Healthy Aldi Charcuterie Board

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The holidays are rapidly approaching, which usually means a rapid decline in my healthy eating habits and bank account. The #Charcuterie Board made entirely from Aldi products is not only economical, it also has many healthy options and is totally delicious!

There are a ton of things you can do with these boards, and Aldi has really upped their game. This is not the Aldi my Mom went to get canned goods once a month!

What I love about these is it’s very easy to be inclusive to everyone that may have diet restrictions or are just trying to eat better. There are also options for people that are saying “It’s the holidays! Screw it!”

Here is how my wonderful niece from The Cookie Bake Shop put one together with only Aldi ingredients!

Mini Naan bread cut into quarters, some brie cheese, cheddar stuffed olives, blueberries and strawberries.

Pretzel Slims, Live G Free Multiseed crackers and butternut squash crackers (my favorites) pack a punch points wise if you follow WW. Most are around 20 crackers for 3 points.

Red Grapes, black olives, Happy Farms cheese wedges, truffle cheddar cheese, Irish cheddar cheese, and Honey artisan cheddar.

Garlic Hummus, almonds round out the charcuterie. Not pictured is the prosciutto, as my little nephews decided it was delicious 🙂 That’s the beauty of these boards, there was plenty left to fill in the holes with the leftovers, and you can refill it at least a couple of times in a night!

My favorite style of board can be found here, but you can use anything to make one of these. Use your imagination and creativity and people will be wowed! It really is easy so give it a try this holiday season!

Be sure to follow my blog for healthy holiday ideas all season long! Would you all like to see a sweet charcuterie board?

To keep up with me:

New! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Follow my blog with the link in the left hand side bar (or bottom of the page if on cell).

Follow the My 30 Point Life Blog Updates on Pinterest

Follow and like me on my Facebook Page.

Join my Instant Pot Healthy Recipes group on Facebook.

Need a kick in the pants with your hug?  Join my Weight Watchers Tough Love Group on Facebook.

Like my blog?  My first and second novels have been released!  It’s set in a small, holiday obsessed town, and if you love Hallmark movies you’ll love this book series!

Going_Home_Final_Front SMALLs

The first book in the series is called Going Home. Becca, our heroine,  returns home after a 25 year absence to reclaim a sentimental family heirloom.  She hopes to go in and out unnoticed, especially by the man she’s loved since she was eight years old.

The odds are stacked against Becca, small towns being what they are.  Her 25 year old secret is about to be exposed, and she just might get a second chance at love.

Click here for a look inside!

Follow my Author page for updates and links to my books.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon associate I may make a small commission off links in this blog at no extra cost to you.

Beef Barley Soup

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Have you ever tasted a hug? I have! This Beef Barley Soup is as comforting as one. Warm, rich and delicious it hits just the right spot as we head into colder temperatures. It doesn’t get any easier than this recipe!

I have directions for both the stBeegove top and instant pot/ninja foodi.

Ingredients:

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 pound top round steak (cut into one inch cubes, sprinkled with salt)
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
7 cups beef broth (I prefer Better than Bullion)
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
3/4 cup quick cooking barley (not cooked)

Method of Preparation:

Turn pressure cooker to sauté mode on high, and add oil (stovetop heat your oil in your large soup pan). Once sizzling add the cut up steak, stirring frequently to brown all sides. You want to cook until most juices have evaporated, but a little left is ok, just make sure it is browned well.

Add carrots and celery and all seasonings. Give it a quick stir and add your broth and barley. Turn sauté mode off and attach lid. Set to high and pressure cook for 8 minutes. Once finished release pressure after sitting for 6 minutes.

On the stovetop bring to a boil then cover and cook on low for 20-25 minutes or until barley is done.

As always check the temp of your meat with both techniques to make sure it’s at a safe temperature.

To keep up with me:

New! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Follow my blog with the link in the left hand side bar (or bottom of the page if on cell).

Follow the My 30 Point Life Blog Updates on Pinterest

Follow and like me on my Facebook Page.

Join my Instant Pot Healthy Recipes group on Facebook.

Need a kick in the pants with your hug?  Join my Weight Watchers Tough Love Group on Facebook.

