(This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just think it’s really funny and needed a photo to put at the top, so this is it. It’s from our rehearsal, obviously, and it’s a very “Beth and Brad” photo. I’m a crazed mess and he is calm and collected. It’s why we work so well.)
Quite frequently I get asked questions regarding how I plan meals. How often do I go to the grocery store? What day do I go to the grocery store? Do I plan meals in advance? How many meals do I plan at a time? How do I decide what meals to make? Do I have a budget?
You know… questions like that. But when I give them my answer I always expect them to say “oh yea, that’s how I do it” or “yea, I go to the grocery store on that day too” or “I definitely plan my meals ahead”. But apparently, I surprise people with my answers. And, in turn, that surprises me. I pretty much just assumed I used a system that everyone uses but I guess that’s not really the case. So… I figured I might as well write a post about it.
Now, I TRY to only go to the grocery store once a week. It usually ends up being twice a week though. There’s always a last minute thing I need that I forgot or something like I couldn’t buy salmon on a Sunday and eat it on Thursday or most likely it’ll have something to do with Saturday night dinners. While grocery stores are definitely on my way home from work, I try to avoid doing pretty much anything after work. Mostly because I just really like to get home as soon as I am done working. That being said… I do end up doing my major grocery trip on Mondays more than I would prefer. But really, I prefer to do it on Sunday mornings. I like to go on Sunday mornings for a few reasons. The main one is that it’s soooo much less crowded. I hate going to busy grocery stores and having to wait in lines. It’s the worst. But another reason why I like to go on Sundays is because Brad has the opportunity to go with me. I very much get into a zone when I am at the store, I have a list prepared and I am pretty much on a mission. So he usually ends up just following me with the cart. However, I enjoy his company and I think it’s fun to do together. It’s also really nice to have someone there to give me an opinion rather than me asking myself and debating out loud while other fellow shoppers wonder if I have split personality disorder. (Sadly- I really do talk to myself like that) There are weeks of course that I have to go on Mondays. Which sucks, but whatever. I stop on my way home from work, in my dirty icing and paint covered pants, my hair a mess and glitter all over every inch of my body. It’s a lovely sight.
The grocery store I go to most often is Kroger. Kroger and Publix are the main grocery stores down here. I like Publix (they have fresh pizza dough that I buy all.the.time.) however, I believe they are expensive. With my Kroger card, I save anywhere from $5-$20 in one trip. But also, I use the fuel points to get gas in my car (hello extra 10 cents a gallon!). We have really nice Krogers down here anyway. Especially in our town. We literally have the nicest Krogers I’ve been in. And they have a really great “natural food” section, which we have discovered has a lot of the same stuff as Whole Foods, only muuuuuch cheaper.
Another store I shop at is actually Costco. Oh and Sam’s Club too. I absolutely LOVE buying in bulk. Since we do live a little further out, it’s really not fun if you realize you forgot to buy a can of chicken broth or if you decide you need another can of beans in that chili or need some rice for the sick dog (yea, that happened this week). We are really lucky and have a huge garage that has a little cut out/extra room deal that was meant to be a pantry. It’s nice and cool down there and the heavy duty shelves we had in Indy fit perfectly. It’s literally like a mini grocery store down there and I love it. I do have lots of things I’d like to add down there, but that will all happen eventually. Here’s a list of things that I buy in bulk and have found to be extremely handy:
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Canned Tomato Paste
Canned Tomato Sauce
Oatmeal (always old fashioned rolled oats, never the quick ones. You can do so much more with them)
Canned Beans (any kind Costco has, I grab)
Canned Green Beans
Ramen Noodles (I have an asian noodle recipe that I absolutely adore that uses just the noodles)
Salsa (Both a kind to eat with chips and Pace Salsa to cook with)
Spices (right now I just have cinnamon, chili powder and peppercorn, but I would eventually like to have many many more)
Cholula Hot Sauce
An extra bag of dog food (it’s always a good idea to have this, especially if there is some horrible weather that will leave you stranded at home for a few days. Can’t forget about the furry kids!)
