Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Cleaning Calendar

I shared by cleaning calendar on Instagram yesterday and thought I'd go ahead and share it here as well. In 2017 I came up with a cleaning routine and it was definitely helpful, but last year after a friend shared her cleaning calendar on Instagram I decided to take it a step further and create a daily calendar/to do list. I even went so far as to frame it and put it in my laundry room! 



Each day is broken down by room or group of rooms and then I listed out the tasks to complete in the room(s). I also added laundry to the daily list, which really helped me get a handle on our laundry. I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm always buried in laundry. It's not the washing that I struggle with, it's folding and hanging/putting away. When I follow my "Cleaning Cards" and do a load of laundry a day, I'm able to stay caught up. Unfortunately I haven't been following it lately, so my laundry is piling up, but it's a new week so I decided to get back to the calendar. If you click on the link above it will allow you to make a copy of the Cleaning Cards and edit it. Hope this is helpful!

Most of the products that I use to clean are in my Amazon Subscribe & Save, so I never run out of the products I need!


Friday, March 26, 2021

Avocado Egg Salad

It's Lent, which means that on Fridays we don't eat meat. We're also doing a Macro Bell Curve in FASTer Way VIP, and Fridays are now low carb days. This wouldn't be that big of an issue if low carb just meant don't eat a lot of carbs, but when you eat low carb you need to make up those calories with fat. My go to protein/fat on low carb days is usually Aubrey at Kale Kouture's Dill Chicken Salad (if you like chicken salad, head to her blog and search for the recipe - it does not disappoint), but since I can't eat meat on Fridays right now, I needed to come up with something different. I decided to use most of the same ingredients and try to make egg salad with them. 




Ingredients:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg whites*
  • 1 T celery
  • 1/2 avocado (usually about 50 grams)**
  • 1 T Hellmann's Light Mayo
  • 1 tsp Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp Dill Weed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
*You could definitely use the yolks of all of the eggs if you want to, but I was originally thinking that I'd be making this on a Regular Macro day (most of the time Fridays are Regular Macro), which means less fat, so I decided to use just the egg whites (high protein, almost no fat). When I realized that it was a Low Carb day I decided to stick with my original plan and just use the whites, but to add in avocado for added fat. Plus, I think it tastes better this way.

**If you wanted to make this lower in fat then you could omit the avocado. You might need to increase the mayo/yogurt just so it's not too dry, though.

Directions:


Hard boil the eggs. I do have one of those fancy Dash Egg Cookers (fancy because of how it cooks them, not because of the price - it's actually less than $20),  and I use it when I think about it, but most of the time I still revert back to boiling them on the stove. Once they're cooked, immediately transfer them to an ice bath. This helps stop the cooking process (I think) and it makes them easier to peel (the real reason I do it, but throwing out the "it stops the cooking process" just makes me sound more knowledgeable in the kitchen.😉



While the eggs cook, slice the avocado and discard the pit. This avocado knife is a great all-in-one tool, but you can definitely get by without it. Use slice up half of the avocado and put it in a bowl.



Peel the eggs and slice one of the eggs (yolk and white) into the bowl with the avocado. Cut the remaining eggs in half and separate the whites and yolks. Slice the whites and add them to the bowl.



Add remaining ingredients and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



On a Low Carb day I eat it on Trader Joe's Gluten Free Crispbread, but you could totally have it on bread as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Amazon Kitchen Favorites

I don't know about you, but it seems like I'm getting a new package from Amazon every day. I'm not mad about it ~ who doesn't like getting happy mail? Amazon makes life so much easier. Last Monday my egg slicer broke, and by Tuesday I had a new one in my hand. Could I have just gone to Target to grab the same egg slicer? Probably. But then I'd have to get in my car and drive there, and I'd end up coming home with $100 worth of stuff that I didn't really need. Target has that effect on you. By shopping at Amazon, I'm totally saving money!😉



One of my favorite things to eat on low carb days, or any day, is avocado toast. My husband make the most amazing avocado mash, and on low carb days we eat it on Trader Joe's Gluten Free Crispbread. I'm always looking for a kitchen gadget that is going to make life easier, so when I found this avocado knife I immediately added to cart. It slices through the peel perfectly and it makes perfect little avocado slices. It took a few tries before I got the hang of using the pitter, but once I figured out that you have to twist the knife it was so easy! Could I get by without the avocado knife? Probably, but it's a definite time saver and it was less than $10, so it was totally worth it!

