Meal Planning Monday! What’s Your Plan? Share It!

It’s that time of week again, kids! What’s your plan this week?

Meal Planning Tip Of The Week:
Let your kids in on the fun! Let them pick out one day a week where they get to plan and help prepare the meal for that night! They love to get involved, and it’s good training for later!

This Week’s Plan:

Monday: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, sauteed zucchini
Tuesday: Bean and Beef Burritos on Whole Wheat Tortillas
Wednesday: Whole Wheat Flax Biscuits with Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Thursday: Grilled Chicken, grilled veggies
Friday: Cheese and almond crusted Tilapia, green beans, salad
Saturday: Grilled Burgers, corn on the cob
Sunday: Crock Pot Pulled Chicken, Veggie Medly

Recipe Of The Week:

Cheese and Almond Crusted Tilapia – Bariatric Friendly!
This is one of my family’s FAVORITE meals!

4 tilapia fillets, thawed if frozen
1 C almond meal
1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375. Place a metal roasting rack or metal cooling rack in the bottom of a baking pan. Prepare with cooking spray or oil of choice. Lay the fish on the rack and brush with egg wash. In a bowl, combine almond meal, cheese, and spices. Divide evenly between the fish fillets and pat down gently. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily (will be completely opaque).

Got any tips? Got a recipe you’d like to share? Or would you like to share your plan for the week? Comment below!

Advertisements

Why So-Called Christians Should Never Use the Phrase “So-Called Christians”

Once upon a time, I was a baby Christian. I didn’t read the bible or meditate on the scriptures. I didn’t “talk” to God. I didn’t listen to Him either, for that matter. I was a little lost and a little confused about where I stood on Biblical truths and principles. And there was one phrase I used a lot … “So-Called Christian”. I used it as a way to point the finger whenever a fellow Christian said something that I didn’t necessarily agree with. It was my go-to defense mechanism when something struck a chord with me. Something that, deep down, I was convicted about but I was so into myself and not into the Word of God that I wanted society’s approval rather than the Father’s approval. It was a phrase I heard a lot anyway, because I was (and am still) friends with several Pagans, Agnostics, and Atheists that use that phrase considerably. And … it was a phrase I heard from a lot of fellow Christians when they too didn’t agree with something that another believer said.

I was wrong to ever use that phrase. And if you’re using that phrase, you’re wrong too.

The phrase, “so-called Christian” is used primarily by other Christians to make fellow Christians feel bad about what they believe. It’s used to call other’s out on being judgmental, all the while being insanely judgmental in itself. It’s used to call out others’ sin – while hiding one’s own sin.

THIS IS NOT WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES US TO DO.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says that we should encourage each other and build each other up.
Christ tells us in John 13:34 to ” … love one another …
And James tells us not to “speak evil” against our brothers and sisters in Christ (James 4:11)
Finally, Paul tells us in Romans that in order to be a Christian, one has to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead …” (Rom. 10:9) and that we are all sinners saved by Grace (Rom. 3:23).

To that end, anyone who believes in Christ and accepts him as their Lord and Savior IS a Christian. We Christians are called to love one another and to not tear each other down, but build each other up in the Spirit of the Lord. The use of the phrase, “so-called Christian” goes against every aspect of our fundamental beliefs as a Christian community.

We don’t always agree on certain principles that I won’t go into here. And that’s okay. We are human. Not one of us are divine. So we’re not always going to agree. But I think it’s important that we do agree on one thing – we are all followers of Christ. We might be in different places in our journeys. We might follow different doctrines or traditions. But the fundamental center and truth of Christianity is … well … Christ.

Remember that we are all to work out our own salvation through fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). It’s not up to us to lay judgment on our fellow Christians, and it’s certainly not up to us to question someone else’s walk or relationship with Christ. You don’t know where other’s have been, and you don’t know where they’re at now. What one person is convicted about might not be what you’re convicted about – and that’s okay. We’re not all going to agree. We’re not all going to have exactly the same beliefs. But we are all called to love and encourage one another.

Trying to tear each other down is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. He doesn’t want the Christian community to be strong and supportive of each other. He wants us to be destructive of each other’s hearts and purpose. Don’t let him win, folks.

We don’t always have to agree, but we have to stick together as a strong Church body.
It’s what we are called to do.

Time-Out Tuesday

Flowers
Photo Credit Jennifer DeMoss Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved

This week we’re starting a new topic – Time-Out Tuesday.
It’s a day that I will post a reflection, meditation, or scripture for the week with some insight.
Because, sometimes, we grown ups need a little time-out too.

‘He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”‘
Psalm 46:10

Are you faltering in your trust in God (or your HP)? Are you still trying to do it “your way” when, in reality, you need to let go and surrender.
Sometimes we hold on to control for all that it’s worth, and don’t realize that it’s okay to NOT have that control. Sometimes, it’s okay to let God be in control.
In face, ALL the time it’s okay to let God be in control.
Sometimes, we need to let it all go, and sit, and be still, and just … listen. And trust. And SURRENDER.

Meal-Planning Monday! Share Your Plan and Your Tips!