Like my blog?  My first and second novels have been released!  It’s set in a small, holiday obsessed town, and if you love Hallmark movies you’ll love this book series!

Going_Home_Final_Front SMALLs

The first book in the series is called Going Home. Becca, our heroine,  returns home after a 25 year absence to reclaim a sentimental family heirloom.  She hopes to go in and out unnoticed, especially by the man she’s loved since she was eight years old.

The odds are stacked against Becca, small towns being what they are.  Her 25 year old secret is about to be exposed, and she just might get a second chance at love.

Click here for a look inside!

Follow my Author page for updates and links to my books.


Is Anybody Out There?

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It’s been a while.

The last post I did was back in April.

Wow.

I haven’t had time to develop new recipes, much less make the ones that I have. Since the global pandemic hit I have been working between seventy and eighty hours a week.

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, I was also hit with the one two punch of losing a childhood friend. After you get past the age of twenty-five I think you realize how important these people are. You realize how rare they are and how they feel more like family then just a friend.

I am very fortunate because I still have several friends from my childhood. Sure, we may not see each other every day, but we keep in contact and when we do see each other it’s like no time has passed at all.

Losing even one is hard, incredibly hard. Not only do you lose a family member but you are reminded just how fragile and precious life really is. If you’ve followed my blog you know my initial weight gain was sparked by a series of deaths in my life. My Grandparents, my parents, and my animals all died in a rapid succession that left me clawing my way back up to the surface to be able to breathe.

You all rode along with me on my journey to get back a sense of normalcy and health and were such a big part of it. I was Wonder Woman. I would never fall again because I knew better now. I saw people who gained their weight back and thought rather arogantly, “that will never happen to me.”

I had cracked the code. I understood what I did and why I did it. I knew how much better my life was shedding all those pounds. Not because of my looks, but because how I felt. No more knee pain. No more struggling for breath if I walked up a couple flights of stairs. I could run around with my toddler nephews like I was 18 again.

Now even before the ‘rona hit I have to admit I had gained a bit back. Nothing unmanageable mind you but just a bit. Right before all this happened I was to the point that my cushion I had for weigh in at WW was gone and I might have to start paying this next month.

Then everything shut down.

No accountability.

I’ve never faired well with that. It’s something I need. I had started only weighing in once a month and was proud of myself for being able to do that.

No times a month proved to be very difficult, especially during a time when I didn’t have the time or energy to really be prepared. The key to my success was planning for success. I was great at properly preparing my meals on Sunday and being ready for the week.

It’s hard to prepare on Sunday when you are working 12 hours every Sunday, let me tell you.

I did start to come to my senses in July and decided my old habits had been creeping up on me and needed to be stopped. It started out innocently enough – just pick up something quick on my way home and not account for it because by the time I ate it was time for bed.

I had written down every single thing I ate for three years straight and it only took one death and a lot of work hours to destroy that habit. Amazing how that can happen, isn’t it?

So it was time to buckle down. It was time to pull myself up by my boot straps and get right. I was only about twenty pounds up at this point. Twenty pounds is nothing compared to sixty plus, right?

Then it happened again.

A good friend of mine was murdered this summer. They still haven’t caught the culprit and the police seem to be clueless as to what happened.

You see things like this all the time on the news, and you feel so sorry for those people going through something like that but much like when your parents die you cannot fathom what they are really going through until it happens to you.

I hope every single person reading this never has to go through something like that.

Needless to say death seems to be a trigger for me, and I’m assuming most people, so this has not been good. Not at all.

There was the recognition though. I realized what I was doing. At times I did make good choices because thankfully a lot of those are ingrained in my now.

I made a lot of bad choices too.

So in the middle of working a million hours a week at the day job and two horrific deaths I also was supposed to be turning in book three of my Snow Globe Café series.

It was just too much. Just to add a cherry to the top when WW centers starting opening again it was announced that mine would not be reopening, and the closest one was 10 miles of bumper to bumper traffic away from my old center. My leader who I adore only had one meeting or workshop or whatever the heck they call them now, at a time I couldn’t go.

