Adjusting My Diet

I want to preface this whole series with the disclaimer that I’m just a regular ole mom of three who wasn’t super comfortable in her own skin after growing and birthing and nursing said three humans. I’m not a professional, I’ve had no training in this. In fact, I’ve never worked out consistently in my WHOLE LIFE until August 2017. But with that, I hope it encourages you because if I can do this, you can do it too.

PSA: YOU CAN STILL GET $15 OFF ANY CLEAN SIMPLE EATS MEAL PLANS (DIGITAL OR HARDCOPY) WITH CODE JEN! JUST A FRIENDLY REMINDER! I use this for about 90-95% of my daily meals!

Sorry guys, I’ve seriously been meaning to write this post for weeks but you know how it goes with three kids! And let’s just be honest, by the time they’re in bed all I want to do is watch tv. So just like my workout post I want to say that this is what has worked for me. Take little bits from different plans, take what works for you + your lifestyle from different people and adjust to fit what YOU need. I’m so grateful for those of you that are cheering me on with these posts + progress shots on instagram. I can’t tell you how much it helps in continuing!

It’s funny because when I first started working out I was totally like, “I workout so I can eat whatever I want. I will NEVER be a person who counts calories or knows how many calories are in different foods. Nope, that’ll never be me.” And just like all of the ways I said I’d parent before I had kids, I’m eating my words on this one too. I was SO frustrated though working out for months and not seeing very much progress. It’s not like I was going to the gym as much or as consistently as I do now but still, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere!

I had looked into healthy meal planning and it was overwhelming and the food just didn’t look that great. Grilled chicken and spinach/sweet potatoes/asparagus for lunch multiple times a week was not something I could maintain. I love food. I love good tasting food. I found Clean Simple Eats (CSE) at the end of December and drooled over her pictures for a week before ordering her Winter Meal Plan. I knew this was something I could do. The first month I definitely calculated how many calories to eat incorrectly. I was NOT eating enough. I knew I was hungry but I thought it was mental! In February I started eating a little more intuitively and in March I recalculated my calories and figured out the right number. Thank goodness I adjusted pretty quickly because you have to fuel your body! In the front of each CSE meal plan she has all of the calculations to figure out how many calories to eat per day to align with your goals. It’s so helpful!

Do my kids eat CSE recipes? For the most part YES! Sometimes I’ll adjust things a little because I know their preferences (i.e. they don’t like BBQ sauce so if something calls for BBQ sauce I’ll take a portion of chicken out before I add it). They don’t love bell peppers and onions so on a kabob recipe, I’ll leave those off and do just chicken then steam a bag of a veggie I know they do like. If I know they’re really not going to be feeling a recipe I’ll do eggs & toast for them but that’s really pretty rare.

I’m pretty type A so calorie counting does help me. I try to eat about 1900 calories a day so I’m in a little bit of a calorie defecit. I also like treats so counting calories helps me know when I have extra calories to spare. This is not for everyone but it does help me. I use My Fitness Pal and just FYI…all CSE recipes are preloaded on the app! I was manually entering them for a few months before I found that out. Do I still treat myself? YES! Friday night I had a burger, fries, and a milkshake. Saturday I had two donuts. If I’m really craving something, I eat it. It’s all about balance and it’s good for your mental well-being to not fully deprive yourself.

CSE meal plans have literally every meal and every snack planned out for you. Grocery lists and everything. If you want to just follow that, it’s super easy. I sit down every Sunday and pick recipes we love or want to try, write them down and write out my own grocery list. It’s a little bit more work but it’s what works for us! I also want to say that meal planning and saving leftover CSE meals has been a life saver when it comes to lunches! Anyone else there just eat leftover mac and cheese/quesadilla/whatever your toddler didn’t eat for lunch? That was me! Having healthy (and actually tasty) meals that I can grab and heat up in two minutes has saved me from eating 1/2 a box of kraft mac and cheese too many times to count. Sometimes I’ll double recipes if I know I really like them to save some for lunches. I linked to my favorite meal prep containers below and they are dishwasher and microwave safe!