I love to have sliced up bananas mixed into my overnight oats, and one of my favorite "treats" is sliced strawberries and bananas with Almond Milk Whipped Cream. A butter knifes slices the banana fine, but I always end up with an odd piece at the end when I'm holding it in my hand, and I'd rather not get a cutting board dirty. When I saw this banana slicer I decided to give it a try. I love it! It makes slicing bananas a breeze, and there is never that odd piece left over because you just keep putting it back in the slicer. Totally worth the $7 I spent.

My son loves marinara sauce, my daughter hates it. One of Carter's favorite foods is lasagna, but because Sophia doesn't like red sauce we rarely make it (she still hasn't gotten past noodles and butter). Well, one day I decided to try making her lasagna without sauce. I needed something to add some moisture to it, so I subbed olive oil for the marinara sauce. She loved it! I started making it almost weekly, and each time I made it I used those disposable aluminum loaf pans. I wasn't thrilled about having to throw the pans away every week, so I went on a hunt for something else. When I found this lasagna trio pan and knew it would be perfect! Now I can make Carter and Sophia their own lasagna, and if Michael and I want to trick up our lasagna at all we can. It's only $20, and considering I was buying disposable pans every week I figure I'll be saving money soon.

We love to make smoothies - it's a great way to get in your fruits and veggies (carbs), and there are so many things you can add to easily get more fat and protein into your diet. It seems like we almost always add nut butter (we usually stick to almond butter or peanut butter) to our smoothies to make them creamier, and bonus: added fat and protein! I used to get frustrated when adding nut butter to our smoothies because it always gets stuck to the spoon, and when you finally get it off the spoon sometimes it ends up stuck on the side of the blender cup and doesn't always mix in completely. Then someone mentioned freezing your nut butters - not only does it eliminate the problem of it sticking to the spoon/cup, you don't have to add any ice to your smoothie because the nut butter is frozen. Genius! I ended up grabbing this silicone ice cube tray and it works great! I still have to deal with the frustration of the nut butter sticking to the spoon, but it's only once when I'm filling the tray, so I can deal. And each little hexagon holds about a teaspoon of nut butter, so I don't have to be too precise.

When I started tracking foods in MyFitnessPal I realized that a lot of the foods are listed by weight and that it's better to weigh your foods than to just choose something similar. For example, a medium banana is listed in MFP as having 30 carbs, but when I weighed what I'd call a medium banana and entered the weight into MFP it only had 21 carbs. Those extra 9 carbs are important! I wasn't sure what to buy, but when I found this digital food scale and it was a decent price. I also liked that you could change the unit of measurement (grams, ounces, fluid ounces, mL), so I went ahead an ordered it. I love that it's pretty small, and it's nice that it's stainless steel - I store it on the griddle cover on our stove and it blends in because the cover is also stainless.


*This post is not sponsored. However, it does contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase it, I make a small commission off of your purchase*

Friday, March 19, 2021

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding



On the list of foods that I never thought I'd try: Chia Seed Pudding. I'd seen it mentioned several times in FASTer Way Meal Plans, but I'd never had even had chia seeds before, so I was pretty sure Chia Seed Pudding would be out of my wheelhouse. Then we did a smoothie reset last summer in FASTer Way VIP, and a few of the smoothies had chia seeds as an ingredient. They're a good source of fat and protein, and only have 4 carbs (0 net carbs on low carb days), so I decided to give Chia Pudding a try. I scoured the internet and looked at a lot of different recipes, and finally settled on a combination of what I'd found. I started out making Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding, but then I ran out of my vanilla protein powder, so I switched to chocolate and have been making it that way ever since. Chia Seeds have no flavor, so the pudding will taste like whatever you add in (I have a snickerdoodle protein powder that I might try next).


Ingredients:




4 T Chia Seeds
3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (I like the I Heart Macros Chocolate Milkshake Protein Isolate)
1/2 T Pure Organic Maple Syrup

Directions:




Whisk all ingredients together and let it sit for five minutes. Whisk again and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight. I've heard several people say that they struggle with the chia seeds clumping together, but double whisking seems to eliminate this problem. Top with fruit and nut butter (I used 1/4 mashed raspberries and 1.5-2 tsp peanut butter) and enjoy!