Sunday, August 16, 2015

Weekly paleo meal plan template

This is mostly for me but I thought I would share it with you too.

Pork Sunday
Pork chops in sweet sauce
Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Meat Monday (Beef)
Bunless burgers and sweet potato fries and spinach salad
Steak Meatballs with mashed potatoes
Bacon meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes and green beans
Sloppy Joes over baked potatoes
Ultimate Paleo Chili and Paleo johnny cakes
Pizza spaghetti bake and spinach salad
Pioneer Woman's Hamburger soup

Taco Tuesday
Ground Beef tacos
Paleo Steak Fajitas
Oven baked chicken fajitas
Chicken Wednesday
Cajun grilled chicken
Sticky chicken, baked potatoes and steamed veggies
Cracklin chicken, roasted veggies and fruit salad
Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets

Asian-inspired Thursday
Paleo Orange Chicken and stir fry veggies and fried cauliflower rice
Beef and cabbage stir fry

Pizza Friday
Paleo pizza crust

Breakfast-for-dinner Saturday
Paleo sweet potato hash
Paleo Pancakes
Smoked sausage and potato bake
Egg “McMuffin”
My fried potatoes, sausage and eggs skillet (It is basically Pioneer Woman's Breakfast Burritos without the cheese and without the tortillas)
Against All Grain's waffles

Broccoli salad
Asian Cauliflower fried rice
Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Homeschool Curriculum 2015-2016

Third year is a charm right?  I have heard that it takes three years to really get the hang of homeschooling and I am finding that to be true.  This year I have chosen things that will make it much easier to teach multiple kids.  There are things that I have to sit down and do with each kid and if I did that with everything they need to know for each of the kids I would not get anything else done.  There are things we will learn together and there are things I will do separately with them.

I hope to learn a lot this year too.  I'll be working on my older two to be a bit more independent.  I'm really looking forward to Veritas Press Bible and history online.  From the sample lessons I've went through I have loved it!

Discovery Education Science Textbook is new to us this year too.  I'm excited because it will read things aloud to you and with two dyslexics that is so helpful!

We also bought the two oldest portable DVD players so they can do their grammar at the same time.  We kept having to take turns last year and it took so much longer.  I read a tip from another blogger that they bought these so their kids could watch them at the same time and I thought that was brilliant!  Plus you can take them on car trips.

Here is our plan for the year!

Mr. C. - Kindergarten

Miss M -1st/2nd grade

Mr. I - 4/5th grade

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Paleo at Aldi

I have loved Aldi for a long time now.   When I first started Paleo last year there didn't seem to be as much there that I could buy.

But things have changed!

Today, I am sharing what items I buy at Aldi that fit into my Paleo diet.  Remember though not all Aldi stores have the same things.  You will have to visit your store to see what they have.

Organic spinach
Organic carrots
Organic apples
**They usually have these in organic and occasionally other produce as well but they almost always have these.  I then buy a few items non-organic that are on the Clean 15 to save a little money.
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas (frozen)
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potatoes
There sweet potatoes are hit and miss as far as quality so I don't always buy them there.

They have also started carrying a "brand" called Never Any.

I also get almond milk, honey, organic ketchup and organic almond butter.  Obviously I use those more sparingly.  I buy their organic spaghetti sauce too which does not have any sugar in it. 

They also have Grassfed Beef.  It is $6.99/lb. at my local store.  I do sometimes buy this as well. 

I do buy nuts there sometimes even though they aren't raw nuts.

Other items I buy:

Maple syrup
Olive oil
Organic tomato sauce and paste
Banana chips - they have sugar in them but they are so delicious - a special treat

I also buy a few of their gluten free products for the kids as I haven't transitioned them fully to paleo yet.

Do you shop at Aldi?  What have you found that you love?

Friday, April 3, 2015

BodyPump - I kinda love it

Want to hear a story about Body Pump?  What is Body Pump you ask?  Well, lets start with that.  BodyPump is a group fitness class done using weights.


