Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she’s dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.

The kids and I are spoiled here in Atlanta with a Super Target right around the corner, Whole Foods, Publix, Kroger, and Costco 10 minutes or less from our house. We are those weird people that looooooove to go grocery shopping and there’s nothing I enjoy more than perusing through the aisles and grabbing whatever suits my food-loving heart that day. We are pretty consistent about shopping mostly from the fresh section, but we are always, always going over budget every month and I’ve been trying the last few weeks to figure out what I can do to cut back without couponing. (Sorry. I just have never been a coupon girl. :/) I’ve been reading some books on health and any articles I can find that line up with our current routine and the good thing about getting into a teachable mode is that it doesn’t take long to find areas in your life that you need to give an overhaul.

Mine is my budget.

A few new things I’ve learned and a few old that have worked well for us… 
 1.) Cook seasonally because the produce will be cheaper and bonus: better quality! 
 2.) Store large bags of frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies and muffins. 
 3.) Pick 1 or 2 meals a week to cook double of (or whenever you have the time) and stick your extras in the freezer for an easy dinner one night in the busy future. Dollar Tree has cheap disposable aluminum foil pans that work great for storing. 
 4.) Take a quick minute to view the ad sales online before heading to the grocery store and create a rough draft of meal ideas for the week. I write my items and meals on a list app for my phone (Keep for Android) – no paper and easy to look through while I’m juggling all of the kids. 
 5.) Store “cheap”/filling/healthy foods in the house, such as sweet potatoes, chickpeas, black beans, brown rice, and eggs.

I gave these sweet potatoes a try and they were inexpensive and amazing! As I typically do, I stored the extras in the fridge and had a healthy lunch to pull out during the week with NO prep.

Makes 4 halves 
2 big sweet potatoes 
2 tbs olive oil 
sea salt and freshly ground pepper 
1 can of chickpeas, drained 
1/4 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled 
handful fresh cilantro or coriander, chopped up 
extra olive oil, to serve 
a couple drops of YL lemon essential oil 
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Brush all sides (also the skin) with olive oil.
Place the sweet potatoes cut side down on a baking tray with parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven. Turn them around and use a fork to make little insertions in the soft ‘flesh’. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the chickpeas and feta cheese over the four halves and place them back into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the feta cheese has melted.
Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven, drizzle with some olive oil and a drop or two of YL lemon essential oil and add the cilantro.
Serve & enjoy!

Source: adapted from Renée Kemps.

**  Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP. This is just how I make & do things. you must make informed decisions for yourself and your own family. 

“We are starting our journey with Essential Oils and have done our own research on the purity of oils.  I am confident in using oils in our recipes because we only use Young Living.  They are  beyond organic and never use pesticides, herbicides or any harmful chemicals. Their soil has never been exposed to them as well.  I don’t suggest ever using any other oil for ingestion because I don’t know of their purity. “


July 23, 2015


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