Planning & Prep

Simple Salad Dressings That Take Your Salads To a New Level

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At some point in adulthood we realize Mom was always right, we really DO need to eat our veggies. 

Everything we read, watch and absorb leads us to the conclusion that we can't achieve our healthiest self without focusing on veggies. 

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you are getting a big, healthy serving of veggies each day is by eating a fat and colorful salad almost daily.

If you want to be sure that you actually eat your salad, be sure to fill your salad bowl with all of the veggies you love to eat.

Something else you can do to keep your salads interesting and something you look forward to eating is by mixing up the salad dressings you are using. There are more and more healthier dressings on the market these days that use minimal ingredients and are still full of flavor.  We want to be careful about the dressings we choose however. It really is a shame to chop up a nutritious salad full of the healthiest raw veggies only to drown them in artificial flavors, preservatives, and trans fats. 

To avoid this you have 2 choices: read your labels carefully OR make your own simple but delicious dressings right from home. 

Today I am sharing 5 simple and oh-so-delicious salad dressing recipes that are perfect for your next salad or the bottom of your mason jar salads:

 

Olive Oil & Lemon dressing

This dressing is so simple but the garlic and lemon add all the right flavors to any salad. I love this dressing and make it often! 

 

Green Goddess dressing

Personally I prefer my green goddess dressing without mayonnaise. This healthier version is a preference for me. 

 

Mustard Salad dressing

Like mustard? Add a little spice to your salad with this easy to whip up dressing. I bet you have all of the ingredients at home now! 

 

Creamy Cilantro-Avocado dressing

I love avocado and anything with avocado calls my attention. This is an easy and fun dressing with tons of flavor. The cilantro is another bonus! 

 

Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette

I love venturing away from my standard olive oil for salads. This dressing uses one of my favorites, sesame oil, as well as some other amazing ingredients to create a delicious dressing.

 

There you have it! 5 simple dressings that use pretty wholesome ingredients and enhance your salad. A good dressing will keep you looking forward to your next nutritious salad! 

 

 

 


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How Can Busy Moms Be Healthy Moms?

I get asked this question all of the time: "You are so busy! How do you fit it all in and still live a healthy life?"

Well, I should start off by saying I am not without my faults and flaws and I certainly do slip up from time to time. Who doesn't? 

BUT...

... I do, for the most part, manage my household, 3 kids, my business and everything else while still eating healthy, squeezing in some fitness here and there, and doing my best to stay balanced.

How?

Well, the biggest reason why busy moms like me are still healthy moms is PLANNING

It isn't magic or something only "super moms" can do. It just takes some very simple planning.

The less we leave to chance and the more we plan, the better prepared we are to make each day a healthy day.  

Think about it: if I first open the door of my refrigerator at 5pm and ask myself, "Now what should I make for dinner?" I run a big risk of there not being the right ingredients, feeling rushed and becoming unmotivated. Pretty soon I am inclined to order take out and well, if we are being honest, we don't usually make the healthiest choices when we go that route. 

However, same day, same time EXCEPT in this version of the scenario I have a meal plan already in place, some of my vegetables are already chopped up and my pans and utensils are waiting for me on the stove, well, that makes my healthy choices so much easier and I am more than likely going to stick with my healthy plan. 

So, are you with me?

There are lots of simple ways to plan ahead to keep your life on a healthy track without making it a 3 hour, full team, strategy and coordination meeting. No. We are moms and we are already busy enough. We can make this simple but effective and I want to share with you some ways that I make it work. 

 

Here are 3 ways I plan ahead in order to make healthy living easy for me:

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  1. Meal Planning- Waiting 20 minutes before mealtime to figure out what you are going to have can backfire on your healthy lifestyle. Make meal choices in advance so that you can prepare ahead AND avoid impulse choices! For some moms that means creating a plan for the week on Sunday and sticking to it. Other moms plan one or two days at a time the night before. Make this idea work for you and if you need more ideas about meal planning, check out this article from thekitchn.com. This is a great info for newbies and an excellent refresher for veteran meal planners! 
  2. PLAN Your Next Move- This strategy makes a huge difference in my life. If I plan on doing yoga in the morning, before bed I lay out my yoga mat. In the kitchen, I set up the pots and pans I need for breakfast the night before. After breakfast, I set up for the next meal so that no matter what kind of ups and downs I face during the day, I am more likely to stick with my original healthy plan! For more ideas on this topic, you can check out ideas specifically for a healthy morning! Just CLICK HERE. 
  3. Schedule It- Do you want to hit the gym 3 times this week? Don't wait and see how the week goes to find the time. We are more likely to give in and cancel on ourselves. No, you are worth it so schedule the time! Decide when you can go and put it in the calendar. Same goes for any self-care practices, girl time, date nights and anything else that helps us create a happy and healthy lifestyle. Plan for it and then put it in the schedule. You are so much more likely to do it if you wrote it down. 

