Beach Cottage Weekly Meal Plan

Sun 22nd, Apr, 2012

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G’day Beach Cottage lovelies, easy meal planning time…for Real Girls!


Well this week I am going heavy on the Crock Pot / Slow cooker as I have a busy first week back at school and Wednesday’s meal could well change as it’s Anzac Day, but on the other hand, if we are out for the day, slinging in my Surfer Boy Easy Curry will be nice to come home to.



So I am on a health drive right now, I have let my exercise slip & been sloppy with bad eating habits the last few months, since Christmas really…and it shows…that is changing and has already started..I like being fit but I am not as fit as I would like right now, in fact I am positively unfit & slovenly…so I am easing myself back into it, nothing fancy, just the simple stuff…the main thing I am aiming for is to feel less tired, to have a clear head, more energy and a stronger body.

It takes no rocket scientist to work out that the above wish list comes from putting good stuff in, moving one’s backside and doing stretching & exercises to keep strong.

I have been asked lots of times on this here little blog to share my walking/exercise routine etc, but to be honest I have never found it to be that newsworthy…to me it’s always been very simple…move your body, eat healthy-ish meals (by that I mean unprocessed home-cooked fare, for me there is nothing worse than a health-food freak) and balance the bad bits (for me that is that I love a drink and like to eat treats) with lots of good things.

This time I think it is a bit harder, purely because of time…my life seems to get busier as the kiddos get older, not the other way around, plus of course, blogging, means, bottom line, more sitting on one’s derriere….but it’s very easy to make excuses isn’t it?  And for sure I won’t let that get in my way…I want to have a fit & healthy 40’s my friends…I will not be that old woman who is so old & creaky that she cannot get up out of the chair and wonders where the extra pounds came from…

So I have worked out a plan of attack…involving an exercise plan, upping fruit & vegetable intake, a calm time/ stretching routine and water water water…let me know if you are interested and I will share what I am up to…I will also be micro-blogging it too but thought it could be nice to share on here?



Beach Cottage

Weekly Meal Planning


Sunday  :  Crock Pot /  Slow Cooker Lemon & Herb Chicken

Monday : Leftovers/Soup

Tuesday : Crock Pot / Slow Cooker Twice Baked Goat’s Cheese Potatoes

Wednesday :  Surfer Boy Easy Curry { recipe on the blog soon }

Thursday  :   Mr Beach Cottage’s Stuffed Chicken Sandwiches  { with leftover curried chicken shredded }

Friday :  OUT


Beach Cottage Go To Muffins { recipe here }

Crockpot Oatmeal / Porridge

Thanks ladies, love me an easy meal plan for the week…how about you share yours in the comments…I’d love some new ideas!




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104 Responses to “Beach Cottage Weekly Meal Plan”

  1. Stacey says:

    Hi Sarah
    Upping fruit, veg, water and cutting down on the sugar, has worked for me. Also as well as walking, I go to an ab workout class once a week. Feeling better and stronger already!!
    S x

    • Stacey says:

      Woohoo!! Number one AGAIN!! ;)

    • sarah says:

      thanks for the input, hmm, does that mean a whole hour on your abs? love to know ? xx

      glad to hear you are feeling fitter and stronger already x

      • Stacey says:

        It’s a half hour class, fast & intense… They recommend at least twice a week ( of course they so!) but at the moment I can only make it once a week, but saying that my core strength has improved & I’m not getting lower back pain as much as I was. x

  2. Yes, of course, more talking of this 40′s getting ones self in order. I could have written that whole first few lines verbatim about my own self. Remember the “freshman 15″ from university? Apparently it happens again when you turn 40. (Just one of the many dirty little secrets I’m finding out…) I’ve had a horrible time pretending that I can eat whatever, whenever – so last week I decided to suck it up buttercup and get back on the train. For eating I’m just focusing on clean eating (whole foods). Trying to make sure I get 4 proteins, 3 veggies, 2 fruits, 2 whole grains, and 1 fat each day (Which is actually quite a lot of food!). Allow myself two cheats on the weekend and workout regularly. Oh… and I’ve cut out sugar because I was practically free basing the stuff. The first four days off sugar I had a raging headache. BUT – I lost 2lbs this week and I’m sleeping much better and yippe, not a single hot flash (yes, already, sucks). I guess eating good food is good for my hormones? Doing a lot of walking for workouts and 30 day shred dvd a few times a week. So yes… healthy living posts, bring them on!

    PS – you should make Waikiki Meatballs for your people, bet they’d love them.

    • sarah says:

      I would like to know what a Waikiki Meatball was before I attempted to make it?????????

      very interested to hear your sugar story…I actually think one of the reasons I like beer is the sugar…though I don’t eat a huge amount in the daytime, I am going to follow your lead and see what happens…the sleeping better thing alone is enough for me to do it ;-)

      good work :-))))))

      • Waikiki Meatballs – basically a “Hawaiian” style sweet and sour meatball. My family inhales them. When making from scratch I use quick oats instead of cracker crumbs and I always use a whole green pepper. Recipe is here:


        So sugar – you know how 4 grams of sugar is the equivalent of 1tsp table sugar? Next time you go to eat a flavored yogurt, check the label and do the math, it’s horrible! The other day I was going to have a brownie.. it was a weak moment. Since these I’d made from a box mix I just checked the label. One tiny brownie serving had 20grams of sugar. So I measured out 5 tsp of sugar into my little blue Ikea bowl. Damn. Looking at that bowl of sugar and making the connection that THAT was what I was about to eat was something I could process. I didn’t eat it and I was so proud of myself! So I’m off sugar. I even switched from milk to almond milk. Less sugar and 50% more calcium, who knew? So.. I’ll keep you posted ;-)

