Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: January 26th, 2015

Planning a menu is definitely helping me save money on groceries. Our plans last week moved around a bit, but the meals were mostly the same. It was a successful week!

I would still like to learn more about freezer cooking, saving money on groceries using coupons, and adding more variety to our meals. It is much harder planning a menu for only two people now with one of those individuals being a child.

Breakfast - Cereal and Banana
Lunch - Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches with Carrots
Dinner - Shrimp and Sausage Veggie Stirfry

Breakfast - Cereal and Fruit
Lunch - Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich + Carrots
Dinner - Shrimp and Sausage Veggie Stirfry 

Breakfast - Hardboiled Eggs + Fruit + Energy Balls
Lunch - Peanut Butter Honey Sandwiches + Bell Pepper
Dinner - Turkey Zucchini Burgers and Spinach Salad

Breakfast - Blueberry Lemon Pancakes + Hardboiled Eggs
Lunch - Tuna Cheese Melts + Sugar Snap Peas
Dinner - Turkey Burgers and Spinach Salad 

Breakfast - Yogurt Berry Smoothies + Rice Cake
Lunch - Egg Salad Sandwiches + Avocado
Dinner - Penne with Meat Sauce + Asparagus

Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs + Toast + Kiwi   
Lunch - Ham and Cheese Ranch Wraps + Green Beans
Dinner -  Penne with Meat Sauce + Spinach Salad

Breakfast - Cereal and Fruit
Lunch - Chicken Salad Sandwiches + Celery
Dinner - Taco Soup + Cornbread

I will link this post up at Menu Plan Monday.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: January 19th, 2015

Breakfast - Hardboiled Eggs, Rice Cake, and Yogurt Fruit Smoothie
Lunch - Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches with Bell Peppers 
Dinner - Penne with Meat Sauce + Spinach Salad  

Breakfast - Hardboiled Eggs and Blueberry Almond Oatmeal
Lunch - Tuna Cheese Melts with Mixed Veggies
Dinner - Baked Fish Fillets + Steamed Broccoli + Sweet Potato

Breakfast - Cereal and Fruit
Lunch - Peanut Butter Honey Sandwiches + Carrots
Dinner - Papa Murphy's Pizza (Chicken Veggie Delight)

Breakfast - Hardboiled Eggs + Kiwi + Rice Cake
Lunch - Leftover Pizza + Salad
Dinner - Baked Mesquite Chicken + Brown Rice + Cream Corn  

Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs + Strawberries + Toast
Lunch - Meatball Subs + Mixed Veggies    
Dinner - Shrimp Fried Rice and Veggie Stirfry 

Breakfast - Pumpkin Pancakes + Apple    
Lunch - Turkey and Cheese Wraps + Sugar Snap Peas
Dinner - Shrimp Fried Rice and Veggie Stirfry  

Breakfast - Cereal and Fruit
Lunch - Chicken Salad Sandwiches + Carrots
Dinner - Turkey Enchiladas + Salad

I will link this post up at Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Blogging for Books Review: Strong is the New Skinny by Jennifer Cohen and Stacey Colino

I recently received a book titled Strong is the New Skinny: How to Eat, Live, and Move to Maximize Your Power  written by Jennifer Cohen and Stacey Colino as part of the book review program developed by Blogging For Books. Are you looking for a fitness book that will get you on track for the new year? I'm embarrassed to say this . . . but I've been off track for several years now. The profound message in this book reminded me of the passion I once had for nutrition and fitness.

Author Biographies
Jennifer Cohen is a trainer, writer, studio owner, and successful health and fitness entrepreneur. You can read her weekly fitness blog posts written for Health.com. She has captured the attention of nearly 2 million of their followers. The columns she writes for Forbes are frequently read and noted as being in the top 10 list of posts read. She shares her knowledge and has contributed to Shape, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. Mrs. Cohen has appeared on numerous national media sites. She is also the Fitness Ambassador for Weight Watchers and has developed a series of bestselling DVD's with the company.

Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer who specializes in fitness, health, and the field of psychology. She is also a certified group exercise and Spinning instructor. Her articles can be found in a dozen national magazines, as well as numerous health and diet books, such as Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well.

Book Description (According to Amazon)
Sick and tired of hearing what’s wrong with you and your body? You’re not alone. It’s time for a new conversation—and a new plan for treating, feeding, and moving your body in ways that build on your strengths inside and out. Strong is sexy. Strong is powerful. Strong is achievable.  
With STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY you can say goodbye to body-bashing and physical faultfinding, and instead learn to embrace, not just how it looks, but what your body can do—from pushups to pull ups and box jumps to rope climbs, nothing is out of your reach.

Topics Covered
Part 1: Inner Strength
  • Maximizing Your Potential - in Mind, Body, and Spirit
  • Your Lifestyle Checkup
  • Developing Strength from the Inside Out
  • The Strong is the New Skinny Diet Plan
Part 2: The Head-To-Toe Strengthening Plan
  • Back-to Back Basic Strength
  • Armed to Impress
  • Cutting to the Core
  • Getting a Leg Up on Strength 
  • Assembling Strength
  • Torching the Fat 
You can purchase a paperback copy of this fitness and nutrition guide for $18.00 at Random House or at Amazon for $14.68.

Note: Prices are subject to change at any time.

