A little over a year ago, I started changing our eating habits. Slowly, but not easily, my habits changed.
A couple of our friends make all of their meals for the week on Sundays, which is how they maintain good eating habits. I tried that once, but it didn’t work as well for me. By Tuesday, I was just not interested in whatever I thought sounded good on Sunday.
So, I adjusted their great idea to fit my lifestyle and unwillingness to commit to meal plans. I don’t make entire meals on Sunday, but I make yogurt, hardboiled eggs, whole-grain sides, roasted vegetables and parts of meals to eat throughout the week. I attribute my successful habit changes to the make-ahead meal (sides) and snacks. And eating at home. Eating at home (or food you made at home) is crucial!
One meal I do make ahead 3 or 4 times a week is breakfast. The whole family loves it! I make it the night before and it’s called “overnight oats.”
A google search turns up a lot of variations of this basic recipe I whip together the night before in 1-2 minutes. I’ve made it many ways, using several different types of oats and sources of liquid and it’s never failed. All you have to do is keep a 1:1 oat to liquid ratio and wait a few hours! Breakfast is ready when you wake up, reducing hunger-induced bad decisions (like McDondald’s). I put my husband’s in a coffee mug and he takes it to-go!
The basic recipe I use most often is:
1/2 cup traditional rolled oats
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1. Mix together oats and yogurt. Place in refrigerator overnight.
It’s that simple and easy to customize to your family’s tastes!
Our favorite add-ons (I add the night before, but you can add in the morning): frozen/fresh berries, almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, fruit preserves, honey, chia seeds
Do you make any meals ahead? What advice do you have for changing eating habits?
Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.
I read in a book once that people are attracted to imperfection. I don’t remember the book and I never believed it. All the perfect people seem plenty popular. Jenny Lawson might be a great example (whatever book that is should use her in a footnote, I think she’d like that). Known as “The Bloggess,” she has over 300,000 twitter followers and a very well-known blog.
Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) will probably offend you, at least slightly, at least once. But she warns you about that in the introduction. For many years, I skipped prologues and introductions. Read them. You miss valuable information, and in this case, warnings about what is to come.
If anyone follows me on GoodReads or pays attention to my “What I’m Reading Post,” you’ll know I spent February in post-apocalyptic worlds of vampires. No wait, I’m mixing books. Let’s just say I had a few nightmares. Jenny Lawson’s mostly true memoir was a nice break from that, when I wasn’t bored, painfully embarrassed or slightly offended.
Typically, I don’t appreciate swearing in writing. Ok, I don’t at all (which is weird because I don’t think I mind it in person….but I live in the south and no one swears, at least not like Jenny). Jenny swears. A lot. But for some reason it didn’t bother me. It fit with her style of writing. If it would bother you, then this book really isn’t for you.
Jenny’s book is a great book to pick up and read by the pool or read at night after you are done with vampires. She will make you laugh. And she tells you secrets.
Traveling comfortably while pregnant is easy if you plan. I just pretend like I’m packing for my toddler, but pack for myself instead.
- Bring snacks you like. You might find yourself in an airport without any healthy and/or delicious snacks readily available. Or you could get stuck on the tarmac.
- Go to the bathroom often. You might not get a chance once you’re on a flight or driving through Kentucky where the rest stops are scarce. Take frequent bathroom stops even if the urge isn’t that great.
- Bring a water bottle and use it. You will feel better if you are hydrated.
- Wear comfortable clothing. You don’t need to bust out the sweatpants, but it’s also not the time to squeeze into your last pair of regular jeans that sort of (but not really) fit. A dress and leggings are the perfect travel outfit for the car or the air.
- Layer your clothes. Hormones have a funny way of affecting your body temperature. Dress like you’re going camping. Wear multiple, removable layers, like a scarf and a cardigan, to increase the chances that you can find a comfortable temperature.
- If you want to sleep, bring ear plugs. It’s probably not possible to (politely) get the chatty Kathy across the row to stop sharing her life story with her new BFF neighbor. You can get cheap pairs on Amazon.
- Pack as lightly as possible. The easy things to over-pack and thus cut out are shoes and devices. Will you really use a smart phone, tablet and laptop and all the chargers that come with them? How many pairs of shoes do you actually need? Pack what you think you NEED instead of extra items “just in case.” You’re already carrying plenty!
Do you have any tips for comfortable traveling?
There are many lists of the top ten baby signs. I’m not sure for what the signs are the top ten for…most useful, most fun, easiest to learn?
Now that we know 12 signs, I think we can officially contribute our own top ten baby signs list to the internet. Our top ten are simply the first ten signs we learned. Click the link to learn the sign!
