Step-by-step 60-minute meal prep game plan

Guest post written by Ashley Smith, MPH, RDN, LD of

It doesn’t take a marathon meal prep session on Sundays to get ahead for the week. Instead, you just need a step-by-step 60-minute meal prep game plan for what’s on the menu and what nights you need a little help to get ahead. While it does take some practice to familiarize yourself with the steps and systems that can simplify a meal prep session, I am sharing what I do below in hopes it inspires you in whatever approach you take!

Below is the meal prep plan based on this week’s meal plan featuring Milk & Honey Nutrition broken down by how I would prep it in an hour or less. I don’t get every night’s dinner completely cooked in that amount of time, but I do go into the week with both a nightly plan for what to make and having the more time-consuming ingredients prepared in advance.

To be most successful with meal planning and prep, there are a few things to think through what you prep for the week.

Questions to Ask

By answering a few generic questions, you are able to evaluate what food items to prep ahead. Then, figure out what works best for you! Consider:

  1. What meal(s) are the most time-consuming to prep?

  2. What days or nights do I most need meals ready ahead of time?

  3. What items would be the most helpful to have ready and on hand?

  4. What foods will stay fresh until they're eaten?

  5. What could I get ready all at once, so I don't have to do _________ repeatedly during the week?

In planning the logistics of your upcoming week, you can determine what from your weekly menu would be best to meal prep. You can often cut back on the dishes you use to prepare your weekly meals by preparing them in advance, as well as save time and energy on tasks like standing at the stove, preheating the oven, or washing produce one item at a time.

Since this meal plan focuses on dinner, my goal is to get ingredients prepped and the meal ready to cook (if not already cooked) so that our evening meals take less than 30 minutes to get on the table. The following one-hour prep session helps me accomplish just that.

So without further ado, here is the 60-minute rundown of what to prep for this week’s meal plan.

60 Minute Meal Prep

0-5 Minutes

  • Pull out trash can, cutting board, knives, compost bin, hand towel, and any appliances you anticipate needing (food processor, stand mixer, etc.).
  • Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with parchment paper liners.

5-20 Minutes:

  • Make blueberry muffin batter (day 5).

  • If oven is not yet preheated, make dough for cheesy rolls (day 3). Set aside to add cheese later (if shredding yourself below).

  • When oven is preheated, put blueberry muffins in. Set timer for 30 minutes.

20-40 Minutes:

  • Wash all vegetables. Allow vegetables to air dry while chopping others.

  • Dice two sweet potatoes (days 5 and 7). Store half in a large, airtight glass container with water covering diced potatoes completely (I use a mason jar). Set the other half aside in a glass dish (for more of day 7).

  • Halve Brussels sprouts (day 1). Store in glass baking dish.

  • Dice one bell pepper (day 7). Store with sweet potato and set aside (day 7).

  • Chop about 6 cups kale (day 3 and 4). Separate into two glass storage dishes with 2 cups in one dish (day 3) and 4 cups in another (day 4). Set aside.

  • Dice one onion (days 4 and 7). Add half to sweet potato and bell pepper mixture (day 7) and the other half in a bowl beside the kale (day 4).

  • Mince 3 cloves garlic (day 4 and 7). Split between three dishes (those for day 4 and 7; set aside for day 2).

  • Open can of garbanzo beans (day 3). Rinse and set beside kale in glass container.

40-50 Minutes:

  • Start quinoa+water on the stove.

  • While stove top heats up and quinoa cooks, shred block of cheese in food processor to be used in macaroni (day 2) and grain free rolls (day 3).

  • Add cheese to rolls dough. Knead and form large ball of dough, wrap tightly in saran wrap, then refrigerate until the night of use.

  • While quinoa cooks, make sloppy joes sauce (day 7). Store in a glass mason jar.

  • If consuming salmon within the next 24 hours, remove from freezer and set in a glass baking dish to thaw overnight (in the fridge).

  • When timer goes off remove muffins from the oven.

50-60 Minutes:

  • Add lids to all of dishes. Transfer to fridge.

  • Wash dishes and wipe down counters.

step-by-step 60-minute meal prep game plan

Reducing Waste

While there are several ways to do meal prep, I find that knowing my recipes in advance and taking care of most of the prep steps in advance helps me to better execute them during the chaos of the week.

That said, there is often some flexibility required to make sure nothing spoils.

Whether grocery shopping only once for the whole week or prepping on Sundays for the week’s worth of meals, we often shift the weekly meal plan schedule to how life happens or to consider what food items I need to cook up first.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. As the week goes on, continue being efficient with your meal prep. If you have the oven on to bake the cheesy rolls (day 3), go ahead and roast the sweet potatoes (day 5) as well while you’re at it and the oven is on. This will make them taste more fresh when you eat them, while also saving you the time to preheat the oven and roast them the night of.

