Cookie winner, Lazy Dinner

Hey guys! Hope you’re having a fabulous morning!

Looks like ya’ll wanted some raw goodies 😉

This winner of the raw cacao cookies, almond butter, bars, and whatever else I throw in the package is…..


Lauren from Eat, Drink and Be Hopeful!

Congrats, Lauren 😀 Email me your info and I’ll ship out the goodies tomorrow.

You guys gave me SO many ideas for fun new raw creations, including:

-Molten chocolate cake

-Crème brulee

-Red Velvet cake

-Cheesecake (which I’ve made before, but would like to change up a little)


-Tiramisu (have also made this one, but would like to play around with it)

-Carrot cake

-Girl Scout cookies.. you know there are some raw samoas in the near future 😀

I can’t wait to play around in the kitchen!!

You never would have guessed with my mediocre dinner from last night 😉

Amy’s vegan soy-free Chili


and a mini salad beast


It’s “delicious” factor made up for the “not very exciting” factor 😉

I’ve noticed that since my days have gotten busier in the past couple of weeks and since we’ve been spending weekends out-of-town, my dinnertime cooking has fallen by the wayside. Mini goal: Go back to making “real” dinners as time allows it. Last night, my poor pilot had an organic chicken breast, baked sweet potato and a PB&J thrown at him as he was running out the door- he flew late last night, so I knew I wouldn’t be making a real dinner.

Usually, I plan out all of our eats for the entire week. (Check out this post for some info on meal planning)

This hasn’t been happening lately because:

1. The pilot has been working weird hours

2. We’ve been out-of-town, eliminating my Sunday planning and grocery ritual

3. I’ve been working a lot more than normal

Because of all of these things, I’ve been “winging it” every night, and things have gotten a little blasé in the food department. Time to get back into action!

I often get asked how much money we spend on groceries. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a hefty amount especially since I buy organic produce whenever possible and will only buy organic meat. By failing to plan lately, I’ve been spending even more because of impromptu grocery trips and it’s totally unnecessary. Planning saves dinero and sanity! 😀

Do you plan your meals in advance?? Or do you wing it?

I’m off to run on the revolving apparatus of death and then get my clients’ meals together.

See ya after yoga 🙂



Zumba song of the day: “Ritmo Caliente” by Bnada Zarape (an awesome quebradita song!)

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  1. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on February 2, 2010 at 8:08 am

    We do MASSIVE meal planning…I posted about it, too. But like you, we spend SO MUCH money on food. Healthy food is more expensive and we rarely eat out, plus we both eat meat, so we spend a ton. But, we do eat it all, so we can’t feel too bad. 😉

  2. Jenn ( on February 2, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I love all of Amy’s products, especially the low sodium ones.

    I’m a big planner, I love menu planning! It’s actually a hobby of mine lol. I end up changing things along the way, but I find that when I stick to what I planned, things go a lot smoother and I end up with a lot less waste and time.


  3. Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN on February 2, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Congrats to Lauren! 😀

    I attempt to plan out my meals but find that it stresses me out. (Isn’t it supposed to do the opposite?) Hmmm…. I don’t know. I’m supposed to go grocery shopping within the next few days, so maybe I’ll make it a point to plan this week and see if it goes any better than it has in the past.

    BTW… I too find that the treadmill is more of a torture device lately since I’ve gotten my taste of outdoor running – it’s so much easier (mentally) to run outdoors! But I’m still very grateful for my treadmill upstairs. :o)

  4. Paige (Running Around Normal) on February 2, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I agree, it’s SO hard to cut corners on grocery shopping when what’s important to you costs so much!

  5. Anna on February 2, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hmm I do a little bit of both… sometimes I like to plan ahead and buy certain ingredients, and other times I just like to wing it. I always try to keep a good selection of veggies in the fridge so I don’t end up with just pasta or something blah like that for dinner.

