Getting Deliberate + What We Ate This Week

passion planner

So, those two topics are completely unrelated…

or, are they?

Depending on who you are, you may or may not be deliberate about your diet and what you eat day in and day out. If you know about my story, I used to be VERY deliberate with my diet and what I ate. Too deliberate (read: Eating Disorder – yikes!).

Some of us are deliberate in our meal planning and grocery shopping. Some of us are deliberate in our counting calories and exercise regimens. Some of us are not so deliberate (read: ME!), and that’s ok too. I like to listen to my body these days. Feed it what it’s craving, and exercise when I want to (which is usually pretty often – unless I’m laid up with a bad ankle which I have been for over a week!).

Although my hubby and I are not so much ones to a) create a food budget and stick to it b) grocery shop on regular intervals and c) menu plan, I am perfectly ok with that. We’ve got a great little locally owned grocery store a few blocks away, and usually communicate in the middle of the day about what we’re craving (lamb burgers? yep!). Then, ones of us goes and picks it up quick on our way home. It helps us reduce waste by not buying too much at the grocery store (because you never know when the urge to grab a spontaneous dinner out might pop up!). This past week, however, we started to become a little more deliberate with our food/menu planning. You know why? Yep, you guessed it. It is Fall Sports Season (also referred to as FSS)!

Football started this past Monday, Soccer starts this next Monday.

So Sunday night, we put together a few things we could eat throughout the week.

This Broccoli Salad (except we used about half the mayo, and used honey instead of sugar):

broccoli salad

These Chocolate Chip Cookies:

chocolate chip cookies

This is all that is left. Don’t judge.

Roasted potatoes with bacon (to be eaten with our fried eggs in the morning!):

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With leftover grilled green beans from our Lamb Chops and Green Beans dinner. So good!

And I made a Sausage/Onion and Pepper Crock Pot dish.

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Forgotten paper towel on top while microwaving = hot mess (literally!)

The husband, not a crock pot fan. And if you’ve ever tasted his cooking you know why. Because he can out-cook a crock pot (and me!) a million times over. For me though, I’ve got less picky tastebuds, and don’t mind the sometimes lack of texture that comes with crock pot cooking. Not to mention it’s easy and fast, and prevents me from eating too much crap out.

The recipe: 2 onions (cut into chunks), 4 green bell peppers (cut into chunks), 5 cloves garlic (peeled and roughly chopped), 4 Costco fully-cooked organic chicken sausages (sliced into coins), a jar of spaghetti sauce (my mom bought me a jar of a local brand), lots of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and you’ve got yourself dinner! Or in my case, lunch/dinner for the week. Oh and you cannot forget the parmesan cheese on top. Cheese for me is a necessity. On high (or low for longer) for a few hours until onions and peppers are softened and sausage heated through.

Ok, so back to being deliberate (and not in a food kind of way!). I’m reading this book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. There’s a saying in there about how to DIG deep. And not in the suck-it-up kind of way. When you’re feeling restless/exhausted/overwhelmed you can

D – be Deliberate about your thoughts and behaviors

I -be Inspired to make a different choice

and

G – get Going (do something! anything! as long as it is it falls in line with the previous two)

I’ve been thinking about the DIG deep when I’m restless at night after a long day of studying, and I’m rotting my brain on Facebook (or whatever it might be!). It’s definitely been a game changer for me.

And speaking of deliberate, a friend of mine recommended to me the Passion Planner. Have you heard of it? It’s a pretty neat idea. A planner with built in goal-setting, reflection, and places to doodle/jot notes. So far, I love it.

passion planner

Color coding teacher at heart.

Hope you’ve had a good (deliberate!) week friends. And if not, well there is always next week. :)

Until next time,

Happy clean eating!

New Last Name + New Blog Changes

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Well hello there old friends!

It’s been one heck of a long time.

I am not quite sure the last time I posted, but I know this for certain: A LOT of things have changed since then!

Number 1 change:

I got a new last name! It’s Oelker (pronounced with a silent O). We got married on June 13th and it was absolutely magical. We were married at a very eclectic little barn (Green Acres Event Center) where we served food out of a food truck (Gastrotruck – absolutely amazing!), had s’mores and ice cream for dessert, and danced the night away.

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My stud muffin of a husband!

Number 2 change:

I chopped off all my hair!

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My “short hair don’t care” selfie

I was growing it out for the wedding, and once that was over I couldn’t take it anymore – buh bye long hair! I think I want to go a little short (pixie style) so stay tuned!

