Friday, January 30, 2015

Gender Reveal: #babybutlernumerodos is a….


PicMonkey Collage

We are so over the moon excited!!! The Butler boys….has a cute little ring to it, doesn’t it??  I am so looking forward to continue being  a “boy mom” for a couple more years. And I have a feeling they will be best buds in between beating the snot out of each other like brothers do. PLUS, they will be the same season so we can reuse ALL of the clothes! Perfect!

When we were having the ultrasound, the tech was going through the anatomy scan and said, “Well that’s the umbilical cord, and that’s DEFINITELY not the umbilical cord!” Hahhaa!

We aren’t 100% certain on the name yet because Jon was dead set that it was a girl. (Although I do have one name I really like…just waiting on Jon to give the final word.) I knew there was no way my pregnancies could be THIS identical & it be a girl this time.

The thing I am most excited about is I feel a major calling on our lives to raise up strong MEN for the Lord. Our world is in desperate need of that & I can’t think of better footsteps for our little guys to follow in than Jonathan Butler. Don’t get me wrong…we would love to have a girl some day too (Jon & Granddaddy & Papa especially want a girl), but I am so, so honored to have the opportunity to raise up another champion man after God’s heart.

I already feel a more instant connection & am so thankful to get to pray specifically for the man this sweet baby is going to become.

Y’all know how much I LOVE my BOYS…

God is good!!

#babybutlernumerodos is 21 Weeks!!

Baby Growth:


My Symptoms: My appetite has DEFINITELY increased the past couple weeks.

I can also really tell when I’m not drinking enough water. It’s not good.

I woke up one morning this week with a crick in my neck that was pretty painful. I tried a hot compress and it got worse, so thankfully the chiropractor was able to squeeze me in late that afternoon. He said it was a little too swollen to get the joint back in the groove but did a few things to help and told me to ice it. I iced it three times before bed and it was significantly better the next day.

Weight/Baby Bump: Up about 2 lbs this week from last week. Not surprised at all with that appetite increasing. Baby bump is lookin LARGE this week! My belly button is so uncomfortable.

Gender: Sweet baby is a…  ***announcement coming ASAP!

Maternity Clothes: Wearing maternity pants now with regular tops (for the most part). I wear Jonathan’s t-shirts with workout pants when I work out.

Movement: I feel the majority of the movement really low like I did with Jase.

Sleep: I’m trying to sleep on my left side because I’ve read that’s best. Sometimes I catch myself on my tummy.

Cravings/Aversions: Anything Italian sounds yummy!!  I eat french onion soup at least once a week. Grilled chicken is kinda grossing me out.

Work Outs:  Jonathan & I had a few big meetings this week so we worked out together before them. Always love getting to work out with him. I typically row 2,000 meters and lift weights or take a Body Pump class. I still feel great and working out always makes me feel even better and sleep better. And goodness, I was a little bit of a weeny last pregnancy. Reading my last posts I see that I was complaining that lunges hurt my knees and I couldn’t jog? I jogged a little the other day and felt fine and lunges aren’t bothering me at all.

Goals for next week: I’m going to need to get that gender reveal pic out! Sheesh!! I feel so bad we haven’t announced yet. We’ve already told family so I guess I don’t have quite as much of an urgency, but I know I have lots of sweet friends who are excited to find out. Hopefully we can get a picture taken and posted ASAP. Nothing too fancy coming.

Thoughts: Jon & I have been talking this week about life with two and the great responsibility we have entrusted to us. We could not be MORE excited to welcome another sweet blessing to our little family.

Comparison: I wrote in my 21 week post with Jase that I thought future pregnancies would be easier because I wouldn’t be working. Someone commented that they don’t get easier, especially when you’re chasing around another kiddo. I have to disagree with that commenter. This pregnancy has been a LOT easier. It is SO nice being home.

21 Weeks with Jase

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reverencing Your Husband

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33

I recently started being mentored by one of the godliest women I know, & I am so thankful for the opportunity to seek wisdom and learn from her. I feel such a big calling on my heart to raise champions for the Lord, and I also know that the BEST way to be a great mom is by being a great wife first. I truly believe the enemy attacks the family unit because it is so precious to God, so the best way to safeguard your family is through having a strong marriage with a foundation in Christ.

