My Favorite Way to Eat Berries

After my walking workouts, I am always starving!  About 11:00 in the morning, baby girl is either still asleep or just waking up from her morning nap, so she usually needs a snack at that time.  It’s too early for lunch, but I need some protein and some hearty food to fill my tummy and refuel my body.  My solution:

OATMEAL!

I already mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I switched out my “usual” oatmeal fixings of butter and brown sugar in favor of pure maple syrup and nuts.  Now, however, I find that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE FRESH BERRIES in my oatmeal.

ALDI has a great mix of frozen blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, and I usually buy a bag of frozen blueberries while I’m at it.  I don’t even take the time to thaw them since I throw them in the microwave during the last 20-30 seconds of cooking time on my oatmeal.  No sugar needed – the berries are sweet enough themselves.  If you like, put some pecans or almonds or walnuts and some wheat germ and/or seeds of your choice in with them, and you are on your way to making Dr. Fuhrman proud!  Check out his book, Eat to Live, to see what I mean.

Couple it with a good cup of coffee and you are GOOD TO GO!  Try it next time you think you’re hungry but it’s not “mealtime” yet.  Good luck to you as you make progress toward your healthy goals!

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My Recipe Notebook

We’ve been doing eMeals for about 15 months now, and have loved it for many reasons.  (I think I wrote a whole blog post about it.)  There’s only one problem: there are so many good recipes and not a lot of repeats.

We WANT to repeat some of these great recipes!

So I had this idea to create our Most Loved Recipes.  See, when eMeals sent me each week’s menu, I printed it, punched holes in it, and put it in my food binder, which went to the store with me and I checked off the items on the shopping list as we shopped.  At home, I took the menu/instruction page out and put it on the fridge so I could read it as I cooked.  Finally, when we sunk our teeth into the recipe, hubby and I would rate the meal.  On the menu/instruction page, I would star or highlight the recipes we absolutely LOVED, the ones that were good, and the ones that we did not care to repeat.

I am also to the point where I cannot make a grocery shopping trip by myself when I have Baby Girl with me.  She is into everything and is bored by her toys before we get to the baking aisle (which is only the 2nd aisle in our ALDI)!

So to simplify my shopping trips, and to utilize the best of eMeals, I compiled our Most Loved Recipes in my recipe notebook.  I went back through the printed menus and flagged the pages with favorite recipes on them, then typed them all up.  I slapped together a Table of Contents page, and – voila! – my recipe notebook is complete with 16 main dishes, 5 desserts, 3 breakfasts, and 2 snacks.  (The main dishes all have side serving suggestions…don’t worry, we’re not skipping fruits and veggies!)  Hubby and I had fun picking out meals for this week because we knew that EVERY SINGLE MEAL would be a home run!

If you don’t have some sort of organizational method for your menu planning and meal fixing yet, I hope you’ll consider putting together your own Most Loved Recipe list.  If that’s not for you, then just stay organized!  Keep an itemized list of what you have in the freezer and fridge on a dry erase board in plain sight of the kitchen so you don’t feel overwhelmed when it’s time to fix dinner, and so that you don’t waste good food by letting it go bad.

God has given us everything we need for life…I take that to mean our food.  Be blessed.  ~Eph. 3:20-21

We love ALDI!

We were so excited when a new grocery store opened in our hometown last month. ALDI is a national chain of grocery stores specializing in low prices. You bring your own grocery bags, you rent a cart for 25 cents, and there are virtually no name-brand products. Sounds like a different world from Wal-Mart or Kroger, right?

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While on our debt-free journey (read more about that in Our Story, Part I and II), hubby and I have shopped at both Kroger and Wal-Mart for groceries. There are pros and cons for every grocery store, of course, but we love this new option. We go to ALDI for our eMeals shopping list (see the post about eMeals here), then make a quick stop at Wal-Mart for any baby items we might need.

EMeals (http://www.emeals.com/) provides us a menu of 7 dinners based on what ALDI has on sale that week. (Did I mention you can’t find everything all the time? They didn’t have soy sauce this past week but it was in the circular for the following week.) So for a week’s worth of dinners for the two of us, plus fruit and vegetables for baby girl, our total came to just about $60.00 on our last shopping trip. Can you feed your family dinner for that much by shopping at Wal-Mart or Kroger??

Besides the money it saves us, we enjoy shopping at ALDI. When is the last time you ENJOYED grocery shopping WITH YOUR CHILD? It is a quiet, pleasant experience. It was not too crowded on the Saturday morning we went, but I did hear some people say it was too crowded in the parking lot when they drove by so they would try it another time.

Because they don’t have a lot of brand name items, you don’t have to stand there and compare prices. That part of grocery shopping DRIVES ME NUTS and takes up way too much time, especially with a grumpy baby girl. So we just grab the ALDI brand and go – no worries. I know I’m getting the best deal with the ALDI brand.

And some ALDI store brand items actually taste better than the name brand versions. The fruits and vegetables are priced PER ITEM, not per pound or per ounce, so there’s no difficult mental math or estimation needed. Avocados are 25 cents each; peaches were 19 cents each, etc.

According to some Braum’s milk snobs I know, the ALDI brand of milk is actually pretty good. In taste, it beats the Wal-Mart milk but doesn’t quite reach the upper echelons, like Braum’s milk does. But it beats everywhere on price – $1.79 per gallon. I know, right?! And bakers, you’ll love this. Butter was $1.69 for 4 sticks last time we went. That’s HALF the price you find at most grocery stores. I think Wal-Mart had it for $2.38 last time I was in there.

So let’s recap:

  1. ALDI is cheaper than anywhere else, especially with eMeals.
  2. ALDI is quiet and pleasant.
  3. ALDI saves you time.
  4. Bring a quarter for your cart and bring your own reusable grocery bags.

So if those things sound good to you, then give ALDI a try next time you buy groceries. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. May God bless you more than you could ask or imagine. – Ephesians 3:20-21