- All done
- Thank you
Do you sign with your babies? What are your favorite signs?
When I asked for a Kindle for my birthday 4 years ago (or was it 3? I can’t remember), I proudly explained to the naysayers, “there are so many books you can read for free!”
One of my resolutions for 2013 is to read 30 books. I’m 10 books in and it looks like I will make my goal, but I strayed from my original declarations.
“I will read and reread the classics!”
“There are so many free books I will never need to buy one!”
I purchased most of the books I read in January instead of taking advantage of the free and legal book sources available online.
So in February, I made a new resolution to stop buying books, but to continue reading towards my goal. It’s not that hard! There are more than enough books to keep me occupied for the rest of the year.
It’s occasionally tempting to buy a book that has a long wait at the library or is not available in a free (and convenient) e-book format, but I’ve held strong for 2 weeks (haha)!!
The point of this post is to direct you to free e-books, so here is a list of resources that I use.
Resources for Free E-Books
public library website (requires library card)
Kindle Free eBook Collections
Kindle Popular Classics
Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (requires prime membership)
Read for free in February (so far):
Heat Wave (Nikki Heat, #1) by Richard Castle
The Good Lawyer by Thomas Benigno
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1) by Charlaine Harris
The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1) by Jussi Adler-Olsen
The Broker by John Grisham
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (still)
Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse #2) by Charlaine Harris
Do you know any sources for free e-books? What are you reading this month?
Some books fit better in a calming bedtime routine than, say, Tickle Time! These are my favorite stories for bedtime.
- Goodnight Moon
- Pajama Time!
- The Going-To-Bed Book
- The Goodnight Train
- Baby Cakes
What are your favorite bedtime stories?
I stole this idea from this blog, but her annotated list is actually helpful, ha. Really, though. It’s a good blog with excellent and thoughtful book recommendations.
We read a lot of books in January. Most were repeats of books listed here, here and here, but here are some new ones!
- Tickle Time by Sandra Boynton- an interactive Sandra Boynton favorite, probably not the best for bedtime, but giggles are guaranteed.
- Alice in Wonderland: A BabyLit Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams- This brief (and adorable) version of the Lewis Carroll classic uses vivid artwork to teach colors and entertain readers.
- Pride and Prejudice: A BabyLit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams - This is a new household favorite that we read about 10 times a day. Its fresh illustrations convey the amusing tale of Pride and Prejudice while teaching numbers 1 to 10. I love it!
These are the books I read in January.
I’m reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to celebrate its 200th birthday! You can read it for free here.
- WASA Crackers
- Apple slices
- To-go apple sauce
- Cheese (slices, sticks or string)
- Freeze-dried fruit
I tried for 10, but could only come up with 5. I have trouble finding easy, low-processed and healthy snacks to-go!
What are your favorite to-go snacks? I need some ideas!
We are having a lot of fun with signs. I recommend that all parents try sign language with their children. It’s never bad to have more ways to communicate, right? Even if it’s a total failure, I can’t really see the harm in trying!
Here are my favorite websites to look up new signs:
- American Sign Language University is a simple, thorough and free online resource to learn sign with an extensive vocabulary database. It uses video, illustrations and photographs to teach users signs. There are also free lessons, but I mostly use it as a dictionary.
- Signing Savvy is an online video dictionary for American Sign Language.
- My Smart Hands is a fun online resource with both paid and free lessons and videos for parents. In the videos, it shows children doing signs and explains how babies might do the sign differently.
I use these websites and my mom to learn signs. I use a lot more signs than my daughter has picked up on, but I have a lot of fun trying new signs. Probably too much fun.
Our newest signs are cracker, please and dog.
Warning: if you teach the sign for cracker, make sure you don’t run out of crackers!
What makes a good snack? For us, a good snack is easy to prepare and eat, fits into a balanced diet and doesn’t ruin dinner. We also stick to foods low in sodium and sugar and try to use snacks as a way to up our daily fruit and vegetable intake. I’d like to serve more veggies than fruits, but haven’t found a good variety of snack-able vegetables for toddlers.
Fruits are easy, but come with a high sugar content. Raspberries are lower in sugar than other fruits and make excellent snacks! You can eat them straight from the freezer, but they are messy. I buy them fresh when they are in season, but the frozen ones are great for a year-round treat.
When we’re at home, we are free to make a mess, so I’ve divided the list into snacks at home and snacks away. Here is Top Ten Toddler Snacks Part 1: At Home.
- Frozen raspberries
- WASA crackers
- Sliced bell peppers
- Apples (apple slicers are a wonderful invention)
- Kale chips
- Dried green beans
What are your favorite baby/toddler snacks?