5 After School Snacks that Won't Ruin Dinner

5 After School Snack Ideas that Won’t Ruin Dinner

It’s the middle of August, and kids have already started heading back to school in certain parts of the country. (My oldest started yesterday!) The first day of school can bring a flood of emotions and potentially stress, but it also brings a return to some semblance of “normalcy” for a lot of families… though, I don’t think anything’s ever quite “normal” when it comes to life with kids, but anyways…

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10 Low Sugar Lunchbox Staples

Ready or not, school is just around the corner! Hard to believe right?! Do you know what you’re going to pack for your kids for lunch on that first day? Ya, I don’t either, it’s ok. But, one thing I do know is that loading my kids up with sugar at lunchtime is a sure fire way to make sure they’re exhausted and unable to focus in the afternoon. So, here are my Top 10 Low Sugar Lunchbox Staples:

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How to Navigate the Produce Department with Confidence

Summer is in full swing and it’s time so start thinking about produce that's seasonal and local. There are so many buzzwords you hear when it comes to food shopping. Organic, sustainable, local, eco-friendly, fair-trade, GMO-free, sulphur-free and the list goes on and on and on. Today we’re going to crack down the buzzwords and get you ready for produce shopping without any questions. 

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6 Delicious Diabetes Recipes You'll Love This Summer

6 Delicious Diabetes Recipes You'll Love This Summer

6 Delicious Diabetes Recipes You'll Love This Summer

Finding recipes that make it easier, and not harder, to manage blood sugar levels when you're diabetic can be hard. And just when it seems like you've found some great recipes and foods, things go out of season, and you have to start the search all over again. 

Well, don't worry. Your favorite dietitians and diabetes experts have compiled 6 different recipes for you to try this summer. They're loaded with all the necessary blood sugar stabilizing things: complex carbs, protein, fat, fiber, etc. Check them out by clicking the button below...

This post was sponsored by Healthline Media. All thoughts and ideas are my own...

The terrifying experience that taught me how a medical ID saves lives

The terrifying experience that taught me how a medical ID saves lives

Have you ever really thought about it? Did you know a medical ID saves lives? What would you do if you found yourself in an emergency situation and couldn't communicate with anyone? Or what about your kids? Is there anything about your health (or theirs) that emergency and medical personnel would need to know to keep you alive and healthy? 

Did you know that over 95% of medical personnel look for some form of medical ID in an emergency situation? That's because they know anyone they encounter could have a chronic health condition or life threatening allergies, or be on medications they would need to know about. They look because they know a medical ID saves lives. 

So, who exactly should wear a medical ID? Anyone with:

  • one or more ongoing (chronic) health conditions
  • food allergies
  • drug allergies
  • taking multiple medications

Take me for example... I'm a type 1 diabetic and I'm allergic to penicillin. Given that my life depends on 24 hour access to insulin via my insulin pump, and if anyone gave me the most commonly administered antibiotic, I could go into anaphylactic shock... it probably is a good idea for me to wear a medical ID. What if I couldn't communicate that to anyone? What if I was unconscious and none of my loved ones were around to convey that information?

I wear a medical ID everyday just in case, but that wasn't always the case. As a child, I always wore one because my mom made me. But as I grew into young adulthood, I got lazy about wearing one. And by the time I was pregnant with my first daughter, I hadn't worn one in years. I took for granted the fact that I had an insulin pump attached to me and figured anyone could just see that and would know I was diabetic. 

Well, one afternoon when I was about 15 weeks into my pregnancy, I decided to go for a run, just like I did several times each week. We lived on a street that made a 1.5 mile loop. I usually did 2-3 laps depending on how I felt. I also used to always take my insulin pump off while I exercised (especially while running) because I didn't like the way it felt bouncing up and down. So, off I went. I felt tired, but hey... I was pregnant, wasn't that part of the territory?

About halfway through, I noticed my blood sugar felt like it was starting to drop, so I ate the box of raisins I always kept on me while running (just in case), and kept going... but it didn't seem to be getting better. The raisins definitely weren't enough, and before I knew it, I was at the furthest point from my house, sitting on the ground... barely able to sit up, much less get up and walk home. 

