Positive Mindset: Menu

This has been a long and tiring week, but what does one expect being a mother of two under the age of three, a teacher, and 5 a.m. crossfitter… The 1 a.m. random wake-ups from a toddler, who wakes-up the baby, who must eat if she is woken up, me still insisting I go get my 1 hour of “me” time in at the gym • to only not be able to go • it is enough to drive you crazy. I know I mentioned to my kids at school (more than once this week) how tired and grumpy I was…way to go teacher.

This past Friday I had a PBIS meeting (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for those that don’t know all the teacher acronyms). Most people dread meetings and would rather be teaching, but I was actually looking forward to this one. I started a positive journal as my New Years Resolution after watching this video. For me it is  journal of sorts. Some days have several positive entries, other days I struggle to write down one good thing from that day. Yes, I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful, happy, healthy babies, but the goal is for me to focus on a positive for that day and not just use a “blanket” statement. For me this meeting and my journal had a connection. For one I wrote about the meeting for daily positive post and two it was a nice kick in the butt to not only keep searching for the positive everyday, but to BE the positive everyday (“be the bologna“- if you have small kids into Mickey Mouse you should totally get that).

When I first started my daily positive entries I would think all day about what I was going to write down. That mindset has faded and now I just try to retrace my steps and think about what stuck out to me that day. This meeting really made me evaluate myself as an educator and as a person really. It is so easy to criticize, get frustrated, and have a knee jerk reaction to situations. It is especially hard when you are exhausted, its the end of the year, and you are counting down the days until Summer break.

If you think negatively, then chances are negative things will happen. Having a positive mindset will eventually lead to positive changes. If you are waiting for the stars to align and everything to be going perfectly for you to start living a healthy life, then you will never start. Life is messy, it isn’t perfect, but our outlook can change everything. Lord willing, tomorrow is going to come regardless, so why wait? Why not kick yourself in the pants and just do it?

Get after it friends and be positive in the process!



Quinoa Bowl

Pork Chops + Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Pork Chops +  Sweet Potato Bowl


Last week I wrote about cooking a spaghetti squash and still expecting it to live up to the taste of noodles. Well, that got Josh to wanting spaghetti and surprise I use spaghetti squash, instead of noodles. I used to buy tomatoes and make my own real-deal homemade sauce, but I have not done that since I tried by brother in-law’s lasagna. I made a few changes to his sauce to make it a little more macro friendly, but it is still delicious. There is wine and a yellow bell pepper in the sauce and the longer it sits, the sweeter it gets to me.

Preheat oven to 425. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Generously cover the inside and rim of the squash with EVOO. Place the squash on pan cut side up. Let it cook in the oven for approximately 30-45 minutes, until you can stick a fork all the way through to the skin. Let the squash cool and then “rake” out the “noodles” with a fork.

Like I said before, don’t expect this to taste like noodles, because it won’t and you will be disappointed. Josh is an avid pasta lover and prefers the squash over the noodles. He likes to say that if he could pick what his last meal on this Earth was, it would be spaghetti. If he likes the squash, then you can feel safe taking a gamble and trying the squash.

Brown the hamburger meat and drain the fat. While the meat is cooking, finely chop the onion, garlic, yellow bell pepper, and mushrooms. Cook down the vegetables and then add the meat, 4 cans of tomatoes, and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. I like to use the fire roasted tomatoes because they have more flavor to them. Then add in the milk and wine. Let simmer and enjoy!

Quinoa Bowl

What an easy way to throw together a healthy meal! Quinoa has more protein than rice and less carbs, but still soaks up flavor like rice. Quinoa is great at letting you feel like you aren’t depriving yourself of a good ol’ carb, but still being a healthier choice.

For this bowl you can literally add anything you want, top it with a good sauce and enjoy!

I am going to top our bowls with roasted chickpeas, onions, and bell pepper, kale, and chicken breast. I am going to use the tahini sauce since I am already buying it for another meal this week. I have had the roasted red pepper sauce and it is delicious, so give it a try if you aren’t using tahini for another meal!

Pork Chops + Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas

Can you tell I love chickpeas? I feel like I use them at least once a week. You can opt to spice and roast your own, or just buy some already done up for you! I like to spice and roast my own so I can get exactly the flavor I like.

The carrots shrink down a lot when they are roasted, so slice more than you think you will eat. When making the tahini sauce, make sure you add enough water and lemon. The tahini on its own does not have much flavor and is very thick. For some reason I always, ALWAYS spill the tahini when stirring it before I scoop it out. Make sure you mix the tahini well before you measure it out for your sauce but be careful to not spill it.

I cook my pork chops on 425 to an internal temp of 140-145 and typically just use seasoning to reflect the side dish. Make sure you are weighing out your meat prior to cooking it so you get a more accurate macro count.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

It is supposed to be good weather this week, so why not get outside with the kids, watch Josh lift some weights (or drink a beer), and grill some, oh so healthy and simple kabobs…rhetorical question. Do it. If the littlest love behaves, I might even get to join in on the weights.

To make this a little easier on myself, I am going to cut the peppers ahead of time. I am not going to cut the onion until the day of, because of a little piece of advice Josh once got. A woman in town told Josh to never save a cut onion to eat for later. Cut onions are placed in rooms to soak up toxins, so think of everything your onion is soaking up before you eat it. The idea of it grosses me out, so I never save a cut onion and I always cook them if I am going to pre-cut them.

Cut your meat into chunks. String the meat and vegetables onto your wire skewer, then sprinkle with EVOO and seasonings. Throw it on the grill and cook until chicken is to temperature.

Rice is always a good addition to any meal. I am going to add some jasmine rice to our kabobs. This meal is so healthy and delicious. If you can’t get outside to grill, roast your veggies and chicken. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Pork Chops + Sweet Potato Bowl

Yes, another bowl and more pork…no eye rolls or sighs please. This bowl has so many good things, it sounds too good not to try. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, some good greens, eggs, turmeric, honey…what is not to love here?

Be mindful of how much quinoa and sweet potatoes you are adding to your bowl, so you don’t over do it on the carbs that day.  I am not the best with poaching eggs, so typically I will boil my eggs for 4-5 minutes to get a runny yolk. Pinch of Yum gives you a great how-to video on poaching eggs and I might give it a whirl so the white is soft and not firm like when you boil an egg.

Don’t feel confined to only what is on this recipe. The great thing about bowls is you can mix and match anything, throw on a good dressing and eat it up!

•Don’t forget the list•

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