  2. If you are standing at the stove sauteing onion and browning turkey meat already (day 4), consider going ahead and cooking the sloppy joes as well (day 7). This will make a second meal ready to eat with little to no extra work, but also prevent the prepped ingredients from going bad.

  3. Plan to either cook or consume the items you prep over the weekend within 3 days. This helps to make sure that vegetables cut in advance don’t spoil, especially those that don’t hold up as well like greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other soft produce.

  4. If it looks like something may spoil before it appears on the menu rotation, swap it out with another meal that can sit another night or two without going bad. The meal plan should act as an inspiration for meal ideas over the course of the week and to serve you; you should not be serving your meal plan.

  5. Use shortcuts, when necessary or more convenient. If you don’t get to all of the meal prep above or need to save time elsewhere during the week, buy pre-cut produce. This often lasts at least 3-5 days and has been pre-washed and pre-cut. If you are concerned an item you prep in advance may spoil before you get to eating it over the course of the week, err on the side of caution. Either wait to prep it and/or buy the pre-cut option of it to have on hand (as needed).

Get Your Weekly Meal Plan

I hope this is a helpful breakdown and inspires you to how you could invest just one hour each week to manage your meal prep. With a little planning and prep, you can become more efficient getting delicious, healthy dinner ideas on the table each week.

For more on Veggies & Virtue meal plans including this week’s with Milk & Honey Nutrition, hop on over here. You can see the past three month’s worth of menus as well as sign up to get the “complete meal plan” to your inbox every Friday - for FREE!

step-by-step 60-minute meal prep game plan

Meet Ashley Smith, MPH, RDN, LD

Ashley is a pediatric dietitian and mom to two apprehensive eaters (ages 4 and 2). Her mission is to bring other families less meal time stress and more feeding success. Ashley does this each week through sharing simple approaches to meal planning and effective strategies for raising healthy eaters. Follow her on Instagram @veggiesandvirtue or her blog,

15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

Valentine's Day is usually filled with lots of candy and chocolate, for kids and adults alike... but it doesn't have to be. Check out these 15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy. They'll leave your friends/family/co-workers/teachers feeling appreciated and loved... without sending them into a sugar crash!

*Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. This means if you decide to purchase something, I will receive a small commission as a thank you for referring you. I appreciate your support, and only recommend products and services I truly love!

FREE Valentine's Day Printables that don't involve candy

Improve your heart health with that special someone...

For a perfect gourmet date-night-in, and for less than the cost of a dozen red roses and chocolate, do your loved one's heart (and yours) a favor, and grab a Heart Health Valentine's Box from Fish Fixe. Each Valentine's Box comes with:

  • 6 salmon filets
  • 4 tuna filets
  • 2 snapper filets
  • 2 packages of lobster meat
  • 12oz. gulf shrimp

Use the code: MILKNHONEY at checkout and also receive two 5oz. lobster tails for FREE!

It's the perfect way to bond in the kitchen... AND eating seafood twice/week and a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with improved heart health!

15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

Or give the gift of time...

Daniel Wellington offers sleek, stylish, and beautiful watches your special someone will love. Use code MILKNHONEY at checkout to receive 15% off, and make sure to check out these special Valentine's Day offers available until Feb 14th:

  1. Purchase a leather watch and receive a heart charm and gift wrapping
  2. Purchase a gift set which includes a watch, an additional leather strap, heart charm and gift wrapping
  3. Each purchase will come with a unique poem written by our favorite writers
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

Show your kids' teachers just how SWEET they are...

Show your kids' teachers how great they are with these homemade spice mixes! (Recipes available on the free printable downloads above.) Click the button above to get your downloads! (But let's be honest, a gift card is also very well received by all teachers :-)

15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

Keep the office candy supply in check with these healthier co-worker gift ideas...

Think outside the box with these non-candy and inexpensive gift ideas for your office co-workers. No need to add to the office candy and chocolate supply! Grab the downloads to print your cards for free using the button/link above.

15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

Spare yourself (and your kids) the cartoons and candy with these fun printables...

Spare yourself the candy, and cartoon themed valentines at the grocery store. Try these fun and unique free cards. Grab your copy using the button/link above. 

15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy
15 Valentine's Day gift ideas that don't involve candy

Or consider these adorably soft dolls from Cuddle + Kind...

Cuddle + Kind is a Valentine's Day gift for your kids that you can believe in. Cuddle + Kind employs artisans in Peru to make these handcrafted dolls. And, not only are they providing jobs to these skilled artisits, the profits from each doll are donated to provide 10 meals to children fighting poverty and hunger.

Not the DIY type? Order the cutest cards around, and show your friends how much you care...

These adorable cards from Eat Healthy Designs are the perfect way to show a friend just how much they mean to you! Use code MARYEAT15 at checkout for 15% off your order!