Happy Meal-Plan Monday!
Yep, I’m bringing it back.
Why? Well, two reasons.
1 – I love meal-plan Monday. I thought it was fun.
And 2 – it’s helping me a lot with my OA recovery to plan meals ahead of time (those of you that are struggling with food addiction know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t cha?).
But we’re bringing it back with a twist! I want you guys to post what your plan is for the week!

Meal Planning Tip of the Week:
Taking a weekly inventory is a great way to see what you have on hand! Make a list of all meats, all veggies, and all side items you have on hand.

You can make master lists for shopping later as well!

Recipe of The Week (Bariatric-Friendly!)

Taco-Style Shredded Chicken Lettuce Wraps
4 Servings

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2 medium breasts)
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 box chicken stock (low-sodium)

1 head bibb or Boston lettuce (I like these for wraps because they’re softer and more pliable, but you can use other lettuces as well!)
toppings of choice such as: shredded lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream/Greek yogurt, etc.

Place chicken breasts in a large cooking pot and cover with enchilada sauce and enough stock to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until breasts are cooked through (about 160 on a meat thermometer and no longer pink in the middle). Remove from liquid and shred using two forks. Return to cooking liquid and cook for another minute or two to flavor completely. Serve on lettuce leaves with toppings of choice.

Side items we love: refried beans and brown rice.

 

Weekly Meal Plan (Dinners Only)

Monday: Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Caesar Salad with Light Dressing
Tuesday: Taco-Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Refried Beans and Brown Rice
Wednesday: Scrambled Eggs w/Cheese, Bacon, and Whole Wheat Mini-Biscuits
Thursday: Grilled Chicken “Arms”, Cheesy Grit Casserole (Miss E’s Request), Grilled Veggie Packets (onions, bell peppers, zucchini)
Friday: Baked Fish with Almond/Cheese Crust (Mr. Boy’s Request), Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (Daddy’s Request), Green beans
Saturday: Cheesy Chicken Skillet, Brown Rice, Broccoli
Sunday: Grilled Burgers with Lettuce “Buns”, Sauteed Veggie Medley

There ya’ go! See a meal that intrigues you and want the recipe? Feel free to comment below and I’ll blog it!

What’s you’re plan for the week? Post below!

How To Eat Right On A Food Stamp Budget … Without Living Off Limes

Disclaimer: I am typically a Gweneth Paltrow fan. I have nothing against the woman. I think she’s a great actress and a woman who’s doing what she thinks is best for her and her family, nurition wise. 

That said …

I was putt off with this whole “food stamp challenge”. Don’t know what I’m talking about, check it out here.

Confession Time We are currently on Food Stamps. I’m not proud of it (although I AM proud that that will be changing very, very soon!), but it is what it is. Sometimes things happen and you have to have a little help. It’s all good. We’re working our way back up!

Okay … So … Here’s the thing …
The problem I had with what Paltrow bought was that, frankly, it was not even close to being realistic. Not. Even. Close.

First off, she bought items that are seemingly for juicing – limes (7 to be exact. One a day), kale, garlic, and cilantro. Having juiced myself, I know these make up the components for a very powerful concoction. BUT … There aren’t many people on assistance that have juicers. Then a sweet potato, an onion, a jalepeno, an ear of corn, and a bunch of green onions … Could these be going into the juice? Special recipe, maybe? Who knows … And … frozen peas. I can’t look into the mind of anyone and say what was or was not on their minds when they bought an item. But I look at her haul and am vaguely reminded of an episode of chopped … She did well with buying lettuce, tomato, eggs, black beans, and brown rice. But … smack dab in the middle of it all is a bag of plain ol’ tortillas. “One of these things is not like the other …”

But let’s not be TOO hasty to judge. See, the thing is, poor Gwennie (I feel like we’re friends, now. I can call you ‘Gwennie’, right?) … well, she’s never HAD to have a budget or live off of food stamps or any of that. Remember, her folks are Hollywood royalty: Filmmaker Bruce Paltrow and film star Blythe Danner. She has NEVER had money issues IN. HER. LIFE. So, OF COURSE she’s clueless! And there were some issues with the “Food Stamp Challenge” anyway. First off, no one gets their money by the week. We get it once a month. Therefore, we usually buy the bulk of our groceries at the beginning of the month. Also, that wasn’t a great way to bring awareness to your cause. It was a good way to tick off the masses and turn them off of some otherwise decent celebrities for a time (is anyone else dying to see what Sting and his wife bought?). But didn’t really do much for the cause … So, in Gwennie’s defense … It was a poorly executed plan.

But, never fear, SUPERMOM is here!!
*insert rocking theme music here*

Here’s my strategy for feeding my family on a food stamp budget:

Here’s the thing – we eat pretty clean around here. Lots of veggies, fruits and lean meats with a few other staples like cereal, milk, and eggs thrown in for good measure. And, yes, we’re able to do that just fine on the budget we’re on. Here’s how:

Our money comes in the first week of the month. I’m not going to tell you how much we get, but suffice it to say we’re working with enough to feed a family of four for a month.

