Back to School Lunch Ideas

It feels just like yesterday that I was jumping up and down that I was done making lunches for awhile. Now, in just three weeks, my kids will be going back to school and I will need to start packing their lunches again. Yes, I realize they are in 5th and 8th grade and they are more than capable of packing their lunch, but I like knowing that they are eating something healthy each day for lunch. Since my daughter has decided that she no longer wants to eat sandwiches, I need to come up with some lunch ideas for her that don’t look like a sandwich!

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lunch ideas

As you know, since I’ve talked about it MANY times, my husband and I follow the Keto diet. While we do not have our kids follow the Keto diet with us, we have had many talks with them about eating healthy and limiting the sugar that they eat. I don’t know if it was before that conversation or after, but my daughter told me she did not want to eat sandwiches anymore. I don’t know if it’s that she doesn’t like them or what, but all summer long she has been eating meat and cheese rollups with broccoli and dip. To continue her new lunch ways, I’ve looked at the following lunch boxes for her:

Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box - Bento-styled Lunch Solution Offers Durable, Leak-proof, On-the-go Meal and Snack Packing (Blue)Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box – Bento-styled Lunch Solution Offers Durable, Leak-proof, On-the-go Meal and Snack Packing (Blue)PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box with 5 Compartments for Adults and Kids - Black Carry Bag with Sports Balls MagnetsPlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box with 5 Compartments for Adults and Kids – Black Carry Bag with Sports Balls MagnetsBentgo Fresh (Aqua) – Leak-Proof & Versatile 4-Compartment Bento-Style Lunch Box – Ideal for Portion-Control and Balanced Eating On-the-Go – BPA-Free and Food-Safe MaterialsBentgo Fresh (Aqua) – Leak-Proof & Versatile 4-Compartment Bento-Style Lunch Box – Ideal for Portion-Control and Balanced Eating On-the-Go – BPA-Free and Food-Safe Materials

What I like about the different boxes above is the wide variety of foods I can give her. She loves to eat salad and will often times ask me for it for dinner. Truth be told, I think she eats salads because she is obsessed with croutons, but hey…she’s eating vegetables so I’ll go with it!

Lunch Ideas

So what will I put in her lunch box if we go with one of the lunch boxes above, instead of one filled with plastic baggies and a bunch of stuff to throw away each day? Here are some of my lunch ideas for her:

  • Meat and cheese rollups
  • Broccoli and ranch dip
  • Applesauce
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Salad with chicken and croutons <–can’t forget those croutons!
  • Fruit
  • Leftover pizza cut up
  • Peanut butter and jelly quesadilla

I’m sure, as the year goes on, we will come up with a bunch of different ideas. These type of lunch ideas work great for my daughter. My son…he’s a different story! He eats me out of house and home and the amount of food he takes to lunch is insane. So one of these lunch box ideas will not work for him. Instead I am looking at something like this:

Everest Cooler Lunch Bag, Black, One SizeEverest Cooler Lunch Bag, Black, One Size

While I am relatively new at figuring out what to put in lunches that don’t have sandwiches (and why this seems so difficult to me, I don’t know), I will be checking out different sites (like this one) for other lunch ideas! In the mean time, please leave me a comment with your lunch ideas! Bella and I will appreciate the ideas!

Living the Keto Lifestyle Long Term

January 23, 2016. That was the day I decided to introduce my husband to the Keto lifestyle. Let me tell you, we were very nervous to start. Me more than him, but that’s normal for our relationship! I do the freaking out on things and he calms me down and says “everything will be alright”. Even when he has no clue if it will be. Oddly enough, I know all this, yet it does calm me down…some! We’ve officially reached the year and a half mark. Can we do this Keto lifestyle long term? We’re planning on it!

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keto lifestyle

Image Via Pexels

Keto Lifestyle Long Term?