Whether you are writing a recipe or a book it takes creativity. All these things, sometimes big things, sometimes little things zap it right out of you. Most of my work depends on it, so the funk I was in killed my performance.

There is one thing I know:

The impossible is possible.

So I started small. I knew I needed to at least start maintaining my weight before I slid down that slippery slope of gaining it all back.

Done.

Then I needed to at least try to get my book going. It brings me such joy to write. I love it and I love interacting with my fans. One thing I didn’t want to do was write complete garbage for them or for me, so I started doing research for another character that would be popping up in that book.

Low and behold while researching potters on YouTube I found something else to love. It sparked my creativity, was decently easy to learn, and has helped me climb out of this hole as I did before a couple of years ago.

It’s acrylic pouring, and I absolutely love it. I have begun writing again, and the juices are flowing for hopefully some new recipes for you all. I’ve decided that life is to short and have started insisting on days off at work. My mental health is more important than a corporation.

I’m not going to go into detail about my acrylic stuff but if you’d like to hear me ramble about how it has helped me the first video below goes into that.

The second one is just a short demo on a particular style with pleasant music instead of my ramblings 🙂

Enough about me. I feel like I’m in such a better place now and I can get through these latest challenges.

What about you? How have you been fairing during this global crisis? So many lives have been turned upside down. Are you all okay out there? For my followers that do WW, how has it impacted you? Did your WW Centers stay open?

Lastly, I’d just like to thank you all. Some of you have stuck with me for years, whether cheering me on or commiserating with me. Y’all are really the best. You know that, right?

To keep up with me:

Follow my blog with the link in the left hand side bar (or bottom of the page if on cell).

Follow the My 30 Point Life Blog Updates on Pinterest

Follow and like me on my Facebook Page.

Join my Instant Pot Healthy Recipes group on Facebook.

Need a kick in the pants with your hug?  Join my Weight Watchers Tough Love Group on Facebook.

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Like my blog?  My first and second novels have been released!  It’s set in a small, holiday obsessed town, and if you love Hallmark movies you’ll love this book series!

Going_Home_Final_Front SMALLs

The first book in the series is called Going Home. Becca, our heroine,  returns home after a 25 year absence to reclaim a sentimental family heirloom.  She hopes to go in and out unnoticed, especially by the man she’s loved since she was eight years old.

The odds are stacked against Becca, small towns being what they are.  Her 25 year old secret is about to be exposed, and she just might get a second chance at love.

Click here for a look inside!

Follow my Author page for updates and links to my books.

Giving Back – Time Sensitive!

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We are living in crazy scary times.  I felt compelled to do something, even if it was small, to help people under quarantine.

As an essential worker I haven’t been safe in my house, but I know after about two days I would be losing my mind.  So I thought about what I could do to help those of you who are.

The biggest thing I could think of would be to help make the time go by and entertain you.  I’ve decided to make my first novel free.  Honestly it’s been free all week, but I wrote this four days ago and didn’t hit publish!

So I’m so sorry but this is only free until midnight tonight.  If you like to read, give it a whirl!

Click here to get my book for free!

free

Everyone please stay safe!  We will get through this!

My Favorite Healthy Cooking Tips

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Happy New Year!  Many people will wake up today with the will to make changes in their life.  A week from now, many people will have already given up on that idea.  Go to any gym this week and then again in February and you’ll see what I mean.

As most of you know I do WW.  January means a flood people, vibrating with excitement for their new journey.  Those of us legacy WW’s know to get there early if you want a seat at the meeting, or workshop as they are now called.  By February you can jump out of bed at the last minute and have no problem finding a seat.

Why do so many people fail?  How can people with so much enthusiasm, excitement, and hope just quit? We’ve all been there.  We’ve all steeled ourselves with determination, just knowing this year will be the year we reach our goals.

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Joy to the World

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I love holidays.  My parents were about the biggest holiday freaks you could ever meet, so you could say it’s in my DNA.  No matter what else was going on with life they always made holidays special and fun.

Since we are coming off the biggest eating day of the year I had a huge reason to be thankful this year.  Thankful that WW decided to give us our old program back!

Yes!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I’m sure you’ve caught the hint that I HATED IT when they changed last year.  In the past when WW made a significant change I always fell off the wagon, and ended up quitting.

