Work smarter, not harder

I have lost over 30 pounds since the first of February – this is fairly well-known among regular readers of this blog. I’ve talked about the importance of exercise in my new healthy, daily routine, but I haven’t shared (yet!) how I make healthy choices for my daily meals while sticking to a budget (and without taking a ton of time).

I work crazy hours and so does Mick. I get up a little earlier almost every day to make time for a workout at the gym. Neither of us enjoy spending hours prepping and cooking a meal, nor are we particularly adept at it. We both need to eat reasonable amounts of high-quality, deliciously healthy foods, though, so what’s a busy family to do?

Our local Fresh & Easy market moved into the neighborhood a few years ago and we’ve been shopping there ever since. Now that I’m more focused on my long-term health, I regularly pick up fat-free Greek yogurt and ready-to-eat hard-boiled eggs plus fresh&easy brand sliced turkey and cheese along with whole-grain sandwich thins. Throw in some organic veggies and fruit from the excellent Fresh & Easy produce section – my current obsessions are grape tomatoes and blackberries – and I’m good for breakfast and lunch every day. Mick also has the fat-free Greek yogurt and hard-boiled eggs on his breakfast menu but he’ll add variety to his routine with fresh&easy whole-grain cereal and milk on occasion. For lunch he grabs an assortment of Fresh & Easy’s Kitchen-to-Go meal bowls plus some of the organic fruit I keep in the kitchen at all times.

For this post, I was given a Fresh & Easy gift card and asked to take you with us on a shopping trip to show just how “F&Easy” it can be for a busy family to eat well. First things first – we grab a cart and get ready to shop. (Side note: I LOVE the built-in hook and drink/latte holder on the cart – so handy for a post-workday shopping trip!)

even the cart makes shopping easy!
even the cart makes shopping easy!

We set off in search of a quick dinner option for a night when we just didn’t feel like going out to eat. Since we’re both eating more carefully and working out, we knew it needed to work with our healthy lifestyle but, as I said earlier, neither of us is willing to put time in for complicated preparation or cooking. We headed straight for the Ready to Cook section of the store.

So many great choices for times when you don't have a lot of time
So many great choices

With the help of the nutrition information listed right on the front of the packages, we compared a few options then quickly decided on the Mediterranean Style Pesto Chicken Breast meal:

f&easy pesto chicken breast

with Lemon & Herb Baby Golden Potatoes:

lemon and herb potatoes

On our way to self-checkout, we threw a ready-to-eat green salad into the cart and were in and out of the store in less than 10 minutes with a well-balanced meal all but ready to go. An hour on the grill for the potatoes while the chicken baked in the oven for 35 minutes, then it was dinner time. A fresh, tasty meal without the hassle? That’s our family’s definition of “F&Easy”.

If you’d like to give Fresh & Easy a try for yourself, here’s a printable coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase. Find your nearest store here and be sure to come back to share how your shopping trip goes in the comments.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


    Agreed! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at