I know I definitely have some work to do in that area to ensure that I am truly honoring the Lord in my role as Jonathan’s help meet. And that’s exactly why I prayed for a mentor. God was faithful.

My mentor and I are reading through Created to Be His Help Meet & working through the workbook called The Help Meets Journey. (I already had the book because Lori recommended it.) **FYI: They are incredibly challenging (for me, anyway) & if you decide to go through them, I encourage you to take your time and really DIG in. And also to be open minded because it definitely goes against the world’s view of a wife’s role & of marriage in general. Ask the Lord to prepare you heart and show you areas where you can grow to become a more godly help meet.

At the beginning of the workbook it asks for some specific goals you’d like to see come to fruition in your marriage as a result of the study. One thing I wrote down was for Jonathan to feel more honored/reverenced and for me to feel more cherished. If you have read Love & Respect then you know one of a husband’s greatest needs is to feel respected and one of a wife’s most innate needs is to feel loved. I believe that is true and something we strive towards in our marriage. It was even part of our vows. But to me, reverencing & cherishing take those a step further. They dig even deeper into marriage, beyond just love & respect, and THAT is my desire. I want our children to see that not only do we love & respect one another, but we CHERISH & REVERENCE one another. That we are “heirs together in the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).

Going through this study, the Lord has really impressed that word upon my heart. REVERANCE. I looked up the Hebrew word and origin & studied some commentary on Ephesians 5:33 (and a few other Scriptures I listed below). Reading those & truly understanding what it means to be a help meet has completely changed my mindset about my roles as a wife. It is no secret if you’ve read my blog for some time then you know I think Jonathan Butler is THE MAN. He has some really, really great qualities that I respect & admire and pray our children learn. I think our world desperately needs more Jon Butlers  in it (which is part of why we want a big family). But if I can be totally honest & transparent, I have lived the majority of our marriage as if HE was created to be  a help meet to me instead of the other way around. 1 Corinthians 11:9 says “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”  (Shew- I know some ladies – even Christian ladies- who might not like reading that one.) I might have respected Jonathan for the past 4 years of marriage, but I cannot confidently say I have “reverenced” him as Ephesians 5:33 says to do.

I know what the Bible says about marriage and my role as a wife. I understand Biblical submission and totally agree with it. Jonathan is the head (1 Corinthians 11:3), & my job is to support him in that role. I have written blog posts about it & taught Bible studies on it, but just being totally real with y’all, sometimes a lot of times I have a tough time actually living it.

I’m not confessing that here for accountability. There is no way anyone other than me, him, and the Lord know whether or not I am being the help meet I am called to be. I just want to share this because I know there are other wives like me….who desire to be that virtuous woman…to be obedient to the Lord (even when it’s tough, which submission can definitely be)…to be a help meet to her husband…to be a godly mother. And maybe you’re like me and feel like you’re “trying your best.” But that’s just it. Although God certainly wants our best, more than anything he wants our HEARTS. When we give Him that, we can REST & allow the Lord to work through us.  (So now I’m working on accepting that despite this revelation, it is still a process.) When HE has our hearts, we can have a marriage that glorifies HIM and allows us to feel loved and cherished while our husbands feel respected and reverenced.

The biggest wake up call came for me while I was praying for Jase’s future wife. I do that often. I was praying for her specific qualities and character traits as described about a Biblical wife, and as much as it makes me want to puke & cry all at the same time, I have to confess that I do not want him to marry someone like me. Not like the wife I am right now anyway. I have always said I want to be the kind of wife to Jon that I want my daughters to be and my sons to marry, but the truth is, I am not being that wife. When I realized that, I knew I needed to do some serious repenting & growing.