Thankfully this didn’t happen this time, but it did get me out of the very habits I formed to keep my weight off for 2 + years.  The new program gave to much freedom for someone like me, and I found my portion sizes getting bigger and documenting my food happening less and less.

For me those were the two keys things that kept me in line, and with so many things like eggs and chicken being free I found myself toeing that goal weight line, going over for the first time in over two years.

This blog has many followers, and they aren’t all WW.  WW isn’t going to work for everyone, and it is important to find what works for you. This new program didn’t work for me, and I tried y’all.  I really did.

Then life hit.

It hit hard.

I know you all realize my blog has been sorely neglected.  It wasn’t because I had gained weight.  I documented that here.

My job became more demanding, just as I was releasing my first novel.  I was sent out of town for a week and that turned into three months.  I was working between 70-80 hours a week while trying desperately to meet the deadline for my second novel while keeping my household running from four hours away.

The only thing that kept me from gaining back every one of those sixty-some-odd pounds were the things I learned with the first program.  I’ve had a death grip on the back of the wagon for the last six months, and for the first time I feel like I can pull myself up and back on it.

I’ve made some decisions that should make it easier.  Even though work is still crazy, I’m taking at least one day off each week.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel to this crazy work schedule, but I’m not doing it anymore.

As women we are trained early on to take care of people and be dependable.  Unfortunately many of those lessons don’t include taking care of our self.

I’m teaching myself that lesson right now, and it’s time I put myself and my needs first.

I can’t go back to where I was.

It’s different, starting to lose your grip on your new healthy lifestyle once you’ve achieved your goal.  Before when I’d slip, I didn’t really have the belief that I would ever do it.  Falling back into old habits and gaining the weight usually came with a vengeance, because that’s exactly what I expected to happen all along.

Not anymore.

I know I can do it.  I know I can do hard things.

The biggest thing I know is my weight is not the end all be all story of my life.  So if life gets in the way and I get a little chubby, it’s not the end of the world.  Sure, I will always work on staying near my goal weight – not for the old reasons I used to have like how I look, but because I feel totally amazing health wise at that weight.

I felt better than I did when I was in my twenties, and to tell you the truth I feel like I’m about 90 right now.

No regrets though, right?  There was a lot of good this year.  The first two books in my Snow Globe Café series have been well received, and I’ve sold more than I ever thought I could.  I know a big part of that happened because of you, my dear readers, for spreading the word, and I will forever be thankful.

So I’m back.  And I will succeed.

 

 

 

When the Impossible Becomes Possible

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I don’t think I ever truly believed I could reach a healthy weight until that day back in 2017 when I stepped on the scale and it actually happened.

Sure, I would tell myself that I was going to do it, I always did.  I lost a significant amoutn of weight a couple of times, but I would always regain some of it.  Back in the day I remember being in the bathroom at work and a couple of women walked in.

One of them said, “Have you seen how much weight Kelly has lost?”

The other replied, “Yeah, should we take bets on how fast she gains it back?  She’s like Oprah.”

That was 2002 y’all.  2002 and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

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On the Road Again

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Right.  So the last time I posted I was going to get my act together and start acting right.

Life threw back it’s head and laughed an evil laugh.  Silly girl, we can’t have that.

I ended up leaving town for work.  It was supposed to be for a week, and that week turned into two, and those two turned into a month.

If I knew it was going to be this long I would have booked a stay in one of those extended stay hotels with a small kitchenette, but by the time I realized I wouldn’t be going home any time soon, it was to late.

I’ll admit my first thought was I. Am. Screwed.  Eating out is my Achilles heal, and now I was going to have to eat out every meal for a month.

My whole trip was last minute, but I was lucky enough to stay in a hotel that had a small refrigerator and microwave in the room.

Do you ever seen those hard boiled eggs floating in mystery liquid in the gas station and wonder who on Earth would buy something like that?

This girl, that’s who.

I also used to wonder who would buy them already boiled at the grocery store when it’s so easy to do at home.  Now I know!

So breakfast was covered.  Hard boiled eggs?  Check.  Greek yogurt?  Check.

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