Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eat Clean on a Budget with ALDI

Week after week, my friends and Zumba® fitness ladies want more and more of one thing. It's not more Zumba® fitness (which I will gladly do), it's help planning healthy meals. We can completely conquer our workouts together, but we are falling apart when it comes to feeding ourselves better and taking care of our families. We are rushing around to get dinner on the table to make it to sports, to church, or to our Zumba® fitness classes and we forget the biggest piece of the puzzle!

Our nutrition is the biggest part of caring for our families. If we put junk in, we get junk out. If we take a few extra steps to plan, we can save time, money and effort while taking special care of ourselves and the ones we love most. A lot of my friends think that it takes all of this time, careful planning, 5 page spreadsheets, and hours of shopping and cooking to pull all of this off. I'm here to tell you that it does not! I'm actually just going to do the work for you, show you my process, and then show you how I save money too! (I do actually need your help sharing this post though. That's all I ask of you.) 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

Again, we will go back to this post {HERE}:

"When I lose weight I look for grace, not perfection! And guess how I lost over 90 pounds??? Guess what works every single time? Grace! Baby steps! You work with what you have and you don't stress. If you can afford organic one hundred percent of the time and can grow all of your vegetables, I am so very happy for you. I cannot and I am unashamed to admit that. I have to work within a budget and I make my money stretch. We can still lose weight and make it work!"

The key to saving money for me is shopping with ALDI! I am a very organized person and I love lists. I can remember my mama doing something similar and I think that carried over to me as an adult. 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

I simply write out my days of the week so I can not only plan my schedule, but I can also plan my meals around my busiest nights. I know which nights need crockpot meals and which nights I have more time to spend in the kitchen. On the nights I am teaching my Zumba® fitness classes, I normally leave dinner for my husband and little boy in the crockpot.

I rely heavily on the ALDI website {HERE} so I can find their sale ads and match up meal ideas for the items on sale that week. I love saving money and it also helps give me meal ideas. If salmon is on sale and we haven't had it in a while, it reminds me to add it back into my meal plan for the week and makes me switch things up! Sometimes I get stuck on the same meals and I need the variety.

ALDI also has Better For You Recipes on their website {HERE} to get you started as well. This is a great source that many people don't even know about. When I toured their test kitchen two years ago, I was able to sample several of these recipes. They are amazing! You can sneak in healthy foods for your family without them even realizing. You don't even need me!

But if you actually came here for clean eating recipes and you want to see a meal plan on a budget, I am still happy to share it with you! This week I picked seven full dinners where we could have a lot of leftovers. Caleb is eating breakfast and lunch at school, so typically I am just worrying about lunch and breakfast for two adults right now. You can increase these for your own family's needs. My 6 year old isn't really making much of a dent on our grocery budget right now, but my husband sure eats well so I think it balances out.

Monday - Turkey, Broccoli, and Brown Rice ($13.58)

I place my thawed turkey breasts in the crockpot with about a cup of organic chicken broth and cook on low all day. I serve with broccoli and two packs of instant brown rice. Check the ingredients on the back of the brown rice! The brand that ALDI carries has only ingredients I can pronounce and is all natural. It remains a "clean eating" item for me and my family. I paid $8.99 for the turkey and have leftover out of it, $1.09 for the broccoli, and $3.50 for the rice. This is a little pricer for the meal, but if you think of how much turkey you get for salads for the week, it evens out!

Tuesday - Baked Chicken over Sweet Rice, Salad ($7.48)

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

I bake all of my chicken for the week together in glass baking dishes with a little bit of olive oil in the bottom. Then I top my chicken with cracked black pepper and pink Himalayan salt. I keep my spice cabinet well stocked and I did not have to purchase any herbs or spices on this grocery trip. You may have to supplement your pantry as you go, but my prices do not include those items. Bake your chicken for one hour at 350 degrees or until it is cooked through and the juices run clear. Meanwhile It's time to make the rice! I adapted this beloved rice recipe from one of my dearest friends. This is not her identical recipe (you must be her friend to have that), but I changed it a bit so you could still enjoy a little bit of awesomeness at home. I used a blended rice from ALDI. I purchased this rice a couple of weeks ago so I do not have an exact price. I think it was less than $2 so we will guess around there to be fair. I used one cup of rice in my pressure/rice cooker and one and a quarter cup of water. I added one tablespoon of olive oil, one cinnamon stick, a hand full each of raisins and cashews, and I chopped a hand full of baby carrots. I cooked it in my rice cooker for 22 minutes and it came out perfect. You can make this on your stovetop, but you simply bring it to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer until the rice is cooked. I can't cook rice to save my life, so my pressure/rice cooker does it for me! You can find the same one {HERE}. Let me tell you about this rice... It is a life changer! Kids will eat it. Husbands will beg for more. You will never eat plain rice again. You are welcome.  So if I had to guess, the rice costs about $4.23  because I still have plenty of leftover rice, cashews, carrots and raisins. Then I used half of the chicken, so that comes to $3.25.