Overall Review and Thoughts
This 239-page paperback fitness book begins with chapters that identify your inner strength and encourage you to maximize your potential. One suggestion mentioned was to create a brag box in order to record success reminders and mementos which will build up your confidence level. The program helps you develop STAR (Specific, Time-Based, Action-Oriented, and Realistic) goals and when combined with the psychological strategies for different situations enable you to stay focused. Each strategy is described and contains tips and tricks to handle the mental aspect of your situation and personal needs. As you read these chapters, you will "get yourself mentally prepared and ready" for the program. Do you know what holds you back from becoming the person you want to be? The authors can help you figure it out! 

The diet plan is solid, straightforward, sensible, and based on science research in the fitness and health fields. It's formulated around the acronym SINS (Strong is the New Skinny) and focuses on whole foods, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. The sample menus are perfect for busy on-the-go people who desire simplicity when it comes to general meal preparation. They explain what you should eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. The authors use a formula based on height, weight, and physical activities to guide you into choosing the right diet plan for your specific needs. I do wish that there was a section in the book dedicated strictly to SINS recipes using the recommended ingredients.

The Strong Seven Plan includes a list of seven power foods that will jumpstart your goals in the first seven days. There's a list of paired foods to choose from such as kefir or greek yogurt, chia or hemp seeds, tart cherries, blackberries, or raspberries, apples or jicama, quinoa or amaranth, wild salmon or lake trout, and lentils or edamame. The benefits for each food pair are explained followed by daily meal examples for a weekly action plan which discusses how to incorporate these superfoods into your meals.

The exercises are demonstrated and explained thoroughly using detailed photo shots. The workout moves include back, arms, legs and core exercises. Furthermore, the workouts require a limited amount of equipment and can easily be done in the privacy of your own home which means the suggestions are more realistic than some suggestions I've read in other fitness books. It also won't take you hours to set-up and prep your routines. I was familiar with many of the strength-building exercises mentioned in this book, but they emphasized proper technique which is a great reminder to us all. Not to mention, many of the moves can be modified or adapted to meet your needs. The fat-burning exercises appealed to me the most. I absolutely LOVE the HIIT workouts which take less than 10 minutes to complete. I became a fan of HIIT workouts years ago. When I utilize this strategy to reach my fitness goals, I am usually more successful and see better results for my body type. The book also dives into the four essential principles for fitness training. The prominent attitude of "Go Hard . . . or Go Home" is one that drives to me to excel and empowers me to challenge myself on ALL levels. It also encourages me to not quit and to set higher expectations for myself.

I believe that the Lifestyle Assessment Test which considers both cardio and strength exercises will be useful when preparing yourself for the BIGGER life changes. It'll help you realize the strong impact power has on fitness -giving you a "can do" mentality.

The authors definitely give you the tools for success if you want to achieve it. This is not your average ordinary, boring fitness guide. It's a manual chocked full of resources that will guide you into becoming a better YOU. The knowledgeable authors have convinced me to focus on my fitness plan and workouts, eat better, and to start moving towards my personal fitness goals of becoming strong and fit in the new year. Who knows maybe they will inspire you to reach your goals?

I recommend this informative and empowering book to individuals (particularly women) wanting to create a stronger, healthier, and fit body. This book will help you start the year off on a good note by encouraging you to create a healthier lifestyle. The authors want you to develop an inner and outer strength. You'll find yourself marking the pages of this book in some way or another for future and present use. This would be a wonderful self-help motivational book for fitness experts and trainers to recommend to their female clients. Visit the following link to read excerpts from the book.

I received a complimentary, free copy of this book from from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest, unbiased review on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Monday Make-Up Makeover

My niece and daughter had a grand time during their Monday Make-Up Makeover night during our trip. They did each other's make-up, but things turned a bit theatrical. My niece also curled Alyssa's hair. My niece's face is my daughter's masterpiece. Don't they look cute and funny?
My kitty cat niece, Jessika

Thank you for visiting A Learning Journey!

God bless,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Meet a Few of My 2015 Crew Member Friends

I am thrilled to announce that I am once again on The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew Team. These women are amazing! Many of their blogs encourage me and are chocked full of inspirational articles or valuable educational content. 

I wanted to share their homeschool blog buttons with you in hopes that you'll find new blogs to read and possibly even meet a few new people. Take a peek! Let me know which ones are your favorites. 

Every Bed of Roses Ben and Me Footprints in the Butter Under The Sky Circling Through This Life Homemaking Organized Pea of Sweetness As We Walk Along the Road Sunnyside Farm Fun Life with the Tribe For the Display of His Splendor Be The One Home Grown Hearts Academy As He Leads is Joy Counting Pinecones Counting Change Again Daily Life Mom's Heart Super Mommy to the Rescue Tots and Me Treasuring Life's Blessings Homeschool Coffee Break Home Sweet Life Chickens, Bunnies and Homeschool Farm Fresh Adventures Finch n Wren ElCloud Homeschool WestWordBlog simplelivingmama.com Our Good Life A Moment in Our World Golden Grasses Homeschool Dreams At Home: where life happens The Mc Clanahan 7 Homeschooling 6 Life at Rossmont Puddle Jumping Ladybug Daydreams Marching to a Different Drummer Everything Then Some One Mama's Journey Tenacity Divine Ozark Ramblings A Learning Journey AdenaF blog Jensen Family Circus I Choose Joy! A Glimpse of Our Life Delightful Learning Through the Calm and Through the Storm Mama's Coffee Shop Through The Open Window Autism Blog Acorns Nuggets of Gold Blog Schoolhouse Review Crew

Thank you for visiting A Learning Journey!

God bless,