My husband is a lucky man.

I am a public supporter of top knots and mumus. Without fail every time I make a public push for women to embrace mumu life and messy hair, I get the "your husband is a lucky man" and "wow your husband must love that" comments practically dripping with sarcasm. I might respond with a laugh and move on, but inside every comment throws another log on the fire of rage inside. I mean, let me get this straight... my appearance in pajamas is so awful that you literally feel sorry my husband has to see me that way? Or is it that as a wife, dressing in a sexually stimulating manner and being perfectly groomed at all times is somewhere in the fine print of my job description that I failed to read? And please tell me why men are not held to this same, "must look hot for your spouse" standard? Do you feel bad for me when my husband wears basketball shorts and a stained tshirt around the house?

 There have been times I have felt sorry for my husband for having to be married to me. Times full of darkness, depression, and emotional withdrawal. I felt unworthy of his love and commitment. I felt like a complete burden he had to carry. In these times I really felt like the lucky one. Things have changed now, and though I still think I married up, I feel like I do my best each day to be the partner my husband deserves. Not a single day in my life however, have I felt my worth as a partner depends on my appearance.

Let's see. Every day my husband heads out to a job he loves knowing that his children will be loved and taken care of while he's gone, and it won't cost him a dime. Being a stay at home mom has caused some serious resentment issues for me (another post, another day), but we came to this decision together. For now, for this season, it is what works for our family. Even so, the luxury of freely working to be successful at work while having a thriving family at home because your spouse is there taking care of it cannot be discounted.

When he comes home from work it is common to find me sporting a mumu and messy hair. it is also common to find a nutritious meal on the table, happy kids full of stories about their day, and a wife comfortable enough with herself to rock that mumu without a thought about the fact maybe she doesn't look sexy in it.  It is common to find laundry done, the pantry stocked, and kids who have had adventures that day. It is common to find me happy to see him,

My husband has a wife who likes herself. A wife who obviously wants to be found attractive, but respects him enough to know attraction goes deeper than the mumu she is wearing. He has a wife who takes care of herself in ways a mumu might not reflect, but her peaceful, happy attitude does. He has a wife who is working hard to be well. He has a wife who when all dressed up, does it for herself rather than to impress him or others. He has a wife confident with herself and her opinions, creating a strong partnership in their marriage. He has a wife who is content. He knows the mumu means nothing other than that she likes to feel comfortable.

So yeah, my husband is a lucky man, thanks for noticing.

Toddlers are all of us.

There is no toddler problem that isn't intensely amplified by hunger or fatigue. There is no toddler problem that is too small to warrant a full blown melt down. Toddlers have limits, and fall apart when asked to go beyond them. The thing is, when we are completely honest and self aware, I believe we are all toddlers.

We live in a world where the more you do the better you are. The glorification of busy, as they say, runs the world. Hustle. Work harder. Say yes. Do more. But at what cost? The necessity of regular food, rest, and down time is not unique for toddlers. There is no magic age where we suddenly become super human, no longer requiring proper, basic, care. The problem is we are all internal toddlers trying to function in a world that has no respect for boundaries or limits. 

So many of us become the worst versions of ourselves when we are tired, hungry and overwhelmed. So why do we do it? Why do we over schedule ourselves, take on too much, and never slow down? Why do we push ourselves to our breaking point before realizing maybe something needs to change? I believe it is from the pressure of a fast paced world. It feels necessary for success. But what success really matters if you are a miserable human barely scraping by? 

Taking naps, saying no, and making meal times a priority are seen as weak or even selfish, but only because you're an adult. You should be able to handle it. This whole mentality is false. We cater to toddler schedules and needs because we know they need it to be able to function. This need is NO different in adults. The only difference is that you aren't allowed to fall into a sobbing heap when you're hungry as an adult, so it comes out in different ways. The need is the same, so when it is not met the impact is spilling out somewhere else. Adults have tantrums, fits and meltdowns of their own kind. The craziest part of all of this is that a lot of the miserable people in the world could drastically improve their quality of life by basic self care. By knowing their limits, and respecting them. 

We are human. We require food regularly and adequate sleep. Circumstances make these basic needs hard to meet sometimes, but too often we use life as an excuse to not take proper care of ourselves. You need a nutritious lunch just as badly as your toddler, so find a way to eat one. Changing these seemingly insignificant things and making the most basic self care a priority will change your life. it has been a big part in fixing mine.

Food Prep Day Schedule

I always get fired up for my big monthly food prep day. I love keeping all the work and all the mess confined into one day, and then being able to enjoy healthy food with very little effort for weeks. Here is a general schedule of what my food prep day looks like.