 Image source: Eat Healthy Designs

Image source: Eat Healthy Designs


Or if you're more of a DIY type, here's an awesome recipe for White Chocolate Body Butter with only 4 ingredients.

And if you're still in the mood to make sweet treats for friends, here's some better for you cookie and dessert recipes that make great gifts!

Fruity & Frozen Superfood Yogurt Bites

Frosted Flourless Thumbprint Cookies

Wild Blueberry Mini-Cakes with Vanilla Icing

Raw Raspberry Lemon Bars

Almond Butter Freezer Fudge Hearts

What does Holistic Health really mean?

What Does Holistic Health Really Mean?

By Stefani Reinold, MD, MPH

While I now answer to Dr. Reinold, my health journey began long before medical school. I was inundated with the television advertisements from millennial childhood days that claimed lifting light weights and eating fat free were the avenue to health. Then, I drank the green juice kool-aid (literally) and even became a direct marketing rep for a popular wellness juice staking its credibility on the all-healing, omnipotent powers of the acai berry. All the while, seeping deeper into my eating disorder and further from true holistic health. Now some eight years later, I have not only found true holistic health personally, but professionally, I have helped more than a thousand patients find health in their own lives. From my personal, professional, and clinical experience, I must clarify what holistic health really means.

  1. Holistic health is more than physical health.  This should go without saying; however, with the countless diet advertisements and beautiful food porn photos that likely flood your social media feeds, I want to remind you that holistic health literally means a focus on the “whole” person. Your whole person is much more than your physical body. Your whole person includes your relationship health, emotional health, financial health, family health, social health and environmental health. Any efforts to improve your ‘holistic health’ must keep all of these factors in alignment.
  2. Emotional health is likely the foundation of all holistic health.  Researchers now understand that stress and anxiety alone can trim off years of your life, even when your diet and exercise routine are in tune.  Also, stress is associated with poor digestion and decreased absorption of nutrients, even when your meal is an otherwise nutrient-dense meal.
  3. Holistic health often includes mainstream medicine.  Although I am now a doctor, I haven’t always been keen on taking medications and going to the doctor.  We as a culture have now deemed mainstream medicine as evil, while ‘holistic’ and ‘naturopathic’ medicine as worthy. While mainstream medicine surely has its limitations and problems, we must find balance. Many pharmaceutical medications and medical surgeries, for example, literally save lives. And when people avoid the doctor or stop taking their medications in pursuit of ‘health,’ they are causing more harm than good.
  4. You cannot improve emotional health with food. While I will save my rant on the validity of mental illnesses for another day, I will say that some emotional health issues require professional treatment. I highly recommend healthy habits and behaviors to help lighten your mood, but there is no conclusive evidence proving that any one type of diet change will cure mental illness. As I mentioned in #3, mainstream medicine may literally save your life.
  5. Holistic health must include other people. We live in a social media world where we can literally talk to someone across the globe from us in a matter of seconds with the touch of our fingertips. Yet, we have never felt more alone.  Finding community and improving relationships is one of the best ways to not only improve your overall health, but also, increase your lifespan. So, there really is something to family dinners.
  6. Food cannot solve all of your problems.  While I myself enjoy and feel my best eating a real foods, nutrient-dense diet, I will be the first to admit that food is not the end-all, be-all of a healthy life. To be honest, some of the healthiest people physically are also some of the most miserable people, either emotionally or spiritually. And thus, do not enjoy their physical health to the fullest. This then cancels out any ‘holistic’ measures.
  7. Holistic health does not exclude spiritual health. I identify as Christian, but whether or not you claim a specific spiritual or religious sect, spiritual health must be a priority. Having a soul is what separates us humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. If we do not take steps to feed our soul, we will continue to feel empty and worthless inside.  No amount of clean eating will fill this void.
  8. Holistic health is unique to you. Because I already mentioned that holistic health is an intersection of many different factors in your life, it will look different from one person to the next. Your financial status, physical health limitations, relationships, and environment will determine what habits or behaviors that you label as valuable to your overall health.  Comparing your own health status to someone else’s is a surefire way to increase your internal turmoil, and thereby, downgrading your health in the process.

We live in a society that emphasizes appearances and associates physical health with righteousness. It may take some time to untangle your thoughts between food, body, and your emotions.   As long as you stay true to who you are, what you value, and who you want to be, your health will take care of itself.

Stefani Reinold is a board-certified psychiatrist, women's mental health expert, and founder of Not the Typical Mom-a blog and podcast about the not-so-typical, but all-too-common issues of motherhood. For help with emotional eating, food and body image issues, sign up for her free video training series, It's Not About the Food. 

Top ten most popular recipes in 2017

When I asked you guys over on Instagram if you'd like to see a list of the top ten most popular recipes in 2017 on Milk & Honey Nutrition, the answer was a resounding YES! And just a few observations... you guys love chocolate, cookies, and avocados! So, here you have it, the recipes you guys viewed the most this year...