So you’ve heard about the Keto diet and the first thing you think (after you get over the shock of giving up sugar) is “can I do this long term?”. The answer is that you absolutely can! My husband and I have been following the Keto lifestyle for about a year and a half now and in that year and a half, we have had several holidays, many birthdays and a TON of family get togethers. We’ve always managed to stay on our plan 99% of the time. I say 99% of the time because I don’t want to lie AT ALL! I did taste the frosting on my sons cake at his birthday. I also ate a little bit of watermelon at a family BBQ.  Are those thing part of the Keto diet? Of course not. However, that one taste did not derail me. I didn’t go on a cake frosting bender. The Keto lifestyle is so ingrained in me that I will not allow myself to go back to my old lifestyle.

 

Keto Comfort FoodsKeto Comfort Foods

Starting the Keto Diet

When I started the Keto diet, I did a lot of reading up on the subject. Remember, I told you I freaked out at first! Everything I read stated that you need to follow a high fat/moderate protein/very low carb diet plan. As I’ve evolved through this diet, I have learned even more things and thanks to the Keto Facebook group I belong to now, I learned that we really only need to eat 50g of fat because the rest of the fat in our body (that we want to burn off) makes up the high fat macro! So using this nifty macro calculator, I recalculated my macros for My Fitness Pal and I am trying this “new” way to follow the Keto lifestyle. Was the way I started out with Keto wrong? No. Absolutely not. I believe that this, life everything else, is just another way to accomplish the same thing. I mean, I did lose 83 pounds…

keto lifestyle

Keto Tips

Like anything else, it’s always best to get started with a few tips. No one likes to go in blind. If I have to give you just five tips to get started, they would be:

  1. Go in all or nothing. This diet is not one of those diets where you have cheat days. You either plan on sticking to it or don’t bother doing it. Trust me. You don’t want to experience the “Keto flu” more than once.
  2. Read this post on the Top 10 Keto Diet Must Haves. Bacon Jerky is so delicious!
  3. Purchase the premium version of My Fitness Pal. It’s worth it. Especially if you are like me and you need everything to be exact!
  4. Don’t be afraid of fat bombs. Especially this Chocolate SunButter Fat Bomb recipe!
  5. You can have gummy bears!! Not the store bought ones, but these homemade Gummy Bears are just as good and no sugar!!

The biggest thing you need to know when embarking on the Keto lifestyle journey is that YOU CAN DO THIS! If my husband and I could, then you definitely could. Actually, I should say, “if I could”…I was a sugar addict. I’m not even joking. I ate a weeks worth of sugar in one day…every day. Giving up sugar was probably the best thing I have every done. When I reach my goal weight, I will probably add in a little more carbs in order to maintain, but I will always be low carb. There is no going back for me. To me, following a Keto lifestyle is no different than me eating gluten and tree nut free due to my allergies.

If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to click the Contact Me button at the top of the screen!!


Talking to Your Kids About Limiting Sugar

Ever since my husband and I started following the Keto lifestyle and completely eliminating sugar from our life, the one thing people always ask us is, “what about your kids?”. My answer has always been that they do not follow the Keto diet. I feel that for kids, it is way to hard for them to eliminate sugar, etc. I truly believe, and have seen, that when you try to tell your kids “no candy” or “no pop”, they will sneak it or overeat it any chance they get. That completely defeats what you are trying to do. Instead, we talked with our kids about the importance of limiting sugar.

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limiting sugar

The Talk – Limiting Sugar

When I made the decision to talk to my kids about limiting sugar, I wanted to really think about my words. The last thing I wanted was to create some unnecessary relationship with food for them. As a teen and young adult, I dealt with many eating disorder issues. That is something I hope neither of my kids ever have to deal with. Since my husband and I have spent the last year and a half really focusing on what we put in our bodies, and sharing with others about our new lifestyle, I knew that it would not come as a shock to my kids when we sat them down to have a discussion.