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

Wednesday - Zucchini Boats, Salad ($5.29) 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

There are tons of recipes out there for zucchini boats. I'm not going to bore you to death with a million pictures. Just slice a zucchini in half, dig out the middle. Boil the zucchini for one minute. Brown some ground turkey meat, toss in some of the sweet rice from the night before and heat together. Fill your zucchini halves with that mixture, set in a glass baking dish, and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Zucchini was $1.99, ground turkey was $3.29, and our rice was leftover! 

Thursday - Chicken Black Bean Soup ($8.49) 

I pick my organic black beans and soak them overnight. Then throw them in the crockpot the night before. I used two cups of dried beans. Then I added two containers of organic chicken broth (less the cup of broth we used on turkey night). I add about a cup of water to that too. I chop two hand fulls of baby carrots (Like my accurate measurements??? Don't be so serious in life, sweet mamas! Let's have some fun with this, okay?) Then I start digging around in the pantry. I add garlic, chili powder, maybe a dash of cayenne, you can throw anything you like in. If you have dried onions, they're awesome. Sometimes I have frozen onions leftover, I dump it in. This is your soup. You get to make it whatever you want it to be! There are no rules here. Then throw in some of that baked chicken (I shred mine or sometimes dump it in and come back later with forks and get it!). Cook that mess on low all day!

When you come home, you can eat! Or you can take it one step further. If you like a thicker soup, you can get out your kitchen boat motor (Hey, I work at a with me here...) and you can blend up some of those beans. (I'm seriously talking about one of those hand held blenders, right??) It will make it creamy and awesome. Take it as far as you want to do with it. Then you can top this soup with some diced tomatoes or a little light cheese. Cilantro is awesome too! Chopped green onion.... You have so much flexibility. Go make your family happy! Clean eating can be flexible, reasonable and delicious!

I didn't use the whole pack of beans, maybe half... That is about $1.00. The broth was $3.58 and the carrots are $.66 (I counted 1/3 of them in the rice recipe). The chicken is $3.25. You have leftovers with a salad the next day too!

Friday - Salmon Packets with Brown Rice ($11.58) 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

This is quick and easy, y'all! Get out your aluminum foil and be prepared for easy clean up. I thawed my salmon filets and just cut the skin off. It's so easy. It really almost peels off once you get one corner going. Take some asparagus spears and place them on the aluminum foil square. Throw your fish on top. I salt and pepper mine. Lemon juice is awesome on top. Create a foil packet on top. I cooked mine for 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven. You want the fish to be flaky and cooked through. I served with brown rice. I used half of the fish so it was $3.50, the asparagus was $4.58, and the rice was 3.50. 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

Saturday - Eye of Round Steak over Salad ($7.34) 

I sliced my steak thin cooked with some chopped garlic (I keep chopped garlic in the fridge) stir fry style. We served over a large salad with mushrooms and carrots. It was so good! Steak and mushrooms were $7.34.

Sunday - Apples and Raisins over Baked Chicken, Salad ($5.90)

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

I used my baked chicken and topped it with apples and raisins. This tastes like dessert, but there is no sugar added! If you want your kids to eat, you serve this. My husband's granny made this for him as a child and I started making it for him not long ago. I peel my apples and put them in a pot. I add raisins and barely cover with water. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of cinnamon and bring to a boil. I simmer until everything cooks down and gets mushy. You almost have no liquid. It tastes amazing! 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

I used maybe 5 apples and two hand fulls of raisins. I would guess is costs $2.65 for that, plus the chicken at $3.25. 

#eatclean, #budget, #kidfriendly, #dailydoseofdelsignore, #ALDI, #inthealdikitchen, #cleaneating, #fitmom, #recipes, #healthy, #weightloss, #mealplan

All of our salad stuff for the week costs $12.13. We are a salad loving family! You can sub in any fresh veggie of your choosing. Make it what you and your family enjoy and will eat. This is simply a guide. We spent $3.18 on eggs and $1.28 on bananas. 

Our breakfasts are usually quick and easy. We scramble eggs or eat fruit. Sometimes both. It doesn't bother us one bit to eat the same thing every day. The old fashioned oatmeal is also a good choice with fruit. Lunch is leftovers! I also bake chicken and have it on top of a large salad. We keep it simple and easy because we are normally pretty busy. The only meal I can't stand to repeat is dinner. I have to have something different at dinner or it drives me crazy! 

Our grocery total came out to $76.25 for the week. 

