Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Tag: healthy eating

BJ’s Comes to Manchester

BJ’s is coming to Manchester!

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite “duties” as a grown up. Redmond loves it, Laurie likes to be in his front pack looking around, and it turns into a fun outing for us. Meal planning is not one of my favorite duties though…even though I love cooking and I LIKE having a plan, it just is always daunting to me. Even with Pinterest. EVEN WITH PINTEREST. I know.

We have a pretty tight food budget, and the more Redmond eats, the harder it is to maintain, and I’ve been looking for some other options than the way I’ve been doing things. BJ’s Wholesale Club is opening a new location in Manchester, NH and I am super excited to visit their new location on their behalf and start saving. As a member of BJs ( and if you don’t already have one you can apply for one, here) families can save up to $500 a year on their groceries, gas, household items–pretty much everything. The membership right now is discounted and costs $25 year (normally $55!)* and we will be able to save 25% on normal grocery store prices which will make a HUGE difference to our budget. There’s also an Add-to-Card coupon feature where we can digitally clip coupons directly to our membership card for added discounts, which is cool since I never can keep track of coupons at the grocery store. I just looked at all the discouunts going on right now and got a little over excited, which I think shows that I am solidly a mom…because $2 off laundry detergent is worth celebrating.

My two little ones and I will be visiting next week, 3/6, to see the new club before the grand opening to the public on March 17th—and I’ll be on the lookout for the Wellsley Farms products specifically since they have a large selection of natural and organic items. I’ll be posting about our experience and some photos from the trip as well! So check out my Instagram next Tuesday for stories of our visit and follow along (@simply_hannah.joy) to see more!

*The $25 membership offer is only for new members

This is a sponsored post on behalf of BJ’s  Club, all opinions are my own

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“Asian” Summer Salad

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One of my favorite parts of summer time is how easy the cooking gets. Lots of veggies, a little meat–we can make a whole meal out of tomatoes, cheese, basil, and some crusty bread. I try to keep things a little creative AND we are on a food budget, so if I can stretch it and the ingredients don’t cost much, then that’s even better. Our little porch garden is growing rapidly and we will have lots of fresh produce soon– we are already plucking lettuce and herbs to throw into salads and sandwiches.

My dad and stepmom have been visiting us from Thailand, so I’ve been making lots of tasty, healthy meals for us, and this salad was a hit this past week. My dad has a friend who sells maple syrup in New Hampshire, so he regularly buys a half gallon to send to us. I use it in EVERYTHING, including this salad. It gives it the perfect amount of sweetness to cut the acidity.

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The whole thing took about twenty minutes to throw together (I had shredded chicken in thefreezer) and I made it before leaving the house for the day. It tasted fantastic that evening and I LOVE coming home from a long afternoon knowing that dinner is already prepared. Just be sure to add the Mama noodles right before you serve it so they stay crunchy. I grew up on these noodle packets in Thailand and they are about one million times better than the U.S. alternative…img_5158

Asian Summer Salad

4 cups shredded green cabbage

2 cups shredded romaine

1 large cucumber, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

1 tbs green onion, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

2 cups shredded chicken

(to be added before serving)

2 packages mama noodles

1/2 cup peanuts

Dressing

3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

3 tbs sesame oil

3 tbs olive oil

2 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs siracha

Add the shredded vegetables to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk. Toss the salad in the dressing and refrigerate for at least an hour. Before serving, add the crushed noodles and the peanuts. Enjoy!img_5157

 

My dad buys the maple syrup from This shop. It’s always an incredible deal, and supports a local small business, so if you’re in the market for some, check it out!

 

A little TMI a little Teami

  
I talked a little about body image Here. Of course that really just grazed the surface of crazy… I feel as if almost every girl has at some point struggled with body insecurities. I have made it something of a hobby, and it’s a fight I have nearly every day. I’ve never had an eating disorder, though I’ve bordered on one a few times. For the past few years I’ve worked hard to stay healthy and have attempted to build a positive relationship with both my body and with food. I used to spend a lot of time looking in the mirror and saying, “I feel so fat.” My husband (and boyfriend back before he was my husband) would get frustrated with me, because clearly I was not fat, but I couldn’t see it. I felt it, even if I knew logically that I was not.  

 Over the years, I’ve tried hard to quiet those feelings of self hatred. Because what else can it be called? My body is strong, able, beautiful–because it is my own. It has run hundreds of miles over the years. It has walked down an aisle to the man of my dreams. It has traveled to countries all over the world. It has walked through beautiful parts of nature. It has swam in the freezing Atlantic waters of Maine and the balmy pacific ocean in Thailand. It has carried a baby. It has birthed that ten pound infant naturally into the world. It has kept that baby alive for six months now. These hips have become the perfect ledge for him to perch on. My arms, strong enough to throw him in the air. This body is a blessing.  

 I work hard at not viewing food as something to be controlled. I have, well, some issues with control. Whenever I feel like things are spiraling, if I’m stressed about jobs, or money, or bills, or those god awful student loans that I chip away at, my initial thought is to control food. I’ll eat less. I’ll exercise more. Because I can control that. So now, I try to view food as a joy. To the best of my ability, I don’t view foods as Good and Bad. Dessert isn’t evil. A burger won’t hurt me. I refuse to cut out foods, and steer clear of strict diet regiments because for me, those are dangerous. I eat what feels good. I pay attention. I don’t eat mindlessly. But if I want a cookie, I have one.  

 That being said, there was a lot of sugar consumed here over the holidays. I have been trying to curbe it, not cut it, for a few weeks to no avail. So when Teami blends asked if I wanted to try a detox pack, I figured it would be a good jumping point. They sent me the Skinny tea and colon cleanse 30 day detox. I’ve been sipping the skinny tea first thing in the morning and with my post-workout snack on the daily. Since I’m breastfeeding, I’m saving the colon cleanse situation for when Redmond is weaned this summer. And, along with the tea, I’m staying away from refined sugar desserts through the week. On the weekend, I’ll indulge, because I don’t like to make things off limits. For me, it isn’t mentally healthy or sustainable. But because I like my post meal treat, I’ve been putting together some healthy, super tasty alternatives like this Coconut Chia Pudding. If you guys are into it, I’ll share my recipes as I go along with this. If you want to join me in this…um…journey (?) ((I can’t with that phrase)) you can start your detox with 10% off with the code HJOY10 Here.

 This stuff is delicious topped with coconut cream and a dollop of natural peanut butter and it’s super easy.

Coconut Chia Pudding

3 cups almond-coconut milk (I use almond breeze)

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut 

1tsp vanilla extract 

2 tbs warm honey (or maple syrup if you have the $$ to get it.)

Combine the milk, coconut, chia, and vanilla. Heat the honey till it is watery (if you add it room temperature it’ll just stick at the bottom) and pour it in. I put everything in a big mason jar, screw the lid on, and shake it like crazy. Once combined, stick it in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Half way through the gelling process, I give it another good shake to loosen all the chia evenly throughout. 

Coconut clotted cream 

1/2 cup coconut (I used the full fat version, but it’s creamy throughout, as opposed to having the cream on top with the coconut water below. Next time I’ll get the top cream version though. But they were out at my grocery store. Anyway.) 

Whip with a handheld mixer or in your kitchen aid till it is frothy. Store in the fridge, and it’ll “clot” up a bit.

Enjoy!

*thanks to Teami Blends for partnering with me. All opinions are my own.