In my confused and desperate state, I started to panic. I didn't have my insulin pump on. I didn't have my phone (I was in my own neighborhood, it was daylight, and I was less than a mile from home)... nothing on me to indicate I was diabetic. (In reality, my insulin pump port was still on obviously, but I wasn't thinking clearly, remember?) And I didn't have a medical ID on. 

I sat there for a good 15 minutes and just focused on staying awake. Oddly enough, no one drove by in that time. Slowly, but surely, I felt my blood sugar start to come up. An then, I got up and walked home. No dramatic rescue, no scary trip to the ER or hospital... but goodness it could have been so much worse.

That experience was life changing!

When my husband got home later that evening and I told him what had happened, let's just say he was thankful I was ok, but also just a wee bit upset that I was so careless. And quite honestly, I had been. As a result of that one experience, I've changed a few things I do every single day:

  • Never take my pump off, just suspend it
  • Always just stop if I feel my blood sugar dropping
  • Always have a medical ID on

I now have two different medical ID's I wear on any given day. This one for "fancier" outfits, and this one for everyday casual wear. These are both from American Medical ID. They have so many different styles and options that are the perfect blend: conspicuous to the common person, but able to stand out enough to medical personnel. They've even helped me set up a discount code for you all if you'd like to order your own ID or one for a loved one. 

Not sure how to have your bracelet engraved? Don't worry, they've got some awesome resources on their website to help, and you can always ask your doctor what he/she thinks you should have on your Medical ID. And they can have your ID engraved and in the mail as quickly as 24 hours after you order it most of the time!

Whether you decide to get one from American Medical ID, or another company, if this article taught you how a medical ID saves lives, and pushes you to finally start wearing a medical ID, or to get one for your child, then I'll be very happy!


Note: The links above are affiliate links. Meaning I will earn a commission if you deicde to purchase a Medical ID from American Medical ID. All thoughts, stories, and ideas expressed above are completely true and come from my heart. This is a cause and issue I have very strong feelings about and hope you feel motivated to take action for you or a loved one. 


9 simple steps to achieving a clutter free pantry

9 simple steps to achieving a clutter free pantry

A couple months ago, I shared over on Instagram how Rachel Dickerson from A Beautiful Mess 101 helped me declutter my pantry. Since then, I have gotten so many questions and comments about achieveing a clutter free pantry. So I asked Rachel if she would share her wisdom with you guys...

I am totally a visual person. Clutter just stresses me out. I tend to do a pretty good job of staying organized in the rest of my house (though don't look to closely... I said I stay organized, I didn't say it was a clean organized!), but for some reason, I just can't seem to keep my kitchen organized... likely because that's the room I spend most of my time in. 

With Rachel's help, we purged my pantry (and the entire kitchen) of non-essentials, moved items that shouldn't have been in the kitchen in the first place to an upstairs closet... and what impressed me the most, was how much more efficient my kitchen is now! I had no idea I could store this much stuff, and still have extra cabinets sitting empty! 

Click below to download the FREE guide Rachel created just for you guys... and make sure to check out her website for help with all the other rooms in your house!

21 hilarious times kids embarrassed their parents

21 times kids embarrassed their parents

21 hilarious times kids embarrassed their parents

We've all been there, whether it's us, or our friends, we've witnessed or gotten a good laugh after kids embarrassed their parents.

This post all came about one night after a partiularly ridiculous afternoon/evening with my 3 and 4 year old daughters. They were fighting, back talking, disobeying, and all around acting like little tyrants. So, naturally we got them to bed (hallelujah!) and I set off to the inter-webs to find some funny stories to cheer me up... I posed this question:

"What's the most embarrassing and/or inappropriate thing your kid has ever said in public?"

I asked my followers on Instagram, my personal friends over on Facebook, and the mamas in our Turnips & Tantrums facebook group. And man, o man, did they deliver! I received over 100 stories and quotes that left my husband and I in tears, and wondering how our abs could be that sore from just laughing??