    • Bridget says:

      Jen-recipe sounds wonderful–just wondering if you use the brown sugar in this recipe or do you use sugar substitute? Thx-Bridget

      • Bridget, I haven’t made it since I’ve been off sugar (it’s only been a week) so we’ll have to see what I come up with next time. I would likely make it “as is” for the family and just save some plain meatballs out for myself before I made the sauce. I definitely do not ever pack the brown sugar on this one though… do it very loose, it’s a ton of sugar… but no more per serving than yogurt, possibly less! This is sort of a ‘treat’ meal at our house. :-)

  3. Jo says:

    Ha, I’ve just been sitting down with a cup of tea writing my own meal plan when yours came up. I’m loving getting some more ideas for the slowcooker. I only really have one recipe that I do in it at the moment some I’ve tried in the past have turned out a bit bland despite what I would have thought would have been rich in flavour ingredients. This week we are having…Lasagne & salad, Tuscan sausage pot (my tried & true favourite slowcooker recipe), Beef & roasted sweet potato salad with a pesto dressing, a Roast chicken, and some sort of easy throw together pasta for Fri night. Looking forward to the Surfer boy easy curry recipe. :)

    • sarah says:

      thanks Jo….you can do lasagne in your crockpot…tastes wonderful…I do it often…it’s a bit ‘messy’ but worth it ;-)

      if you would care to share your Tuscan sausage pot, i would love to try it xo

      • Jo says:

        Hey Sarah,

        Very happy to share…. It uses pork sausages. I usually buy a packet of Woolies Pork chipolates. Quickly brown them in a fry pan and throw into the slowcooker with some chopped red onion, garlic, diced celery and carrott. (I usually cook this off in the fry pan before throwing in too, think it helps bring out the flavour). Place 4 Roma tomatoes in boiling water for about 30 secs to soften skins. Then peel and chop. Throw into the slowcooker with 1/2 cup white wine. Cook on high for two hours then throw in a tin of cannelini beans drained and rinsed. Cook for a further 1 1/2 hours. I usually serve on a bed of mashed potato with a sprinkling of fresh parsley from the garden. Tastes divine and is real slow cooker comfort food. :) Am intrigued about cooking Lasagne in the slowcooker. Do you prepare as usual and then just layer it in the slow cooker?


        • sarah says:

          wow I am trying that, thanks, I have done something similar in the past but the sausages weren’t that good in it..

          yes you just layer it up with dried lasagne, don’t try using fresh, and then leave it in there for a 3/4 hours (sounds like you know your slow cooker’s heat, you could probably do this on high for shorter or low for longer if you see what I mean)…I usually do it with spag bol leftovers but if you are doing from scratch just quickly brown the meat, onions etc and throw in…like I said the ‘shape’ of it is messy but it’s gooooood! if you google it there are a few recipes floating around to give you an idea


  4. Tammi says:

    My 40′s are fast approaching and I plan to enter it the way I intend to continue, fit and healthy! I have a few health issues and after seeing my brother in law in February who is in renal failure due to not managing the same issues it gave me quite a scare. On our return I cut out sugar, upped my intake of wholefoods and kick started a simple workout regime that to date has seen me drop almost 12 kgs and come of meds completely!! It’s something I will always have to stick to if I am to prevent heart disease but well worth it.

    Have not written this weeks menu yet, was popping by here for some inspiration first :)
    I do love the sound of Tuesday dinner.


    • sarah says:

      wow that is a lot of weight to lose Tammi, good work!

      the Tuesday dinner is one of my faves…super easy and healthy xo

      • Tammi says:

        Thanks Sarah, it has been through sheer determination and hard work and I have strayed from the sugar free path once or twice…for instance when I had to try your banana muffins with maple syrup ;) I am hoping that once I get to where I want to be health wise it will be all about moderation.

        • sarah says:

          yes that’s what I try to do…b/c I like nice treats too…have to say today I have been full on with veggies, fruit etc and it’s 5.30 and no slump yet…after 1 day! don’t know why I am surprised, I know this lolxx

  5. alison says:

    I tell you what Sarah, when I hit 50 I really started to see other people through new eyes. It really is a turning point in the aging process. There is a huge range of attitude, health, fitness and energy among people in their 50′s. It seems to me that it is the decade that many people just give up on their health and appearance.

    I’m too scared to stop aerobics, pilates and swimming! My weight stayed the same from 20-45 but a few kilos have gone on since then that I would like to lose. Part of my grand plan in the last year has included ‘looking after me’ more, getting rid of things/situations that annoy me and replacing them with things that make my heart sing…and reading A Beach Cottage of course. :) If you focus on caring about your wellbeing you make better choices.


    • Suan says:

      Well said Alison. I like your “looking after me” attitude. Anything we can do to keep ourselves healthy is very important. I am in my 50′s and enjoy exercise. Was never “an athlete” but just did my first 5k yesterday. My goal, to cross the finish line…and I did it! I eat very healthy but do enjoy a treat now and then. All sorts of “fun” things happen to us as we age so I think that being as healthy as possible will help the process. Weight gain happens, it seems, without me even trying so without exercise, I don’t even want to envision that! Like I tell my kids, “it’s all about choices”.

