Feeding My Bunch of Four on $100 or Less a Week

Since we have moved to a new assignment that requires us to reside on base I have been faced with the challenge of over hauling our budgets.  Budgets for food, Recreation, and debt repayment.  

For those who do not know, being frugal is a passion of mine!  I love looking for deals and ways to save money for my family.  It is part of why I am able to stay home with my beautiful babies!!

As I sat down to do the math and figure out what we actually spend every two weeks on groceries, I was astonished.  We potentially spend $200 every two weeks on CHICKEN alone. 

How?

For those who don’t know, we are a chemical, process, health conscious family.  On top of that my husband follows a strict eating regimen that requires specific amounts of lean protein, carbs, fats etc. 

For example, every morning he eats four to five eggs (depends if I add cheese, if so an ounce), two apples, plus a handful of peanuts.  Lunch and dinner consist of 5oz of chicken breast, a head of romaine lettuce, one 9in cucumber, 1/4 cup peppers, and two apples. 

Following this regimen I usually try to feed everyone (I officially have four humans to feed now) the same food so I am not making two different meals. 

Because of our chemical and process conscious ways we only eat organiv, free range chicken and eggs (grass-fed organic beef if I can find it).  This means our eggs are about $5 a carton, depending on where I shop, and the chicken breast are $6-$7 a pack. 

Feeding everyone the same meal for 15 days: chicken for example, 2x’s a day comes to roughly $200.  $7.00×30 meals=$210.  I see now that while essentially cooking one meal saves me time, it is costing my wallet.

Now that we are the “island” of Fort Irwin, my only option for groceries is the commissary, outside of driving over an hour to the nearest town. 

With all of this being said I have set out to try and feed my family of four on less than $100 a week.  While still maintaining our healthy eating habits.  That means as few processed and “convenient” foods as possible, all organic dairy and meats, as well as the few processed foods we do purchase staying organic. 

Once I accomplish this feat I will write a new post, with honest methods and results.  This will be the true test of frugality for me. 

What Happened?

When we began this journey BACK across the country, it started with the purging of personal items and household goods. This is our 3rd move in 4 years and with each move we have tried to purge so that it would be easier to pack and unpack. Each time before I have always felt a sense of sadness or remorse because I had to let go of things I felt I needed.

Not this time. This time I felt a sense of relief, as if weight had been lifted from my chest. This was a new sensation for me. I have always seen things and wanted them, thinking that having them made my life more complete or added happiness to it.

Boy was I wrong. As I was purging things I realized just how ridiculous it was for me to hold on the things I NEVER see let alone use routinely. I got donated so many items of clothing and so many purses and shoes along with household décor and goods that I had no real use for.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of clothes and I still enjoy buying them!!! I also love having my “pretties” in my home. I just realized that I don’t NEED them. I am able to have them, enjoy them, but not need them.

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What are you doing to be who you want to be?

Having this epiphany was amazing!! It was so freeing. For so long I have always wanted things, hoping they would help me to feel complete. If I have that house, or have that outfit, or bag, or all the décor in the magazines, then my life will be complete. My life will be happy and filled. NOPE!!!!

Once I experienced these thoughts, feelings, and emotions I wondered, “what has changed?”

I am married to the most amazing husband in the world, I have the greatest kids a mom could ask for, I have a beautiful home, I am working towards my goal of becoming a counselor. My life is amazing!!! What has changed?

BECOMING A COACH!!!! That is the change in my life that has apparently helped to fulfill me. Being a coach has completed something that I have been looking for, for a long time!!

I love helping people. I love being able to help others become happy with their own lives. Helping them find a peace inside and out!! My PASSION (outside my family) is this!!!

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Beachbody has afforded me this opportunity! Getting messages about how I inspire and motivate by posting my videos helps me know I am on the right path! Knowing that I am motivating people to get up and take care of their bodies is amazing!!!

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Cilantro Lime Chicken with Cilantro Lime Avocado Sauce

OK guys.  I find recipes on pinterest that look delicious, ALL THE TIME!!! Well this recipe is no exception.  Holy cow it was delicious!!!

Now, if you follow me on Facebook you know I’m horrible about getting a recipe and following it.  This is probably why my husband says no one meals ever tastes the same the second time I make it!!  Let’s see if it’s this good next time.”

With that being said here is the recipe!

1 Cup brown rice

4 chicken beasts (Chopped)

3 or 4 limes (depending on size)

Tbls cilantro ( I used fresh, diced)

4-6 garlic cloves

1 tbls Coconut oil (the recipe I originally saw used olive)

1 tbls chili powder

1 tbls cumin

a couple turn of the salt and pepper grinders

1 avocado

Method:

Before I start anything I put the brown rice on because it takes 45 minutes.  So do that, then…..

While chopping chicken, heat oil to high heat

I chopped my chicken up into chunks for a quicker cook.