My natural instinct is to want to be a “good wife” in the eyes of the world. And sometimes I don’t “feel” like being a good wife at all because Jonathan offends me or I don’t feel like he deserves it. It takes “being transformed by the renewing of my mind” daily to break that thought pattern. Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world,” and let’s just be honest…it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that whatever the world is doing is NOT working anyway. I want to submit to and reverence my husband because that’s what the Lord is commanding of me in His Word. I want to be a godly wife out of obedience to Christ. And THAT’S what I have to remember! It doesn’t matter what Jonathan IS or is NOT doing…I am responsible to Christ for my own thoughts, actions, attitudes, and behaviors. There is such freedom & satisfaction in doing what you’re called to be doing. And it’s really amazing how it works…the more I reverence and respect my hubby, the more he loves & cherishes me. (Shocker, right? Nagging & complaining & pouting aren’t going to get the results you want.)

What does reverence mean

It’s not because Jonathan does or doesn’t deserve it. Or because I want a pat on the back. Or because he is loving me like Christ loves the church. (Yikes…may have thrown that one around a few times.) If you read both before and after those verses in the Bible, you’ll notice it doesn’t say “reverence your husband IF”… “submit to your husbands IF”…It just says DO. And that goes so against what the world teaches & what our flesh (my flesh anyway) want to do. Ladies, that is EXACTLY why I have to allow the Lord to do it through me. Because as strong as I would like to think I am, I cannot do that on my own. I just can’t.

I can remember growing up being told to find a man who “treats me like a queen.” Why in the world would he or should he want to treat me like a queen if I’m not treating him like a king?? If we get caught up in the “well if he’ll ______, then I’ll _____” then we will never have an Ephesians 3:20 marriage that is “exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or imagine.” As wives, we have so much more control over the type of marriage we have than we realize. If you’re unhappy, then change. Don’t wait for your spouse to do it. A husband’s ability to lead is largely dependent on his wife’s ability to follow. (I think during the Fall, women began desiring to lead. We have to fight that nature & trust our husbands to lead as they’ve been called to do. But they can’t do that if we refuse to step down.)

I love 1 Peter 3:1-6. “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, ...”

A huge problem for me is my big, fat mouth. That bad boy gets me in trouble, so I feel like this verse was written for me. I am praying the Lord helps me have a more gentle and quiet spirit.

Anyway, I wanted to share all of this with you in hopes it helps you have a more clear understanding of our Biblical role as wives and help meets to our husbands. I need the reminder often. I know God has BIG plans for our family and for Jonathan especially, so he needs me to be a godly wife who reverences him. My desire is that God be glorified through our marriage and we raise up champions for the Lord who will be godly spouses some day. 

I’m going to leave off with these this excerpt from the book that hit me right in the heart.

“Does your husband share Adam’s feelings of delight when he looks upon you? Do you wake each morning ready to make your husband happy and blessed- to serve him to the best of your ability- to be his helper? Are you engaged in active goodwill to your man? That is God’s perfect will for you. When you are a help meet to your husband, you are a helper to Christ, for God commissioned man for a purpose and gave him a woman to assist in fulfilling that divine calling. When you honor your husband, you honor God. When you obey your husband, you obey God. The degree to which you reverence your husband is the degree to which you reverence your Creator. As we serve our husbands, we serve God. But in the same way, when you dishonor our husband, you dishonor God.”  (Created To Be His Help Meet, Pearl, p. 22)

Wives, are you reverencing your husband??

Proverbs 31

If you get a chance, look up The Message version of these verses too.

  • 1 Peter 3:1-22 - Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;  
  • Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.  
  • Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
  • Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.
  • Titus 2: 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
  • 1 Peter 3: 5-6 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands
  • Proverbs 21:19  It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman.
  • Proverbs 14:1 - The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.
  • Proverbs 19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Godly Woman

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Prominence of Medication Use in the US

This week is National Drug Facts Week. I know it might seem like a random post coming from me (although you have seen me share that we personally try to avoid medication whenever possible), but this is something I am becoming increasingly more passionate about. I have watched the misuse of “medication” rip families apart & destroy lives, and I think it’s a conversation our society needs to start having more often. I personally feel like it has to do with greed and pharmaceutical companies having entirely too much power, but this post isn’t about politics so I won’t even go there.