      Sarah, love your blog and love this topic! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on exercise and crockpot cooking. Happy Happy!

      • Susan says:

        Hi Suan – describe your “I eat very healthy” statement! I also am in my 50′s and have seen weight creep up and up. Feeling very unhealthy and really do not know what “healthy eating” is anymore so I am always on the look out for suggestions from those who are eating healthy. My life seems to be go go go and never enough time to cook after working all day so it is alot of eating out which I think is causing the pounds to creep on. Have started going to water aerobics at the local Y and loving it but would love suggestions on healthy eating.

        • Suan says:

          Hi Susan! Well, this could be a very long “book” lol. I will give you the basics for me. I think with your schedule you may want to consider preparing some things on the weekend and then you have lunches for work and some meals for dinner. The following is written for what works for my family.
          I believe breakfast is important bcuz it gets the motor running and adds fuel for your day. For me, it’s Fage yogurt (0%) with blackberries and strawberrys on top. I also add some chopped walnuts (good for you!). Like Sarah mentioned, oatmeal is good. I haven’t found one I love but I do enjoy oatmeal and it seems to stay with you for awhile which is good. I eat fish 2-3x per week. Salmon, swordfish …whatever is on sale really. NO cream sauces for me. We use Chef Paul Prudhomme seafood majic seasoning (little jar with orange cap) and grill it up. Delish! Pork loin with Grill Mates Pork Rub. Also, olive oil on all meats before grilling. Chicken is also on the menu. Usually grilled. Veggies are brocolli, cauliflower, carrots, red, yellow, or orange peppers, zuchinni, scallions…grilled. Also nice on top of some sliced potatoes in the oven. Of course there is olive oil on the potatoes. Salad at dinner almost every night. I do eat very lean red meat but only once a week. I am on a couscous kick so I do partake in NearEast Couscous (parmesan flavor). I’m sure there is something else a bit healthier out there but I can’t stop eating this. (2x per wk) I try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible. If I do have pasta it’s whole grain. Any bread, which isn’t often, is whole grain. Cheese would be parmesan, it’s actually good for you :) I’m italian so saying no to bread and cheese….I’m sorry to my sainted mother. My mister makes a great turkey chili each weekend. He takes his lunch to work each day and yes, gets to “hear” about it from the others. He doesn’t care. He says it’s all about “controlling your food”. His lunch is usually leftovers from the night before. He’s in great shape so he must be doing something right. And yes, he ran that 5k with me and was my biggest cheerleader. Even let me cross the line before him…what a gentleman. Anyway, back to food….the chili is made with “turkey” instead of ground beef. We do not use ground beef. No soda in the house. I drink 3-4 waters a day. Hot tea as well. Lots of fruits. Even dried fruits and nuts. Almonds are a nice snack along with an apple. Hummus…Trader Joe’s sells a great hummus for dipping pretzels, veggies. I believe it’s the Mediterranean one. They have many. Tuna in a whole grain tortilla with lettuce and tomoato. I put some hummus on the tortilla sometimes. Hardboiled eggs for a snack is also good. NO salt. We use spices to add flavor…basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, garlic, garlic, and did I mention garlic? We eat at home most of the time. No fast food. If we do eat out, any dressing is on the side. Then I can control how much I put on. We happen to enjoy cooking and love listening to jazz while doing so. Did I mention wine….that’s nice too…and yes, of course in moderation…darn it! Well, I hope this helps you Susan. I have lots of receipes that the kids enjoy. They usually come for dinner once a week and fall into a “food coma” as they call it. So, I think they like it lol.
          Keep up the swim aerobics and any little walks you can do is great. The important thing is to move, but the rest of the equation is eating healthy. They go hand in hand. I find eating several small meals keeps me full rather than three big meals. Fruits and veggies are good fillers when you are hungry. Best to you! I hope I have helped you.


          • sarah says:

            hooray to all of the above..I do lots of this but especially the eggs thing, eggs go a long way for me…I have learnt that I need a lot of protein and love eggs, just treated myself to a nice tray of organic free range, I would never knowingly eat a cage egg…eggs in all forms fill my up and give me a protein kick that’s full of energy…

            I also find adding salad to anything gives you a little extra…even if you make a dinner with vegetables I always throw a green salad on the side…easy way to get another portion in, plus if you can grow some rocket leaves (argula) they are a no brainer to have around…even if you haven’t been shopping you can go out pick some and voila…same thing with Parsley, easy to grow, good to eat

            hope that helps somewhat to the first Susan and thanks to the other Susan xo

          • Susan says:

            WOW – thanks so much! What great helpful tips and suggestions. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I have decided to kick the diet coke habit for good. It causes me to crave sweets, over eat and not drink enough water. I have switched to unsweet tea, water, and of course hot tea because a cup of hot tea solves all the worlds problems :)! . I know that I “just can’t have one” so I have to give it up completely. Tonight I am going to give my fridge and pantry a “clean eating makeover” and get rid of all the “crap” and stock up on healthy food and start prepping food for the week. Just like the diet coke, I can’t go through the drive thru just once so I must stop it completely. I know in the end I will feel much better and look much better. Thank you all for all your inspiration. It is so nice to be surrounded by beautiful women who get exactly what you are going through and feeling. You all have inspired me!

          • sarah says:

            oh good luck Susan!