I always do all my grocery shopping a day or two before the day I prep. Doing shopping and prepping in one day is possible I guess, but sounds exhausting to me, I prefer to break it up. I also like to clear my schedule as much as I can, stay in sweats, and just bust it out. My kids get to watch a movie on food prep day, which is really exciting to them, and I also try to have play dough and stuff ready to keep them busy. AND I actually include them in a lot of the cooking. Teaching kids how to prepare REAL food is a good, good thing. My last tip is to always cook the best smelling thing last, so it leaves your house smelling great instead of blegh.

 I jump up and get the first thing going before I even eat breakfast, then typically by lunch I am almost done. While one thing is in the oven you prep the next thing so that there is always something in the oven. Make use of your crockpot, dutch oven, oven, and pot at the same time.

  1. I always get the salmon and tilapia soaking in lemon juice first.
  2. Get the pork shoulder going in the crock pot.
  3. Get salmon in the oven.
  4. Prep chicken thighs to be oven ready.
  5. Get tilapia in the oven,
  6. Get a soup going in the dutch oven. If doing two different soups get one started in another pot as well.
  7. Get chicken in the oven.
  8. Finish soups and allow to cool.
  9. Cook the ground turkey on the stove top.
  10. While everything is cooling assemble any other freezer meals you are doing (enchiladas etc.)
  11. Portion and prep everything for the freezer.
  12. DISHES
  13. End with granola.banana bread,muffins etc.
  14. While the yummy smelling stuff cooks I do all the washing and chopping of produce.
  15. DISHES
I like to do all the meat prep and then start a load of dishes and really disinfect all my surfaces. Then I move on to the baking/chopping type prep. Generally I run the dishwasher three times on food prep day. I also generally always have pork should for dinner on food prep day because it takes until dinner time to cook. We eat it, then I portion out and freeze the leftovers.

I can't even explain how this process as simplified my life, changed the habits of my entire family, and set me up for success in healthy eating. Trying to serve some complex, exciting healthy recipe every night caused quick burn out. "What's for dinner?" is no longer the stress inducing question it once was. I could go on and on. I hope these posts have been helpful. It has taken months for this to come easy and fit in my life naturally, so don't get discouraged if it feels hard at the beginning. You will find what works for you. Happy prepping!

Cooked veggies and grains

I cook my veggies and grains almost exclusively in my rice cooker with the steamer tray. You can get one for yourself here.


This is a good time to remind you that I keep things simple. There are a million ways to make vegies more exciting and delicious, but I have found how I like to eat them while keeping it simple. On food prep day I wash and chop a lot of this stuff so the day of I can just toss it in the steamer/oven. Cooked veggies stay good for 2-3 days in the fridge so its only every few days I have to even cook them.

Broccoli/Cauliflower/Carrots: I simply fill the veggie steamer tray of my rice cooker with chopped veggies and let it do the work for me. I used to prefer baked, but I have found I can eat more if it is steamed. Plus I HATE the smell of baked broccoli.

Summer squash/butternut squash/brussel sprouts: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop squash and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Spaghetti squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stab squash with a fork a few times and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for one hour. Remove squash and allow to cool a bit.Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Using a fork, pull out all the strands of squash and place in a skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Saute over high heat for a few minutes until the squash begins to dry out and get a little crispy. Baking it first makes it so much easier to cut in half then tackling the hard raw thing.

Mushrooms: I always buy whole mushrooms and chop them myself because you get more for your money. Simply saute chopped shrooms over medium heat to your desired softness. They cook down quite a bit, so cook more than you think you need. They also create a lot of their own oil, so no need to prep the pan with oil.


Quinoa, rice, potatoes and oatmeal. My tips here are to buy a rice cooker, add an extra cup of water to make it more tender, and to use jasmine rice if you want better leftovers. Oh, and I use instant oatmeal and a microwave every morning. Fancy. I also just microwave my potatoes/sweet potatoes. Stab them with a fork, cook four minutes, flip, another four minutes and you're all set.

The rice cooker is SO nice because in two seconds you have your grain and veggies cooking themselves without even having to check on them.

Salad, fruit, and smoothies OH MY!


Who doesn't love a salad bar? Having everything washed, chopped, and prepped will make choosing a salad an easy choice.

Lettuce: I buy the big pack of romaine hearts from Costco, The key for me is to finely chop the lettuce so the pieces are small. This makes it way easier to eat. Wash and chop the whole pack and place in gallon sized ziplocks.

Veggies: This really varies according to your tastes, but I always keep cucumbers and carrots on hand. I chop them small and store them in containers in the fridge. I will add other seasonal veggies but these are the musts,

Other toppings: I like to keep hard boiled eggs, shredded cheese, craisins, corn(open the can and dump it in a container for easy access), nuts, and croutons (my kids will eat anything if croutons are involved) on hand. Keep everything in easy access containers so that tossing it together is as easy as opening a bag of chips.


