As many of you know or may not know, I am the proud mama to two little ones under the age of 3. Anderson, our head-strong, smart little man will be •3• in about 5 short months. How we are coming up on three so soon is beyond me! Scarlett, who seems as though she will be even more head-strong than her brother (if that is even possible) is almost 4 months old. I love how confident and determined our two kids are. I truly hope they never lose that.
When Josh and I found out we were expecting Anderson, the following year after we got married, we had long talks about not losing ourselves in our children. We did not get to have much time, with just the two of us before kids. We both knew we didn’t want to wait long to have children, but didn’t expect to get pregnant within a month of trying. Scarlett was more like a week of trying.
We talk a lot about how marriages can just fall apart if you don’t pay attention to your spouse, if you keep running with the same party crowd, stop putting your spouse above yourself, etc. How do people go from being so madly in love, to never wanting to spend another day with each other? We both come from divorced families and do not want that to be our fate as well.
As a mom I think it is natural to push your spouse to the side to take care of the kids. Hell, as a mom you push yourself to the back of line to take care of everyone else first. You my dear, you come last, and you put yourself there. It is easy to focus on the ones that are the most helpless. Your husband is your partner, not your child so naturally you stop focusing all your attention on the one that can do for himself. This is where people mess up.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying go all out for each other everyday. When we were searching for a wedding venue, the owner of one venue told us the key to her marriage was that she does at least one thing each day, that makes her husband’s life easier, and vice versa.
In one of our many talks, we discussed ways to not lose each other to our kids. We talked about how we could take trips alone, weekly or monthly date nights, and early bed times for the kids so we have a little alone time. One of those things has happened and it’s definitely not the trips or date nights. The last “trip” we went on was to the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, to see The Revivalists (aaaaah-mazing band), which was (and still is) the only time I have EVER spent the night away from Anderson. That was a year ago.
I say all of this to tell say, Josh has been offered an all expenses paid trip to Grand Cayman, for 4 nights. Who can say no to all an expenses paid trip to anywhere? ME.
Scarlett will only be 5 1/2 months old when this trip takes place. Leaving Anderson for one night was hard enough for me. We left as late as we could and came back as early as possible. This is FOUR nights. FOUR. My mom brain is still freaking out about this. Even talking about leaving my kids for that long makes me tear up. There are endless things that can go so wrong, that would be out of my control and I would be a whole days worth of traveling away from them.
Then there is my husband. My oh-so deserving husband, that has worked so hard to provide for his family, that is being rewarded for his hard work. He wants time alone with his wife…terrible right? 😉 I felt as though there was no right answer for me to make. Do I leave my kids (my 5 month old baby and sweet Mama’s Boy) and feel like an awful parent or neglect my marriage and feel like an awful wife?
I finally made a choice and “chose” my marriage. I thought of this trip as preventative maintenance, like getting your car’s oil changed or taking fish oil to keep your joints nice and healthy. We take care of our cars and our bodies so they don’t break down on us. We take rest days, wear our knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and gloves, stretch, practice our technique, take supplements, and fuel our bodies properly to prevent any type of injuries or illness that could keep us from reaching our goal. Preventative maintenance is necessary for all aspects of life: your body, your marriage, your job, your car, etc.
Let’s do some preventative maintenance and plan our meals for the week, so we can focus more on our spouse, children, fitness, and job 😉
Grilled Chicken +Asparagus Egg Bacon Salad
I made this soup almost every week it seemed, while I was on maternity leave. This soup just has such good flavor, I could eat double this all on my own. It isn’t heavy at all and yet is so filling. I’m telling you, I would have this on rotation every week, but I think you might get a little bored with my menu if I did that.
Depending on the type of noodles you buy you will boil them in the sauce that you have made or simply turn the sauce off, remove the pot from the eye, and put the noodles in and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes.
You can make this super easy by getting a rotisserie chicken like they did in the original recipe or cook chicken breasts to make it more macro friendly. I have used shrimp, rotisserie chicken and chicken breasts. The shrimp were great in this dish, but did not give me an adequate amount of protein. The rotisserie chicken was too difficult to plug into mymacros, so I opt for chicken breast. I weigh out my chicken before cooking it and then add it to the sauce once it is made.
In order to make 4 equal servings I use a slotted spoon and weigh out 4 equal amounts of the noodles, chicken, and kale. The servings are not going to be perfect because the kale likes to clump together. In this case I will try to eye-ball the kale ration in each scoop, so they all are as equal as possible. I use the slotted spoon, so one serving doesn’t have more sauce than the others. After you have weighed out 4 servings of noodles, chicken, and kale, make sure you split the remaining sauce equally between the 4 servings as well.