            I think it’s good to do baby steps, though it sounds you are more a cold turkey kinda girl…for me just simple getting out and moving and eating more veggies is key…plus fresh air and stretching!

            let us know how you get on



        • Suan says:

          Susan & Sarah, I wanted to add Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie to the healthy list. You can make a batch that will last a few days. Great to take to work for a midmorning snack. Loaded with veggies and fruit. Check her out at: kimberlysnyder.net

          Cheers, Susan

          • sarah says:

            oooh thanks sounds good! I need to get my glow on ;-) will google it! x

          • Susan says:

            I will have to check this Green Smoothie thing out – sounds delish! Thanks

          • sarah says:

            yes I will be checking it out too x

          • Suan says:

            I think I may have exceeded my comments here…being new to leaving responses I’m not sure how it all works but I don’t want to overdo my blabbing on Sarah’s blog. (love you Sarah!) Just wanted to tell Susan # 1 that she is on the right track and I’m sure I speak for all who have ventured here to say how proud we are of her and for her. Susan, you can do this and you have taken the first step in your new life. Acknowledging what isn’t working and making steps for a better you. You are worth it! Don’t forget that. Chin up and onward sweet lady!

            And you can modify that green smoothie ;)

            Cheers, Susan

          • sarah says:

            you can comment as many times as you like Susan, thanks for being part of it and supportive!

            yep[ onwards & upwards x

          • Susan says:

            Thanks Sarah and Susan for all the support! Today was a great start and just spent 2 hours shopping at COSTCO stocking up on veggies, fish and chicken. Yay me! One day at a time!

  6. Kat says:

    Yep, hand up here, I will join you in your quest for getting fit and healthy.
    I have been into it for a while (working it around 4 young kiddo’s as best I can.) and have lost 3 kilo’s recently and would like to drop another 3.
    I do 2 aqua classes a week, 1-2 Zumba classes and walking as well as just some pilates work for my tummy/hand weights in front of the tv at night, if I have any energy left!!
    I have noticed that watching what I eat between meals has made a big difference and have cut my carbs back a bit. (not completely, as i think that is a bit crazy, but just less of them)
    I drink lots of water and have cut back all that sugar I was existing on a couple of years ago when my youngest was a baby and not sleeping!
    The thing I REALLY need to work on now is getting more SLEEP, which means getting to bed early.
    I hit the big 40 come Friday and like you I want to be fabulous in my 40′s!
    I would also love to get into meditation and yoga again. Maybe next year when my baby goes to school 5 days a fortnight.
    Keep us posted on what you are doing with your routine Sarah and for what it’s worth I think you already look amazing!!! :)

    • sarah says:

      yeah thanks Kat, but I want to feel good haha

      you are very good with your classes, you must be quite fit…

      sleep they say is key, getting good sleep to me is fresh air, exercise and the water intake is essential…if I let that go, bang awake in the middle of the night…

      I will be blogging what I am doing, not that I am an expert! xxxx oh and have a good birthday it’s a big one lol

      • alison says:

        Oooo, sleep…my 2012 goal. Menopause has sent my sleep patterns into chaos the last few years. Being awake from approx 12am-5am is my speciality. Slowly, slowly I am unpacking the factors that contribute. I have regular naturopath appmts, taking naturopathic supplements, exercising, eating well and getting rid of things/situations/routines that drive me crazy. The results so far are varied but I’m not giving up.


        • Susan says:

          Alison – if you find the secret to sleep, let me know! It has escaped me for the last two years (I am now 53) so we know why it is happening and that is also about the time I started adding more weight. I must admit that I have done nothing to aid in helping sleep come naturally (like exercising) but that has changed starting today. Starting to adapt a clean eating program, trashing things that are processed, giving up diet coke and replacing with water and unsweet tea and starting to move more. Interested in the naturopath appts – what are they and are they helping?

          • alison says:

            Hi Susan

            If you want to go down the naturopath path please keep in mind:
            *the cost of consultations and supplements can be a real money pit. Some health funds give rebates for the consultations.
            *results can be slow and steady so you have to be patient and persistent
            *only go to a fully qualified, accredited and recommended naturopath
            *go to a naturopath who is on your own wavelength. My naturopath is living the menopause dream.

            I’ve just taken caffeine out of my life again. It has made absolutely no difference at all to improving my sleep!! LOL So onwards and upwards in this quest.


          • sarah says:

            thanks Alison x

          • alison says:

            PS Susan, a naturopath looks at you as a whole person, your lifestyle etc. They don’t just treat symptoms in isolation to the person.


          • Susan says:

            Thanks Alison – could be interesting. I will have to research that in Jacksonville.

        • Susan says:

          Ladies, A friend told me about a doctor she went to that has helped her tremendously. Her name is Karen Sun MD http://www.theintegrativewellnesscenter.com
          She uses the cream and says it is very effective. Perhaps there is a doctor/center near you that offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. good luck!

  7. Sam says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Love seeing your meal plans each week…. I’m trying your 40garlic chicken in the slow cooker this week. I did a piece of corned beef in mine last week…. Delicious and the kids 2 & 3.5yo loved it!

    I too have been slovenly since Christmas so hoping to get my mojo back re exercise and eating / drinking in moderation…. Would love to hear how you do it !
    I try and walk the dog every day and do Bikram Yoga a couple of times a week…. Great for stretching and toning!

    Cheers Sam

  8. Ellie says:

    After a busy day yesterday I need to get my meal plan sorted for this week. Might just borrow some inspiration from yours Sarah.

