

Avoid Loading it With Frozen Food

 

Unless you are putting a frozen slow cooker meal that is pre-packaged and meant for this purpose, avoid putting in frozen food. Frozen food can create a bacteria-ridden environment if it contains raw meat, so avoid doing this as much as possible. Frozen fruits and vegetables might be okay, though using fresh is always better. Let your meat thaw out before putting it in the slow cooker.

 

With these simple tips, you will be able to use your slow cooker to make healthy, delicious meals in a breeze. For an easier cleanup process, use slow cooker bags so you don’t have to wash the appliance when you’re done cooking; all you do is throw the bag away.

Deals, Food, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Meal Plans, Money Saver, Recipes, Review

How I meal plan to save money with Meals By The Week & a Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Do you meal plan? Have you been wanting to start?

I started meal planning and I can tell you that to meal plan saves the budget big time! Why? Because without a plan, you get frivolous. You overbuy ingredients or buy more food before using up what you already have! I played a round with the most economical meal planning system and came up with one that worked well for me. Meals by the Week does so much of this work for you and it is customizable!

How to Meal Plan to save money
  1. Find or laminate a weekly chart for your meals that can hang on the fridge
  2. Open your freezer, fridge and cupboards and make meals. Write down ingredients you may be missing to complete a meal. 
  3. Make sure you account for side dishes. First use up what you have and write down missing items you need
  4. Grab your coupons and skim ads. I will write the store name next to item I need that is offering the best price so I know where I’m shopping at for the items on my list
  5. Not enough food to make a week worth of meals? Look for what is on sale and create a meal. 
  6. Head to the store with a list! You have already scanned the ads and the main dish items that are a great price or side dish items priced at good sales, you will have on your list so you have food heading into the next week. 
  7. Make sure if your grocery store has a coupon app, you download it and add any pairing coupons to it so you are ready at checkout to save even more.

How to put together a meal

Meals by the Week has done this for you. Once subscribed, you will choose the store you frequent most and they will provide you with a week worth of meals and the corresponding shopping list! Better yet, they also link you to coupons available for any items on that shopping list. The meals are complete meals that offer everything on the food pyramid you need to offer healthy choices. You can even choose your style menu so you get the type of diet that fits your needs.

Now the problem with some meal planning sites is they don’t offer enough OR they offer too much for your size family. Meals by the Week leaves you the option to scale each recipe to your family size from 2-16 people. Don’t like a meal they are offering? Remove it and all the ingredients for that meal will disappear off your shopping list! This was my favorite feature because I have not seen that in some other sites I have visited. 

How much does this service cost?

There are 3 plans to choose from: a 13 week, 26 week and 1 year plan. The bigger the plan the more the savings, but it averages to less than $1.40 a week. So worth it when they are doing all of the work for you! You just have to Click, Print & Shop!

Still indecisive? Let me help you out! Right now, my readers can save 50% off a 13-week subscription. Just use the code: ParentingHealthy at checkout to save!

The Giveaway
1 lucky reader of mine will win a 26-week subscription to Meals by the Weeks ($30 ARV). Enter below on Rafflecopter. Ends 6/3/14. Open to US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Food, Giveaways, Healthy Living, Meal Plans, Review, Sponsored

Mamma Chia Vitality Foods #FitFluential Giveaway

This is a sponsored post from FitFluential on behalf of Mamma Chia. I was provided products for this post, however all opinions are 100% my own.

What does Vitaility mean? Do you understand the definition?

The definition of vitality is the capacity to live, grow or develop. It is about physical & intellectual energy and vigor. The power to survive. When you think of survival, do you think body and brain? If you were lost in a snowy mountain and had suffered injuries that have you trapped, what will be your tools for survival? Do you think backpack and tools or do you think brain power and knowledge? If you chose the later answers you perhaps can survive. Those tools mean nothing without knowledge of how to use them, right? You need an energized and nourished brain and body to help you get through struggles and stress as well as ordinary, busy days. Mamma Chia has the power of the chia seeds and has incorporated them into snacks, beverages and cooking additives that will give us the vitality we need to get through each day.