  6. kalli@fitandfortysomething on February 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I tend to buy the same stuff and then wing most of the meals…Unfortunately I make alot of the same stuff weekly. I think we spend a lot on food too becasue of the quality we buy.

  7. Stefania on February 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Sometimes I write out a meal or just mentally plan ahead. I typically buy a bunch of produce each week and restock our pantry, if needed. We are a family of 4 (2 children under the age of 5) and we spend about $150/week (Cdn) on groceries. We usually have takeout or eat out once/week.
    In the long run I know that spending money on nutritious food outweighs any cheap food out there. I would rather spend $5 on food to make a meal than $5 to feed myself at a burger joint.

  8. Kelly Michelle on February 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

    boo to not winning but congrats to Lauren! I am always amazed when I read how little some families can spend on groceries! I really have no idea where my money goes because even buying just for me I spend a ton and I don’t buy meat, dairy, or almost any packaged foods!! I know that I spend more than I should on specialty ingredients that I just “have to have” and buy lbs and lbs of produce every week (although I choose sales/ in season for the most part!) I think a lot of it is because I make every meal I eat though, so even though my grocery bill is high, my “eating out” bill is only about 1 dinner a month!

  9. Lauren @ Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful on February 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

    OMG! I can’t believe I won!!!! I am so so excited I can’t even tell you. haha. I made a huge raw salad today and thought of you. Added every type of veggie and dulse. See your blog is helping everyone be healthier.

  10. Geetha on February 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

    sad, that i didn’t win, I was planning an acceptance speech in my head last night :)…but lauren, enjoy the goodies.

  11. Lisa on February 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Your lazy dinner still looks good to me. Sometimes I wing it and sometimes I plan. I go through phases where I will cook a lot; other times not when we’re so busy. I usually make extra when cooking things such as soups, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc. and freeze the leftovers to pull out on a night when there’s not time to cook.

  12. Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) on February 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I buy a lot of the same ingredients week-to-week but plan all of my meals at least a day in advance. I don’t like feeling “stuck” or having to buy a meal out because I didn’t plan ahead for the day.

  13. RhodeyGirl on February 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

    So random, but I blogged about meal planning today!

    We spend between $100 and $110/week for mostly organic foods (except oranges, bananas, and avocados usually). We rarely eat out during the week- so that amount counts for 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and about 8 dinners (we often eat out on Fridays). I think that is pretty good, although some will say that is way too high.

  14. sarah on February 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Oy Vey, I plugged my info into and was truly horrified at how much money I’ve spent on groceries since January 7th! Those impromptu grocery trips will kill you. We aren’t eating out much at all though, so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s evening out. I’m definitely going to check out your planning post.

    Ooh and Congrats Lauren! Those cookies look ahhmazing!

  15. Karyn on February 2, 2010 at 9:57 am

    when i’m home and dont have a dining hall to rely on i definitely do meal planning. unfortunately i still have to make impromptu grocery trips because i invariably forget to put something on my list!

  16. Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place on February 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    When I officially move in with the fiance I plan to meal plan every week. I know it will save a ton of money and the stress of thinking about “what’s for dinner” every night will be gone.

  17. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg on February 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    We do our meal planning about half and half– 50% planned, 50% fly by the seat of our pants/leftovers 🙂

  18. Mara @ What's For Dinner? on February 2, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I do a lot of meal planning, but I do “European” style shopping, and shop a few times in a week, only buying ingredients for a couple meals. That way, fresh produce is, well, fresh. It’s become a ritual to go to the grocery store after work!

  19. Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries on February 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I DEFINITELY wing it. I can’t plan my meals in advance because my cravings are pretty unpredictable. Sometimes I think I’m prego. (I’m not ;)). But I get super frustrated when I realize I don’t have time to make something delicious. Que horror 🙁

  20. Run Sarah on February 2, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I was planning more at the beginning of January as well, it was working out so much better – I should also try to get back on track!

