Hawaii | Balancing Val - Part 2


Meals Lately

Over the summer and leading into the fall, my husband and I would go out to eat A LOT. Buying food in general on this island is costly . . . going OUT for it is even worse.  A casual dinner out for 2  usually costs about $60-$80 not including adult beverages. This doesn’t include quick lunches or trips or our many Whole Foods hot bar nights.

Before Mike left for a long underway, I made the mistake of calculating how much we spent on meals out in a month’s time and the results were TERRIFYING!  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE going out to eat and trying new places, but I can’t help but think about how better that money could be spent and how it’s such a shame that I am wasting precious creativity as cooking random meals is one of my favorite things to do.  (chef-hello!)

I want to write a post about how I meal plan in more detail, but in a nut shell it goes like this.  I write down all ingredients we have on hand already.  This usually consists of frozen animal proteins (chicken, ground beef, turkey) and then I hit up the pantry where all of the grains I’ve had for great ideas that never came to fruition live.

Once that list is complete, I stumble upon the Pinterest gods and type in ideas based on what I have. For instance, if I have a package of ground turkey I will put something like “healthy ground turkey dinners” in the search bar and see what comes up.  This usually avalanches to other posts and other ideas to the point where I nail down at least 2 ideas based on 1 protein or grain.  I like using one meals ingredients to roll into another meal as there is only two and a half of us (roommate).


After organizing my lists and shopping for ingredients, I plan out the week based on our schedules.  Even if my husband is “home” he still has 2 days a week where he is at work for 24 hours.  One of those nights I choose my 24 hour fast as I want to enjoy as we want to enjoy as many dinners together as possible.

I get some wild things cooked up and love testing my limits.  Other times I stick with the same staples which is ok too.  The whole point of this post was to show you what I’ve been cooking up lately so here we go.

Stuffed mushroom caps with a side salad and sweet potato rounds


Spaghetti Squash with cranberry turkey meatballs and gluten free garlic bread


Random Salads (chicken, goat cheese, avocado, romaine)


Sauteed Kale +Mushrooms with Sweet Potato Mash and Organic Chicken Breast


And when we finally had time for a date night, we tried out a new amazing Mexican place and feasted on indulgent food and a pitcher of pomegranate margaritas.


Tonight we are going to pull back a bit as we are both feeling bloated and out of sorts even though it was well worth it!  I have enough stuff to make a shrimp caesar salad with gluten free croutons.

As for the rest of the week, dinner is only needed to be cooked for 2 days out of the week, one of them being Christmas eve.  Mike works tomorrow and Christmas day *tear* , but after that we are indulging in a 3 day juice cleanse! We’re both excited to feel like superheros again.

Weekly Plan- Ahead {dec 15 2014}

I can’t believe another Sunday has passed!

In my spare time, I have been reading other blogs as well as my own.  Reading my past is very eye opening and I am really grateful that I have documented a good chunk of the last 4 years through some life changing stuff.  It makes me think about how I want to continue to use this space.

I would love to keep it a healthy lifestyle blog which contains my posts about my life as well as tips and recipes and whatever else goes along with a healthy lifestyle, but I also need to keep myself accountable with it and use some kind of schedule.  My blog does not make me any money and though I would love if it did, it’s hard for me to stay structured without some sort of pressure.

I recognize this about my own healthy lifestyle as well. Until certain things become complete habits without thinking, I need to literally make “appointments” for myself to stick to things and not budge.  Leaving things freely up in the air in this aspect doesn’t seem like it is working for me and its easier for me to make excuses and it also brings upon a guilt if I DON’T do what I planned.

This has been so much more apparent with my husband home. I am still learning the ins and outs of being in a military marriage, but recently I am learning on the fast track.  I love having him here, but there is definitely an adjustment period for him to get back into real life which includes lots of sleeping, relaxing and also being called into work randomly with no notice.  THIS part of my life needs to be flexible, but the time I spend taking care of myself should not always take a back seat as I don’t want my health to be coming and going in dramatic waves that coincide with his schedule.


Balancing all of this is pretty challenging and I find myself slipping on a lot of my habits such as my increased intake of caffeine, dairy and sometimes wheat.  I feel the negative effects almost immediately and it’s not preferable, especially when you know what your body is capable of feeling!

I am proud of myself for stepping it up in the meal department.  So far we have barely gone out to eat because I have awesome meals planned and shopped for which is saving money and helping my creativity in the kitchen.



I still am exercising and doing my weekly fasts as well.

This week will be the calm before the storm of the holidays!  We have a lot to get done as far as cleaning, shopping, putting up our tree and gearing up for a possible holiday party at our house.

I am also conjuring up my goals and manifestations for the new year as we have a lot going on and need to be prepared and organized.

Since the dust is settled on this week, I would like to make an activity outline so that I have motivation to stick to it.


Monday: Buddhi Yoga

Tuesday: PM walk/jog

Wednesday:  Full Body Weights/Cardio (gym)

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Juice fast day

Saturday: Gym cardio

Sunday: Rest

PS – This may be a shot in the dark, but I am looking for someone to help re-vamp my blog.  I am looking for someone who can help me with a new clean design, that can optimize it and also work out word press kinks.  If you know of anyone, please let me know!