Note: I will update this over the next few days if things change. The top five especially were VERY close and I'll be interested to see if they change at all!

10. Avocado Frozen Hot Chocolate

This is one of my favorite smoothie recipes I've ever done and is a great way to get some anti-inflammatory fats in before you start your day... and who doesn't love an excuse to make an avocado rose??

9. Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies

This recipe was sponsored by Sprouts Farmer's Market, and was basically my excuse to experiment baking with ghee. They are a classic cookie and if you love coconut and butter-y flavors mixed together... you'll LOVE these.

8. Vegan High Protein Fudge Brownies

These were an instant favorite, and appeaIed to so many different interests: vegan, high fiber, high protein, gluten free, low sugar, no added sugar, and I could keep going. I have a feeling they would have been higher on the list, if I'd posted them earlier in the year.

7. Avocado Cacao Mousse

Yet another avocado and chocolate combo you guys seem to be really into! This mousse is the creamiest most delicious thing you've ever put in your mouth, I promise! You can make it with maple syrup or date paste... you choose. Not a lot of sugar (just 2 Tbsp of either in the whole recipe), and lots of satisfying and filling fats!

6. Avocado Banana Cookies

One of the first recipes I ever developed years ago! It was a dream come true to have it published in the first ever Siggi's Yogurt Cookbook.

5. High Protein Gingerbread Cookies

This specific version of my high protein desserts (which is basically just code for "there's beans in there") was sponsored by Natural Delights Medjool Dates. Date paste is so much friendlier on my blood sugars than traditional sweeteners. 

4. Carrot Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Another oldie but a goodie type recipe. This recipe has been a staple in our home for years and is both dairy free and gluten free. It's warm and comforting and I've yet to meet a person who doesn't like it. It's also surprisingly filling for "just a soup."

3. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip High Protein Cookies

You guys have been making these cookies like crazy over the last few months... and I know exactly why. Just like the brownies (see number 10) and gingerbread cookies (see number 5), they appeal to so many people and tast A-FREAKING-MAZING!!

2. Paleo Sweet Potato Spice Muffins

This recipe was sponsored by Bob's Red Mill, and gave me an excuse to try their Paleo flour mix... which I may or may not have been dying to try. Whether you make them with regular sweet potatoes or purple sweet potatoes, given that I just posted these in November, I think they're going to be a staple I feature for many years to come!

1. How I quadrupled my income, and became a legit food blogger in 2017

Ok, so... I know this wasn't a recipe, but it was the most viewed page (after my homepage and the recipes homepage), on my website. I was incredibly nervous to write this, and was blown away by the response. It was a lesson learned that being open and transparent (and maybe a whole lot of vulnerable) was worth it.

Honorable Mentions:

Grain Free Crispy Steak Bites

Since these were my last recipe fo the year, I felt like they didn't get a fair shot at the top 10, so make sure to check them out to see if they'd make your Top 10!

Gluten Free Texas Sheet Cake

This one came in at number 11, just barely missing the top 10.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pancakes

The most mouth-watering pancakes you'll ever make!


2017 has been a whirlwind to say the least. This business has grown more than I even began to fathom. I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store for Milk & Honey Nutrition, and would LOVE (like, seriously, please) to know what yoHonoru want to see from me and this website and my scoial media accounts! Let me know in the comments!

My family's journey with food intolerances

My family's Journey with Food Intolerances

My Family's Journey with Food Intolerances

Food intolerances are a hot topic right now, with more and more people realizing the foods they eat are directly impacting the way they feel, think, and move. We also know that each of us is different, and while one food or way of eating might be ok for you to eat, that might not be the case for the next person. I've experienced this in my own family, and with clients.

But before I tell you my story with food intolerances (and my family's), we need to clarify the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. Food allergies typically cause an almost immediate reaction after a food is consumed and are a result of IgE antibodies. Food intolerances, however, may have an immediate reaction after consuming a food, but often have a much more delayed reaction. Food allergy symptoms are commonly manifested as shortness of breath, swelling, hives, and itching. Food intolerances can manifest in a number of ways: skin problems, GI discomfort, headaches, systemic inflammation, and others. 

For more information on food intolerances and food allergies, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic. 

My journey with food intolerances

As a diabetic dietitian, I tend to think about the food I'm eating and the way it effects me a little more than the average person. So when I started to experience some rather unpleasant, and at times embarrassing GI symptoms after my youngest daughter was born, I knew something was off... and like a good dietitian, I suspected it was something I was eating. My body had been through a lot after two back-to-back pregnancies, and it was very possible my immune system had changed too.