According to,

Infographic - see text below for description

Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely thankful for modern medicine and the medications that save lives and allow people live a better quality of life. What I am NOT a fan of is the overuse, increasing immunity to antibiotics, overprescribing, and addictions to prescription meds. It is a serious problem. And if we’re not careful, it will continue to become a growing epidemic.

Did you see that stat about the US only having 5% of the world’s population yet consuming 75% of the world’s prescription medication? Sounds to me like we are trying to put a band-aid on issues that could be avoided all together or resolved through a different route (chiropractic, nutrition, diet/exercise, massage, supplements, proper sleep, stress reduction, prayer, etc.).

DrugFacts_Fact_2 (1) (1)

photo: {source}

This {source} was extremely eye opening & is worth taking a few minutes to look over. Here are a few statistics that didn’t necessarily surprise me, but should really raise our red flags.

  • In 2010, pharmaceutical drug overdoses were established as one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Below, some of the leading causes of death for 2010 are assembled in a table. Total drug overdoses killed more Americans than firearms or motor vehicle accidents in 2010.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially declared that prescription drug abuse [1] in the United States is an epidemic. [2]
  • As of 2012, overdose deaths involving prescription opioid analgesics, which are medications used to treat pain, have increased to almost 17,000 deaths a year in the United States.[3]
  • Experts say the increase in heroin use is linked to prescription opioid abuse. Young people often become addicted to pain pills and progress to heroin — which provides the same euphoric high — when pills are hard to come by. [5]

There are obviously times when medication cannot be avoided. However, it is important that we are educated. I know there were a few other bloggers who covered specific topics regarding drugs this week, & they are definitely worth looking into:

  • January 26th - Understanding your meds
  • January 27th - Dangerous drug combinations
  • January 28th - Prominence of medication use in the U.S.
  • January 29th - Questions to ask your doctor/pharmacist
  • January 30th - Identifying side effects
  • February 1st - Drug recall facts

It is so important to ASK QUESTIONS. I think so often we just trust whatever is prescribed and assume it is safe. There are some really scary side effects, drug interactions, etc. that we need to know about before choosing to put medicine into our body. Coincidentally, I just came across this article today on my newsfeed about Z-packs potentially being linked to heart issues.

Thankfully we do not get sick often, but we try to avoid medication whenever possible & always ask LOTS of questions in the event we do need medicine. Obviously sometimes it is inevitable. I had shoulder surgery in college (12 years of fastpitch pitching will do that to ya) and a C-section with Jase. Both surgeries required pain medicine afterwards. My mom was my caretaker after my shoulder surgery and made sure to get me the weakest pain meds we could get, use the minimum doses, and stop using them immediately (& dispose of them) when I no longer needed them. I tried my best to avoid medicine all together with Jase and go natural, which I was able to do up until the point where heart rates started dropping and we were scared for both me and the baby. Afterwards I only took Motrin & shredded the prescription for something stronger. (I can’t even remember what it was now- I know it was “safe” for nursing but I didn’t feel comfortable taking it & didn’t really need it anyway.) The nurses were really, really surprised that I didn’t want the stronger medication & I remember that I stopped using even the Motrin all together as soon as I could when we got home from the hospital.

I also cleaned out our medicine cabinet about a year and a half ago. Most of the time (for the issues we experience anyway) there is some other option if we just take time to look into it, so medication is always the last resort. We don’t personally believe in oral contraceptives or birth control either, but that is a whole different topic. (We did need to wait before getting pregnant for a second time to give us the best shot at a VBAC though, so we used this method. Totally works.)

I don’t think medicine is evil or anything crazy, and again, I am SUPER thankful for the times it is medically necessary. But I think you can agree with me that we live in an overmedicated world. If nothing else, I hope this makes you think twice before getting a prescription, or at least encourages you to stop and ask questions. I am super cautious about what we put into our bodies, & I pray that serves us well.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Halfway! #babybutlernumerodos is 20 Weeks!!