Season chopped chicken

Drop into pan and brown all sides of the meat

While meat is browning zest a lime, juice them all.  Chop cilantro ad garlic

Once meat is browned drop in the zest and chopped yumminess.  Pour in most of you lemon juice.  Id say keep about a tablespoon for the avocado sauce that is coming!!  Lower heat to med/low cooking just to cook up the garlic and other flavors.  Becareful not to burn the garlic. (It will be bitter!)  Scraping all that delicious brown stuff from the bottom of the pan.

While that simmers up drop the insides of the avocado, half a clove of garlic, tsp of cilantro, and the tablespoon of lime juice into a blender (or whatever you use) and mix up!!  Add about 2 tablespoons of almond milk to make it sauce-like.  (so you can drizzle it over the chicken.)

Once the chicken and rice are ready I fill my yellow container (portion control from beachbody) and put it on my plate.  Then I fill my red container with chicken and place on top of my rice.  Then I drizzle about a tablespoon of the avocado sauce onto the chicken and rice.  IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!

I also have a salad with this.  Gotta make sure I get all my portion cups in!!!  Don’t want to miss out on all the delicious food I get to eat on the 22 minute Hard Corps rations plan!!

Want more recipes?  Comment below or on my page.  Interested in my bootcamps/accountability groups?  Comment below or email me at redponytailfitness@gmail.com!  12961334_10153690488008759_7109554980662858269_o

 

 

Kiava Endurance Sports Bra Review

I have set out on a mission to find a great sports bra.  Over the years I have never really thought about a quality sports bra.  Why?  I have no clue.  However, I am a health and wellness coach now, soon to be a trainer, and I need to invest in some good bras!!

So, a friend of mine and I have agreed to each purchase a bra, mine from Kiava and hers from SheFit Apparel.  She will give me her feed back and I will write a review from her point of view as well.  This post is however about my experience with the Kiava Endurance bra.

I initially chose this bra because I saw comments that it was a good bra for the larger chest.   The description of the bra also says “This unique crisscross design is not only eye catching, but it provides maximum support for any HIGH Impact activities which require “things” to stay in place.  From the light lining to the wider strap in the front, our Endurance Bra has been designed to meet all your needs whether big or small.”

I am a 34 D so I assumed this bra would be great for my needs.  I was starting the new Beachbody program 22 Minute Hard Corps, which is full of cardio that includes sprints in place, jumping jacks, and lots more.  I need a bra that will hold me in place and keep me from feeling like my breasts are about to be ripped off my chest.

So, on the website it says to measure your chest below the breast, then choose the cup size you need.  The options are:

X-SMALL : 28-32 AA-B
SMALL : 30-32 A-B
MEDIUM: 32-34 Full B cup – Small D Cup
LARGE: 36-38  C Cup – Full D Cup
XL: 36-38 Small D Cup –  Small DD Cup
XXL: 38-42 Full D cup – Small F Cup

I measured a 34 around my chest, and I know I am a D cup so I chose the medium sized bra.

The Fit

I put the bra on and it seemed to “smoosh” my breast together.  I thought “ok, well maybe that will help to keep them in place while I jump and all.”  However, that was not the case at all.  As I was jumping up and down my breasts CAME OUT OF THE TOP OF THE BRA!!!!  And my breasts felt as if they were coming unattached from my armpit!

I think that maybe I am a full D.  However, if you notice in the sizing they offer, my options are a 34 Small D cup or 36-38 Full D cup.  The bottom of the bra, the part that I measured fits GREAT.  However, I think that I need a 34 Full D cup which is not offered.  I am afraid if I try a Large: 36-38 Full D cup my breast will come out of the bottom of the bra!!!

The bra is comfortable (aside from the smooshed breasts).  The material is nice and the bra seems to wick moisture and is sturdy.  The price isn’t too bad either at 34.00 (+sh).  It just doesn’t seem to fit properly.  I will include a photo of myself in the bra so you can see how it fit.  Does it look odd to you?  20160324_115021

This Crazy New Journey!!

Well, I have embarked on a new journey.  I have been on this path for a few months and decided I would try to blog a little about it!

What is this journey?  I am an independent health and wellness coach now!!  I love it.  I love health and fitness, and love the idea that I can inspire others to achieve health happiness!!!

My hopes for this journey are to meet people where they are and inspire them to set goals and crush them!!  I am a goal crusher and I want to create that in other people!!  My goal of becoming a counselor is being crushed right now.  My passion to help others is my motivation to get me through the long nights of typing papers, and long days of managing my home and raising my kids.  I am not sure where I would be without my passion!

Becoming a coach goes hand in hand with my love of helping others.  This just completes or rounds out my reach and what I can help others with.  Complete health: mind, body, and soul!  I love this and am so excited to see the changes that are created in others!!

I hope to use this blog to share with you all my work with others and inspire you to get to the best you possible, inside and out!!!  #goalcrusher #hardcoremama #perfectlyimperfectmommista4c1ef5a62a020d8553db5e88f69cc161

…put your shoes where they belong!