    As for exercise, for the past few weeks I have been going for a 7km walk with a good friend most evenings. We walk pretty fast, but because we are chatting away we don’t even notice the time passing. Great way to exercise and catch up on the news!

  9. Janelle says:

    Again..I LOVE meal plans!! Trying out roast veg pasties courtesy of the gorgeous Donna Hay this week. Hoping they’ll appeal to the kids. And I’m hearing you with the fitness thing Sarah. I’ve been working my butt off (geez I wish!!?) this year to get fitter and feel stronger. I think its starting to pay off. Fantastic for the mind too. After reading some of the comments I’m tempted to cut off the sugar. Altho does that include chocolate??!!?? Hmmm…xx

    • sarah says:

      hmmm funny janelle….I am going to lose any hidden sugar (though with not eating many processed foods that’s not much for me) – the trouble is I like treats which I reckon means sugar…so I am doing baby steps…x

  10. Liz says:

    Somewhere along the line, my slow cooker disappeared, but a couple of your recipes have inspired me to find one again and make the most of that the ever-fleeting and oh so precious commodity, TIME. I have a real tug-o-war with myself about putting what I’m doing on hold, be it card-making, decorating, writing, photography, blogging or junk revamp adventures to make good meals. But eating well sure goes a long way to keeping us in prime shape to make the most of our moments, doesn’t it? Thanks for the ideas!

    • sarah says:

      yes I think it does and the slow cooker is a great aid in all of that…b/c you can throw it in and forget it and because you can just use all natural ingredients…and end up with something tasty…it’s a win win in my book xo

  11. Kath says:

    I actually started my own new thing this week. Unlike you, I have quite a bit to lose. Many years of putting everyone and everything first has taken its toll on me, being over 50 now, and trying every “diet” under the sun hasn’t helped either. None of them were right for me, so I devised my own plan and so far, it’s working. I’ve lost 8 lbs. this week. Like I said, I have a lot to lose, but the way I’m doing it is that I stopped drinking diet soda. I only drink hot tea or cold water with the occasional diet Arnold Palmer (1/2 iced tea, 1/2 lemonade, both unsweetened, and I add a bit of sugar substitute). Lots of water. Breakfast is a piece of fruit, since I don’t usually get hungry until almost lunchtime anyway, lunch is usually a small salad with some protein, like an egg, tuna, or chicken and dinner is whatever I make for the family, only I VERY carefully watch my portion sizes. As for exercise, I haven’t gotten to the formal exercise part yet, but I have been so physically busy here that I move much of the day. It’s springtime in NY so there are garden beds to dig, and we are in the midst of a home improvement marathon to prep the house for my daughter’s high school graduation. It seems like every day I find a new project! I am also hoping to start taking a Zumba (Latin dance aerobics) class as soon as I can free up the time.

    • Suan says:

      Good job Kath! You took the first step and the most important one! You can do this and it sounds like you have the right attitude. Keep busy and keep moving. Zumba sounds like fun! I always wanted to try it. It’s on “the list”.
      Good luck to you…you can do it!

    • sarah says:

      I like what you are doing Kath…I am the same with breakfast but I think that actually not having it ends up making me very lethargic mid-arvo, so I am adding porridge to my mid-morning and lots of fruit and veggies to my morning and lunch to see if the tiredness stops…

      I don’t really like ‘formal’ exercise, though it is good for me for stretching/weights etc, I think as long as I am moving, walking and getting outside is good exercise…sounds like you are doing that already!

      and 8lbs in one week? wowza! x

    • Susan says:

      Great job Kath! You have given me some ideas! I am from NY also although living in Florida for the past 17 years!

  12. Candice says:

    Crockpot Oatmeal / Porridge & Surfer Boy Easy Curry { recipe on the blog soon } .

    I am reading the word easy … love the easy . Look forward to recipe .
    So can we wake up to cooked oatmeal ? That would be so cool .. I need this recipe .. Winter is coming .. brrr mornings . bonus sooo budget friendly . Waiting …… Cheers

    • sarah says:

      well it couldn’t get much easier than this one lol…x

      • Candice says:

        Thanks Sarah …. waiting for the easy .
        I haven’t ventured much in recipie finding as the reno house has a more than a tired kitchen with a frozen budget , I have 2 hot plates , and a crock pot and a small electric skillet …. frypan died last week . Every time I get cranky /blue over kitchen there is some doco on TV and I see village mums in third world countries cooking up feasts with an open fire and 1 pot . I then feel awful how dare I complain . So I have been following the KISS method of keeping it simple . Family dislikes my meat crockpot meals , but love the chicken ones I have done . I thought the oatmeal would be dry in a crockpot , can’t wait for the recipies . Cheers

        • sarah says:

          no worries!

          it’s easy to moan when you have a frozen budget ;-)

          I actually don’t use my oven a whole lot because of my slow cooker so mostly I only use that and hob….I recently bought a halogen / turbo oven…have you seen those? FANTASTIC! and could help you out if you are missing an oven…takes up a bit of counter space but I am using it a lot…it cooks quicker and takes minutes to heat up…roast meat turns out great in there…not sure where you are but Aldi have recently had them on offer for a low price…

          • Candice says:

            Thankyou so much … I am out the door to go to Aldi’s now … the turbo oven sounds like the missing link we need for the kitchen … kids will ask now whats for dinner … instead of so what did you overcook and burn today mum ? I saw the oven and wasn’t sure before I was still in mouring over the frypan dying . Got to go Aldi’s …. Cheers

  13. Catherine says:

    Yes, yes. Please share.