Well I might as well give up on a “weekly post” because it looks like that’s not going to happen. 3 weeks since the last update…oops. Here’s what’s been going on with us for the last few weeks.

P.S. I’m going to do my very best not to use any pronouns that give away the gender yet. That is going to be tough!

Baby Growth:

At our appointment on Monday (1/19), we got to see #babybutlernumerodos again. SO thankful for that sweet blessing. Little one weighs 10 oz (about 2 oz less than Jase at this point). I am pretty certain I am actually due a little later than the due date they have written in my chart based on my last period. I used an ovulation test and know EXACTLY when I ovulated, so based on my calculations (could I sound any more nerdy?!?), I am due June 15th, not June 11th.

My Symptoms: I feel like a million bucks!! Energy is sky high & mood is great. My skin is finally clear too & I am back to my normal self. Woo hoo!

Weight: I am up about 4 lbs since I found out I was pregnant. Trying to eat as healthy as possible and juice at least every other day. I am finally drinking my water again but probably still not quite enough. I get really full super fast (to the point that it is uncomfortable) so I have to eat small meals. I think I had gained more weight at this point in my pregnancy with Jase but my belly & baby are definitely growing.

Gender: We know, we know, we know!!! We have told a few people but will have a little gender reveal picture coming soon. I wanted to wait to tell everyone and do a gender reveal party again, but we want a big family and Jonathan said by the time kid # 4 or 5 come around everyone will be sick of my little parties. Ha! So, stay tuned for a picture. For the record though, I am SUPER EXCITED!!!

Maternity Clothes: I busted out my first pair of maternity jeans during week 19 and they were GLORIOUS! I can still wear regular jeans below my belly & wear those sometimes too. I mostly wear workout clothes with Jonathan’s t-shirts.

We traveled to Cincinatti, Ohio for an awesome AdvoNation event this past weekend & were in Atlanta the weekend before. I wore heels both days (all day) and my left IT band was sore for about 2 days afterward both days. I became BFF with the foam roller. (Wel, it’s more of a love/hate with that thing.) Speaking of AdvoNation events, Jonathan & I had the opportunity to share our story….on stage…in front of about 5,000+ people! Do you know how close up that is? I wore a band aid over my belly button because that joker is all the way popped out! I am super thankful it goes back to normal post-baby because it freaks me out. Jonathan cracks me up about it. He HATES belly buttons anyway. He is worried I’m going to burn it when I’m cooking (we have a gas stove) and the other day was leaving for the gym and said, “Well, I’m like your belly button….OUTTTTTIE.” Hahhaha! I cracked up. We are cheeseballs but at least we have fun, right?



Movement: Baby is still moving & strong enough that you can feel it from the outside! Jon got to feel it last week for the first time. I smile every time I feel my sweet baby & use that as a reminder to whisper a prayer for him/her.

Sleep: Sleeping well. Used my pregnancy pillow a couple of times this week and it was AWESOME. I forgot how great that thing is.

Cravings:  No aversions & I am finally excited about cooking again. Back to normal eating for the Butlers! (Perfect timing because Jonathan is halfway through his All-In challenge & I’ve been prepping/cooking lots of healthy food for us.) As far as cravings, the only one I have had is hot chocolate from Race Trac. So random! I haven’t had hot chocolate since I was like 11. I saw my friend Jenn post it a while back though & it totally hit the spot. I am also enjoying some Muscle Gain shakes my friend Michelle told me about- made with vanilla Muscle Gain, 3/4 c almond milk, 1/3 of a frozen banana, and a tsp of cocoa. YUM! Oh, and when we do eat out, the only place I really want to go is Olive Garden, Panera, or the Juice CafĂ©. No steak houses!!

Work Outs:  I haven’t been making it to the gym as often as I would like because we have been SWAMPED. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to make it back more often. I really prefer the gym because I like to work out with other people. (A DVD at home is definitely a last resort for me.) Sometimes Jon & I work out together which is always fun, but he likes to lift heavy & I am just a gym girl too. Really love classes.

I have been making an effort to be more active though around the house and chasing Jase around since I’m not so tired anymore. Plus we walked a TON on our trip.