This is sort of an obvious one, but I love keeping a variety of fruit on hand. The key here is to have stuff washed and chopped so its super easy to choose over other snacks. I can't tell you how many pineapples have gone bad in my life simply because cutting it felt like too much work. Getting it all done at once is way easier than cutting it in the moment you want it. We eat a lot of berries, pineapple, apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes. We eat it plain, but my whole family also loves tossing it together with some Greek yogurt and granola. My favorite "clean" granola recipe can be found here.


Smoothies are my favorite way to get my kids to eat a lot of good stuff. This green smoothie is an afternoon snack go to around here. I shared the recipe over here a bit ago.

Protein Prep: Salmon, Tilapia and Eggs

FISH! There is so much good stuff in it. Put it in your rotation!

You will notice I don't use any oil or butter. I like it without so I see no need to add the complexity to it.

Salmon filet- I get the big fresh one from Costco
Lemon juice
Lemon pepper seasoning (I love Trader Joe's)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place whol
e filet in a bowl and cover in lemon juice. Let is soak for 10-20 minutes. I find this helps cut that "fishy" flavor. Place filet on a cookie sheet lined with foil and coat generously in seasoning. Place in oven and immediately lower the temp to 225 degrees. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Cook time will vary depending on filet size. The fish will easily flake/pull apart at the grain when done.

Allow fish to cool then place individual portions in sandwich size ziplock bags to freeze.


8 tilapia fillets
Lemon juice
Lemon pepper seasoning
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fillets in bowl and cover in lemon juice. Let soak for 10-20 minutes. Place fillets on a foil covered cookie sheet lined with foil and coat generously in seasoning. Cook for 30 minutes.

Allow fish to cool then place individual portions in sandwich size ziplock bags to freeze.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Place desired amount of eggs in a pot and add enough water to cover them. Place a lid on and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils turn off the heat but leave the covered pot on the burner. Allow to cool, strain water, and store eggs in fridge.

Protein Prep: chicken, turkey, and pork

I have protein three times a day. It isn't always in the form of meat, but having a freezer stocked with cooked, portioned meat drastically simplifies day to day meal prep.

Chicken Thighs

Thighs have more fat than breasts, which not only makes them taste better to me, but I feel they also retain flavor and moisture better when frozen. I buy boneless, skinless thighs at Costco. They cost more than breasts, but the drastic difference in taste is worth the money for me. I have also prepped breasts this same way and it works just fine, I just don't love the taste. 

8 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste (I also love Trader Joe's Every Day Seasoning when I remember to have it on hand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Prepare cookie sheet by lining with foil and placing a cooling rack on top of the foil. Lay out the thighs on the rack. Generously coat with salt and pepper.

Place in oven for 20 minutes. 

Take out, flip the thighs, season the other side.

Cook for 20 more minutes.

Allow thighs to cool, then portion them out how you like. Place individual potions in sandwich sized ziplock bags and place in freezer.

It really is that easy.

Ground Turkey

Basically everything that calls for ground beef I substitute ground turkey. It is cheaper, and helps if you are watching your red meat intake. I most often season mine like taco meat, but I also love it with curry powder. I eat mine plain with my veggies and grain, but it could also make a great salad topping.

2 lbs ground turkey
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Mix all the seasonings together in a small bowl. Brown the turkey on the stove top then drain the juices. Dump in 1/2 c water along with the seasoning mixture and simmer until water is absorbed, stirring regularly.

Allow turkey to cool, then portion it out how you like. Place individual potions in sandwich sized ziplock bags and place in freezer.

I admit this isn't my favorite of the meats I prep, but it is cheap and adds variety.

Pork Shoulder

Hands down the easiest, cheapest and most versatile meat. I eat mine prepped as I will list below, but I often add BBQ sauce to my family's to change things up. We also make carnitas with this meat, which I will share another time. I buy the large pork shoulder cut from Costco then cut the big hunk into 5 smaller portions, wrap them in plastic wrap and place each one in a gallon sized ziplock. I prep one of the 5 smaller chunks on food prep day then stick the others in the freezer to grab and cook individually throughout the month when I need it. 

2 lbs pork shoulder (this is a rough estimate, but exactness isn't necessary)
salt and pepper
2 onions, quartered
2 tbsp minced garlic
water (you can also use broth but water is free and always on hand)

Place pork in crock pot and coat generously with salt and pepper. Place onions around pork. Add garlic. Slowly add enough water to almost cover the meat. Think ice berg, with only a small portion of the meat above the water level. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-5. It can remain slightly pink when done, but will easily pull apart with a for when done.