  14. I’m so with you on the health front – big changes afoot for me – something a bit radical but hopefully will re-set my dodgy system ;) Want more energy!

    • sarah says:

      wow you will be dangerous with more energy Nikki, you do soooo much…look forward to hearing your radical change….

      clearer skin & eyes (think you’ve got that covered) are also a wish for me with this and to banish that mid-afternoon slump that now seems to be sliding all the way from 3pm to about 8pm! xx

      • Kat says:

        I hear you re that slump Sarah.
        I am suffering insomnia again. Is that your problem with tiredness too?

        • sarah says:

          hmm off and on with that Kat…sleeping has got much better here..we changed our room around, I think it might have been that! water is key for me with sleep…I am drinking lots

          I really think exercise and fresh air helps me too x

  15. Gretchen says:

    Wait until you hit 64 like me! It’s much harder to loose but you can do it. I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and lost 50 lbs. in the last two years. My RA is not gone but better and best of all, I feel great. I drank a lot of water, ate a lot of salads and sometimes went to bed a little hungry. It worked though and be sure to take multi-vitamins to be certaub you are getting all the nutrition and vitamins your body needs. I fed my husband meat with his dinner and treated myself to 2 splurges a week (cookie, brownie, etc.).

    Hugs, Gretchen

    • Susan says:

      Great Job Gretchen! I am getting so inspired by all of you who have had success!

    • sarah says:

      50lbs! wow that is amazing, well done !

      I am going to get a decent mulit-vitamin, thanks Gretchen x

  16. Sarah says:

    I thought you looked very trim in your black dress a few weeks back and I thought then I need to give my diet an over haul. I would be interested in following you down the health front too!

  17. Susan @ Afford Your Passions says:

    I find that walking a dog (especially a 90 pound one who likes to pull!) is the best exercise!

    • sarah says:

      wow that’s a lot bigger than my little puppy Susan lol…yep I am looking forward to when I can take the dog for the walk and add that into my exercise plan xo

  18. dolores says:

    Hi Sarah, love your blog and love hearing how you get and stay in shape. You’re such a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work and have a nice day. Always, dolores

  19. Julie says:

    I need, need, need to drink more water. I have real trouble with this one as for some reason it makes me want to gag. Weird, I know. I would love some creative suggestions on how to increase water intake…

    • sarah says:

      hmmm yes I know what you mean b/c it makes me gag first thing in the morning whereas Mr Beach drinks a couple of glasses right out of bed…

      how about using lemon or herbs to take the ‘water’ taste off of it…or have you tried sparkling? x

  20. Jos says:

    I’m such a useless planner – I tend to cook what I feel like on the day – which works in the city as T Dux is but 1 min away – in the country it is a tad harder!!!! So rather than what’s for dinner this week – last week we had Portuguese Fish stew, Jamie Oliver fish pie (divine and I snuck 6 diff veggies into it!), slow cooked chicken in coconut milk and thai red curry sauce (yum), vegetable bake crumble and 3 bean salad with feta, red peppers, heirloom tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. We are on a mission to eat way more vege, less red meat and keep fruit low as well – seems to be working. No gluten is a must for us – but hubby has noticed a huge change – try cutting it as well if you can – it clings to your insides like glue!!!!!!

    • sarah says:

      can I come and stay for a week!

      I haven’t done a fish stew for such a long time you have me craving one now, one of my meals might be changing this week…what makes is Portuguese any special ingredient?? x

      hmmm yes I reckon gluten is not my friend either – that and sugar is making me feel tired I think…onwards and upwards x

      • Jos says:

        Come on down to the country! It’s a baking and cooking day as it’s raining finally!!!! I think I might forget to return to the city – we are having way too much country fun!

        Good call on why it’s called Portuguese – I adapted it from a Jill Dupliex fav – maybe it’s the chorizo and smoked paprika – but that’s Spanish surely? Now you’ve got me working the brain – maybe I need to re-title it Fish of many waters Stew?!!!!!

        BTW We are in gf turkish toast heaven – the local IGA stocks a brand that I haven’t seen anywhere before – have had to set a day limit on it for Moo as he has gone straight to heaven – the one thing he has missed the most since we tossed the gluten out. I’ll send you the brand when I grab some more today – a friend buys it at an IGA near you from memory?

        • sarah says:

          hmmm I love Turkish bread so that will be interesting!

          yes I suppose it is Portuguese b/c of the chorizo, yum love Portugal! never thought of throwing in chorizo with fish, bet it’s yum, I do it with chicken all the time so why not fish…

          cheers xo

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  22. Selby says:

    Know what you mean- my poor body is so out of order & after this week which has a bit more than I’d like necessary but good things I’m making a point of stepping back & making space to look after my body. I’m sure my body being run down is why I keep getting sick. Makes sense really, I get the car fixed so it runs well… Why wouldn’t I look after my body so it runs well too!:)

  23. Jenny says:

    Hi Sarah – lurker alert!!! Haven’t commented before but the things you and other readers are talking about are ringing very true! It definitely gets harder as you get older and the old hormones throw a spanner in the works;) I think having a weekly plan is for sure a good way to keep on target with our good intentions – even planned leftovers to take to work for meals is a HUGE help. I also have been rid of sugar from my diet, except that found in fresh fruit – and the OCCASIONAL treat ;) The cravings sure do disappear after a while. PLEASE , when you share your exercise tips, can you put them here in the blog? Some of us are not eternally connected to the web and time constraints/work commitments mean we only have limited opportunity to link up to your pearls of wisdom!!! Love your blog – a little oasis in my busy life:)