Not all of the stories I received made it into this post... because that would be the longest post ever! So, if that's you, and you submitted a story and you don't see it here, please know it's just because someone else's kid was slightly more inappropriate than your own... I really appreciate everyone taking the time to send in their stories, and hope you get a good laugh out of the ones you see below.

A few things to know:

  • The only editing I've done to these is deleting kids' names and fixing some typos. Other than that, these are just as their mamas told them.
  • Please keep in mind the title of this post... some of these are rather... well... inappropriate. But remember, they came out of small children's mouths, so that makes it more funny than inappropriate... right?!
  • Topics covered: bathroom habits, parents drinking habits, private parts (theirs and their parents'), strangers' body size, pregnancy status of older men with bellies... and more!

So, here you have it...

The other day we were walking through target and we passed a woman with very, very large boobs, wearing a tube top, and let’s just say she wasn’t completely covered… And my three-year-old yells at the top of her lungs... “Mommy, she’s naked!” 

I was in Target the other day with _____. He loudly proclaimed as we passed the bra section “mommy you have those” over and over again...it felt as if he got louder every time he said it.

When my oldest was 4, I took him with me to the drugstore to get medicine for him. Of course what I needed was in the back of the store, and he greeted every single person in the store with a VERY loud and chipper-sounding, "HI! I have DIARRHEA!" Everyone in the store was laughing, but staying far away from us.

When ______ was about 5 we were in the store and he was making up a song... which you know rhyming is really cool at that age... sounded like this as he belted it out...”I have protection. I have protection from your infection”

When ________ started potty training (at 18 months by his own initiation) my husband had a potty chant to encourage the process. Sometime at the age of 2, at Costco one day, he announced to everyone that he "needed to drop a nugget" his code word for ya know... #2. When we got into the restroom and he's taking care of business he declared that he needed the "drop a nugget song". I whispered it and he said, "No louder Mommy, it's gunna be a big one." So with almost every stall filled and women washing their hands in said restroom I sang the chant. "Push it out, Shove it out, way out out! HUH!!" (On repeat)

Amazingly no one laughed, but it got really quiet. Thankfully when we were done no one made eye contact with me. I didn't really love my husband's contribution to the potty process that day.

My 3 year old calls La Croix “beer”, which on multiple occasions has caused confusion when he talks about how daddy likes to drink it at breakfast.

My 4 year old son told his teacher that his daddy is a chemist and works in the basement. When I picked him up I had to explain that he works at a pharmaceutical company as a chemist and does wood working in the basement. Nothing shady going on in our basement!

Took my kids to Total Wine (gotta do what you gotta do sometimes, we do not have a babysitter or family that lives close) and my son walked up to the kegs at the front while we were checking out and said “Mommy, you would love this giant keg of wine!” Cashier laughed and guy behind me tried to make me feel better by telling me a story about his daughter bringing him a beer once... I don’t even know where he heard the word “Keg”

When going to our 20 week ob appt for baby #3 we were walking down the hallway with the nurse and she was having small talk with my 3 year old who then says "my moms having a new baby" and the nurse replies with "oh yea that's exciting"... (you know I'm clearly showing and there for an ob appointment so she knew lol) well then my daughter goes on to say not so quietly "it's a baby sister cuz she she doesn't have a peanuts" ... the nurse says "oh" and looked at me as if to ask did she just say what I think she said and yep she did say that....she went on to say it again when we saw the actual dr along with his medical student that was shadowing him.

I used to work in daycare and kids would say the funniest things all the time (to the embarrassment of their parents). A 5 year old came up to me out of nowhere one day and very seriously told me that you NEVER open the drawer by mommy’s bed. I can only imagine what she found in there.

Mine talks very loudly every time we are in a public bathroom about the color of my urine (no matter what it looks like) and how she "loves" the color and how beautiful it is... She then proceeds to give descriptive comments about my anatomy... for all to hear.

My son doesn’t say the “L” in the word “clock” so whenever we go to the downtown very busy Starbucks plaza to see Daddy for lunch he yells, “mama, look! big...” well you know ha. 