Obviously, that’s not all on the shelves right now. But most of that was at one point. You can’t buy all of that at once or you’ll end up spending $1,000 real quick. But it’s good stuff to eventually have on hand.
In addition to our basement pantry, I like to buy freezer items. Since my last trip to Costco was at least a month ago, we’ve eaten a lot that I had in there, so the photo below is a horrible example. But I’ll tell you what was once in there:
Frozen Mixed Veggies (perfect for a quick soup or just a plain side dish)
Mixed Stir Fry Veggies (it almost feels silly to use the fresh vegetables now in stir fry just because the frozen mix is soooo much easier)
Items that are not purchased in bulk but I like to have in there anyway:
Hash Browns of some sort
Ice Cream (no explanation needed)
Margaritas (again, no explanation needed)
Sometimes I have frozen fish, like tilapia or cod. Just for something quick to make.
Mojito Cheaters (this is a really good one. In an ice cube tray squeeze a bunch of fresh lime juice and tear up maybe 7-10 mint leaves. Top off with water freeze and then put in a freezer ziploc bag. These are really good to put in your water when you want some flavor and always good to put in some rum, soda water and a little sugar for a SUPER easy mojito!)
Currently I have a few frozen burritos in there that I made a few weeks ago out of Mexican rice, salsa, beans and a little cheese. They are awesome for lunches!
I also like to make frozen breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches. Usually made with eggs, cheese and sausage. I love having frozen breakfast stuff… makes the mornings sooo much easier.
Hmmm I think that’s it for the freezer. But it’s all basically things that are really nice to have in case you need a last minute meal… and then some extras. I really love being so prepared! It just makes life so much easier! And! It makes grocery store trips so much less expensive! I’ve never actually calculated out how much money we save by buying things in bulk, but we have to save SOME money, right?
Ok- so now you know where I like to shop and what I like to keep in the house. Next up- planning the meals!
I do this pretty much every Sunday morning. I get up, eat some breakfast and sit on the couch and get to work. Every single week, before I start researching, I ask Brad “is there anything you really want for dinner this week?”. Sometimes he can list off 4 meals, sometimes he lists off zero. But that is always my first priority. Gotta keep my man’s belly happy! Once he gives me his input, I think about if there is anything I really want for dinner that week. Then I decide if this is a week we need a good amount of leftovers or not (the bank account decides that) and then once I determine what types of meals I need to make (lots of leftovers or not lots of leftovers, Brad’s picks and my picks) I start researching recipes. I usually check on the food blogs that I follow and see if they have done anything super interesting that week, and then I head over to Pinterest to look at my “Dinner” board. It’s hard for me to tell you exactly what I do because well, 1) I don’t really pay attention and 2) it varies. But for the most part, that’s what I do. I write all the days down on our new super cool chalkboard wall in our kitchen and start planning what meal is on what day. Once all of that is figured out, then I make my grocery list!
My grocery list is laid out how my mom used to do it. I think anyway. It’s laid out sort of in order of how the store is laid out. In the top left corner is all the fresh produce because that’s always where you go in first. Then below that is deli stuff, like deli cheese, deli meat, fancier mozzarella (not in block form)… stuff like that. Then, right below that is meat… chicken, beef, bacon, breakfast sausage… all of it. Then in the bottom left corner is all your “in the middle of the grocery store” stuff. Like canned stuff, cereals, crackers, seasonings, baking stuff… you get what I’m saying. I try to keep that part of the list super small since they say you should shop on the perimeter of the store for healthier food. In the top right corner is dairy and other refrigerated stuff, like milk, eggs, sour cream, rolls of biscuits, block cheese…. And then lastly, in the bottom right corner is freezer stuff. I think that’s pretty straight forward.
I have always made my grocery list that way and always will. And I have always planned my meals that way and again, always will. I’ve never been a fan of having to go day to day trying to figure out what to eat for dinner and then having to go to the store everyday. It’s not my thing. I am such a homebody that I really just want to be home as much as possible. And too- while I do love to go to the grocery store, I just don’t love it enough to go multiple times a week. Plus, it makes life so much easier and a little less stressful if you are prepared for the week. Anything can come up at any point of the day and it’s nice to know that at least you have everything you need and know exactly what you are making for dinner that night. Sometimes we change stuff, sometimes we don’t follow the plan, but I think 90% of the time we do. I mean, geez, I put so much effort into it, might as well!