Pro tip…get your kids in the habit of drinking water and staying hydrated. We like this water bottle.

Nalgene On The Fly Water Bottle (Clear with Orange/White Cap),20-OunceNalgene On The Fly Water Bottle (Clear with Orange/White Cap),20-Ounce

Since I knew the idea of eliminating sugar altogether would be a bad one, I wanted to make sure they understood that as well. We talked about the things they saw us do over the course of the year. They paid a lot more attention than I thought they did! They knew that we do not eat any sugar or grains and that most of our daily carb intake comes from vegetables and fruit was our candy.

Don’t Drink Your Sugar

I was never a mom that bought fruit juices. My kids drank it at their grandparents house and that was basically it. When we were at a restaurant, I would let them get Sprite. Without evening thinking about it, they would sometimes drink several glasses. So we talked about how we would much rather eat something with sugar than drink it. They both agreed. A couple times since our conversation, we were out and they got Sprite to drink. When the waitress asked if they would like a refill, they responded, all on their own, “may I please have water?”! I call that a success!

Counting Carbs and Calories

No. No. No. No. This is not something I want my kids worrying about; thinking about; or doing. With that said, they aren’t stupid. They see what we eat and don’t eat. Bella knows that bread for sandwiches has a fair amount of carbs in it. She asked me if I would get her YUMBOX Bento Lunch Box. Rather than have a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, she would like to have meat and cheese roll ups, broccoli and ranch, and Goldfish crackers or a cookie. In her eyes, just like wasting sugar on Sprite, why waste it on bread when she doesn’t really care if she has it. She’d rather have crackers or a cookie.

Limiting Sugar Success!

Ladies and gentleman, this is what I wanted to happen. I wanted my kids to be able to make decisions on what to eat that are healthy and in moderation, without me saying “no don’t eat that” or “that has too many carbs”, etc. By doing it this way, they are making a choice based on the healthy choices in the house. Do I buy cookies? Not all the time. Do I have Goldfish crackers available as a snack option? Of course. Are they portioned out in little baggies for easy on the go snacks AND to prevent them sitting down with the box and eating it all? Yes.

When it comes to talking to your kids about limiting their sugar, it’s all about how you approach it. If you give them little bits of information and allow them to make the decisions for themselves, then you are setting them up to be able to make good choices without feeling like they are doing something wrong when they do drink a glass of Sprite or eat a cookie. And remember, YOU are the one that does the shopping. If you don’t bring the food in the house, they won’t have it to eat. Just remember though, you don’t want your kitchen to be so strict that the first chance they get, they go hog wild somewhere else.

Surviving Summer on Keto Diet

School is finally out for summer! Can you tell that I am one happy mama! No more alarms; No more school lunches to make; Just park programs, soccer camps and lacrosse tournaments to fill our days. When you follow a very specific diet plan, eating out or enjoying BBQ’s with friends and family can be pretty stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Surviving summer on the Keto diet can be very simple and you don’t have to worry about feeling like you are missing out on something. Trust me!

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surviving summer

Surviving Summer on the Keto Diet

So you’ve been following the Keto diet all winter and now summer is upon us and you are afraid that you won’t be able to enjoy all the summer fun with friends and family. Don’t worry! Following the Keto diet in the summer is no different that following it any other time of the year. If you’ve been on this diet for any amount of time, you know that it is a mindset and a lifestyle change, more than a diet. Like anything else, you need to plan, plan, plan.

Appetizers for Your Summer BBQ

In planning on how you will be surviving summer on the Keto diet, you need to think about things like appetizers. At most BBQ’s over the summer, appetizers include things like chips and dip, chips and salsa, or hummus and veggies. None of those options are Keto friendly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take something with you that is Keto friendly! Try one of these three recipes:

Delicious Deviled Eggs Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Both of the bacon wrapped recipes could probably be made on the grill! However you choose to make them, they will be a crowd pleaser and a nice addition to the other food at the BBQ.

