Dinner Deliveries & Work-Life Changes!

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.

It’s that time of year!  Time for budgeting and fitness goals and resolutions galore.  I kept my goals super realistic this year – to get our household operating under a reasonable, maintainable budget and to get our lives well set up to best welcome our new little one in the spring.  Of course part of preparing for a new  baby is also taking care of myself.  I’m back to barre3 regularly, which feels good – and I’m trying to really be conscious of healthy, mindful eating now that I’m not feeling quite so nauseous.

We’ve had some major changes on the work front recently.  Casey ended up being presented with a great job offer unexpectedly, so we made the decision to have him take that opportunity for a lot of reasons.  But of course, we also have a family business!  So now yours truly is managing that, which has been a very big change for me.  I’m working regular hours managing our brewery, our staff, our orders, our production – all of it.  Life feels very chaotic but it’s also really fun and I’m finding the work to be really rewarding.

That said, I’m also falling behind in areas where I used to have more time to do household things.  The cleaning situation is not great, and laundry piles up and has to be dealt with on weekends now.  I am relying heavily on the Amazon Fresh pickup option for groceries, as all the time for simple errands has essentially disappeared.  My hat is off to all the working parents out there – especially the double households.

Since it’s not easy to get to the grocery as much as before, I’m trying to plan ahead and be organized with food, while still being as healthy and budget conscious as possible.  I don’t want to fall into a trap where we are getting takeout every other night!  Here are a few of the things we are doing to keep healthy meals regularly rotating into our kitchen!

First up, no surprise – Blue Apron!  Meal planning is also one of those things that falls under the category of never gonna happen – so having someone else pick and choose meals for us is both welcomed and invited.  Creativity in the kitchen is quite low right now.  So I’ve been doing Blue Apron boxes every couple of weeks in order to mix things up and make meals easy.  The box we got this week has been amazing!

The first meal I made was a Sweet & Sour Vegetable Stir-Fry with Fried Eggs & Peanuts.  Funny enough, I had actually forgotten I had ordered a Blue Apron box until it showed up on my porch.  So my plan for that night was to get takeout from one of my favorite restaurants because I was feeling super lazy and uninspired.  My go-to meal from there is a veggie rice bowl that comes with a fermented egg on top (SO GOOD).  But I went to check the mail and saw my Blue Apron box sitting on the porch, and when I opened it and saw this first recipe I immediately canceled my takeout order and got to cooking.

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This was seriously delicious and a nice reminder that I don’t need to fall back on takeout so quickly, and can easily make equally delicious food at home.  Much more affordable and healthier too!

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Enjoyed in front of The Bachelor as all Monday night meals should be.  How are we feeling about Arie, guys?  I am not into him at all, but I still think this season will be good.  I do, however, need them to stop using the phrase “pillow lips.” Gag.

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Delish!

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The second meal from our box was something new from Blue Apron – a Whole30 approved meal!  I have never done Whole30 before, but have had many friends do it and rave about the results.  It’s a 30-day program designed to help people figure out how the food they’ve been eating is affecting how they look, feel, and live.  It’s NOT a quick-fix or weight loss plan—it’s a true reset for your cravings, metabolism, digestion, and immune system.

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Here is how the program works through Blue Apron:

  • Whole30 meals will be on the menu beginning January 8th (order cutoff is 6 days beforehand each week) through the end of February.
  • Blue Apron will offer two Whole30 Meals per week, but you can still choose from a 2 or 3-meal per week plan.
  • After signing up you can manage your delivery schedule and update your menu choices
  • The program is based around eating whole, nutrient-dense food: meat, seafood, and eggs; lots of vegetables and fruit; natural healthy fats; and herbs, spices, and seasonings.

I know so many people who have done Whole30 every six months or so as an overall health and mind reset, and I think it’s a really healthy approach to balanced and mindful eating.  In the box we got this week, we chose one Whole30 approved meal since it sounded tasty, and since Casey eats meat and fish now (which this recipe included).

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I have never gotten anything from Blue Apron before that wasn’t strictly vegetarian, so it was nice to see how the fish was packaged nicely and labeled as sustainably caught.

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Casey got to work cooking this one while I did a late night run to Costco!

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The barramundi was served over a bed of massaged kale and sweet potatoes with avocado, pepitas, and a delicious dressing.

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I ended up having 2/3 of the veggies, while he had the other 1/3 and all of the fish – the split worked out perfectly and we were both full and satisfied at the end of dinner.

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I think it’s so smart and so helpful that Blue Apron is offering these Whole30 approved meals, especially for this time of year.  I know I hear a lot of people say they are interested in the program, but feel overwhelmed by needing to meal plan and shop for ingredients they might not be used to.  This removes all the stress from starting a new program and allows you to just enjoy the food!

Ready to try Whole30 program this January yourself? Or want to see how delicious and easy Whole30 recipes can be? The first 25 people to sign up for Blue Apron here will get $40 off your first two weeks!  Can’t wait to cook this delicious salad for tonight’s dinner!

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Besides our Blue Apron boxes every few weeks, the other thing I’m doing to make healthy food more convenient and affordable right now is Imperfect Produce.  It is essentially a CSA-type service where produce that is deemed too “ugly” to be sold to grocery stores is delivered straight to your door for half the price.  Can’t beat it!  We started doing it a few weeks ago and I am HOOKED.  This was our box this week!

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It’s totally customizable, so I’m able to choose exactly what we get.  I subscribe to the large organic weekly box, but when I customize I am also able to add conventional items if I want them for things that aren’t on the dirty dozen.  We got all of these delicious organic veggies this week for $25!

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It has been really nice to have a steady supply of fresh produce coming in since  that is always what I run out of first.  Between the Blue Apron boxes and the produce boxes, I feel really lucky to be able to have healthy food brought straight to our doorstep so often.  It has been a huge help as we’ve adjusted to  two different work schedules, and new routines for all of us!  Here’s to a happy and healthy start to the new year!