I don’t know if this has been helpful at all for anyone, maybe it’s at least been an interesting read. Now you don’t have to spend your days wondering how I do all of this because I am sure you were so worried. But, whatever. It’s interesting and really… I just get asked so much that I figure it’s going to be on SOMEONE’S mind! So… that’s that. Hopefully next week I’ll have some actual food to post about. Who knows though… I haven’t made my list yet! Ha. Ok- I’m done.
This baby sea turtle has nothing to do with this post. I just like it and it’s cute and it’s from our honeymoon so I just decided to put it in. I also thought I needed a photo somewhere in this post. Ok… that is all.
We have officially stopped doing CLEAN. Sort of.
Some may say that we quit, some may say we gave up, some may ask “what was the point?” and some may wonder how we could have gotten anything out of it already. I get it, that’s fine. But actually, we didn’t quit. We didn’t give up. There was a point. And believe it or not… we did get something out of it.
After one full week of a pre-cleanse and 4 full days of the actual cleanse, Brad and I decided to end it. Partially because we were hungry, partially because we had cravings but mostly because we got what we wanted out of it.
I’ll have you know I am 5’2″ tall. I am almost 26 and depending on the day I was topping out at 130 pounds. (Yes, I totally just confessed my weight on the internet and I am totally ok with it) I have a small frame but yet was somehow able to pack on a lot of weight over the last few months. 130 pounds for a girl my age and my height isn’t really “ideal”. I looked it up on like 5 different websites. 130 is at the high end of what I should be, on the verge, of well… “you’re getting close to not being an ideal weight so get your shit together”. We set out to do this whole CLEAN thing to get healthy and an added bonus would be to lose weight.
Which we did. We lost a lot of weight. I lost almost 8 pounds (I weighed myself when we began this and I was 128.6 and I’m now at 121). For someone my size, 8 pounds is a lot in one and a half weeks. We were dropping weight in a mostly healthy-ish way because we cut everything you could possibly think of as unhealthy out of our diet. We were living on mostly fruits and veggies and a little bit of protein everyday. We felt hungry… which we understood was part of the whole thing. But we wanted to start training for Tough Mudder and when you train for Tough Mudder, you shouldn’t be slacking on what you eat. And that was our biggest problem.
Training for Tough Mudder requires a lot of running. And a lot of weight training. And I was finding myself so completely exhausted and worn out only a couple minutes in to our workouts that I was secretly worrying. I felt weak when I was working out. Nothing about me felt strong. Like lifting a 10 pound weight was doing to do more damage than good! While I felt pretty good throughout the day, minus the cravings and dislike of some of the food we were eating, I didn’t feel good while I was doing what was really important… working out.
And so we made the call. No more. We needed to start eating “real food”.
And by “real food” I mean carbs and protein… and tomatoes and peppers and a lot of the things that we felt were important for us to eat with such a rigorous workout routine. We needed more protein in one day and not the kind of protein you get from the nasty protein shakes we bought (ugh… don’t ever buy vegan protein shakes, you’ll regret it). We needed to be allowed to eat a solid meal for dinner every once and awhile… I will say that some of the meals were very filling. And it’s not like we were depriving ourselves of food or starving ourselves or anything like that. But the book acknowledges that if you are an athlete training for something, you should almost double your food, juice and smoothie intake or hold off and wait to do CLEAN when you aren’t training.
We also stopped because we truly got what we wanted out of it. It was an awakening. We saw how badly we had been eating and what we had been doing to ourselves by not eating as well as we thought. We most certainly do not plan to go back to our old ways. We want to continue having juices and smoothies for breakfast and we really want to work on cutting a lot of dairy out of our diet. We want to eat a lot more meals that are from the CLEAN diet but we want to also be able to eat a damn tomato! And a jalapeno! Ain’t nothin’ wrong with jalapenos!