In dressing room with both kids (I KNOW DUMB RIGHT?!?!) Twin boys are about 3, I'm trying on a dress and they ask, "mom what are those (pointing to my chest)?" dressing room was full with a waiting line side note..".mom what are breasts for? Mom where is your penis? Why don't you have one?" All said in loud, outside voice as I try to quiet them...when I exit, every woman was smiling ear to ear.

Just last night as I was letting someone (a younger man) into the house for a meeting with my husband, my daughter shouted, “You know what? The bathroom smelled like a doo doo upstairs. I think it was a Mommy doo doo!”

My little one said (loudly) in Target as we walked by the bra and panty section...”look mom! It’s your boobies!” 

My 4 year old asked the internet guy when his baby was going to come out. He literally had the most perfect shaped pregnancy belly but definitely not pregnant. When he said he was just fat - she asked why he was so fat. 

My son is brutally honest and always feels the need to share his observations. One weekend a group of my friends came over and then we planned to head to the pool. One of my dear friends is a beautiful plus size lady. My son surveys the room and proceeds to tell her that she will definitely make the biggest splash at the pool. I cold have died. 

My mom had a hysterectomy when I was 4 and I felt the need to announce it to everyone... including the 16 year old checkout boy at the grocery store. “Hey! My mommy had her uterus tooken out!” My mom kindly told me that some things are not meant to be shared... and that it’s “taken” not “tooken.”

I was potty training my oldest. Of course we had to go to the Kmart bathroom. She did her thing and then I had to. As I was finishing up she says in her sweetest (loudest) voice, “Way to go Mama! You tee tee’d in the potty! Good job!” 

About 6 months ago we were getting in the car at HEB.  There was a truck in the spot next to the empty space next to me and they were looking at me funny while I was unloading the last groceries and getting my other son buckled. So I kind of look where they're looking and my oldest is just peeing in the parking lot in the empty space right after we came out of the store where he could have used the restroom... and not even like trying to hide it... just out in the open. And then 2 weeks ago my younger son peed on the sidewalk in front of the neighbor's house ... instead of walking home. We have now instituted a pretty strict "no peeing outside of our backyard in public" rule that I never thought I'd have to make.

Right after we potty trained _____ we went on a road trip, which like any good Texas road trip included a stop at Bucees. My husband took our son with him to the bathroom stall and he yelled really loud “WOW DADDY! YOUR PENIS IS SO BIG! MINE IS SMALL!” 


7 homemade sauces and spice blends to help you get dinner on the table faster

7 homemade sauces and spice blends to help you get dinner on the table faster

The right combination of seasonings and sauces can make or break a meal. So, I just knew I needed to share these 7 homemade sauces and spice blends to help you get dinner on the table faster. If you have them already made, you can easily get a meal on the table in no time with the right sauce or spice blends. I also love how once you have them made, there's not really a need to use an offical recipe... just toss them with whatever veggies or meat you're eating and you're good to go!

Any of these can take a dinner (or lunch) from boring and bland to unbelievably amazing with just a few minutes of your time. All of these sauces and spice blends can be made in big batches ahead of time, and stored for later use. So, whenever you need them, just grab a few Tbsp and get to cooking.

7 homemade sauces and spice blends to help you get dinner on the table faster


1. Spinach, Walnut, and Feta Pesto Sauce

 This pesto sauce goes great on EVERYTHING! Literally! Try it on salmon, pasta, chicken salad, toast, etc. 

This pesto sauce goes great on EVERYTHING! Literally! Try it on salmon, pasta, chicken salad, toast, etc. 

2. Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

 This Greek yogurt Tzatziki sauce is light and refreshing... great on these cauliflower bowls and a  mediterranean lamb burger !

This Greek yogurt Tzatziki sauce is light and refreshing... great on these cauliflower bowls and a mediterranean lamb burger!

3. Raspberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

 Who needs salad dressing when you can get loads of flavor with a little homemade BBQ sauce??

Who needs salad dressing when you can get loads of flavor with a little homemade BBQ sauce??

4. Thai Peanut Sauce

 This Thai Peanut Sauce is another super versatile addition to any meal...  cauliflower ,  pizza ,  wraps , salads, the possibilities are endless!