First we:
Go to our warehouse (Costco, Sam’s, WinCo … etc) and stock up on the meat we need for the month. This month’s haul, for example, consisted of two whole chickens, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and chicken wings (for Miss E who loves them and refers to them as “chicken arms”). We also got cheese, sausages and hot dogs, and a big container of cashews for some healthy snacking. After looking at the prices on the pork and beef items, we decided to hold off on those. (PS Don’t get your panties in a bunch about my going to a warehouse club. The membership was a Christmas gift!)

Next we:
Hit our local superstore (Wal-Mart, Target, etc) and got a few other meat items – ground beef, pork loin, and steak, salmon, and tilapia (yep. I said steak and seafood. Bite me, Rick Brattin). We also got the weekly items we need – milk, eggs, bread, cereal, and fresh fruits and vegetables. and grabbed a case of water.

Finally, we:
Hit our favorite store for some condiments we can’t really find anywhere else like sugar free preserves (I can’t eat sugar), hoisin sauce (sugar free, of course), and herbs. We also grabbed a few specialty produce items that we couldn’t find anywhere else (anything to get my kids to eat some vegetation!), and some cheese for the hubbs and I to snack on.

What do we have left? Exactly enough to buy staples and fresh fruits and veggies each week for the rest of the month.

What we DIDN’T buy:
Junk food (chips, ice-cream, etc.), candy, soda, boxed meals. If it was cost effective, we bought organic. If not, we didn’t. We went with what would get us the most bang for our buck and feed the family good, wholesome meals.

What I did with the stuff I bought

All the meats got separated out and popped into the freezer.
Some of the fresh produce got prepped and popped into the freezer.
Water, shelf-stable items, and canned goods to the pantry.
Cheese, eggs, milk, fresh veggies for the current week, etc. got popped into the fridge.

Inventory was taken and meals were planned.

Now, granted, I am not the norm in the world of government assistance. I have a nutritional background, I have been taught how to budget and save money, and I have been taught how to shop sales and clearance items. I cook pretty much everything from scratch, when I’m able, and I’ve had an education beyond high school. If you look at the statistics, these are sorely lacking in low-income families across the board.

So… here’s a thought. Rather than coming up with some lame, unrealistic social-experiment to “bring awareness” to food stamp families, why don’t we try starting an education program for low-income families, that includes wide-spread distribution of information so that every family that needs it is aware of it and has access to it? Classes on nutrition. Cooking classes. Classes on finance. Classes on couponing. Classes and programs to help families know what their options are as far as education and career-training programs go. This is where we are lacking. Why do people “misuse” the system and stay on government assistance? Not always because they’re lazy or unmotivated. More often than not, it’s because they’re not aware of all the possibilities that are out there for them, because they’ve never been taught that there’s anything else out there for them. Because, the thing is, apparently many of these programs and classes are available … but what good are they if no one knows about them? I hear people complaining all the time about food stamps families. Instead of complaining about their hand outs, how about helping them get a hand up instead! No, it’s not meant to be a life-long thing. But remember – until you know the whole story, you don’t know the whole story.

If you are on government assistance, how do you shop? 
If you’re not, share some money saving tips and tricks!
Comment below and share your story! 

Time For A Re-Brand!

Yep – I’m back!

Wow … 2011 was my last post? Guess I gave up on WP far too easily. Especially now that I am helping my husband built websites on it! Why I didn’t return before now, I don’t know. Life, maybe? As sometimes happens … I’ve been busy with homeschooling my babies, working with my mother on a side-project, working with my husband on website design … Not to mention having weight loss surgery and dealing with the aftermath of that (that is coming in a later post).

So … here I am. Of course, the address for this page is going to change at some point, as I am no longer learning wordpress, but HAVE LEARNED it … LOL. And I will likely turn it into a full-fledged site complete with awesome pics, downloads and more. But for now … It’s going to be a journal of sorts. My Messy Life didn’t work out too well. Neither did Our Little Homeschool. Why? Because this one was always in my heart. SMB was my first blog ever, and it holds a special place in my heart. I guess, as they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it …” Well … it wasn’t broke!

So what to expect on the new and improved SMB?

Lots of posts about my kids.
Lots of posts about my Faith.
Lots of posts about cleaning.
Struggles, joys, rants and raves, awesome products I love (non-sponsored), and maybe down the road some sponsored posts (nope. Not above pimping myself out).

I can’t promise a post a day. I can’t even really promise a post a week at this point, but I will post when I can, and hopefully entertain, inspire, and encourage someone along the way. And if it ends up being just for me … great. That’s fine too 🙂

So . . . Here I Am

I am a Blogger girl.

I can’t help it.

But so many of my bloggy buddies have decided to make the switch here, to wordpress.

So, I am deciding to give it a shot and see if I can learn it.

I will give myself three months, and if I haven’t learned the ins and outs and the joys and wonders, then I will stick with Blogger. However, if I love WordPress, and can’t let it go, then my other two blogs (The SuperMom Blues and SuperMom: Losing It) will make the move as well.

We’ll see how it goes.

So far, I have found it pretty hard to navigate around.  I am not sure how I can put my own background/header on (or even if I can at this point!)

A little more “playing” is in order here . . .