    • sarah says:

      hello lurker Jenny!

      thanks for your comment, interesting to hear another person who had ditched the sugar…

      yes the mealplan thing is huge for me…I really think it keeps you sane in terms of mentally ;-) and healthy in terms of you don’t reach for convenience foods…I often eat leftovers even though I am not at work as such and Mr Beach Cottage has always taken them to work, so much nicer! I will however be making a vat of soup for the week for me…easy & quick way to get extra veggies and pulses in plus I LOVE soup.

      thanks I will blog what I am hoping to do on this health drive! xox

  24. Sandra says:

    Thanks for sharing your meal plans, Sarah. I’ve “adopted” a couple of your ideas the last couple of weeks and boy it’s made life easier! I am also needing to re-boot the fitness thing, so would love to read all about your progress on that front.
    Love this post :-)

    • sarah says:

      well Sandra mine is certainly in re-boot mode, I have had some emails re blogging it so it will be coming up xo

  25. Alice says:

    I used to be so organised….I miss those days when my day used to run like clock work (before kids ofcourse)… Now days I keep asking myself “what’s planning?”….
    yes the weight has been creeping on for me too…. I know why… Being exhausted and not bothered to make a proper lunch/dinners and relying on sandwiches…. Relying too heavely on easy and fast cooking pasta/rice/cuscous/bulgur dishes…. Anything with grains really piles the weight on for me with the combination of bad weather and children = no long/ pushing heavy pram with 18 month old and dragging the 4year old along for the fun because she is too tired (always)type walks…. That in turns = weight gain…. Once upon a time fruit and vegies never lasted long in this house hold….Might make a brussle sprout and turkey pie today… Good weather for it….
    You know what Sarah? I am going to take baby steps. I am going to plan sleep time. No more late nights. Once I am rested I will tackle the rest…I have neglected myself for far too long!

    • sarah says:

      yes I am doing baby steps too…there is nothing worse for me than going cold turkey on anything…today that has meant making a soup early on for lunch (nothing fancy) but means veggies are already in…

      meal planning is key to my life as is my slow cooker, do you have one?

      also baby steps on just moving…i can always fit in a 20 minute walk in my life and it does wonders for everything xo

      • Alice says:

        Yes walking does wonder for my mind, mood and body… By far my favourite way to excercise…
        I am bit embarrassed but I didn’t even know what a clow cooker looked like…. I have heard of them but never found out what they were… Ofcourse with internet at my finger tips I now know that no I do not have one and perhaps I should get one lol… Might save me…

        I usually fit in an hour to hour and a half walk through the streets of my suburb giving myself places I “have to be or go to” just to motivate me… During that time my little boy gets his nap and I exhaust little miss enough that by the time it is sleep time she will go to sleep without a fuss(multi tasking – why not?lol)… I used to have one of those boards that attaches to the pram for the early days and she would ride on it but as my little man and little miss have grown I couldn’t push them both anymore so now little miss is building “strong legs” perfect for soccer season… She ofcourse isn’t too pleased about it, she hangs onto that pram for dear life…I guess you could call it resistance training for me…
        But that’s all the excercise I manage at the moment…When wather permits…if it weren’t for the kids(no one to watch them for me) not even hail would stop me (and I know because I was stupid enough to do it, ofcourse I took shelter as soon as I realised my mistakelol)…

        • sarah says:

          that sounds good enough to me Alice…walking is key for me and I reckon it’s a secret a lot of people miss…so easy to fit into everyday life

          I pulled my slow cooker out of the back of the cupboard, literally when my third was born and we were having pasta every night for weeks and I was struggling big time with everything…just having dinner sorted in the middle of the day when I wasn’t as tired and there was relative calm made a HUGE difference to my life…once I explored it more many things can go in there, so much more than stew! As my life has changed and kiddos have grown it’s still a lifesaver on days when we walk in the door at 8pm or sport has us out all over the place…nothing like coming home to dinner being one…

          you can get cheapo ones in BigW or the like, to be honest I just have one of those and they work wonderfully…I don’t really see the need for a fancy slow cooker!


          • Alice says:

            Will have to check out big w on my next shopping trip… It sounds like it could help me time wise…Thanks!

  26. Sarah says:

    Hi Sarah

    I’m in the first year of my 40′s. Funny thing is I still feel about 33, okay maybe 35! I’ve always tried to eat reasonably healthy but over the last year and a bit I’ve tried to add in more protein. My fave is pan frying smoked salmon, mushrooms, avocado and spinach for lunch. Lots of protein. Also, just having a simple egg with my veg. I really feel better, and more energised, for the extra protein. I, too, like to have treats and a glass of wine. I don’t think my strong sweet tooth will let me cut out some treats. But, I’m currently trying to eat very little or no sugar processed sugar. When I bake I’m using honey instead. I don’t feel so bad too using Rapadura as this evaporated cane sugar is is more natural. Chocolate, now that’s something else, I can’t live without it.

  27. Candice Brooker says:

    Sounds delish! Where can I find the recipes for this meal plan?