This Thai Peanut Sauce is another super versatile addition to any meal... cauliflower, pizza, wraps, salads, the possibilities are endless!

5. Medjool Date Paste

 Medjool date paste is a great way to naturally sweeten baked goods and add a nice lower glycemic sweetness to dishes! Grab the instructions in my recipe for  High Protein Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies !

Medjool date paste is a great way to naturally sweeten baked goods and add a nice lower glycemic sweetness to dishes! Grab the instructions in my recipe for High Protein Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!

6. Tex-Mex Taco Seasoning

 Homemade taco seasoning can go on veggies, meat, rice, etc. Click the image above for my recipe and more ways I like to use this mix... and also check out my  Mexican Riced Cauliflower !

Homemade taco seasoning can go on veggies, meat, rice, etc. Click the image above for my recipe and more ways I like to use this mix... and also check out my Mexican Riced Cauliflower!

7. Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

 Ok, so this one isn't homemade, but given how much I use this stuff, I knew I couldn't leave it out of a post all about the sauces and spice blends that help get dinner on the table faster. Every Trader joe's store has it, and the name speaks for itself. I use it on roasted veggies, eggs, potatoes, toast, salad, and I could keep going...

Ok, so this one isn't homemade, but given how much I use this stuff, I knew I couldn't leave it out of a post all about the sauces and spice blends that help get dinner on the table faster. Every Trader joe's store has it, and the name speaks for itself. I use it on roasted veggies, eggs, potatoes, toast, salad, and I could keep going...

7 homemade sauces and spice blends to help you get dinner on the table faster-page-001.jpg

10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food

10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food

10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food

Shaky. Fuzzy. Sleepy. Tired. Low. Crashing.

These are all words I used growing up as a type 1 diabetic, to describe how I was feeling when my blood sugar was low.

I was diagnosed when I was 5. So I came up with some interesting ways to describe how I was feeling to my parents and other adults in my life. 

So, what is the proper treatment for low blood sugar? To answer that question, we first need to know what’s considered low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines hypoglycemia as anytime your blood sugar is lower than normal. This can be different for each person with diabetes, but it usually means blood sugar less than 70 mg/dL. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • tiredness
  • increased appetite
  • cloudy thinking
  • blurry vision
  • an inability to concentrate
  • pale facial complexion
  • sweating

I’ve sometimes described it to my non-diabetic friends as an almost “out of body” experience.

Once you start to feel these symptoms, it’s important to immediately test your blood sugar to confirm if you are, in fact, experiencing hypoglycemia.

Once you’ve confirmed your blood sugar is low — or lower than normal — how should you treat it? Essentially, you want fast-acting carbohydrates: simple sugars with little to no fiber. You also want to avoid high-fat foods. The fat that will often stabilize blood sugars after meals can actually delay how quickly your body absorbs those needed simple carbohydrates. In the case of low blood sugar, that’s the opposite of what you want.

10 Ways to Treat Low Blood Sugar with Real Food

What to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge

what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge

Guest post by Lindsay Livingston, registered dietitian and blogger at the The Lean Green Bean

Have you every wondered what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge? As a mom of two young kids, date nights are few and far between around my house. Despite our best efforts, something always seems to get in the way. But one of my goals for this year is to change that! I did a lot of babysitting growing up and I think it’s so important for parents to get out and enjoy some kid-free time! One of my biggest pet peeves, however, is the thought that if you’re going to go out, the only things your kids can eat are pizza and mac and cheese.

Don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing wrong with pizza or mac and cheese...but there are also other options!  Even if your babysitter isn’t a gourmet chef, there are plenty of easy meals that they can serve your kids with very little effort on their part. Here are a few of my favorites:

From the Freezer

No matter how challenged a babysitter tells you they are in the kitchen, I promise you they can handle turning on the oven and taking a few things out of the freezer. I love stocking my freezer with a combination of store-bought and homemade foods my kids enjoy. These Freezer Chicken Tenders are one of my favorites because it’s so easy to prep multiple batches at one time and have them on hand for easy dinners. Pair them with their favorite way to eat veggies (in the form of dinosaur shaped broccoli tots) and some fresh fruit and dinner is served! Side note- you can also freeze things like pulled pork or chicken that can easily be thawed in the microwave to make tacos or nachos!  