Pro Tip #1…pick up one of these cups. It is the perfect summer cup!

Simple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid - Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug - Sweat Free Coffee Cup - Simple StainlessSimple Modern Tumbler Vacuum Insulated 30oz Cruiser with Lid – Double Walled Stainless Steel Travel Mug – Sweat Free Coffee Cup – Simple Stainless

BBQ Main Meal

Bummed because you think you won’t be able to eat a burger or a hot dog? Don’t be! I can honestly say that I do not miss hot dog or hamburger buns. Plus, by not eating the bun, I don’t feel embarrassed when I load my plate up with both a hamburger and a hot dog! If you really must have a hamburger that you can pick up, just wrap it in lettuce! I personally like to eat my hamburger on a plate with a fork and knife with a little Franks Red Hot sauce and sometimes a little ranch dressing! I used to be a ketchup-aholic…I don’t even miss it!

Pro Tip #2…if you absolutely need some crunch, either on your salad or in place of chips, pick up these Parmesan Whisps!

Cello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 OunceCello Whisps Pure Parmesan Cheese Crisps, 2.12 Ounce

Keto Desserts

While you won’t be eating pies and other traditional BBQ desserts, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out. For me, if I have the carbs available, slightly frozen raspberries or blackberries are my dessert. When you’ve completely cut out sugar, fruits like raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries start to taste like candy to you! Now, some people that are super strict with the Keto diet will not eat fruit at all. I have had tremendous success by only allowing me fruit on occasion and only when I have the carbs to accommodate it. Another Keto friendly dessert you may want to try are these delicious Keto cheesecake bites! So good!

 

What are your favorite Keto friendly recipes for surviving summer?


Curamin® for Chronic Pain – Workout at Home Printable

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #StopPainNow #CollectiveBias

Living with chronic pain really stinks. More times than not, no matter what I try to do to help the pain, it really doesn’t do much. I’ve dealt with knee pain for about the last 20 years.  As if having knee pain wasn’t enough, I also deal with wrist pain. Being a writer and always on a computer, there are times I stop working and I can barely move my fingers from the pain in my wrist. Thankfully I have found Curamin® Stop Pain Now and just like the name says, it is helping to stop my pain in it’s tracks!

Curamin®

What is Curamin®?

Curamin® is a non-addictive herbal supplement that has been recognized in the natural product industry for years and has won 28 awards. Living with chronic pain, the last thing I want to do is take a bunch of over the counter medications or prescriptions that could end up having a negative impact on other areas of my body. With Curamin®, I get pain relief at the source of the pain; it doesn’t just mask it. For me, that is very important.

Where Can You Buy It?

You can pick up this herbal supplement at fine health food stores nationwide. For more information on a store near you, be sure to check the store locator (or just order online)! I picked up mine at a health food store near me that I just love called Zerbos. Finding it in the store was really easy. An employee asked me what I was looking for. When I told him, he told me that he loved this product!

curamin®

Does it Work?

curamin®

YES! I have only been taking Curamin® for a few weeks and I am really happy with how my wrist and knees are feeling. Like I said earlier, I would very much prefer to take an herbal supplement like this, as opposed to over the counter medications that always seem to upset my stomach. I take Curamin® three times a day and always with food (it doesn’t say you have to, but it helps me remember). So this morning, after the gym, I took it with my breakfast!

curamin®

One of the ways I’ve noticed that it’s helping is when I work out. Since my husband is out of town a lot for work, I don’t always get a chance to get to the gym. My kids have a very crazy sports schedule! But, gym or no gym, I still want to get a workout in. So I put together this Workout at Home printable for you.

curamin®

Print your FREE Printable HERE!

Whether you working out at the gym or at home, don’t let pain stop you from doing the things you want and need to do. When pain is the problem, Curamin® is the answer! Be sure to check the store locator and pick up some Curamin® today!

curamin®