This a great way to get started creating a happier, healthier life or to continue building on the foundation you already have. I have more ideas to share for you and your family, too! For even more ideas, join our online community for busy and HEALTHY moms like you and me. It is a great place to share ideas, find inspiration and a community with fellow moms. 

If you want to do even more than that, email me today and we can schedule some no cost one-on-one time together! For a 30-Minute Breakthrough Coaching Session, email Michelle@RealMomsRealHealth.com! 

 

 

Healthy Kids Thrive In the Kitchen (Here Are 3 Ways to Get You Started!)

Do you remember the kitchen from your childhood? Do you remember how it was the heart and soul of the home? 

Not only did all the meals get created there and many meals get eaten there, but that is where major decisions were made, "heart to heart" conversations were had and where visitors might have been greeted. 

Today, in my own kitchen, it isn't much different. The same important things are happening there. The kitchen is also where homework gets done, art projects get praised, and blogs get written. (You and I are having this chat in my kitchen right now.) And very importantly, it is where lifelong lessons about food and nutrition are taught and learned.

As parents, raising healthy kids is a top priority for all of us. We don't want it to be a temporary thing either. My personal mission is to raise lifelong healthy eaters. I try to move beyond the idea of "eat what is on your plate because I said so" and try to develop a basic, kid-friendly understanding of the importance of healthy eating. I believe that the more we talk about nutrients, the importance of "eating the rainbow", why real food is more beneficial for our bodies and minds than processed food, as well as other things, the more likely my kids become flourishing, healthy kids now and flourishing, healthy adults in the future.

One of the best places to help healthy kids thrive in the way I am describing is in the kitchen. Bring them right into the heart and soul of the house! Let them watch, let them observe, let them question. 

And then let them cook. 

Kids of all ages can be hands on with food prep to some degree. It just takes a little planning, maybe a little preparation before you invite them in to join you, but it can be totally manageable. This is a rich learning experience for them and we should try to do this as often as we can. 

Besides... it is FUN! If you are doing it right, you will share lots of laughs, good conversation and great quality time together. I am going to help you do that.

Before you jump up and call everyone into the kitchen, I want to share some things you should think about FIRST. 

Let's get those kids into the kitchen!

Here are 3 ways to help get you started:

  1. Set Up Beforehand

You don't have to necessarily do much, but taking a few minutes to set up a few things means that you can focus on the kids and the food more instead of details that can be taken care of beforehand. 

How much of this you do really depends on the ages of your children and their familiarity with the kitchen. With younger children you may take out all the ingredients and tools, have everything already measured and ready to be poured into a bowl for mixing. With older kids or kids more familiar in the kitchen, they may take out the ingredients as you read them or they read them off, they may do their own measuring, and so on. 

No matter how much or how little you do, there is always something to do beforehand. Some additional things may include:

  • Taking out extra dish- or paper towels in case of spills.
  • Clearing off the cooking area, including the sink and oven if necessary.
  • Deciding on a recipe.
  • Setting out all the kitchen tools required.
  • Taking ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator.

2. Create work stations and set up some rules

The last thing we want is kids running into the kitchen, pushing for a first chance to use the peeler and having a screaming match break out. When my kids come into the kitchen, everyone has an assigned spot and job to begin with. We may rotate. We may not. But it is very clear as to who is going where right from the beginning. 

Rule are important, too. The kitchen can be a dangerous place without rules. So we establish some right from the beginning, then change or add to the list as need arises.

Some rules you might include are:

  • Wash your hands before and after cooking.
  • Tie your hair back.
  • Use your apron.
  • Never touch the stove, it might be on.
  • Ask before adding an ingredient.
  • Only use the stove or a knife when Momma is with you.

Use rules that make sense for your kids and kitchen. 

3. Relax and have FUN

If you can accept that messes will be make, shells might make it into the dish and an ingredient might be accidentally left out, then you have the right frame of mind to relax and enjoy the experience with your kids. The most important thing is not that the final product turns out perfect. The much more important thing is that kids are having a rich, hands on experience in the kitchen with YOU. What they learn will stay with them for a long time. They are more likely to connect healthy food and healthy eating with warm, positive feelings by the opportunities you give them to be hands on in the kitchen. So relax, smile, laugh off the "oopsies" and "uh oh's" and have FUN! 

 

All month long in the exclusive membership site, The Real Moms' Inner Circle, there are many more ideas around the theme of KIDS IN THE KITCHEN. We have informative videos, recipes, strategies for even the busiest moms and weekly healthy challenges to keep you on track!

If you need some new ideas and a little accountability, check out the Real Moms Inner Circle TODAY! 


Thank you for reading. If you are feeling inspired to head into the kitchen with your kiddos, enjoy and have fun! And don't forget to tell us about it! Post about your kitchen adventure or ask any questions right here on the Real Moms, Real Health Facebook page

 

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