Portion Control – Week 2 Meal Plan

How did you go with your meal  plan last week?? Did it work out for you, any struggles?

This week is all about portion control – if you are a mum you can probably nod your head that you finish your kids leftovers, eat while making dinner or cleaning up – it is so important when you are trying to maintain a healthy body weight or shaping up before the summer, that you really have a look at your portions. Diets definitely don’t work and who has time to make separate meals for you and then your family. So here are some of my favourite tips that I share with my clients on how to maintain a healthy body weight but at the same time eat what your family is eating:

  1. Cook healthy and wholesome foods that you and your family will benefit from – full of wholesome vegies, fruit, low fat meats and FRESH produce – if the sun hasn’t touched it then you are better off not eating it!
  2. Eat when your kids eat! Biggest tip that I can give – as much as I want to eat with my hubby when he comes home from work it is just too late and I hate going to bed on a full belly. Instead I eat with the kids and then I have no chance of eating off their plates and then having another dinner
  3. Portion Control is key –In this picture you will see 2 different portions the little one if for me and the 2nd is for Kasper – I generally try and eat from a entree plate at night as I have eaten every 3 hours during the day therefore I am not starving at night. Try and serve yourself a small portion like the kids and after you have a glass of water and wait for at least 5 minutes then see if you are hungry before going back for seconds.
  4. Listen to your body – Are you feeling full? Have you had some water after dinner?
  5. Add protein to your meal – by adding protein to your meal you will stay fuller for longer!

 

Week 2 – Simonsen’s Meal Plan

Sunday:    Pesto Pasta with Salad & garlic bread
Monday:   Donna Hay Chicken with Halloumi & Honey, potato salad & garden salad (grandparents for dinner)
Tuesday:  Cheesy Beef Tortilla Stack from Hello Fresh recipe – KIDS FAVOURITE
(had no zucchini’s so added spinach instead kids didn’t notice – Baharat spice is Mixed spice)
Wednesday: Fish & Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Thursday: Danish Pork/veal meatballs with rice and steamed vegetables
Friday: Leftover Fridays the same as Thursday with cut up vegie sticks instead
Saturday: Night off – If you are at home use whatever is left in the fridge and make a little antipasto board or omelette! Or get your partner to surprise you 😉

 


COOKING WITH GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL

When a recipe is calling for fresh ginger how many drops of ginger essential oil should you use and when to add it?

Last night we had a ‘Crispy Pork Stir Fry” from Curtis Stones – Coles $10 meal, so yummy yet simple.

Such a great example to demonstrate how many drops of ginger you should add to your meal based on your personal taste.

Generally, 1 tsp of grated ginger = 1 drop of ginger EO

I made 2 batches of this recipe so I doubled the amount required:

This is how much I used:

6 tsp grated ginger = 3 drops of ginger EO – I would have added more however my kids are not great fans of ginger so I didn’t want to add too much, if it was just me and the hubby I would have added another drop.

Method: I just added drop by drop, and it is better to add gradually to ensure that you are not over powering the dish. Everyone’s tastes are different.

When do you add it:
It asked you to add the fresh ginger at the start and stir fry it with garlic and spring onion, instead when cooking with essential oils you need to add it at the end to get the most benefit out of every drop.

In this case, when you put the sauce together I added the ginger and then added the sauce at the last 3 minutes of the cooking.

## Ginger essential oil may help to support healthy digestion, may help to reduce bloating, gas, and occasional indigestion and may help reduce occasional nausea*

For more information about how ginger essential oil can support your health and wellbeing, click here


Meal Planning made easy – Week 1

Meal planning can sometimes be a little overwhelming and if you are not organised it either costs you a lot a of money and often won’t work out. Over the coming weeks I thought I would share what we having so that you will feel inspired to try new foods and hopefully give you some new recipes to add to your family favourites.

Here are some quick tips that might help you with planning meals for your family:

  1. Shop online – new favourite thing to do, it means that I am staying in budget – I can swap and change foods when needed and maybe opt for a cheaper meal instead.
  2. Get your diary out – before you even start your meal plan you need to check what you have on during the week as you will not be able to prepare a 1 hour meal if you have sports all afternoon. Be smart and savvy when it comes to your meals
  3. Get inspired: Follow a few of your favourite celebrity chefs on facebook and save your recipes. How to do this – click the 3 dots on the top of the posts and click save post that way you can come back to it at a later date
  4. Ask the kids: I always ask the kids what they would like to eat during the week that way they are also getting something that they like and they feel excited that they have contributed and can’t wait for there meal night…. maybe they can start to cook for you as well lol
  5. Thursday night cook for Friday: Not sure about you but I hate cooking on Friday nights and when I can afford it I will grab takeaway however I am never impressed and often disappointed. So I usually cook a meal that we can re-heat up on a Friday night.. so much more relaxing and you can also feel like you are having a night off.