Goals for next week: I have some business stuff to take care of next week and a few blog posts I’d really like to get posted. Jonathan helped his dad this last week at work so I got a lot done around the house but not so much with the business. I am also WAYYYYYYY behind on e-mails. If you have e-mailed me in the last few months, you can expect a response soon & please accept my apology for it taking so long! Other than that I’d like to hit the gym a few more times & do some stretching. Also trying to remember kegels. (TMI??)

Thoughts: Anatomy scan went great from what we could tell. Little one was head down & face down and wouldn’t move so we couldn’t get quite as good of a look at everything as we wanted. Heart rate was 159. One time during the ultrasound I put my arm over my head and the baby did the EXACT same movement at the same time. I am almost positive I remember Jase doing that once too during an ultrasound. We couldn’t get a profile at all & didn’t get a great look at the heart because of the way the baby was positioned, but we did see 4 chambers. I get the drink for the glucose test at the next appointment- can you believe it’s time for that ALREADY?? I seriously feel like this pregnancy is FLYING and cannot believe I’m already halfway through. 20 more weeks and I’ll be snuggling another precious blessing!! I found out so early with Jase that I felt like the pregnancy was soooooo slow until the end, but this one is just flying to me. I think it is helping that Jon and I are both home. I  am super, super thankful I am not teaching this pregnancy. That has already made life a million times easier and I am not so exhausted & worn down- even with a pretty active 20 month old.

We spent some time with friends who have newborns the weekend before last and it gave BOTH of us major baby fever! Samson, Daniel, Jack, & Baby Ace are seriously the sweetest. I cannot wait for that sweet newborn smell. Is it wrong I’m praying for another angel baby like Jase?? Seriously, he was the easiest baby ever so I’m just going to claim that over this next baby too.

I am also thankful for a healthy anatomy scan. I was having a little bit of anxiety about it (I know that was just Satan trying to steal the joy) and so appreciate all of our friends who were praying for us. The prayers mean so much.

We need to start thinking about a name (thought we had one but not sure anymore) & planning for the nursery. I am debating about getting Jase in a big boy bed & starting with potty training. He will turn 2 right before the baby comes & I don’t want to waste time if he’s going to regress, so just praying for wisdom about the right timing with those things.

One thing is for sure….this baby is already dearly, dearly loved!! We are so thankful for the opportunity to be parents again.


18 Weeks with Jase


19 Weeks with Jase


20 Weeks with Jase



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Meal Prep Tips

Confession: We don’t eat 100% clean 100% of the time.

Confession: We ate out WAAAAAY more than I would have liked during weeks 10-15 of pregnancy when I wasn’t feeling my best. I didn’t feel like cooking and the thought of touching raw meat made me gag. Sometimes Jonathan would handle the protein & I’d make everything else, but just keeping it totally real, we ate out a good bit. Not good for your waistline or wallet! When we looked at our budget to start planning for 2015, we realized we went way overboard on that area & knew we needed to tighten up.

So guess what that means? Back to meal prepping!!!

We have found that when we fuel our bodies properly, we never feel hungry and we have tons of energy. It definitely takes work, but it is SO worth it. I always feel so accomplished after meal prepping & Jonathan gets excited that he’s stocked up for the week.. We have found ways to clean up some of our favorite meals, and there are SO many resources online now that there really is no excuse.

I know life is BUSY. No wonder we live in a fast food generation- it’s way more convenient, right? But that’s where meal prepping comes in. Making time for meal prep has made such a huge difference in our clean eating lifestyle. I first learned about the concept of meal prepping in The Eat Clean Diet, and once I got the hang of it I made it a regular thing. (It really is super simple….in case you haven’t noticed I don’t like to do anything too complicated. Jase can already work the remotes for the DVD player better than I can.)