Other adjustments I made:

  • I used to drink A LOT of whole milk. Like maybe a gallon a week? Maybe not that much but a lot. I’ve mostly cut out drinking milk and go for water instead.
  • I swap out for healthy choices when possible. For example, I make regular spaghetti noodles for the rest of my family and I’ll spiralize a couple of zucchinis for me! Not a ton of extra work but saves a ton of calories.
  • I found Halo Top ice cream! Not all flavors have been winners for me but my favorites so far are chocolate chip cookie dough, cookies and cream, and waffles & syrup. When I want something sweet I’ll grab that a lot of the time.
  • I cut out soda for the most part. I have a little here and there but I used to drink a lot of coke.
  • If I’m itching for a cookie or something I’ll try to grab a protein ball to see if that curbs the craving (CSE’s recipes are so good! The almond joy ones are my current favs).

Favorite products to help with meal planning:

I hope this helps and answers any questions you may have! Feel free to ask questions in the comments or leave comments on my instagram (@littlewifepowerhouse)!

-LWPH

This post contains affiliate links but only to things I use and love!

The best cinnamon rolls. EVER.

Hi guys! It’s been a minute since I blogged! This summer has just been such a transitional time. We stayed at my mom’s for 5 weeks while our house was being finished then moved…unpacked (still working on that one)…prepping for back to school…it’s just been crazy busy. We feel pretty settled at this point so I can get back to normal life which feels really good.

I’ve been craving homemade cinnamon rolls. I don’t get many cravings that I can’t distract myself from so when I got the itch to make (the best) cinnamon rolls ever three days in a row, I was making those cinnamon rolls. Even if they weren’t going to be ready to eat until 8pm. Whatever guys, cinnamon rolls are an anytime food in my opinion!

So I’ve shared this recipe before like a million years ago. It’s the recipe my dad always used growing up and I’m pretty sure it was passed down from someone in his family but I made a little tweak to the filling that takes them to the next level so I wanted to share again.

RECIPE:

Heat the following over medium:
2 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 tsp salt
When butter has melted, take off of heat and add 2 eggs that are lightly beaten. I temper the eggs (add a little of the hot butter mixture to the eggs before mixing them all in so they don’t cook).
Let mixture cool to 110 degrees (use a candy thermometer).
Add 2 TBSP yeast, let the yeast mixture sit for 10-15 minutes. Yeast will bubble.
Put yeast mixture in mixing bowl and add 4 cups of flour (use kneading attachment on mixer).
Then add another 4-4 1/2 cups of flour. Knead for 8 minutes until dough is stainy sheen.
Allow dough to rise for two hours or until doubled in a lightly oil bowl, covered.
Roll out dough to desired thickness (I did about 1/4 inch), brush with melted butter, sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mix. Roll dough up and cut into rolls with floss or thread. Let rolls rise an additional one hour.
Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. All ovens are different. Our old one took 17 minutes, our new one takes 10 minutes so start at 10 minutes and you can always add more time.

FILLING:
About 8oz brown sugar (brown sugar is a game changer!)
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1 1/2 TBS melted butter (spread on the dough before you start sprinkling the filling)

FROSTING:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4-5 tsp. milk

I’ve tried freezing these before the second rising before and honestly, they just never are as good. Which is so unfortunate because they take so long I’ll never have them in the morning so I am going to work on that so try to eat these fresh if you can! We always make them on Christmas Day and we love the tradition. Feel free to pin the recipe and let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

-LWPH

>Gingerbread Houses

>I know, I know…I just posted…but I wanted to post about the Gingerbread Houses we made on Saturday before I had too much to write about that they just fall by the wayside…


I found this homemade gingerbread house tutorial here at Oopsey Daisy [love her blog]. I can’t wait until Holden is old enough to help me build and decorate the gingerbread houses. I think it will be much more enjoyable next year since I worked out a few quirks. 1) the recipe says to chill for 3 hours. DO NOT make the day before and chill overnight! The dough gets rock hard and dry which makes it almost impossible to work with. That’s after letting it sit out for a long time and adding a little warm water. 2) keep the glue [aka burnt sugar] warm on the stove while building the house. 3) cut your pieces as straight as possible! It really, really makes a difference. I used a pizza cutter and my houses were still a little “special.” I’ll try harder next year…


 [casey&joe building their house and allan in the early stages of construction]

[the finished products! yay for gingerbread houses!]

[the proud participants]

The tree idea was also from oopsey daisy. I can’t take credit for anything [like I said – no creativity bones in my body]. They are just ice cream cones turned upside down, smothered with icing, and decorated. What a great idea!

Hope you guys are getting into the Christmas season as much as we are! I will be be prepping all week for our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party on Saturday. Check in next week for pictures!