What is Chia?
  • They are a seed-Chia Seeds
  • Packed with Omega-3’s
  • Great source dietary fiber
  • Contain complete protein & antioxidants
  • Aztec Mayans depended on the seeds for vitality & strength
  • 2 Chia Seeds are used: Black Chia & White Chia
Mamma Chia Products tried by Parenting Healthy
  1. Mamma Chia White & Black Chia Seeds-add these to salads, oatmeals, smoothies and more. They come in a 12oz resealable pouch and typically run under $12 a bag. An excellent source of rich Omega’s and protein!
  2. Mamma Chia Squeeze Pouches-great for on-the-go nutrition of a fruit & vegetable snack. They come in 6 delicious flavors-Wild Raspberry is my favorite! My son loves the Mango Coconut! These are gluten & vegan free.
  3. Mamma Chia Vitality Beverages-9 delicious drinks packed with energy & power. They are also gluten & vegan free and bring an added value of Vitamin C as well. Natural and sweetened with the natural agave nectar. 
  4. Chia Vitality (Book)-written by Founder & CEO of Mamma Chia. This is your Chia bible! You will learn so much about the benefits as well as recipes and meal plans to cleanse in a natural way to start you off on an energy-rich diet.

Visit Mamma Chia and stay updated on promotions & product information
Mamma Chia Website
Mamma Chia on Facebook
Mamma Chia on Twitter
Mamma Chia on Instagram
Mamma Chia on Pinterest

The Giveaway

1 reader will win the following prize pack from Mamma Chia valued at $75

*1 week supply of Mamma Chia products-7 Chia squeezes (varied flavors) & 7 beverage vouchers
*1 copy of Janie’s book-Chia Vitality
*1 Mamma Chia T-Shirt

Enter below on Rafflecopter. Ends May 9, 2014. Open to US.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided products. All opinions are 100% my own. Parenting Healthy is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Prize to be sent by the sponsor. 

Healthy Living, Meal Plans, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

How to help your food budget with a Teen in the home

 

If you have or are parenting a teenager, then you know that they will drain your grocery budget worse than an infant on formula! They are growing, no doubt and they do not understand the definition of portion control. Snacking to them means eating until full, portions are as big as their stomachs will take and they want snacks that require little effort to consume! As true as this is, it poses a few dietary concerns and if you think of them like a pet…some real messy Labrador puppy or the likes of…then you know that if they were to end up with indigestion or stomach aches we immediately think puberty or sleep deprivation. We tend not to know exactly what they consumed the past 24 or even 48 hours that may have them feeling lousy. There are ways to help them as well as your budget to get them through this expensive and horrible stage!

Tip #1: Educate

It is important you do not assume your teen has learned portion control or that health class taught them anything worthwhile about healthy eating. Learning how to read a label is easy to do using online sites. The key points to teach them are how to digest an ingredient list, teach them about sugar and sugar names (here is a great video about sugar: http://www.5by.com/health-and-fitness/posts/50W/sugar-hiding-in-plain-sight) and how to calculate true whole grain from the protein/fiber ratios. Again, just google ‘How to read a food label” and you can find many articles that you can choose from to read. Then teach your teen. It is not that overwhelming. Our 16 year old can tell fairly quickly if the food is truly nutritious or if the labels is a ‘trick’.

Tip #2: The Teen Shelf

I have never been a fan of school lunches. Our schools do not feed our children appropriately! When the older boys were younger, they’d have the calendar on the fridge and I allowed them to choose a few meals a month, but would pack lunch the rest of the days they left for school from our home (this is my stepson). Now, our teen rarely buys lunch and never asks for it either. Even he says he can’t stay full on a slice of pizza and the lines get long. But, he was eating me out of house & home! I was constantly being told he is out of lunch stuff and he was right. In a matter of days all I bought was gone! Where is it going?

I quickly found out that given the empty wrappers in his room, he just grazes on it all day.