I got tested for a number of food allergies, including celiac disease, and everything came back negative. So, I went on eating as I always had... until about a year later when my thyroid hormones started acting up (I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism back when I was 12). Suddenly, my medication dosage wasn't adequate and I was needing a higher dosage than when I was pregnant (which if you're wondering, is not normal at all). My doctor suspected I wasn't absorbing my medication properly, and it could be due to inflammation in my GI tract caused by food intolerances. 

Enter Pinnertest.

What is Pinnertest?

Shortly after my thyroid started acting up, and while I was still experiencing those pesky GI symptoms I mentioned... and after that conversation with my doctor; Pinnertest reached out to me to see if I'd like to try their at-home food intolerance test. I jumped at the opportunity! If I'm being honest, I was dreading having to try different elimination diets. Pinnertest eliminates the need for that... no guess work, just a simple finger prick. 

Taking the test at home and sending in my sample was incredibly easy! (See the photo slideshow for just how simple.) I got my results back in about a week, and I was shocked... I was intolerant to chicken, shrimp, and barley. (The last one wasn't a big surprise. I had suspected I was intolerant to gluten years before this and had been eating gluten free for quite some time.) But chicken, and shrimp?! That just seemed a little too weird. But I was desperate, so I tried cutting them out of my diet for about 6 weeks. 

I'll give you one guess what happened...

Yep. My GI symptoms improved, and my thyroid hormones came back into normal range and my medication dosage was lower. It really is as simple as that. I've eaten chicken and shrimp occasionally since then, but without fail, I get an upset stomach and other not so fun GI symptoms for about  24-48 hours afterwards. 

Since my experience with Pinnertest, my husband and both my daughters have taken the Pinnertest too.

My husband has always had a "sensitive" stomach and even after eliminating all gluten from his diet after he was diagnosed with Celiac, he still gets random episodes of nausea and vomiting with no apparent cause.

My older daughter has random mood swings, and sometimes experiences higher levels of fatigue than is normal. 

My younger daughter has eczema that never seems to go away (see our most recent family photo for proof). 

 You can see one of the manifestations of a possible food intolerance in this recent family picture... my youngest is always itching and suffers from flare ups of eczema. 

You can see one of the manifestations of a possible food intolerance in this recent family picture... my youngest is always itching and suffers from flare ups of eczema. 


We just got their results back last week... we found out my oldest daughter tested intolerant to cocoa beans, my younger daughter to almonds, and my husband to coffee. While these won't be the easiest things to eliminate, I've already been working in the kitchen to come up with some new recipe ideas! Keep reading to see those!

Want to try Pinnertest yourself?

Head on over to and order your test today. You can use the code MILKNHONEY for $60 off and free shipping.

*The above account is a review of my own personal experience with Pinnertest and is not intended to be a recommendation for all people. Your experience may be different than mine. Please reference this disclaimer from Pinnertest.

This article was sponsored by Pinnertest. All thoughts and ideas are my own.

Some new recipes I developed after getting our Pinnertest results back!

 Caffeinated Hot Chocolate... so good, you'll never miss the coffee! Click the image above for the recipe!

Caffeinated Hot Chocolate... so good, you'll never miss the coffee! Click the image above for the recipe!

 Click the photo above for these delicious 30-minute Fish Tacos with a Lemon Avocado Cream Sauce. I developed this recipe after finding out I had a food intolerance to chicken. 

Click the photo above for these delicious 30-minute Fish Tacos with a Lemon Avocado Cream Sauce. I developed this recipe after finding out I had a food intolerance to chicken. 

The Gift of Giving

gift of giving

The Gift of Giving

I'm sitting here, the Monday before Thanksgiving, working on this post at my local Whole Foods, and already being bombarded with Holiday shopping ads, black Friday specials, and Christmas carols galore! The holiday season is supposed to be about hope, joy, love, and giving... when did it turn into this display of excess, selfishness, and stress? When did we lose the "gift of giving?"

What is the "gift of giving?"

So, what do I mean by the "gift of giving?" I mean the very idea that the opportunity to give gifts is in fact a gift in and of itself. Getting to see the joy on our friends and family's faces, getting to bless people who otherwise can't afford to bless themselves in the same way, getting to give gifts with a purpose and intention. Realizing that giving gifts goes beyond what the actual gift is, I thought I wanted to do a little something different this year. I wanted to help people give intentional and thoughtful gifts. 

Let's all promise to resist the urge to buy gifts just for the sake of buying gifts, this holiday season. Let's put some intention and some thought back into our gift giving. Let's think about why we even exchange gifts in the first place... because I guarantee you it isn't so your aunt can return that sweater she doesn't even like come December 26th. 

Don't you love the feeling you get when you see someone's face light up after opening a gift you gave them? (Or after you've done something incredibly thoughtful and kind for them? .. because gifts don't have to be something physical they open.)