  • Improve your strength
  • Perform 70-100 repetitions per body part totaling up to 800 repetitions in a single workout
  • Improve your general fitness
  • Shape and tone your muscles
  • Protect your bones and joints from injury
  • Get into shape fast
  • Feel confident

 Years ago (before my children) I went to BodyPump classes regularly.  I LOVED them.  I actually took the 6 am classes before work and I am so NOT a morning person.  Well then I moved back to Indiana and at the time there were NO BodyPump classes anywhere near.  So sad.  Fast forward to just recently and I finally tried doing them again.

I was hooked just like the first time.  I don't know why I haven't done them before now.  I should note that I did like 4 Crossfit classes a few months ago and of course I almost died every time.   So after doing Crossfit (even for a short time) everything is easier.  I mean at least BodyPump doesn't make me want to puke most of the time.  I means sometimes the squat track can make me want to cry and lunges too but I haven't thrown up yet.

With BodyPump you work pretty much every muscle group and you lift weights and you do it to fun music.  You can go here to get a better idea of how it works.  I actually have started looking forward to this class.  I've been trying to go three times a week.  I'm sad when I miss.  Who am I?  I never used to look forward to exercise.

The weights are much lighter than regular weights but you can load up your bar if you are ready.  I am trying to make sure I get the moves done correctly before going heavier.  If you want to see some of the moves for the class check them out here.

If you haven't tried a BodyPump class I urge you to find one close and give it a shot!

P.S. I am not compensated in any way to tell you about this class.  I just love it that much.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

I don't want to workout so I can eat crappy food

Last January I was trying to figure out how I wanted to go about losing weight.  Notice I didn't say get healthy I said lose weight.  I have tried many things.  The last few years I had switched to eating whole foods meaning I didn't eat things that came from a box.  I made most of our food from scratch a lot of the time.  But it wasn't helping me lose weight.  I went down the list of things - NutriSystem - no because I wanted real food.  Weight Watchers - no way - I cannot keep track of points also I knew enough to know that low fat is not where it's at.  I wanted to find something that helped me lose weight yet still allowed me to eat whole foods.  And working out alone WAS NOT DOING IT.  I used to be thinner and I would run so I could have brownies or a blizzard from Dairy Queen but I didn't want to do that anymore.

I found a blogger who had eaten whole foods in moderation and lost weight.  I thought I could do that.  My problem was still that I couldn't quite control the portions on the things I really loved like homemade bread.  The smell alone of homemade bread made me want to eat the whole thing.

I knew then I needed something that would help me kick my cravings while still eating whole foods.  I just had no idea what to do.  Then my husband came to me (you've heard this part before) and he told me about this thing called The Whole30.  He wanted to do it but he did NOT want me to because he knew how angry I got over food like when I didn't have it when I wanted it, etc.

Well, I read the book and after reading the book you just cannot NOT do it.  At least I couldn't.  It was the way I always had wanted to eat but couldn't ever force myself to do.  This strict form of paleo was just what I needed.  I was also still dealing with nagging depression/anxiety and some aches and pains.  I didn't really believe food could completely help me but after researching things I was sure going to see if it could.

I'd always believed you shouldn't cut whole food groups out.  I believed moderation could work.  It just couldn't work for me because I couldn't control portions of certain foods.  I just couldn't.

I just knew that everything that I knew about "dieting" before finding paleo didn't work for me long term.  I quit it after a few months or after hitting my goal.  I lost weight on those things for sure but I never felt better.  I still felt crappy and angry and hungry.

While paleo is restrictive in that you can't eat certain things I never felt hungry, like ever.  The first two weeks were exhausting and tough but after that it got easier and I started feeling better.  I started feeling so much better that I couldn't quit and surprisingly I didn't even want to quit.  It has cured SO MANY of my cravings that I thought could never be cured!!!! But it did take months and months to do that.  I don't even want something sweet after I have something salty anymore.  I don't NEED dessert after meals.  I don't have to have popcorn every night and I certainly don't need my coffee creamer anymore.  Those are just of the few things I have gotten rid of.