Many of you ask for a shopping list, so I created an easy Excel spreadsheet you can simply print and take to ALDI with you {HERE}.

I does take a lot of time to create these and I love you guys. I want to see you succeed. I want to help you take care of your families and yourselves. If you want to help me back and share the love, please take a moment to share this post on social media with your friends and family. Not only does it share my little blog and help my family, but it also helps your people too! We all win and I keep posting away!

If you want to follow me on all my social channels, I made you easy links below:

If you want to follow ALDI also for great deals, recipes, and ideas, you can find them here:

ALDI Website:
ALDI Blog:
Pinterest (for GREAT recipes):

If you're new here and you don't know my story... Well, I lost 90 pounds through quality nutrition (just like you read above) and doing Zumba® fitness twice a week. I hope you'll stick around because we have plenty more ALDI stuff coming your way, friends!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Friends, life has taken off for me! Our Zumba® fitness ministry has exploded. God is so good! We have 45 gorgeous ladies working out with us and we formed our largest prayer circle before class. Some days I wake up and wonder how I got so lucky to lead this amazing group of ladies. God placed me with caring, loving, supportive friends and I get to laugh, dance, and workout with them every week. I am so thankful! 

Did I mention they push me to reach my goals?!? 

This pup is getting bigger and more rambunctious. Don't let this still picture fool you. She is in all puppy mode and full of trouble! 

We are beginning our garden soon and I am so excited! We purchased organic seeds and starting mix. I am really looking forward to this spring. I know absolutely nothing about growing a garden, but my husband does. I am praying I do not kill everything, y'all!

I got to spend my weekend with my brother's kiddos and Caleb. We had a blast on the playground, eating pizza and frozen yogurt. I don't eat perfect all the time... Guess what?! It's all okay! Life is short. You've gotta eat the pizza every once in a while!

My husband hung my curtains in the living room and I am so in love (with him and the curtains). I have sighed every time I've walked in the room since.

This child looks for ways to get hurt. I swear he keeps me on my toes all day long. Wears me out, my friends.

We rocked out in class on Monday night! I can't begin to tell you how much I adore these two ladies. They keep me sane and keep me laughing. We talk food before 8 am and I can always talk Zumba® class with them all day long. Perfect friends, no doubt!

How's your week, friends? 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentine's Day 2016

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day with my husband and little boy. Normally I am the planner in our family, but I have been so busy with wrapping up the boat show and Zumba® classes that I just had nothing planned. It actually worked out really well because my husband surprised me with dinner by the river at a great restaurant near downtown Chattanooga. 

Our food was fantastic! Ryan ordered the rib eye, we shared mussels, and I had fire roasted oysters and chicken salad. Ryan had to finish some of my dinner, but it was so good! We were able to sit on the heated porch and it was so relaxing. 

My husband took me to Starbucks and then let me pick out curtains for our living room windows. I have been so indecisive since we moved in. I have struggled for months on picking the right ones and then I struggled to buy the ones I wanted. So he took me and bought them for me. Forget flowers that die, buy me curtains and I am a happy girl! 

Our new puppy chewed Caleb's DS charger up and we gave him a new one for Valentine's Day. He was so happy to have his DS back! 

My husband spoiled me well on Sunday, but then again he spoils me every day. I don't really need a holiday for that. I am blessed with a good husband that takes care of our family (and me) every day of the year. I am very fortunate to have him in my life. I have known him for 19 years now and we have celebrated 8 Valentine's Days together. This has by far been my favorite. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Migraine Help from Tin Wellness Center

At the end of last year I was diagnosed with chronic migraines which is a true neurological disorder. They are unfortunately more than "just a headache". My symptoms range from nausea to extreme dizziness to low blood pressure. My neurologist has helped me so much, but there are some days my quality of life is fairly rough. To be completely real and honest most days I hurt. Some days I hurt less than others. But I am very strong (mostly just stubborn) and I manage things the best way I know how. On the outside, it looks like I have my act together. If you are close to me you realize that's not entirely true. I struggle many days and sometimes I get overwhelmed with pain.

When I was diagnosed with chronic migraines, an inner ear issue called BPPV, and premenopause (at the ripe old age of 31), I began researching. My neurologist is probably one of the best in the entire country and I trust him fully. But I also believe in healing my body naturally. I take 100 mg of Topomax daily and Fioricet as needed for my migraines. I also take a lot of vitamins. Vitamin B-12 (1,000 mcg) and magnesium (500 mg) have helped me a lot to reduce my migraines. I also eat well. But the medicines and vitamins have not cut them completely out.