With that in mind, I give you my 2017 Holiday Gift Guide... designed to help you be more thoughtful and more purposeful in your gift giving this year. Look through these things I've selected and think about the people in your life. Who would enjoy these? Who would benefit from these? Who will be blessed by these? 

*Some of the links and discount codes contained in this post are affiliate links, meaning I will make a commission if you decide to purchase something. I only recommend products and services I have used myself and truly believe in! Thank you for your support!

gift of giving

The Natural Citizen

Perfect for the foodie, healthy athlete, and mom on the go. With every product that you purchase, they cover the cost of three meals through donations to reputable charities. Click here to purchase.

Discount code: MILKANDHONEY for 15% off

For more information about my thoughts on all The Natural Citizen products, download my Smoothie Guide here. I love to use The Natural Citizen: in smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, oatmeal, etc.

Why I love it: Each of their products is free from additives, sweeteners, and preservatives. Just quality nutrition. Instead of a tea or coffee basket, give a gift basket filled with one of each of the four Natural Citizen products. 

Square Organics

Protein bars and Protein Popcorn for the athlete, chocolate lover, and foodie. A portion of each sale is donated to Not For Sale, a non-profit fighting human trafficking. Click here to purchase.

Discount Code: milknhoneynutrition for 20% off

Think about the last box of chocolates you got, or the food-filled gift basket from the office... did you eat all of it? Was it filled with novelty junk food? Odds are, yes. Instead of candy, give your friends and family an assorted box of the best chocolate bars around... chocolate covered Square Organics bars! My husband's favorite is the Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough, and I'm obsessed with the Chocolate Coated Mint bar. Trust me, a box of these will go over a lot better than a box of chocolate candy.  

American Medical ID

Whether it's for an allergy or a chronic health condition, odds are you know someone who should be wearing a medical ID. Medical IDs save lives. Click here to purchase.

Discount code: MILKNHONEY for 10% off.

I'm a type 1 diabetic and I have a penicillin allergy. Both of these things are critical information for emergency personnel and doctors to know before treating me. Read more about my experience here, and why I'm a big advocate for medical IDs! With so many fashionable and functional options, it's like giving jewelry with a greater purpose!

Meal Plans

Whether they're single or feeding a large family, everyone could use a little help with healthy meal planning. Choose from an anti-inflammatory plan subscription or a one time 21-day real food cleanse

I've partnered with a team of credentialed nutrition professionals and culinary facilitators, to create these meal plans to help you get started with meeting your health goals. You will have access to recipes for three meals per day plus snacks – all with easy-to-follow directions for people of all cooking levels. You customize your plans to feed any number of people, generate custom grocery lists, and access the easy to use mobile app from Gathered Table. 

The 21-Day Real Food Cleanse: A great way to get your metabolism humming and jump-start your health before following my Anti-inflammatory Plan. It contains selected low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining healthy weight, normalizing hormones, promoting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation associated with many chronic diseases.

Anti-inflammatory Plan: Also contains low-glycemic recipes aimed at stabilizing blood sugar, maintaining healthy weight, normalizing hormones, promoting healthy digestion, and reducing inflammation. You will receive a weekly anti-inflammatory meal plan that emphasizes the preparation of whole, plant-based foods. Research suggests that these life-giving foods should make up at least 75% of your plate. The other 25%? That’s easy… We’ll suggest high-quality proteins that can be simply prepared.

Fish Fixe.

Perfectly portioned premium seafood, delivered straight to your door. A Fish Fixe box  gives you SIXTEEN 6oz. portions of freshly frozen quality seafood. Click here to purchase.

Eating seafood can be tricky.  At Fish Fixe they want to make it convenient for you to thrive on seafood.  That’s why they hand-select premium, nutrient dense proteins, portion them to make meal-prep easy, blast freeze the portions to seal in the “off the boat” freshness and deliver them to your door. Quick to thaw, easy to prepare and quality and freshness you can trust. I use Fish Fixe seafood regularly in my own kitchen (see the picture above for an example)... it's been years since I've prepared seafood regularly, but that is changing thanks to Fish Fixe!

Costco Card

The gift that keeps on giving. Costco memberships start as low as $55/year and can easily save members 3-4 times that in the first few months alone. Click here to purchase. 

*Image source:

If you've followed my social media channels or blog for any length of time, you know I am OBSESSED with Costco. To the point that I know most of the employees at my local warehouse by name and they know my kids by name too, ha! Their in house brand, Kirkland, offers hundreds of quality products, along with warehouse prices on premium brand name products as well. For a complete list of my favorite Costco finds, sign up for my email list here

gift of giving


Because who doesn't love a good snack basket?! Some of my favorites include: Biena Foods Chickpea Snacks, Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips, Crazy Richards Cashew Butter, and Natural Delights Medjool Dates

Like I said above, no one needs yet another basket or box of chocolate or over processed holiday-packaged junk food. Why not put together a basket filled with thoughtful, healthy (and fun!) snacks. I've suggested some of my favorites above, but have a little fun with it. Hop on over to AmazonPantry and get to shopping! No need to fight the crowds at specialty grocery stores ;-)

Chosen Foods Avocado Oil

The perfect hostess gift! Premium, quality avocado oil and avocado oil spray. Also great for the foodie, amateur chef, and health conscious friend in your life. 