All kidding aside… I learned a lot. And we both really felt the effects almost immediately. Some meals we would eat before all of this felt like they just sat in our stomachs for days. Whereas with CLEAN you felt light and you felt like the food wasn’t trapped in your body while your body tried to figure out what to do with it. I did (do) feel more awake. I found myself not craving coffee in the morning for the caffeine. And let me say… I used to HATE coffee until I started having to get up at 3 in the morning. Then I started to love coffee. But I didn’t want it. I still took naps when I got home some days, but I didn’t take naps because I felt like I was going to die if I didn’t. I took naps because it just felt right to take them. I just felt good all around. And it was nice. But I just knew that it wasn’t working out as well as I hoped.
So you know what we did? We went out to eat on Thursday night. We went to a Mexican restaurant and ate chips and salsa and queso and we shared a margarita and we ate steak tacos and taco salads. And get this… the next morning we got up at 7 (well, Brad woke me up at 7) and did a full Tough Mudder workout and ran 4 miles in the 20 degree frozen weather and honestly… never felt better. See!? Proof!! There’s no way we could have done that while we were doing CLEAN. Just… no way.
And there you have it. That is why we stopped doing CLEAN.
But like I said, we don’t plan to go back to our old ways. I LOVE drinking homemade juices in the morning for breakfast. It’s my favorite part of CLEAN. I want to continue to do that. We want to continue to have 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. And we want to try to use a lot of the CLEAN recipes for lunches and dinner. Oh and I really want to make sure that I eat healthy snacks like apples, carrots and sugar snap peas. We are also going to limit ourselves to eating out only like once every 10 days. That includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. So we better make it worth it!
See!? We learned a lot and we are really determined to change our ways and keep them that way. I still have some CLEAN recipes to share that I promise I will actually get to. I just wanted to make sure to write this post (even though I’m writing it later than I wanted to) and explain why we stopped.
Ok… I’m done now. I have to go start dinner. byebye!
Welp, I guess today is the last day of 2012. Is anybody else trying to figure out where the year went?? I thought I would take a second to write a New Years Eve post while my cannoli tart is baking in the oven. I feel like this every year and I’m really starting to wonder who is making time go so fast. Whoever it is better stop it. Now.
We had a pretty busy yet fun year… the superbowl was in town,
we did Tough Mudder,
we got a puppy (and Etta hated us for it),
we did the Mutt Strut,
we went to the Indy 500,
we went to lord knows how many baseball games (including one in Cincinnati!),
I turned 25 (and we went to New Jersey to celebrate it! Oh, and Brad had a huge beard then),
Brad turned 28,
we had our 2 year anniversary (that I recreated our wedding meal for),
we went to the Brickyard 400, we went to the motorcycle races at the track (I have no decent photos from those),
Brad took me on my first trip to the State Fair and I ate fair food for the first time,
we went hiking and camping a few times,
we went on our annual vacation to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my family,
we went to a couple Purdue football games,
I got a new job working at a bakery, I started this new blog website, and we had a blizzard! Dang! That’s a lot of stuff! Crazy thing is… there’s probably a lot more that I just can’t think of at the moment!
Yea, 2012 was a really great year. I’ll miss it, that’s for sure. As for 2013… who really knows what will happen. I’m stumped. I know that we’ll do Tough Mudder in May and we’ll go to the 500… but that’s about all we have planned. I’ve never really been big on New Years resolutions… I’ve tried them but they never really work. I think it’s because new years never feel different to me. Like tomorrow. Tomorrow will be 2013. But it will mostly be just a Tuesday. So in my mind, since it’s a normal Tuesday, why would I magically change?? Nah. There are always things year round that I like to work on improving. Maybe eating healthier (something’s definitely brewing on that subject, you’ll find out soon enough), skipping eating out, not worrying so much about things, maybe get off my butt and exercise… it’s all the same ol things. So I think rather than making resolutions, I’ll just keep working on what I have already been working on. That makes more sense… right??
I don’t know. 2013 could be a life changer for all I know. But what I do know is that I am happy where I am. I love Brad, I love the family Brad and I have created with our 2 dogs. I love our house, I love my job, I love living in Indy, I love all of my family… I just love it all. And I guess what it all comes down to… is that I am just really excited and fortunate to live another year of my life.
