My pal, Briony, has started a new blog called Freeze Your Way Fit. I have learned so much from Briony over the past two years on how to eat cleaner and healthier, waste less food, and save more money! I am so excited to share her new blog with you!
Freeze Your Way Fit includes information on how to start eating healthier, utilize your freezer as a tool to help you cook less often and save money on groceries through couponing.
Every Monday, she posts a weekly meal plan with healthy recipes and coupon link ups. She also shares stockpile scenarios that will help you save money in the long run.
One of my favorite things to see now is my stockpiled freezer. For example, whenever I make a lasagna I will make two. We eat one and freeze one. It helps me to save time and I have a healthy meal waiting for me in my freezer. Last night, we had leftovers that freeze well. Instead of putting it in my fridge where I know it will just move into the back until I finally clean it out and throw it away, I freeze the leftovers and have entire meals ready for me in minutes!
Here are a few of my favorite recipes (I have made these at home on my own and they really are easy!):
And these are some of the site’s most popular recipes:
If you aren’t sure how to begin couponing, freezing or moving to a healthier eating lifestyle, stop by her Getting Started Page.
The thing that I love about Briony is that she shares easy techniques to help everyone get started without making you feel overwhelmed. Making it easy for all of us comes easy to her because she changed her eating habits gradually. Here is Briony’s story!
Changing our eating habits was a very gradual process for our family. It all started when I was pregnant for the first time. I was sitting at the dinner table after reading the section in What to Expect When You’re Expecting about nutrition during pregnancy. I’m one of those people that can never do anything half way… and I want a book for everything. I had sat down earlier that day and made a chart to ensure that I was fulfilling every category of nutrient every day (seriously, I’m that crazy… I do this sort of thing regularly). I realized I was behind for the day so I made whole wheat pasta with meat sauce for dinner. I put ¼ cup of wheat germ into mine because I needed my dose of folic acid for the day. On the side I had ½ a red pepper and a baked potato w/ cheese.
I took one bite of the pasta and started to cry. The wheat germ was way too much and made the sauce totally thick and dry. On top of that, we always ate white pasta so the whole wheat pasta seemed too heavy and just added to the thick, pasty mess. The amount of food surrounding me was simply overwhelming. “I can’t eat this. Our baby is going to be nutrient deficient!!” I wailed. My husband, Matt, was very sympathetic and reassuring… he kept his laughter down to a low giggle.
I ended up just eating the baked potato and the rest of my pregnancy consisted mainly of eating mac n’ cheese out of a box. The fact of the matter was that it was just too much of a change all at once and I was completely overloaded with information. I was so stressed out trying to get a check in each nutritional box that I wasn’t able to enjoy my food. Okay, pregnancy hormones might have had a little bit to do with it as well. It was too big of a leap from what I was used to, which made it harder to stick with.
So how did I go from eating only simple carbs and processed cheese for nine months to the way we are now? It all started with baby food. Once Colwynn was old enough to start solids, my friend lent me Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. I already thought that we ate well. After all, I cooked dinner every night and I liked fruits and vegetables. However, my version of “cooking dinner” was anything from chicken stir fry (good) to Hamburger Helper (not so good). As I read through the book I learned a lot about how to make better food choices and what foods were more nutrient dense than others. I started making Colwynn’s baby food and began making VERY gradual changes to what Matt and I were eating as well.
Super Baby Food helped me develop an incredibly efficient system of using my freezer to make big batches of food for Colwynn and then use it one portion at a time. As Colwynn got older and started eating non-pureed foods, I began making even more changes to what Matt and I ate. I didn’t want to have to cook more than one meal for dinner so I started planning meals for us that Colwynn could eat too. Because the change had been gradual over a few months and we started making small substitutions and changes at a time, we didn’t notice as much and it was easy to keep up.
A little while later another friend introduced me to Clean Eating magazine. I combined the concepts of Clean Eating with the methods of batch cooking and freezing to develop a system of only cooking three or four times a week and utilizing our “freezer stash” so that we were still eating a nutritious, home cooked meal every night. Then I started adding different veggie purees into regular dishes to increase the nutritional content.
When we first moved to Pensacola, our family was living on one income and paying two mortgage payments. We needed to really watch our spending so I started looking into couponing. I checked out some how-to sites and planned my first trip to Publix. I walked out with an entire cart full of groceries for less than $20 and I was totally hooked! I found at first that it was difficult to save a lot of money on the things I wanted to feed my family. But once I got the hang of stockpiling and creative meal planning, I was regularly saving 50% or more a week.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Briony! If you want to learn more, be sure to connect with Briony on the Freeze Your Way Fit Facebook page!