Week 1 – Simonsen’s Meal Plan

Sunday:    Beef Ravioli with homemade red sauce & salad
Monday:   Crispy Pork Stir fry with baby broccoli
Tuesday:  Fish &  Homemade Chips with Halloumi Salad
Wednesday: Pesto, tomato & bocconcini Pasta
Thursday: Lamb shoulder (pressure cooked) with baked vegies
Friday: Lamb & salad wraps (used leftover lamb)
Saturday: Night off – If you are at home use whatever is left in the fridge and make a little antipasto board


Calm mind & Supporting your moods!

Feel like getting raw today – kids are causing chaos in the house, grabbed a cup of tea and hiding in my office!

I feel like sharing how much these 4 precious oils have served me over the last 2.5yrs….

If you are mamma – expat- repatriate you will be nodding your head and I am sure that at times your mind is going crazy and you are feeling so anxious your tummy hurts..

So about 2.5 years ago – we headed home after our 4 year stint in Dubai amazing times – life all of sudden hit me in the face and my mind was going crazy with worry, feeling anxious, missing friends and life back in Dubai and constantly thinking about everything – you can only imagine how crazy my mind was going..

I was exhausted and struggling with everything! It wasn’t until I caught up with an old friend who introduced me to essential oils that I started researching and thought that there has to be something that can naturally support me – Personally, I didn’t want to rely on medication to calm my anxiety and blues, I was looking for a more natural approach..

These 4 oils till this day have supported me tremendously and I am on a mission to share them with every mamma, expat or repatriate that are feeling the same or think that they oils could also support YOU!

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Here is how I best like to use them:

Balance – Grounding and eases those anxious feeling by adding 2 drops to my hand and take 3 deep breaths – I would also add a few drops to the diffuser with citrus bliss when I feel like I feel exhausted and my mind is in overdrive – This is great for a 3pm pick me up and also for the boys.

Citrus Bliss – Energising/ refreshing – This is my handbag oil and happy place oil – when I smell this blend I feel at ease and in a good place! Monster juice roller ball blend – 3 drops citrus bliss + 2 drops balance

Serenity – Sleep time bliss – super calming, relaxing I love adding a couple drops to my pillow before I go to bed – Sienna’s favourite bed time – Foot massage (biggest pores of your body – add 2 drops balance + 2 drops serenity and apply to your feet.

Elevation – Diffuse often in the kitchen especially in the morning as I love uplifting the mood for the whole house combining with some music and we are all happy.

## Big thanks to this oil mamma who put together this pic as I couldn’t explain it any better.

If you feel anxious or down make sure to talk to someone as you more than likely the person next to you has been through it before!


Keeping a float during the school holidays

Staying motivated and inspired in the kitchen can definitely be challenging at times, especially when you feel that you are constantly in the kitchen cooking or grabbing a snack for the kids. I personally enjoy cooking and love trying out new recipes but there are definitely times that I have no desire to even whip up a quick omelette.
School holidays is no different, and at times I find that even though you have no lunch boxes to pack some how you end in the kitchen even more or heading out for lunch with the kids ends up costing you over $50, which you could actually spend that money else where or on fun activities. When I was recently in Denmark I noticed that families don’t generally go out for lunch and dinner like we do in Australia – cafe culture isn’t as big for families as it is here. After speaking with a few of the locals they mentioned that it is just too expensive and it is more ‘hygge’ cosy to have a picnic or go to each others houses instead. I always know that I am in Denmark when I see families walking around eating carrot stick or fye bread.
Here are my 5 tips on staying a float during the school holidays and spending less time in the kitchen and less money out:
  1. Sunday kitchen prep: Continuing to wash + cut up cucumbers, carrots, capsicum, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes is definitely a great time saver and an easy snack that the kids can grab from the fridge – plus you know it is healthy so you don’t mind how much they take. You could even prep your fruit such as grapes, watermelon, apples, oranges and have them ready to go in containers as well. Strawberries and blueberries are in season at the moment and cheap so all you have to do is wash and they are ready to eat. See my latest facebook video posts on Sunday prep here. ## I usually do this 2 times a week.
  2. Make a fruit salad: cut up all your kids favourite fruits and make a yummy fruit salad – this can be used for breakfast, morning tea or afternoon and it generally last for 3 days and it means that it is one more thing already cut up. I avoid using bananas as they don’t tend to last 3 days. Try adding a bit of fresh lemon juice or wild orange essential oil to stop the fruit from going brown. Adding some ice cream or yoghurt to the fruit salad can also make a great dessert!
  3. Heading out: Pack a lunch box for each of the kids like you would usually for school and put together a yummy salad or sandwich yourself. Maybe put a little treat in since it is school holidays like juice, flavoured milk or some cake whatever you think the kids would be excited to eat – I find this so much easier when I am out and about as my kids are always hungry and therefore I don’t feel like I am running around and having to buy so much food that they don’t end up eating anyway. Great money saver and you won’t be frazzled when you are constantly being told they are hungry even though they ate 30 minutes ago.
  4. Get the kids involved: During the school holidays and if you are at home with the kids it is a great time to get the kids involved in the kitchen and allowing them to either make lunch or dinner for the family. Sienna loves to do this and I usually get her to pick something from a recipe book or she can search it online (usually takes her 30 minutes by the time she has found what she wants to make and then write her shopping list). This is a win win situation for me as I don’t have to cook and she is kept busy!!!  Taste online is Sienna’s favourite.
  5. Good old picnic: This is something that we use to do as children all the time and often reminiscence good old times we had with family friends on a picnic – creating memories is priceless. Times have definitely changed now and we are all busy rushing off to try the latest new cafe in our local area but I personally think this is a nightmare with 3 children, they don’t sit still and generally never finish the food that I have ordered for them. Waste of money and telling my kids to sit down 100 times it not my cup of tea. Instead we are heading on a few picnics to beach or our favourite park these holidays and have already pencilled in a few playdates. Great way to the get the kids involved as well as you can put a list together on what they need for a picnic – therefore they can pack and you prep the food.
    Here are some ideas on what you could have on your checklist for them:
    > Location/ theme – beach or park
    > Toys/ Equipment they will need
    > Towels / blanket / umbrella or tent/ book for mum 😉 false hope
    > Food – good old bbq chicken always works wonders but don’t forget you already have your fruit and vegies cut up so half the work is already done for you. You could also get a bit creative and make a nice salad for you  or buy some fresh bread that way the kids can make there own sandwiches once they get there.
    > Plates/ cups/ paper towels/ baby wipes
    > Drinks / juice or water
    > Don’t forget the hat and sunscreen
I hope that you find these ideas helpful and save you time these school holidays.