How often do you resort to a bottle of wine as a hostess gift? That used to me... until I thought, "why don't I give my friends something I really LOVE and I know they will too?"... instead of gambling on a bottle of wine that they may or may not drink. A bottle of Chosen Foods avocado oil costs about the same as a decent bottle of wine, and you can package it up the exact same way! Just grab one of those cute little wine bags you see this time of year. I promise it's a hostess gift they'll never forget! Use the code 'milknhoney20' for 20% off on or buy directly off Amazon!

The Viral Content Summit

For any entrepreneur in your life... this online summit will kickstart a year of entrepreneurial success.  Click here to purchase a ticket

I attended last year (read more about my experience here) and can't wait to attend again this year! This year, the Viral Content Summit is 18 Masterclasses teaching you how to bring traffic to your blog or business online PLUS how to better serve your audience and make an income from your traffic and campaigns! Sign up here! (PS- I've been told there will be some awesome Black Friday pricing options too!)

Canon Rebel T6


Great for both personal or professional use everyone from your mom to an aspiring food photographer can use and love this camera! Click here to purchase.  

This camera has been like my third arm this last year... It's completely intuitive to use, and has brought out a skill and passion for (food) photography I didn't even know I had. My favorite feature though is the built in wi-fi. I can wirelessly transmit photos to my phone (or other mobile device) or my computer at the click of a button, and almost instantly share photos with friends and family. No more waiting to upload pictures. Makes life so simple! And as an added bonus, get this lens for some AMAZING food photos.

gift of giving

6 shocking things I realized at FNCE 2017

If you followed along on Instagram, you know I recently got back from a four day trip to Chicago for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). I could tell you the trip was great, inspiring, encouraging, invigorating, motivating, and all around awesome… but I wouldn’t be doing it justice. So, instead… I’ll tell you the top 6 shocking things I realized at FNCE 2017.

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How I quadrupled my income and became a legit food blogger in 2017

Lately, a lot of people have been asking how I’ve grown my reach and influence online so quickly; or how I “do it all” with two kids at home. So, I’m ready to spill the beans and tell you how I quadrupled my income and became a legit food blogger in 2017.

I’m sitting here typing this with three days left in October, and as of today I’ve already made more than FOUR times the amount of money in 2017 than I did in 2016. I knew I was having a great year, but didn’t quite realize just how great until now. But, for you to really understand how I’ve grown my business, a little background is necessary…

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A playroom that won't make you cringe

 Image credits: ( 1 ,  2 ,  3 ,  4 )

Image credits: (1234)


A playroom that won't make you cringe

brought to you by the always stylish mamas of

Note: some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. 

Before having kids you probably had dreams of keeping your house organized when a little one showed up on the scene... you dream big! You certainly wouldn't be one of those moms with toys EVERYWHERE. But then your friends threw you a baby shower, and your kid had a few birthday parties and all of a sudden your minimalist home is over run with primary colors. Every year more toys seem to show up and you panic a little more (or a lot more if you are anything like us, we own our anxiety!)

We can tell you 10 things to get rid of to help make things not so chaotic but if having a playroom fits into your floor plan then give those kids a room of their own and ban the toys from your chic living room (you didn't really need an office anyway...) Organizing a playroom doesn't have to be hard or require you to buy much more than you already have at home. 

We recommend starting with a neutral palette that will grow with your kiddos - they hate purple today but will be begging you to paint the whole room next month. Throw in a few places to sit and LOTS of bins and baskets - they make clean up time so much easier.

Here are a few of our favorite playroom essentials to get you started. We have no doubt your kids will handle adding the toys!

Bins // Lamp // Table and Chairs // Pin Board // Chair // Bins // Pillow // Mat

the perfect playroom

The mamas behind Mama Fix

Hayley Simmons is a Nashville based wife and mama to baby girls Scout and Talley. She spends her time writing, pretending to be a nutritionist, cultivating irrational worries and trying to make it out of the toddler years alive.

Allison Kupperman is a social butterfly based in New Orleans. She is mama to Ellie, dog mom to Cooper and wife to her college sweetheart, Shane. Allison can be found working out all over town, traveling or cheering on the Pelicans.

Jillian Greenberg is a New Orleans based wife and mama to her baby girl Margot. Jillian is obsessed with aesthetics, never not taking pictures and is constantly redecorating her home.