-Little Wife Power House


>homemade rice cereal

>Lori & I were talking about rice cereal yesterday since H was at the age where I can introduce him to it (even though my pediatrician says 7-8 months…crazy!) We found a recipe on the internet for homemade rice cereal. Since I’ve been dying to make him some baby food it was the perfect opportunity! It was so easy. Ridiculously easy [THANK GOODNESS]. Here it is along with some pictures:


Ingredients: 
Short grain brown rice
Water
I used breast milk as well





Directions:
Blend rice into a powder [I finally got to use my Magic Bullet!]
Sift rice powder
Bring 3/4 c water to a boil
Add 1/4 c powdered rice
Whisk continually (while it simmers) for 10 minutes





Easy, right?! It’s good in the fridge for up to three days and 3-4 months in the freezer. 





I found that it was VERY thick…especially since this was going to be his first go with rice cereal. After I put his portion in a separate bowl, I added breast milk to thin it out. He did pretty well! He wasn’t too sure about the actual rice cereal but boy – exploring that spoon thing sure was fun! I had to use the bigger size spoon because I couldn’t find the small ones but he loved chewing on it so it worked out anyways. Here are some pictures:

Next I will be using the ole MB to puree some fruits and veggies. Should be fun! I never would have pinned myself for a baby food making, cloth diaper using mom…just goes to show you can never predict what kind of a mom you’ll be!


-Little Wife Power House 

>Happy 4 Monthday, Holden!

>Nicknames: Bubbles, Bubba, Holdenbear 
Temperament: You are really interactive now. You laugh and smile a lot when I kiss you and make fart noises [very mature of me] on your tummy. You laughed for the first time this month! You’re still a little particular but I think you’re getting better. You put a smile on everyone’s faces when they see you. 
Things I Could Do Without: Lately you’ve been getting up 3+ times in the middle of the night (I think you’re hitting a growth spurt). You started to clamp down during nursing! OUCHHHHH! I tell you “NO!” and you just smile at me. Urg. You started peeing in between diaper changes again…twice today. Your skin is still having issues and I worry every day about it. 
Item/Toy We Love The Most: Your alligator. I love to see you take it apart. You figured it out right away [ahem, baby genius]. 
Item/Toy You Love The MostThe newly discovered Pooh Bear book. It crinkles…it has teether parts…it has a handle…what’s not to love? Oh, and your hands still. You actually prefer your hands over nursing now-a-days! 
Things I’m Loving Most Right Now: You hug me now when I’m holding you. You smile when I say “momma.” Your laugh. Doing mini-Superman with you, tummy time [still], cuddles. I love how you follow me with your eyes when I walk out of a room. 
Things You’re Loving Most Right Now: Standing. Sitting up. “Rockabye Baby.” Rolling from your stomach to your back [multiple times a night]. Kicking in the bath. Talking [Dad had to leave a meeting we were having with the other Primary teachers because you just had so many opinions you wanted to share!] 


We started Holden’s 4 Monthday Celebrato with a cranky H. I passed him off to Uncle Robert [who apparently moonlights as a baby whisperer] and his usual birthday pattern followed…


falling asleep before the party begins!

Allan took a break from his 5 day homework binge for a little family time:


H loves Daddy time!

We had burgers, fries, and pumpkin cheesecake muffins [click on that link for the recipe…it is soooo tasty! PeRfeCt for the holiday season.] 


[Happy Birthday to Holden…]

Look how good he has gotten at sitting up! I’m so proud of him! We ended the night with some Mario Cart and H played with the Tesla app on my iPad…addicted already! 🙂


We always love having the Guerrero’s over to our house. We’re lucky to have such great family! I got to see my good friend, Sallie, today. I love her. She’s so much fun, so sweet, and one of my good friend’s future wife. He is lucky to have found a girl like her…and that he somehow got her 😉 JK GARRETT! We also took some family pictures this morning with Allan’s side. 18 people total! It went a lot smoother than I imagined. Everyone did exactly what the photographer asked of them so it was over very quickly! I’m excited to see them. Our little family took some pictures alone with some goofy props…hello Christmas card picture! 


[sweet picture of H and grandpa]

All in all it was another successful birthday celebration. I know some of you might think it silly to celebrate monthly but I love it. It’s an excuse to get together with family, cook a yummy meal, and play games. What’s better than that?! 

-Little Wife Power House