Well, my tart has been out of the oven for awhile now, but I need to go cover my nails with sparkles and get my beef bourguignon going…
I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years Eve tonight. And most importantly, I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2013!!
Happy New Year!!!!!!
Welcome to the home of the new and improved What Did You Eat Yesterday Food Blog!!
After lots of contemplating, struggling and questioning where and how to find a new home for my blog, I have settled on this one! It’s still not quite at professional quality (I still need a DSLR and more money and lessons to write code (whaaaa??) for this bad boy) but I am really excited for this new website and journey!
My blog started at Tumblr and I will forever love that site. For someone who had no clue what they were doing or if it was even worth the effort, it was a great place for me to start. It was easy and actually made sense to me. But after realizing that people struggled with finding my website (whatdyoueatyesterday.tumblr.com doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, nor does it stick in peoples’ heads very well) and doing lots of research, I decided that it was time to move on to a more serious site. I don’t have the heart to get rid of my Tumblr blog though, so don’t worry, you can go back from time to time!
I have been a decision that I am not going to transfer any posts from my old blog to this new one. I want a fresh start and I want to make a serious effort to get some great photos (and more photos) and have a different look to my posts. Don’t worry though, I’ll always write like I’m talking to you… mostly because I don’t know any other way. (I was never good at formal papers in school) Another reason why I’m not transferring over all my old posts is because, well, quite frankly, I don’t want to mess with it. There’s a lot involved with that and I would rather start new with this new website and new look! Oh, also, I don’t want to transfer the old posts because now I can redo some of those old recipes and make them better! Yay!!
For those of you who do not know much about me, allow me to give you some background! I’m 25 years old and live in Indianapolis with my husband Brad and our puppy (she’s not actually a puppy) Etta. I went to Purdue University (feels like FOREVER ago) and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts, Focus in Ceramics and a Minor in Art History. For many years, I thought art was my passion. I loved studying art throughout college and I wouldn’t change what I studied for the world. Some may not think it’s the most useful degree but I am proud to say I have a degree in Ceramics from Purdue University. While I don’t spend quite as much time creating artwork after school as I thought I would, it has and always will be a large part of my life and who I am. I still make things from time to time, but right at this moment in my life, food is at the top of my passion list.
So how did I get so into food? Good question! Well, I have always baked and cooked since I was little. I used to help my mom in the kitchen probably since I could hold a spoon and stir (stirring is always my most favorite part of baking, weird, I know). I grew up in a family that rarely went out to eat. My mom and dad cooked probably 99% of the meals we ate. There are a million photos from when I was little in the kitchen. It’s just where I grew up, in the kitchen! I didn’t cook a whole lot when I was in college because I lived in a dorm for the first 3 years. But my senior year I lived in an apartment (oh the horror). I cooked every once and awhile, but let me tell you, it’s hard to cook for yourself (I never let me roommate eat my food). So I would find myself making an entire corn casserole and eating about 1/8 of it and then freezing the rest, to only not really eat much of it ever again.
Enter: Brad. We started dating the summer before my senior year of college and really, the rest is history. I cooked for him when he came and visited me up at school (I made him mostaccioli for his first birthday with me. I also made him spaghetti on our first real date) and we would cook together when I visited him in Indy. But it was really the day we got married that changed everything. September 26th, 2010. We came home from our honeymoon and all of a sudden I realized I was going to have to start feeding this guy! (Correction: he does cook and he does cook with me, so the whole food thing wasn’t/isn’t all on my shoulders.) I started getting excited about what I was cooking, I looked for new recipes, old recipes that I hadn’t had in awhile, new foods we hadn’t eaten… all of it. And it was then that it hit me. I love making food for people I love.
And so I created a food blog. You’ll find all kinds of food on this blog, just as you did on my Tumblr blog. Some healthy, some, uh, well, maybe not so much. Some sweets, some satlies… Some of it I create myself, some of it comes from others. But I can guarantee everything will be deeeeelicious!!