I started keeping track of triggers. Stress is a major migraine trigger for me. I also cannot drink any alcohol, so no more wine with dinner. That's actually just fine because I can lose weight now! I'm happy with that. I really didn't need the extra calories or sugar anyways. Cigarette smoke can set off a migraine pretty bad. I can smell it on someone's clothes and it brings one on pretty fast. It depends on how strong it is, how close I am to that person and how long I am exposed. I have to be pretty careful with that. I also am guaranteed to get a migraine the night before every period. What's extra fun is that I am premenopausal so I have no idea when that's going to happen. Fun times, my friends.

Upon several recommendations, I decided to try massage for my migraines. I carry a lot of stress in my neck, shoulders, and back area. I can feel some of my migraines originate from the base of my skull so I figured it couldn't hurt to try. I visited the Tin Laser and Wellness Center in downtown Chattanooga. It's actually located in the historic district right down from my old college campus at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I was immediately drawn in by the charm! I took an architecture class while I was in college and walking through this neighborhood was one of my favorite moments in that class. I was in awe of the beauty of these older homes. To finally walk through one was just a dream for me! It had a homey, comfortable feel without being clinical. I felt instantly comfortable and at ease when I met Susan at the front door. Susan was like meeting an old friend and we hit it off immediately.  

I was led to the massage chair of my dreams, y'all! This chair enveloped me in comfortable zero-gravity and I was kneaded from neck to toe. While I laid back, Susan began asking me about my specific needs. We talked about my health history and my migraines. I shared my concerns and she actually listened to me. We talked about her vast knowledge of aromatherapy as she mapped out my massage treatment plan. I felt like she was the first massage therapist to really, truly care for me as an individual. I have probably had close to fifty massages in my adult life, but no one has taken the time to tailor anything to me. I feel like I walk into a spa and they are typically "one size fits all". I have paid several hundreds of dollars on spa packages and nothing comes close to the expertise and knowledge Susan displayed during our time together.

During my massage, Susan showed me different massage techniques and I highly recommend a hot stone massage. They are probably my favorite. I honestly did not realize I was as sore as I was!

Tin Wellness Center also carries a great line of skin care products to fit any skin type and need. I love The Naked Bee line and have tried a few products from the Neova line so far. They are amazing! I am pretty sure they can ship to you if you aren't a local Chattanooga girl! You can call them at (423) 266-7392.

This past year has been rough on my skin. I am now testing these out to see how I like them, but so far my skin is already telling a difference.

Susan was able to help me relieve some of the tension at the base of my skull. I noticed a huge difference in the muscle tension as soon as I stood up. I couldn't believe the difference! If you are local or near Chattanooga, please don't hesitate to make an appointment at Tin Wellness Center. They will care for your body!

Please don't suffer as long as I did! Make an appointment today and invest in your health. We are all busy, but it's important to make time to care for our bodies. One hour for yourself could give you so much in return.

Make sure you check their Facebook page {HERE} for monthly specials!!!!

*** These are my own results with medications, vitamins, and massage. I am not an expert nor a doctor. Please check with your own physician prior to changing any medications, beginning any supplements/vitamins or incorporating massage into your migraine treatment plan. I worked closely with my own neurologist during this process with medications, vitamins, and prior to massage. ***

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mi Gente Zumba® Fitness Video

We've got a fun, new song we're playing around with in class this week. My friends and I choreographed this song together and we wanted to share it with you. "Mi Gente" translates to "my people" and it's so catchy and fun. I haven't seen anyone in class not bust out smiling during this song. You can really bounce around during this song or you can keep it low impact and step through the choreo. Stay in your comfort zone and keep it at your own level.

If you subscribe to my YouTube channel {HERE}, you will get an email when a new video is uploaded if you're working out with me at home.

I also wanted to share some really exciting news from my Zumba® fitness class with you! If you are local and can attend my classes, I urge you to jump in with me. Here's why....
The results are in.... I have added up the first month of measurements and weigh in results for our Bayside Zumba® fitness ladies!
As a GROUP, we lost 19.55 pounds! We also lost 61.75 inches!!!! That's only 13 ladies checking back in so far.
Are you ready to see results like my fabulous friends?
If you will just give me a month, I will help you transform your bodies. We are taking baby steps and you are going to see changes. It takes 4 weeks for you to see those changes. It takes 8 weeks for your friends and family to see the changes.
You can email me at and I can get you my class information.

If you aren't local, you can still use the videos I'm uploading at home to workout with me. I am going to keep adding to them. My friends are just as pumped up and crazy about doing them as I am so be looking for new ones! Go ahead and subscribe to the YouTube channel, for real. Click right {HERE}! 

If you like our video and want to help us out, please help us spread the word! Share our video, guys. Facebook it, tweet it, Google+ that stuff, Pin It, whatever it is you do, can you just take one extra second to help us out? Thank you so much!!! 


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