x



Natural Living with Essential Oils

It has been quite some time since I lasted posted I seemed to have started so many exciting blog posts but I have never quiet finished them…. but one thing I really wanted to share with you is how my journey to natural living has been going … So where should I start…. First my daughter can probably tell you that I have been using essential oils in everything and at times she says to me “are you using essential oils again……” or “have you used essential oils in dinner tonight…” so as you can see I am slightly obsessed with them. 

Not only have I had fun experimenting  with them but I have also learnt so much on finding natural solutions for my daily routine … My mum keeps calling me Martha, as each day/week I come up with a new homemade cleaning product, my latest being the ‘toilet bomb’, which I will post the recipe on here soon.

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So to give you a rough idea how I have been using the oils this is my daily routine…

  1. Wake up have a glass of water with 2 drops of “Lemon essential oil” or fresh lemon if it is available
  2. Fill my water bottle up with 3 drops of “Smart and Sassy Blend” – I love this blend which promotes healthy metabolism and calms your stomach and lifts your mood. The blend contains a mixture of grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger and cinnamon. Plus if you don’t like drinking water this is a great way to flavour your water and to ditch the drinks
  3. I am usually up by 5.30am so I set my diffuser up at around 6am so the air is purified and ready for the morning rush. My favourite oils that I am diffusing at the moment are:
    * Lavender – All things calming – reduces the morning stress
    * Balance Blend –  LOVE THIS – promotes whole body relaxation plus it smells divine
    * Wild orange and Peppermint – I find this mix together is energising and invigorating plus the house smells great
    * Easy Air blend – perfect for those running noses or chesty coughs
    * Lemon & Lime- cleanses the air
    * Frankincense – This is the most precious oil, there is so much still to learn about the power of this oil but my kids have this cough that won’t go away so I have been diffusing it to  support healthy cellular function.
  4. If the kids are not feeling the best or getting a cold I have put together a roller bottle which includes 2 drops of “Easy Air” with 10ml of carrier oil like coconut oil, I apply this to both there feet, chest and down there back. Great natural alternative to vicks.
  5. Personal – Hair & Body routine – For the last 3 months I have been using doterra skin products and Salon Essentials for my hair. I love the shampoo and conditioner I have noticed that at the back of my head I have so much new re-growth and I find that the skin products are very well suited to my skin. My must have skin product of doterra is the hydrating serum love love love it.
  6. Cooking – Of course I am always using one of these oils in my cooking, I just can’t help myself, oregano, peppermint, lemon, lime, cinnamon bark, rosemary, cilantro (coriander), wild orange…. 
  7. Cleaning – Well this is a whole new topic – I have been using so many of the essential oils for my cleaning from Lemon essential oil to On guard blend. To give you an overview the only cleaning products that I buy from the supermarket are vinegar, bi carb, paper towels, eco washing powder and fabric softener (I haven’t had a chance to try to make my own yet) and washing up liquid. Since I have started this journey I have tried to reduce my families exposure to toxins in our daily lives. I know that everyday we are some how exposed to some kind of chemical or toxin however I know that I can try my best to control and rid the ones in our home environment. My latest invention is called the toilet bomb where I made my usual bath bomb recipe but I just changed the essential oils to on guard, tea tree and wild orange. It works like a gem!
  8. Homemade – I also make my own baby wipes, body scrubs, bath bombs…….

The list goes on but the more I explore the power of essential oils, the more I find natural ways of replacing the synthetics and living a more natural life.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about essential oils please feel free to contact me, I would love the chance to speak with you and share my journey on living a more natural life.