Number 3 change:

We’re moving to Australia! (J/K…I totally wish though!). The hubby and I had an amazing pre-moon (yes, that’s an early honeymoon) in Australia visiting my great uncle and our good friend K and Trav in March. It was a spectacular two weeks that words don’t do justice describing. We toured around Sydney and Melbourne with our family and friends and then headed up the coast to Port Douglas and Cairns for a few days of official “honeymoon”. It was my third time there, and the hubby’s first. When we got back he was like “I would move to Australia” and I’m like “Whaaaat?!”. I had been trying to tell him that since the beginning of our relationship, you know, before the whole buy a house and settle down thing. :)

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Sydney Opera House selfie – a must!  

Number 4 change:

I’m not teaching next year! Crazy, right? I have been in the teaching profession for 5 years, and decided to make the switch back into the business world. I’m currently studying to take my Series 7 exam (well right now I’m not, obviously!) so that I can be a Financial Planner with Thrivent starting this October. I’m excited and anxious for this new adventure, and although I will miss the kids dearly, I know it’s a step in the right direction and will continue to challenge me in my professional life!

Number 5 change:

Getting back to what matters with this blog. I took a long time off of blogging for multiple reasons. A) I was wedding planning. If you haven’t wedding planned all I can say is “uffda!”. What a money and time sucker (although totally worth it, of course!). And if you have then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about!

and B) I really didn’t have the passion for it like I used to. When I first started this blog I wanted to share my love of eating all-natural foods and how it helped me recover from an eating disorder. Somewhere over the past however many years, I got caught up in what I will call the “perfectionism” blogging trap. How do I make my blog better, more popular, etc.? I’m telling you friends, it was a crappy place to be. Sucks the joy out of what I love most – blogging for well, the fun of it. I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself, and somehow I lost sight of that along the way.

So, what changes can you expect?

1) Less recipes.

I’m sorry, but writing down recipes sucks. Not to mention, most of the time I’m just adapting someone else’s or my hubby and I are doing what we can “experimental” cooking. You know, where you taste as you go along and adjust ingredients as needed? (However, I do not recommend this for baking!). I will be sure to link up to recipes that I have used or slightly adapted from and post inspiration for you readers as well! There are too many good recipes already out there, no need to keep re-creating the wheel as they say.

2) Less stress over photography.

At one point, I wanted to have those droll-worthy blog pictures that other amazing bloggers have (like one of my favs, pinchofyum.com). I bought an expensive phone with the best camera available (I am too cheap/poor to buy a real nice camera!), bought a lighting system, and was reading tips and taking a million different pictures of the same dish (who knew you could have so many angles/lighting/settings to choose from!). First of all, do you know how cold food gets while you’re trying to take a picture of it for the umpteenth time?! Second of all, do you know how impatient other people you are eating with you get? :)

But in all seriousness, I’ll do my best to provide you with a nice picture, however, perfectionism isn’t really my thing. And likely it won’t ever be!

3) More well-roundedness (is that a word?).

I got so caught up in making my blog all about food and recipes, that I totally let go of other things I enjoy writing about. You know, like life and such. Now granted, this is a food blog by nature, so there will still be plenty of that. But I’m also looking forward to sharing some fun other things whenever the mood strikes!

4) Less trying to be something I’m not.

I am not a full-time blogger, nor will I likely ever be (honestly after working from home all summer I can officially say it is not my thing!). I’m a crazy busy soccer coach, board member, yoga instructor, soon-to-be financial planner, wife, and hopefully someday, mother. Although blogger is something I am also, it plays a very small role in my existence on this earth. I will continue to blog when I want to (not because I told myself I have to), blog about what I want to (not because someone told me it would increase ‘readership’), and remember the purpose of this blog: to share my clean-eating/living life with others so they can be inspired to live the best version of their life too!

To wrap it up, I can’t leave you with absolutely no talk on food. That would just be too unlike Eat Clean with Kate. It is one of my favorite things, after all!

Here’s what I’ve been especially enjoying this summer:

1) Panini Sandwiches.

Especially with local bacon, lots o veggies, artisan bread, and good melty cheese. Mmmm…. If you don’t have a panini press, you are seriously missing out.

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 2) Salads.

Does anything scream summer more?

grilled chicken and mango salad

Grilled chicken and mango salad (oh and some grilled romaine lettuce too!)

summer salad

 Better-than-Panera strawberry salad with homemade honey mustard dressing

3. Homemade pizza. On the grill. 

(Thank you wedding gift KitchenAid mixer for making my life so much easier!)

homemade pizza

Margherita Pizza with pesto. Simple and delicious.

Until next time friends…..

Happy clean eating!