As I was cleaning house today I noticed the pile of shoes next to my and my husband’s door.  Then I remember the argument that my daughter and I had this morning when trying to locate her shoes for school.  We searched and searched for her shoes and could not find them.  I lectured (which I know she didn’t hear) about why I bought a cubby for her closet specifically for shoes, and how when she takes them off they should go straight to the closet, into the cubbies, not just thrown onto the floor.  Typically she leaves them where she takes them off.  I have her clean up her play area and her room every day and I always remind (or nag) “put your shoes where they belong!”.  So, back to the search; we look and look, I assume she has already looked in her closet when lo and behold I go and there they are….in the cubby where they belong.  She is so not in the habit of having put them away that when time comes to locate them she doesn’t even look in the closet.  Neither did I for that matter.  The day before I had her clean her room and I guess she had put them away.

Now, to the pile in my bedroom and point of this.  I realized something when seeing that pile of shoes that belong to me and my husband: How am I supposed to expect something of her, a seven year old, when we as adults cannot even do it.  I always advise that we lead by example, our kids see us more then they hear us (hence not hearing my lecture).  So why is it ok for us to leave our shoes everywhere and not her?  It’s not.  If I want her to learn to put her shoes away properly then we need to step up as parents and do the same thing.  This goes for so many more aspects of life besides household responsibilities. Respect for others, being courteous, having integrity; all of these things are learned not solely by lecture and punisputyourshoeswheretheybelonghment for failure, but by example.  How do we learn to read or write or even speak?  By example.  With all of this being said, I am making a pact with myself to strive to be a better example for my daughter!!  What do you expect but not follow through on yourself?

What to wear to church……

Growing up I was raised Southern Baptist, in the heart of the Bible Belt.  And as such when little girls went to church they wore pretty dresses with shiny flats and combed hair with pretty bows or headbands.  But as society is changing and becoming more and more relaxed this trend seems to be changing.  I still see the little girls in the dresses with the bows and shiny shoes, but less and less.  Instead I see jeans and t-shirts and sneakers.  I once visited a church and a tween was wearing an “I love vampires” t-shirt.  Really?

As I am noticing all of this I am raising a little girl, who now is 7 and is much more independent and wants to dress her self more.  She has comfort levels now and knows pretty much what she likes.  And what she likes is NOT dresses!!!!!  So this past weekend we planned to visit a new church as we have recently moved and are looking for a new Home.  It is time to prepare clothes for the day and she has no dresses for church.  So I plan for us to go shopping for a dress.  She DOES NOT WANT A DRESS!!!!  So I agree to compromise and allow for a nice shirt/leggings combo (going against every thing Southern Baptist in me). We get to the store and she finds a shirt and little sweater/shawl combo and wants to wear jeans.  I am outraged!!!!!  How could you want to wear jeans to church?  It is blasphemy!!!!  There is no way you are wearing jeans to church!!!!!  But in the end, I didn’t want to argue with a 7 year old, or waste money on something that she would cry about wearing (which would give us bad attitudes before getting to church) and never wear again so I let her get the shirt combo and agreed to the jeans.

Sunday morning comes and I am not happy about the jeans, but I pray to the Lord to help me , to soften my heart, and let me understand my daughter.  Then I feel the Lord tell me, “Put on jeans, accept your daughter and go with her to worship me”.  So, hesitantly after already being dressed in my skirt, I change into jeans, a nice shirt and heels.  I feel so awkward, but I felt what the Lord was saying so I followed his direction.  We got to church and she was so excited to be there and so ready to learn the bible and about the Lord.  My husband and I got to the service and I sang my heart out and worshiped like a Southern Baptist….IN MY JEANS!!!!  Forgot all about them.

As we were praying at the end of the service, I was reminded of something someone once told me a long time ago, “It doesn’t matter what you wear to church, God doesn’t care, as long as you are there”.  This is so true.  As I am thinking back to my motivations, and reasons for wanting us to dress “to the T” is not only because that is how I was raised but because I wonder “what will people think if I show up in jeans?”  There it is…its not about the ability to worship in a dress versus jeans, it’s what will people think?  And the only opinion we should worry about is the Lord’s.  In my jeans I felt the Lord just as strongly as I did in my dresses.

That afternoon as my daughter and I were working in the yard I apologized to her for getting upset about what she wanted to wear and told her the saying I was told when I was her age, “It doesn’t matter what you wear to church, God doesn’t care as long as you are there”.  And my sweet little girl apologized for not wanting to wear a dress, “but it is just not comfortable to me mom”.

Lets not forget as parents that while yes our kids need our direction they also need a little freedom to become who they are and who the Lord wants them to be.  And we need to accept who that person is!!!

In the endImage it doesn’t matter what you wear to church, God doesn’t care as long as you are there!!!