  21. Karen on February 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I *try* to plan food the week and prep it on the weekends. some weeks I do better than others. I find that I eat so much healthier when there is some thought process ahead of time. raw samoas – that would be awesome! brilliant plan!!!

  22. Heather (Heather's Dish) on February 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

    i really enjoy planning meals, but it feels like i never get the time/chance to do it right. it’s so much fun to know exactly what i’m looking forward to later though 🙂

  23. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self on February 2, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I try to plan out my meals as much as possible, but more often than not life gets in the way and the plans change anyway!

    I will say that I’m in the same boat as you in terms of spending money on groceries: my grocery bills would probably send some people into shock! HOWEVER I believe that how we spend our money is a good indication of our values, and eating high quality food is really important to me. I’m sure other people spend lots of money on other things that I wouldn’t dream of, because it’s not as high on my priority list.

  24. Lauren @ Eater not a runner on February 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I mostly just wing it, which leads to us not being very creative in the kitchen. I am trying to work on that part!

  25. Kilee on February 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    For the grocery shopping/meal planning: I usually do one large Trader Joe’s run once a week to buy staples and anything special that looks good. Then throughout the week, I just look in the fridge and create recipes to use up whatever is perishable. I make little stops by the store on the way home to pick up the few ingredients that I don’t have on hand. When I lived on Maui I spent twice as much as what I spend here in Oregon. I guess it’s just one of the prices to live in paradise!

  26. Jenna @ EatingGreen,StayingLean on February 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I try to plan at least a day ahead of time, but lately I’ve been psyching myself up to start planning a whole week ahead of time. It’s really amazing how many trips I make to the grocery store per week when I don’t plan a few days in advance…I think I’m up to 4 this week? What a waste of time/gas, haha

    P.S. I”m psyched for whatever chocolaty cake-like recipe you come up with ! YUMMMMy.

  27. Haleigh on February 2, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I always have to plan out dinners in advance. If I don’t then I make several small grocery trips during the week that add up to more money than if I would have done one large grocery shop once a week. I usually have all my staples for breakfast and lunch, so for those two meals of the day I wing it and through together something from the pantry.

  28. thedelishdish on February 2, 2010 at 11:09 am

    i love planning meals out in advance since that’s when i get to think about what im going to make and oftentimes end up trying new recipes, but when things are crazy i fall back to my favorites…which i cant complain about either!

  29. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on February 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I plan meals in advance. I cook just for my husband and I and if they recipe calls for 6 or 8 more servings, I’ll make the whole things and freeze the leftovers for meals on a day where I don’t have enough time to cook.

  30. rachael on February 2, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I am a huge meal planner. I plan all of our dinners and grocery shop once a week. I try to prep ahead of time for the nights that are super busy too.

  31. Stephanie on February 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I normally plan all of our meals out, but I’ve been slacking on that as well. I forget to thaw out meat from the freezer or something like that and we end up eating pb&j or just grilled chicken with veggies. I am working to do better though!

  32. Sarah @ Fitography on February 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Oh, this post hit home! I just had a discussion with my boyfriend last night about the need to menu plan, something we have never done all that well in the past. However, with our crazy schedules we need to be more organized. Thanks for the menu planning info.

  33. Danielle (Coffee Run) on February 2, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Congrats to Lauren 😀
    I usually just wing it but I also spend a good amount on groceries. Organic produce is seriously expensive!

  34. Adrien on February 2, 2010 at 11:38 am

    I don’t plan in advance, but will have to when I move into my own place (and finish up with college)- the last thing and first thing I want to spend my money is on food, just as little as possible- with very few doritos in the mix (gag)

  35. Marshall on February 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I planned two weeks worth of dinners for the first time in my life. I haven’t designated what foods go with which days just yet. I try not to eat all the fabulous meals the first week but I usually do because I’m so excited to eat them! BTW, my husband thanks you for introducing me to baked sweet potatoes. He loves when I make them; he says they are the perfect complement to just about any meal.

    • Fitnessista on February 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      i’m so glad he likes them and totally agree- they’re good with everything!