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How to host the perfect dinner party

I’m excited to be guest posting for Mary Ellen! When she asked me to write about dinner parties and hosting, I was excited because this is one of my favorite things to do. I love inviting people over, feeding them, andenjoying their company.  Noticethatlastpart. Istronglybelieveinstress-free dinner parties and actually getting to ENJOY my guests, not strictly SERVING my guests. This has everything to do with planning. From making sure I have enough food, to planning for finicky eaters; the most important part about hosting is in the moments leading up to the  party.

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How to break up with ADDED sugar

how to break up with added sugar

How to break up with ADDED sugar

how to break up with added sugar

Added sugars are found all over our food supply: breads, crackers, pretzels, salad dressings… and I could keep going. If you're eating processed foods, you'll start to see that sugar is everywhere, and if it's not somewhere already, then we typically add it in ourselves. Taking an added #sugarhiatus will not only teach you how to spot these added sugars in your food, but also how to prepare foods without added sugars that still taste deliciously sweet! 

So, keep reading to learn how you can make the ultimate break up with added sugar. At the end of this article, there's a link to a complete Sugar Swap Guidebook with 55 pages of instructions, tips, facts... and 20 out of this world added-sugar-free recipes!!

The many names of sugar

Sugar comes in many forms, so it’s important to know a few popular ones that may show up in your processed foods. Before we can eliminate added sugar, we need to know what we’re looking for. Did you know there are over 61 different names for added sugar?! That’s a lot! Some of the names for sugar are more obvious, like:

how to break up with added sugar
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Sucrose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses

But there are some that aren’t as obvious, and you need to watch out for:

  • Barley malt
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Cane juice
  • Dextrin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Mannose
  • Maltose
  • Muscovado
  • Panocha
  • Saccharose
  • Sweet sorghum
  • Treacle

These different names for added sugar can be found in 74% of packaged foods!

Before starting your break up from added sugar, try to plan ahead and do some research. Start taking notice of where sugar is in your diet before diving in. This will help you gain perspective before starting, which in turn will allow for a more successful experience.

Because I know you’ll ask, here are the “rules”…

how to break up with added sugar
  1. Be kind to yourself. This break up with added sugar isn’t about legalism, or following a set of rules. It’s about creating awareness around the foods we eat, and specifically the added sugars we may or may not be aware of. It’s an awareness exercise, keep that in mind and remember, a healthy diet is all about balance.
  2. Naturally occurring sugars are ok. So, that means fruit, medjool dates, dairy, etc. are a-ok in their natural forms.
  3. Cut out as many added sugars as you can… of any form, regardless of how “healthy” they are. Coconut sugar, table sugar, agave nectar etc… not ok.
  4. Take your time. This is meant as an awareness exercise. Go through each topic and activity, and do what you can.  This is a no pressure zone. You do you.
  5. Pick a date to start, circle it on the calendar, and start counting down (or up). With every day that goes by, it gets easier and you'll start to be more aware and feel better. Think of this as a challenge, not as a dietary restriction. Having this mindset will help you get through the process.  If you can, try to recruit a friend of relative to do this with you so that you can check in on each other or even complain to (because you are both in the same boat). So if you can convince someone, anyone, to do it with you, major props to you—that’s one more person taking the challenge toward better health.
  6. Try to be mindful during this process and take note of any physical and mental changes. Embrace the challenge. Ready, set, go!

So, are you ready?? I think you are! Take the next step and download the Sugar Swap Guidebook I wrote with Dana Harrison, MS (Owner and Nutritionist at Eats2Know); and join our #sugarhiatus community over on instagram!

Reducing your cancer risk: The other kind of smoke you need to worry about

We all know smoking can significantly increase your risk for developing cancer, and you may have heard that smoked meats can also increase your cancer risk… but did you know there’s another kind of smoke you may need to pay attention to, to help reduce your risk of developing cancer?

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4 ways to eat what you want... and still stay healthy

It usually happens to me about once/week. Someone will ask what I do (read more about that here)… I tell them I’m a dietitian… and then they act all shocked and shaken when I pop a French fry in my mouth! Or they want to know exactly what I eat so they can do the same.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), I’m definitely held to a higher standard… I’m sure people think I eat grass-fed, organic, non-GMO plant-based wheat grass all day long. And when they see me enjoying a juicy hamburger or a fat chocolate chip cookie (gasp!), they act like their world has just been turned upside down.

So, how do I do it? How do I stay healthy and satisfied with what I’m eating, but not eat tree bark all day long? Here are 4 ways I eat what I want, while still staying healthy.

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Why it's ok to reward your kids (and yourself) with food

Not the headline you were expecting from a dietitian, right? I know. It’s not the typical viewpoint for someone like me. But let me explain.

Prior to having kids, I likely would have told you some boring unrealistic textbook strategies for getting your kids to eat healthy…with no earthly idea of just how frustrating it is to feed those demanding, tiny little humans I love so much.

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