Well, I read the book and after reading the book you just cannot NOT do it.  At least I couldn't.  It was the way I always had wanted to eat but couldn't ever force myself to do.  This strict form of paleo was just what I needed.  I was also still dealing with nagging depression/anxiety and some aches and pains.  I didn't really believe food could completely help me but after researching things I was sure going to see if it could.

I am so thankful my husband found the Whole30 just when I needed it.  I'm thankful he kept going paleo with me.  I'm thankful we are still doing it.

Another thing we did was get this paleo thing down before we started working out.  I am really just now finding my workout rhythm.  I will blog on that another day.

 Have you done a "diet" that actually worked long term?  Tell me about it.


Friday, March 20, 2015

I'm a really bad friend right now

I can't really say when it happened.  Sometime over the last year I've started becoming a really bad friend.  I all but refuse to talk on the phone.  I only ever communicate through texting or social media.  I have almost developed a phobia of talking on the phone.

And my days - they are used up already before they even start.  I am a "mostly" stay-at-home mom.  I homeschool.  I'm assuming homeschool moms are similar to work-outside-the-home moms in that we just can't hang out during the day.  We can't do lunch with friends and by the end of our day - we are too exhausted to go out.  We can barely do dinner for our own family.  And lets not even talk about how I am doing some real estate on the side.

Homeschooling has completely taken it out of me.  Don't get me wrong - I mostly love it.  I love being with my kids all day.  I love the freedom we have.  I love seeing those light bulb moments.  Yet I am with my kids all day.  I am always needed.  I am always doing something.  I am always feeding someone.  I am always teaching someone.

It is wonderful.  It is emotionally taxing.  It is mentally draining.  I just don't have the capacity for others that I once did.  I wish I could find that balance.  I am taking MUCH better care of myself.  I'm eating better than I ever have.  I am getting exercise in on a regular basis.  I am fixing my hair and putting on make up and wearing jewelry.  I am finding time for me, for my husband, for my kids but I can't seem to find the balance to do things with friends.

I mean I do things with friends but usually only if we are doing something with or for our kids at the same time.  And if I can find any time to be without the kids I desperately need a date night with my husband.  I like my friends.  I really do.  I'm just not balancing that part of my life well right now.

And I'm finding this odd peace about being alone too.  I was one that NEVER wanted to be alone.  I always needed people around me.  I would get anxiety if I knew I had to be alone for an evening.  But now I have so much more peace and I actually have started craving alone time.  And I even went out to dinner by myself!  By myself people, I NEVER do that and I can't believe I did do that.  And I enjoyed it.  Am I turning into an introvert?  I don't know.  These are new roads that I am traveling.

I feel like there will be a day that I can freely talk on the phone again or go out on a Thursday night for coffee and dessert with friends.  Today is just not that day.

During the day I just cannot have conversations with people.  It puts my day behind and my kids know I'm on the phone so they quit doing school and run around like wild banshees and then I have to work twice as hard to get them back and focused.  When you lose focus it takes a lot to get it back!

To my friends:  I still love you.  I really do.  I still want to see you and hang out with you but I just can't do it well right now.  I still want to keep in touch but I can't always meet in person or even talk on the phone.  Someday I will be a better friend again.  Someday it will happen.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Paleo Meatloaf

Meatloaf is just one of those easy meals that I make that my whole family likes.  Those type of meals are rare (ones that everyone likes).  I don't really measure things but I kind of just throw them in so this isn't an exact recipe.

A photo posted by Gretchen (@extraordinaryordinarylife) on
I use 2 pounds of grassfed beef or 1 pound of grassfed beef and 1 pound of ground venison.  To that I add 1/4 cup of almond flour, 1 beaten egg, a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion power, salt and pepper (I don't really measure them out).

Preheat oven to 425 and then mix all of the above.  Form it into a loaf and bake 45-50 minutes.  Then I mix 1/4 cup of organic ketchup (or if you want to make your own do it!) and 1 tablespoon of honey.  I take out the meatloaf and coat the top of it with the ketchup mixture and bake an additional 5-7 minutes.

Allow to cool and serve!  We rarely have leftovers.  You can also just leave out the almond flour if you have a nut allergy in your family.