I might try adding the kale into each bowl separately after everything is cooked, so each bowl gets the same amount. I will let you know how that plays out the next time I put this on my menu.
I am all about a bowl of rice or quinoa, topped with some good vegetables and sauce. I love the mixture of quinoa with soft roasted vegetables and crunchy fresh kale.
Anytime the most difficult process of cooking a meal is cutting up the vegetables, you have a meal prep winner. Literally the most difficult thing in this recipe is to cut up the onion and peppers. Past that, you are putting a pot of water on to boil for the rice, quinoa, or couscous (whichever speaks your carb love language). Personally, I will be using jasmine rice. 1- because we bought a HUGE bag of it last week & 2- because it is so damn good, I love that sticky rice.
I am going to skip the avocado, even though I know it would be delicious and will be adding steak. I won’t steam my kale, that just seems like too much work. Instead, I am going throw it in a pan with a tsp of olive oil and wilt it just a tad bit. Wilting the kale is definitely something to do the night you plan to eat this meal. Everything else can be done during your meal prep.
I don’t do too many sheet pan dinners, but I am on the search for some that I can add to my arsenal of easy meal prep dinners. Sheet dinners require one pan, which makes for easy clean-up and if you have ever meal prepped or just prepared a large meal, you know that cleaning up after cooking is a drag.
The original recipe only has one chicken breast in the recipe, but I will be cooking 3-4 depending on their weight. I am also going to use an entire cabbage and will be keeping the potato amount the same. One thing that is nice, is you can still weigh everything individually without having to create a recipe for it on your app. You can easily pick out the amount of potatoes, cabbage, and chicken that fits into your macros for that day.
If you are going to be upping the ingredients for this dish, make sure you up the amount of sauce too. You don’t want to eat dry chicken and burnt cabbage.
I am pumped to give this recipe a go this week. I have never been a huge fan of a thick and heavy sauce, it always left me feeling bloated and heavy. The zucchini noodles are a great texture and offer zero guilt like pasta noodles. I have a spiralizer and will be making my own noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, don’t fret, you can buy the zucchini noodles already done up for you. No excuses.
I have gotten several questions on how to cook zucchini noodles. If you are making your own noodles, DO NOT peel the zucchini and DO NOT salt the zucchini. The skin is what holds your noodle together and the salt will draw out even more moisture. I am going to eat my noodles raw. The sauce of the pasta will still be warm enough to slightly wilt down the zucchini. Also, this will allow me to make 4 equal servings of the zucchini noodles and then make a separate recipe for the sauce and chicken. The original recipe says to add in the cheese, but I am going to top off my pasta with cheese. This will help avoid adding extra fat that is not needed. I like to use fresh parmigiano regginao, not parmesan cheese.
Grilled Chicken +Asparagus Egg Bacon Salad
Josh bought some bone-in chicken breasts that we are going to grill this week. If you didn’t know, it is going to a warm week, before it gets too hot for the babies and dogs outside we are going to take advantage and grill. Grilling chicken breast is always a gamble to me, but having the bone-in will help prevent it from drying out so easily.
If you have been following along, which I hope you have, I used a sauce on some pork chops a few weeks ago. I am going to use that sauce again for the chicken breast. I think the sauce will go perfectly with the asparagus, bacon, egg salad. I will make enough sauce to coat my chicken well and have some extra to baste it with.
Sauce:1 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp yellow mustard, 3 Tbsp whole grain mustard, 1-2 Tbsp Cholula Hot Sauce(or more for extra heat), 1 Tbsp Worcestershire and around 1/3 C of water to thin out the sauce
I like to put one egg on my salad and Josh will eat two on his. This salad does typically have a dressing but it really is not necessary. I did make the sauce the first couple of times I made this side. Josh forgot to add it to his plate one night and never even noticed that it was missing. So no more sauce. Why add that extra fat and go to the trouble of making it, if it is just as good without it?!
Since we are firing up the grill I am going to cook the asparagus and chicken on the grill. I like to have soft, runny eggs so I am going to boil my eggs for 4 minutes. We have found that we are no good at peeling eggs. It really is annoying when half the egg white comes off with the shell. The other day Josh peeled the eggs while they were still semi-warm and they peeled perfectly! I know we have all seen those people that can peel the hard boiled eggs by shaking them in jars, but I just don’t trust that mess with a soft boiled egg. Peeling them warm seemed to do the trick the other day. Fingers crossed it happens again!
•Don’t forget the grocery list•