Food Prep Reheat

If you’re a fan of food prep, it’s super easy to have things on hand for the babysitter to reheat! Some of my favorites are pasta dishes and casseroles that reheat well in the microwave. Try this Instant Pot Pasta with Meat Sauce or something like meatloaf, which my kids love when dipped in bbq sauce! Another great option is cooking a batch of burgers mid-week so the babysitter can just heat them up and pop them on a bun. Go for plain beef or turkey burgers or try these Avocado Chicken Burgers (my daughter loves them!) Pair the burgers with mini carrots and ranch and a fruit salad that you can prep ahead of time!

what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge

Crockpot Meal

Crockpot meals are a mom’s best friend, so why not a babysitter’s as well? Choose your favorite crockpot recipe and get it started in the morning so it’s ready and waiting for the sitter and all they have to do is dish it out! My kids love these Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs.

Breakfast For Dinner

Every kid loves breakfast for dinner and you can easily make it a nutritious option. If you have time, make a batch of pancakes or waffles ahead of time that can be reheated. Or, you can once again dip into your freezer stash if you happen to have some of my Whole Wheat Yogurt Waffles on hand. They freeze beautifully and you just have to pop them in the toaster! Then just instruct the sitter to set out yogurt, peanut butter etc for topping! If your babysitter is feeling up to it, they can whip up some scrambled eggs to go with them!

what to feed your kids when a babysitter is in charge

Quesadillas or Mini Pizzas

I always encourage mamas to make mealtime fun...so there’s no reason the kiddos can’t have fun in the kitchen with a babysitter as well. Pick a theme - pizza night, Mexican night, etc and leave all the components. Leave instructions to let the kids make their own tacos, quesadillas or tortillas pizzas and let the babysitter pop them in the microwave!

Smoothie Night

For the ultimate easier dinner, make it drinkable! Spend a few minutes throwing smoothie components in a bag before you leave and stick them in the freezer. All the sitter has to do is dump it in the blender, blend and pour. Be sure to include a protein source like milk or yogurt, some healthy fats like avocado or nut butter and maybe even some veggies like cauliflower or spinach, along with some fruit. Try this Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie if you need a recipe idea!

Paninis + Soup (Canned or homemade)

Soup and sandwich is a classic kid favorite combo. You can make it easy on the babysitter by prepping the sandwiches ahead of time so all they have to do is pop them onto the panini press and heat up the soup in the microwave!

I hope these ideas give you a little inspiration and make you extra excited to make date night a priority!

If you’re looking for other easy meal ideas or are interested in learning how to cook quick, healthy dinners on the fly, be sure to check out my Dinner on the Fly ebook! I'm a huge fan of food prep but I actually cook most of my dinners on the fly with very little planning. In the ebook, I teach you my simple 4-step process for making healthy meals on a whim. I also share simple sauce recipes, seasoning tips, no-recipe meals I love, Instant Pot tips for beginners and more!

You can find more details here (https://www.theleangreenbean.com/dinneronthefly/)

To get Dinner on the Fly for $17.99 ($7 off) or Dinner on the Fly + The Ultimate Guide To Food Prep for $27.99 ($7 off) use the code ‘milkandhoney’!!

What to feed the kids when the babysitter is in charge

Lindsay is a Registered Dietitian and mom of two from Columbus, OH. She specializes in Nutrition Communications and is the author behind the healthy living blog, The Lean Green Bean, where she shares healthy recipes, parenting tips and more. Her goal is to show people that healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive by providing tips, tricks and practical advice. She also shares a real life look at the ups and downs of raising and watching two young kids full-time while also working from home.

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

Guest post written by Ashley Smith, MPH, RDN, LD of veggiesandvirtue.com

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, www.veggiesandvirtue.com

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 Pinnertest.com 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.