My Life

Meal Planning Adventures: Week 2

The adventure continues! I have continued to use some of the recipes on my pinterest board, but in addition, we have incorporated some old-time favorites of ours.

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1. Plan easy meals for busy days. The crockpot is one of my favorite friends. While we’re out getting the to-do’s done, the crockpot is at home doing all the work. We made Honey Sesame Chicken in the crockpot on Sunday to eat when we got home from church. We invited a family over to join us, and we all agreed — delicious! We ate it on top of rice, and the next night we ate the leftovers on top of quinoa with a side salad. And the night afterwards, we shared the leftovers with my sister, and again, it was delicious.

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2. Have ingredients on hand for healthy, quick snacks. When I am on the brink of getting hangry, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour cooking. Thankfully, I had fruits and vegetables on hand to help me out. I was in the mood for a simple green smoothie after returning home from my internship, so I blended up 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 apple, and a couple handfuls of raw kale. It woke up my brain, and I was able to get back to work.

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3. Be okay with changing plans. I had planned to try making a shepherd’s pie one night, but we were in the mood to eat a hamburger that night, so we changed plans and used the potatoes we wanted to use to make the baked potato wedges instead. I feel that the point is to have a plan, and then when life changes those plans, you can adapt.

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4. Try new combinations. We had two bell peppers we wanted to use, and we were both in the mood for fajitas. I had never made them before, so I looked online, but the recipes I found were too complicated for what we had in the pantry. So I put some olive oil in a pan, added sliced onion, sliced bell pepper, garlic, chopped chicken, sliced mushrooms, salt and pepper, and chipotle tabasco sauce. It was heavenly! I love the sweet spiciness the sauce adds to the meal!

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5. Have fun trying new things. We visited my great aunt, and she let us pick apples from her backyard. She had thousands of them back there, and we went home with a full plastic bag of them. Friday afternoon I cut them all up and made applesauce. I based my recipe on this recipe, but since some of the apples were not sweet, I added some honey to taste. I blended up most of the apples, but I left some chunky to use with some chicken later this next week.

In addition to trying new things, we also enjoyed making old-time favorites.

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I was in the mood for some zucchini pasta, and while I was working on things for my internship, my husband whipped up this lovely dish with lentils, garlic, and chopped tomatoes added to the pasta sauce. #IAmSoBlessed

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I also love to make bread. I prefer to make them in rolls, since we can share them with our neighbors as well as throw them easily in the freezer and have them thaw when needed. (I will share how to make these in a future post. They are my favorite bread ever, and I love how simple their ingredient list is. I can make it either by hand or in my Bosch machine.)

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A friend also gave us some very ripe strawberries from her garden, so I mashed up with a fork and added a tbsp of chia seeds. I love it in place of jam on toast or as a spread on pancakes!

Stay tuned for my recipes for Reese’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal! 

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My Life

Meal Planning + Avocado Sandwich

Meal planning. That is a skill I want to develop. As a single student, I could buy whatever I would like and make meals I wanted at that moment with what I had. Now that I am married, we are tighter on money. I’ve had fun cooking for the two of us these past few weeks, and I am learning through trial and error. 

Last night as we drove home from our shopping trip to Winco (where we stocked up on some essentials, such as quinoa, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other ingredients I need for some recipes we want to try), we wrote out what we had spent on food for the past few weeks and what meals we wanted. My goal today is to plan out our meals so we can make sure to have the necessary ingredients on hand.

One meal we planned for today was an avocado sandwich. We wanted something with an Hispanic cuisine flavor, so we sliced some of my homemade bread (which I baked in bread pans instead of the large tin cans, since we don’t have any tin cans I can use), and we topped it with lite mayo, homemade style refried beans, avocado, and salt and pepper. It was delicious. I like to eat mine open-face style.

What are some of your favorite sandwich toppings? We would love ideas!

Have you ever meal planned before? What strategies have helped you?

Health And Nutrition · My Life · RDN

What led me to where I am now?

Little did I know that one decision would change my entire life.

As a new freshman, barely entering college, I felt impressed to take a nutrition class with a particular teacher. I did so, and that started a lifelong friendship. I began working with her the next year as her teacher assistant, and throughout the past few years I have taught with her, reached out to and helped empower the students to find success in their study and application of nutrition, and have worked as a team with other in-class teacher assistants for the other sections of nutrition taught and have helped troubleshoot the challenges we encounter.

Through my experiences working with the professors in the on-campus Nutrition department, I have witnessed their love for their families as well as for their students. They care for the one and take the time to help them succeed. I also came to understand what I want to do with my career. Through my studies, I have had the privilege to help develop class worksheets and teaching materials to help students apply principles to help others through nutrition. Throughout my classes this past year, I have recognized a love for learning. Nutritional biochemistry has been one of my favorite classes so far. Human physiology fascinates me! I also survived my first Organic Chemistry class and fell in love with the principles. The Lord is helping me recognize that I can do hard things, including starting a family. I hope to continue to deepen my understanding and help others understand it as well.

My first priority is to be a mother. I want to make my home a safe haven for my husband and our future children, and I want to support them in reaching their full potential. Everything I am learning here in the university can help me as a full-time mother to my children as well as serve in the community. God is the best Public Health professional. He works with us individually, knows what we need and how we will respond best to it. I pray for the gift of discernment to understand the needs of my spouse and our future children so I can be a blessing to them.

Secondly, I want to apply what I am learning to help others gain greater health and wellness. My goal is to help individuals get off of unnecessary medication through lifestyle changes.

I would love to work with the Hispanic population, as well as individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. While serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I grew to love the Hispanic culture, and now I want to expand my Spanish and learn the medical vocabulary to expand my communications.

What is coming up next?

With my internship starting up this next week, I am excited to see how it is to be a  registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) working in the field (as I have seen how it is to be a RDN and teach at the college level, which I love to do) and certified diabetic educator, as that is another certification I have considered. I would love to be a professor or teacher someday.

I am looking into masters programs for public health and registered dietitian nutritionist, and I am completing the prerequisite classes for those programs. I have also considered becoming a Certified Medical Interpreter to help me learn the Spanish to communicate in the health field.

The Lord has played a huge role in my life. He has helped me recognize gifts I have been given to serve others, and I am humbled by the Lord’s hand guiding my path. I could not have come so far without the Lord’s help. I am grateful for His hand. My husband and I have been married for a month now, and we continue to learn more every day together. I’m learning how to cook for two people, and I have some fun to share here on this blog. Tune in soon for some challenges and recipes.