Use tongs to remove all the pork from the liquid. Allow pork to cool, then portion it out how you like. Place individual potions in sandwich sized ziplock bags and place in freezer.

To Use:
Every night I grab the portions I need for the next day and move them from the freezer to the fridge. They thaw over night and you simply microwave as normal to reheat them when the time comes. Mission protein accomplished! Tomorrow is salmon and tilapia! See you then!

Simple food, simple life: FOOD PREP INTRO

Let me start by explaining my philosophy behind food prep. If you are looking for the most delicious recipe for the best meal you have ever had, this is not for you. If you are looking for simple tips to get healthy food on your plate three times a day, you are in the right place. I love fancy food blogs with complex yet delicious recipes, but I just can't maintain that level of effort. I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and throw in the towel. I don't love to cook, and complex menu planning is really just setting myself up for failure.  Clean eating burn out is REAL. Our world is all about pleasure seeking and the food we eat is no exception. The fallacy that every meal you eat needs to be the best you've ever had needs to be put in check. The bottom line is that you need food to live. Food is fuel. Don't get me wrong, I like my food to taste good, and I sincerely feel that it does. But in order for me to feed myself and my family healthy food consistently long term, it has to be easy. Here is my guide to successfully stocking a fridge/freezer well enough that healthy options are always readily available, with little effort on your part. I will share what I keep on hand and how I prep it. There is definitely a learning curve but I can honestly say now prepping this way feels effortless. Food is ready when I need it and I don't live in the kitchen.

Food List: What I prep and keep on hand.

  • hard boiled eggs
  • string cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • plain greek yogurt 
  • washed and chopped fruit (berries, pineapple, melon etc.)
  • salad bar supplies (washed and chopped lettuce and veggies ready to grab)
  • granola
  • chicken thighs
  • pork shoulder
  • ground turkey
  • tilapia
  • salmon
  • potatoes/sweet potatoes
  • jasmine rice
  • assorted veggies to steam/bake

Getting Started: Supplies

Aside from groceries there are some tools I really rely on. My kitchen is tiny and not well equipped, but that's another perk of simplifying, Keeping food close to its natural form and preparing it in basic ways doesn't require a lot of fancy stuff. 
  • Gallon sized, quart sized, and sandwich sized ziplock baggies.
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • foil
  • cooling rack
  • Various sizes of containers. I like this set. I use containers for fruit and veggie prep, not for prepackaging whole meals for a week, I like my food to feel fresh.
  • Rice cooker with veggie rack. This one is my FAVORITE. Being able to prep a grain (quinoa/rice) while steaming veggies by the flip of one switch is a huge time saver. You don't have to watch over it like on the stove top, freeing you for other things. Like life. #teamstayoutofthekitchen
  • Stove top dutch oven. I bought this one for Ryan years ago and it continues to be my FAVORITE kitchen item I own. There is no end to what I use it for. Carnitas anyone? I also love it for soups, frying, and literally anything I can think of to cook on the stove. Seriously I'm obsessed with it.
  • Crock pot. Nothing fancy,
  • Knives. You can spend a lot of money here, and maybe someday I will get to... but for now this set is serving me very well. I chop a lot folks.

Procedure: How I do
  • I prep all my meat in one day, then portion it out into individual servings. I put each serving in a sandwich sized ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer. Every night before bed I pull out what I plan to eat the next day and allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge, then I simply microwave it to warm it up when I am ready to eat it. I have found chicken thighs, pork shoulder, salmon, ground turkey and tilapia all freeze quite well. They taste fresh and great when reheated. 
  • I wash and chop lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers and put it all in containers and ziplocks so that making a salad is as simple as dumping stuff in a bowl. 
  • I wash and chop fruit for easy snacking, or to use with yogurt or granola. Again, making it as easy to grab something healthy as it would be to bust open a bag of chips.
  • I wash and chop veggies in preparation for baking/steaming. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, all breeds of squash, and mushrooms I am only willing to eat a day or two old. This means I am having to cook them regularly, but by having them chopped and ready all I have to do is toss them in the oven or steamer and I am set. 
  • I also usually make a few pans of enchiladas and a few soups to have on hand for my family. I freeze these and pull them out the night before to reheat the day of. 

Stay tuned this whole week for all the specific recipes and details for each category of prep. Here is the line up:

  • Chicken, pork and turkey
  • Salmon and tilapia
  • Salad bar in your fridge, fruit and granola parfaits, and green smoothies
  • Cooked veggies and grains
  • Food prep day schedule