We make some time 1-2 days a week to prepare some foods ahead of time, and that makes it so much easier during the week. We have clean meals ready to grab and go so we never have to worry about what we’re going to eat next. We just have to decide what we are in the mood for at that time, and we can take our pick from some of the lean protein, complex carbs, veggies, and healthy fats we have ready to go. We also bring our own food lots of times (when we travel for example), and that saves money and ensures we have healthy options. We always make better choices when we’re prepared, and I rarely go anywhere without having a snack bag for us.

I know it can feel overwhelming and lots of people don’t know where to start, so I’m going to share a little about what we do. Even if you just pick a few things off the list, it will make a big difference.

I start by taking about 30 min one day a week to meal plan. Sometimes I do it much quicker, but I like to mix it up and try simple new recipes so we don’t get bored. I try to at least try 1-2 new recipes each week, and if everyone likes it we add it in the rotation. Eating clean does NOT have to (and shouldn’t) be boring!!  This is also when I write out my grocery list so we don’t overspend. Stick to the list, Danielle!

Here are a few resources I love if you’re looking for new ideas or want to jazz it up a little:

Meal Planning

Grocery Guide

AdvoCare Tumblr (seriously- look at those pictures. Does anything about that scream “diet” or “cardboard”? DELISH!)

And  here it is, friends. My super simple tips for meal prepping. I was not kidding when I said we keep it simple. We typically eat on this for 3-4 days and then do it again.

  • Boil 2 dozen eggs. (Egg whites are a GREAT high protein, easy snack. We each eat at least 1 yoke and you can throw the rest in the compost or give them to the dog. It’s great for their coat.)
  • Wash & slice raw veggies.
  • Wash veggies.
  • Steam/roast veggies.
  • Make brown rice & qunioa. Put into 1/2 c serving sizes.
  • Bake sweet potatoes or make them into fries/chips so they are ready to be baked. (They are better fresh so we don’t typically make them ahead of time.)
  • Put raw almonds/walnuts into plastic baggies with appropriate serving sizes.
  • Grill/bake lean protein. (Chicken, fish, ground turkey, etc.)
  • Wash fruits.
  • Separate fruits & veggies into our favorite juicing recipes so they’re ready to throw in the juicer.
  • Put 1/2 c oats (Red Mill Quick Cooking Oats) into baggies with chia seeds, ground flax, sliced almonds, and cinnamon. (In the morning I just dump into bowl & use water heated from tea kettle.)
  • Peel & freeze a few bananas for smoothies.
  • Make homemade no bake energy bites, protein bars, or chocolate protein bites for treats.
  • Two cheats: I buy hummus already made (to dip raw veggies in as a snack) & get homemade salsa from a local farmer’s market.

Jase eats what we eat, so that makes life a whole lot easier. He randomly gets picky & won’t eat something for a week (like broccoli), but for the most part he is a really awesome eater. He loves the “green machine” juice I make and will also eat boiled eggs and oats for breakfast. He eats a wide variety of veggies, meats, and sweet potatoes. He got used to eating some organic cereal when I was lazy on the meal prep & now we are undoing that one. (So much better to avoid processed foods if possible- even baby foods like crackers and Puffs- because they are addicting and can change their palette.) I was on french toast kick for a few weeks (which both of the boys loved), but we cleaned it up by using Ezekial bread in egg whites with organic cinnamon and organic maple syrup (much better option than anything else out there! except maybe some honey or natural nut butter).

I can’t help much with advice for a picky eater, but If you have a little one, I highly recommend Baby Led Weaning. You definitely want to read the book before implementing it, but basically you introduce finger-like solids (not purees) at 6 months. Let food be for fun/play .It’s messy, but man does it result in a great eater. Jase has always been a part of meal time with us and has pretty much always fed himself, which makes life way easier. (When you read the book, the logic behind it makes so much common sense & it’s WAY less work for the parents really- which will be helpful as we keep adding to our family & hopefully homeschool one day.) It just takes lots of prayer because it can be a little stressful when you’re first starting.

Here are some of the pictures I have on my phone. I’m definitely not a foodographer (is that a word?), but I do take pictures sometimes to share with challengers in our FB group. If you want to see some way better pictures, go check put the AdvoCare Tumblr I posted above.

Hope that helps some!!