  36. caroline on February 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Would LOVE to see some of those desserts Gina! You are so creative, cant wait to read about what you cook up next 🙂

  37. kristin on February 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    you inspired me to make a salad beast for lunch – organic baby greens, organic red quinoa, blueberries, fat free feta cheese, broccoli, and organic roasted chicken breast. Also, I love the WSU!

  38. Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather on February 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Lucky Lauren! Your raw desserts look so good Gina. Yes, I try really hard to plan my meals. I actually just wrote a post about it yesterday.

    Want to win some Designer Whey protein powder? I’ve got a giveaway going until Friday AM. Your creations are inspiring!

    • Fitnessista on February 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      thanks heather!
      i don’t eat designer whey any more since it has cow’s dairy in it, but i’m sure that some fitnessista readers will head your way for the giveaway!

  39. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) on February 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I’m a big meal planner. Saves me time and money in the long run, plus less food goes to waste. But yeah I spend more on food than anything else (besides maybe rent…). What can I say, it’s my one luxury! 🙂

  40. Catherine on February 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I definitely try to plan my meals out in advance on Sunday. Generally I take a quick inventory of what I have and then map out 4 different lunches, dinners and breakfasts based on what I have. I don’t assign them to a specific day though to make things easier, but Monday-Thursday I always know what I’m having. Friday I generally bring breakfast and lunch to work, but tend to eat out at night and then sort of scavenge during weekend / hit up leftover / go out to eat

    Living in NYC is super expensive so I have to save dinero wherever I can!

  41. Nutritious Foodie on February 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    We spend a TON on foods… We rarly eat out.. and like you said we buy everything organic and since I don’t buy a lot of packaged foods I buy tons of produce and when you buy organic it gets expensive.

    I have not yet tried any of the AMY’s products.

  42. Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) on February 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Those recipes sound delish, can’t wait until you put them into action!

    I try to plan ahead, but sometimes it is just too hard when we’re busy!

    I sent you an email a few days ago about meal planning with a carnivorous boy, I’m sure you’ll read it when life is less crazy! 😛


  43. Tyler Ramey on February 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I *attempt* to plan, but working and teaching classes at nights usually have me “winging” it as well. I love the random (and few and far in between) nights when I actually have like an hour to throw an amazing dinner together!

  44. Kristin on February 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve tried planning and I’ve tried winging it and neither really worked for me! Now I come up with a bunch of ideas for meals that can be swapped around. Like for example, I always keep staples like whole grain pasta, canned beans, organic tomato sauce, etc around and I just buy chicken, fish and an assortment of fresh produce when I go to the store. That way I’m always able to throw something together.

  45. Nicole @ Making Good Choices on February 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I haven’t been planning lately and have been spending a TON of money at the food store, which I blame 55% on you! 😉 This past week I went back to planning and a food budget, which does include mostly organic produce and organic meats.

  46. K on February 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Raw samoas?! Let me know when you make those, I may have to take a trip to Valdizzy! Good luck playing around in the kitchen!

  47. Kristilyn (My 29th Year) on February 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I always have really good intentions to plan meals, go grocery shopping once a week, and save money.

    Unfortunately, that usually lasts about a week (two if I’m lucky) and then I’m back to overspending, cooking whatever I can think of when I get home from work, and stopping at lunch every day to shop. It’s a bad habit!

  48. Emily on February 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I do meal plan – most of the time. Some weeks we wing it, but mostly I am so excited that as soon as I am back from WF with this weeks groceries, I start to get excited about the following weeks potential upcoming gems! If I could get paid for reading cookbooks I would be a very rich woman 😉 Like you, I spend a fair amount of money on my groceries, but only because I go organic (or wild, in the case of my fishes) and because I love creating meals so much it’s a hobby and therefore saves me money on going out. At least, that’s my justification!

  49. All Women Stalker on February 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Congratulations, Lauren! And mmm, that salad sure looks appetizing.

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