Yesterday we got back on track with the "no artificial colors/flavors/preservatives" diet for the kids. I know it'll probably take a couple weeks before Jackson's behavior is under control again. Tonight we're having a really easy chicken alfredo. I got the recipe from Rachel Master's cookbook, Supper's On The Table, Come Home. I love, love, LOVE this cookbook! Most all of her recipes include make-from-scratch foods so they fit right in with our eating plan! Some recipes call for easy short cuts using some store bought items which is really convenient for most people. I just replace those items with their organic counterparts, or my own modifications. But this cookbook has more than just awesome recipes. Rachel has included shopping lists for her weekly menus to make your life of so much easier! Not only that, but she also has a handy time frame to show you how to cook a complete, delicious dinner in the most efficient way. For example, here's Rachel's suggested time frame for her yummy crock pot lasagna:
11:30 assemble lasagna for crockpot
2:00 start French bread in bread machine
4:00 shape French bread; let rise
5:30 bake French bread; make salad
Every recipe I've tried so far has taken an hour or less to prepare and much of the work can be done ahead of time. We've all loved every recipe I've tried. And don't you feel great when you've managed to put a nice meal on the table? I know I do. Although we go the fast food route now and then (Yes, I know it was twice this week!), we try to avoid that because really, who needs all the fat and calories and artificial junk? Not to mention the cost! It was $44 for the 7 of us the other night at Sonic. Who can afford that on a regular basis?
Besides, what better place than the dinner table can you talk to your kids about their classes, teachers, and friends? Where else can you all sit down, relax, enjoy each other's company, and partake in a yummy nutritious hot meal? (Just gloss over the stuff like having to cut up everyone's meat, listening to burps that would rival any frat boy, having conversations about gross bodily functions, getting up and down from the table 20 times to clean up spilled milk, refill glasses, and turn off the oven that you forgot to turn off earlier, and eating your dinner cold because your nursing baby always gets hungry the minute you sit down.)
Seriously though, this is one of my favorite cookbooks. Rachel has tons of quick tips and resourceful ideas at the back of her book which I enjoy looking through. And I love how she has planned out each week so you're eating a variety of foods. She makes good use of your time and ingredients too by putting a recipe for roast beef on Sunday and then beef stew (using the left-over meat) on Wednesday, for example. She includes recipes for 5 full meals, a snack and a dessert every week. You can fill in the other two days with left-overs, going out to eat, or your own favorite recipes.
There are recipes for chicken quesadillas, curly cheesy potatoes, baked potato soup, honey wheat bread, spaghetti pie, meatball soup, monster cookies, Snicker salad, peanut butter pie, and many, many more! HERE are some sample pages. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!
Anyway, if you're interested in getting one of these awesome cookbooks, you can click HERE to order. They're only $15 each ($12 each if you want to start your Christmas shopping early and get 10 or more books) and that includes all shipping and handling costs.
OK, enough about eating yummy homecooked dinners now! I'm getting seriously hungry! So, you know what I did last night? I got out my (actually, Austin crawled up in the attic and got it out for me) step thingy so I could do some step aerobics. I did this hour long step tape back after I had Jackson. I lost 40-some pounds at that time. I looked good. I felt great. What happened? I mean, yeah, I gave birth to 3 more kids, but I'm pretty sure I didn't carry any of them in my butt so I really have no excuse. Anyway, after tripping over this stupid step for a week, I finally made myself do the workout tape.
I still haven't decided whether it's inspiring or depressing to see lean, muscular, well-oiled, perfectly made up and coiffed people working out. The have smiles plastered on their faces, they act like working out is fun and easy, and they don't ever break a sweat. I'm not sure if I should be inspired to work out so I can look like them or if I should throw my shoe at the tv to wipe those smiles off their stupid, skinny faces.
Less than 20 minutes into the workout, I thought I was going to die. I seriously thought my heart would actually explode. Oh. My. Gosh. I decided it was better to go slowly and work up to the full hour than to, you know, go into cardiac arrest, so I stopped. I've got to say that I felt great (after my heart slowed down to under 5000 beats a minute) for getting off my butt and moving. My goal is to do it for one week. Baby steps. After one week, if I'm not dead, I'll go for another week. That's the plan anyway. Then again, I had grand plans back in January when I made my new year's resolutions and those have notsomuch worked according to plan...
Remember to check out Rachel's cookbook HERE. And from now until next Wednesday, when you order a cookbook (through the online site ONLY, not mail-in) you'll get your name put in a drawing. For every 20 books sold, Rachel will choose a winner from those names, and that person will receive a FREE cookbook to give away. This is great for bridal showers, the young family who just moved to your neighborhood, your daughter, your mother, your best friend! Good luck and happy cooking!