Then he says he takes several packs of fruit snacks and a few granola bars with him to school. My lord-and do you have time to use the restroom every hour as you unload?! So, a couple months ago I created our genius Teen Shelf in the garage-for a lack of a better name! I buy what I feel is an appropriate amount of snacks, meal bars, fruit, waters to last 2 weeks. I only shop every other weekend. If he eats it all, he is on his own. He will have skimpy lunches or will need to use his own money to buy lunch at school. Right away, he sort of blew this, but he never came complaining because he knew! I knew he was suffering with minimal lunch items and he quickly learned to ration. As I reminded him about how to snack (not eating until your full, just eating lightly to tide you over) and that there are 3 meals a day, not 5, he found his groove.

 

The Baked Lays box is where I store the smaller boxes or he will have them falling all over the place and losing bars behind the rack, etc.. It is to be expected from a Teenager at 6:30am making their own lunch! This is the 2-week shelf-he was about a week in as this photo was taken. I keep Balance bars or meal bars on hand for days he has to work right after school. It helps give him a full snack and some nutrition as he has that long stretch until dinner.

 

The snacks change-depending on what is on special-so that he does not get bored of the same things. I found those Balance Bars for $1.99 a box at the Grocery Outlet! I found the pretzels & Nabisco snacks at Big Lots real cheap (yes, I checked the expiration on my Big Lots purchases) The 80-count Mott’s fruit snacks were $7 at Costco. I tend to spend about $30 max every 2 weeks from the sandwich meats, drinks, snacks, meal bars and fruit. Much nicer than what I was spending when he had free range!

 

Tip #3: Communicate
 
Why do I say ‘Communicate’? Because communication just like a family meeting is a way to feed them information through the back door of that brain so it is there when they need it as times arise. To frequently ask “What did you eat today?” or “You took fruit right?” is a way to remind them to think this way for themselves. If you are asking constantly, it ought to be important, right? If they feel sluggish, first talk about what they ate today and yesterday. Help them take the next 24 hours and pack healthier and make healthier choices as they get themselves feeling better.
Our teen now will always think diet when he feels sluggish and he self-evaluates what he consumed. He will call from school or even text me at times to say “Are you making a healthy dinner, cause I just ate like crap today and feel horrible”! Yes! I indeed have had those messages from him. This is the goal. They will be starving students or leave the nest one day and if they are even just a little bit educated and conscious about the effects of an unbalanced diet, they can self-evaluate their own diets and they will adjust.

 

So there you have it. Educate, Ration with The Teen Shelf and keep reminding them to make their eating habits a concern in their day. It benefits your budget as well as their health!



Food, Healthy Living, Meal Plans, Recipes

Would you like your Peanut Butter Creamy or Powdered?

This is a sponsored review on behalf of http://www.chikenutrition.com/

#spon
Do you avoid Peanut Butter because of all the added ingredients, fats and oils? Does the amount of sugar and fats make you feel guilty when you eat it? Chike Powdered Peanut Butter understands this. Not only is it all natural and free of added oils, fats, gluten ingredients and artificial flavors, it is a healthier option for baking and cooking that traditional peanut butters. No more scraping creamy peanut butter off the spoon when baking cookies. Just a few spoonfuls of Chike powdered peanut butter is all you need.
#spon
Do your kids love peanut butter in their snacks? My son watched me grab this jar of Chike PB and a container of his favorite vanilla yogurt. “What are you doing to my yogurt, Mommy?” I stirred in a teaspoon of the PB and asked him to try it. I think I just created a monster! “Mommy, always do this to my yogurt…it is soooo good!” I wish I had a fruit yogurt on hand. I would love to add a teaspoon to a different flavor to see if it creates a bit of a PB&J taste.
#spon
You are welcome! I present you your guilt-free late night snack! As I have gone in and out of calorie cutbacks, one thing I learned is that a great way to beat a late night craving is a cup of sugar-free hot cocoa. It works great! It fills me up, it is sweet and does not affect me negatively that late in the day. I added a spoonful of Chike PB and OMG! You will thank me!
Chike PB contains 6g of protein, 1g of sugar and 1.5g of fat. That equals guilt-free snacking! Add Chike PB to cookie and bread recipes, pancakes and waffles, add it to oatmeals, reconstitute by adding water to make a creamy PB. The options are endless!
Visit http://www.chikenutrition.com/ to learn more!
Tell me what favorite recipe of your you would love to add Chike PB to?
Disclosure: I was provided the above product for review. All opinions are 100% my own.