  28. Elaine in Laguna says:

    Love reading noting all these ideas and taking a few for my life here….I was lucky the pounds waited until I turned 50+, but now I must walk 1-2x weekly and go to the gym 2x weekly after work….Funny I had kept telling myself I didn’t have time, then I scheduled it in, and now am in the routine. This is after raising the kidlet on my own…But there were many years in my 30s and 40s that I was just plain ol’ tired, and didn’t start getting my own time back until my daughter was in high school….As for diet: I cook a few dishes on Sunday to make workweek easier. Upped the water, focused on small portions. and more veggies and salads. I also have been eliminating sugar….Really shocking how much is added to everything. Noticed big difference in going from fruit flavored yogurt to plain. So it really is all about baby steps and not being too hard on one’s self while raising children. Life’s journey is a marathon, and not a sprint!

    • Suan says:

      Well said Elaine! I tell the young folks, start now, don’t wait until your 50!! If you can develop good eating habits when your younger, it will only help you later in life. I just want to be the best I can be and that means eating well and exercise. Hopefully, this will allow me to do all those things I want to do in the retirement years…I think they refer to them as “Golden Years”. I wonder sometimes with all the aches and pains, what’s so golden about them? Hmmmm….Yes, sugar, it’s everywhere. That yummy yogurt with 26g of sugar…no thank you. The fruit I put atop of my Fage….enough for me. Control your food….it’s up to each of us. Baby steps matter. We can all do that :) Thank God life is not a sprint!

  29. Amber says:

    Hey Sarah!

    I love your blog & read it all the time. I recently started one of my own and after reading this post (and all the comments) I thought I would share it with you as I post a lot of my favorite, healthy recipes. They’re all made with whole ingredients and are really easy to make – and of course, some desserts as well! I love your idea of a “Weekly Meal Plan”. I’m currently someone who grocery shops in the morning for whatever I’m making that night and lunches are generally leftovers or whatever I can scrounge up. I’m thinking I might actually try planning our meals for a week & see how it goes. Thanks for your beautiful blog! You are inspiring!

    Here’s mine: http://grannyschool.blogspot.com/

    And I saw that you love soups. Two of my most favorites are already posted! xo

  30. Tamara says:

    Funny you should be getting fit again too Sarah. I too have been reasonably fit most of my life but since Christmas/ a January holiday/ house move and new job my healthy eating has gone out of the window and I’ve not been out walking in nature as much as I’d like. I’m pretty fit on my top half as I do a lot of holistic massage but my bottom half has slid rather – the chunky thighs and squidgey bottom do not match my toned arms and torso :-( As from the beginning of this week all meals are going to be home cooked and bursting with nutrition and daily walks/ jogs/ bikes are once again part of my life. Out running this morning I felt so good I couldn’t understand why it had been so long……. Keep us updated on your progress, I for one would be interested to hear how you’re getting on :-)

    • sarah says:

      oh me too, I have walked every day, big long ones too and feel a million times better…not that I wasn’t walking before, just that it was less. x good luck and here’s to fresh & clean food x

  31. Shar Y says:

    Try wraps for beach picnic: good wholewheat wrap with roasted turkey or chicken, black beans, baby spinach with splash of vinagerette. go eat on a blanket with barley on the beach!

  32. Lesa says:

    Hi Sarah –

    I love that you are sharing your “healthy living” with the rest of us! It’s always inspiring to see people trying to live healthier and to pick up tips on making the best choices easier.

    My twenties … Happy Hours, Dates with late dinners, dancing for hours, eating whatever I wanted and not gaining weight!!! (those were the days!)
    My Thirties … Built a successful Interior Design career and raised a family – too busy to worry about quality of food (hello packaged food and take-out) or exercise. My weight ballooned!
    My Forties … Kids off to college (or almost) time to take care of myself (and my HH!).

    I’m so glad I’m in my forties now! Finally … Finally it’s time to take stock of me! (Boy, that’s hard to say out loud!). So about a year ago I got rid of the packaged food and went back to the basics – yeah! No more migraines, less bloating, a bit more energy … I never took the time to really understand what I was eating and how the chemicals in processed foods can affect us (MSG is the devil!)! Now I guess everyone calls what I’m doing “whole food eating”. I started with emptying all the packaged “stuff” from the pantry. I didn’t throw it out (too frugal) but I did replace it with fruit, veg, and recognizable meats/proteins. And I’m cooking real food each night … and breakfast I’m cooking a real breakfast too. Lunch is usually leftovers. We are definitely eating better quality foods (veg or salad with meals, less fat and sugars). So then the next baby step was exercise. I am now about 8 months into a gym membership with a workout 5 mornings a week. I do about an hour on the treadmill each morning or I do a half hour on the treadmill and then do a weight lifting circuit. I find if I don’t go first thing in the morning … I’ll get too busy with my day and I’ll start looking for excuses not to go…. so 7am …. I’m there! When I first started with the gym – I could barely walk for 15 min on the treadmill at the slowest speed … lets just say I spent my 30′s sitting at a desk or in my car!
    Just about two months ago I took control of my big vice … (drum roll please..) I gave up caffeine! (gasp) No more soda … at all! This might sound like no big deal … but I was drinking two liters a day! So it was a really big deal! And I replaced it with water!
    With all these changes I’m sure your wondering how much I’ve lost … and I have no clue! I didn’t and won’t get on the scale … because it’s ultimately not about my weight … It’s about feeling as healthy as I can. I can tell you that I can walk up a flight of stairs without breathing hard, and my rear end isn’t as square any more, and my knees and back don’t hurt so much, and I sleep at night. Those are my milestones!