6.15.2011

My best/freshest advice EVER (and a giveaway!)

Be a better mom.  Make your husband adore you.  Live longer/ Be healthier.  Feel more energized.  Release your inner Julia Child.  Serve balanced meals that your family will enjoy.  Let go of the pit of dread in your stomach when the clock hits 5:00.  Puff out your chest when you're at the grocery store 'cause your shopping cart is so full of healthy choices...

I'm not over selling this.  This is as wonderful as I claim.  It has CHANGED MY LIFE.

About a month and a half ago, I decided to try theFresh20.


OH. MY. GOODNESS!  I went from serving frozen perogies and frozen pizza every night (...unless someone else was feeding us or my husband was home to cook...) to whipping up delicious, gourmet meals almost every night.  I'm not exaggerating.  I don't think about dinner until my internal clock says "BING!  I'm HUNGRY.  MUST EAT NOW!".  That is when I walk into the kitchen, stare at random ingredients, feel the hunger monster threatening, and promptly grab something out of the freezer.  If we're lucky, I'll also pull out hummus and baby carrots.  I'm that bad.

So, when I stumbled upon theFresh20, I was intrigued.  I had been googling "freezer meals", but those seemed like a lot of work and my husband has a one-casserole-a-month limit (what a snob!).  I debated for about a month, what a waste of time.  We're talking $5 a month for a professional to give me a gorgeously organized grocery list consisting of A MERE TWENTY FRESH INGREDIENTS and 5 delicious recipes EVERY WEEK.

So, in exchange for my $5 (which even my extremely tight budget can handle), I get a nutritious, DIVERSE menu for my family.  I am actually saving quite a bit of money because it's only 20 ingredients for the whole week and I'm using all the produce I purchase.  No more slimy bags of herbs or half decayed squash found in the bottom of my produce drawer!  That's worth 5 bones alone!

I've been talking non-stop about my love for this service since I started.  (that's why I emailed Melissa, the creator/GENIUS and organized this GIVEAWAY).

I still don't think about dinner until 5:00.  But now, when I walk into the kitchen, I look at the recipe for the day and WONDER OF WONDERS... I have all the ingredients I need to whip the meal up in time for our 5:45 dinner bell (5:45 EXACTLY.  If my husband is a minute late, the hunger monster overtakes me and he does not have a pleasant homecoming.  However, if he is on time... bah da bing bah da boom... we are both so happy with our dinner and our evenings are so pleasant.  Guess that's what happens when you stop carbo-loading.  WHO KNEW?)

I will say, it's an adjustment for me to eat less bread.  Melissa says that you shouldn't always feel full when you leave the dinner table.  I want to do that, retrain my brain and SHRINK my stomach.  However, I still have to break the nasty evening snack habit.  Other cons:  ummm... theFresh20 doesn't wash the dishes for me.  That's it.  There are no real cons.  Just me craving chocolate and whining about dirty dishes.  There is simply no reason not to try this!

Did I mention that theFresh20 offers VEGETARIAN and GLUTEN FREE menus?  Personally, I'm using the CLASSIC PLANS.  Sure, there have been a few meals that were "meh".  But those are very very rare...and probably only because my grocery store doesn't always carry the right cuts of meat/fish (last week I was supposed to buy beef ribs, yet I came home with pork chops.  I thought I was buying pork ribs... these types of things happen to me... remember this?  sigh.).  However that recipe was AMAZING with pork chops!).  More often, I'm BLOWN AWAY with these ideas.  For example:  never will I ever steam broccoli again...oh no...roasted broccoli is SO MUCH BETTER (now, even if a recipe calls for steamed broccoli, I pull out a former week's recipe and roast it.  YUM!).

I could keep going and say more, like how you don't need fancy kitchen gadgets, but I really must stop... and go eat a cookie (whoops!).

THE GIVEAWAY:  2 chances to win a 6-month subscription
I simply want every person in this country to join theFresh20.  We'd be so healthy and happy that world peace would probably be achieved.  Michelle Obama would have to find a new hobby, but she's a bright girl, she'll adjust.

To win a 6-month subscription to theFresh20, simply LEAVE A COMMENT!  I'm doing this Giveaway out of my love for you and my dream for world peace (as opposed to being compensated by the company and/or promoting my blog)... so you don't have any assigned tasks, just leave a comment.  However Father's Day is coming, so if you don't know what to write in your comment, tell me your dad's favorite meal!   (I'd also love to know if you're gonna purchase this if you don't win.  It won't increase your odds of winning... I'm just curious)

Melissa from theFresh20 is also giving a 6-month subscription to one of my readers!  I told you she was wonderful.  (Melissa, consider yourself warned:  if we ever meet, I will kiss your feet).  To win Melissa's giveaway, you MUST LEAVE A COMMENT HERE (your comment from above is all you need) and FOLLOW HER on facebook and/or twitter.  Personally, I would follow her to the ends of the earth.  You'll find the links to her facebook and twitter on theFresh20 homepage.

GOOD LUCK and BON APPETIT!

da nitty gritty:
Winner will be chosen by random.org.  Only one entry per person will be counted for my giveaway (Melissa will count one for each facebook follow and one for each twitter follow.  That equals two chances from her).  All entries must be completed by 11:59 EST on Thursday, June 23rd.  Winner will be announced here and via email if it is included in your comment.  Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner is chosen.

41 comments:

  1. I think I may join whether I win or not. But free is always good, right? :)

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  2. We are recently a gluten-free family and although we are doing our best to keep the meals fresh and fun, we tend to fix the same standards over and over for the most part. Having a wonderful tool like this would be a big help in planning Sir Hubby's Father's Day Dinner! Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to try this out!

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  3. I hope I win!!! If I don't, I am going to check this out after camp is over and I am cooking every day again.

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  4. Yay! I always enjoy reading your blogs :) I do believe that I will try out this website. Pat does a lot if the cooking and most of it involves frying :(

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  5. ooh fun! I don't cook much, but maybe this would inspire me. I'm with you on the frozen pierogies. YuM!

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  6. Hey Julie, this sounds interesting. I don't cook...pretty much ever. Pete is a fantastic cook. Perhaps I could give him a break with a little help from theFresh20. Also, I've been meaning to ask you about your whitener/brightener stuff you use and how I can get my hands on some. Hope you and the fam are doing well!

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  7. This would be fun to try, if I win or not! I pretty much use this same principle...planning a weekly 'menu' before grocery shopping, so maybe I'm on the right track?! But lately it seems like we've been spending a fortune on groceries! And I'm always looking for new recipes. I'b be curious to try this out :)

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  8. Were you eavesdropping on the phone call I had with my husband last night? I literally had a conversation with Chris saying how I need to start doing more meal planning so I stop eating out.

    Fresh20 definitely seems like it would help me accomplish that goal, especially with only 20 ingredients per week. I totally LOVE this idea.

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  9. Hey Jules, I cook all the time so anytime someone has ideas for me, I"M IN!!!

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  10. You keep raving about theFresh20, I'd be really interested in trying it out! And I'm sure Mike's sis would too, as she's having a baby in August, I'll have to mention it to her:)

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  11. My husband would be so pumped for this! :)...

    .... my dad's fav meal is anything my mom cooks ;) she rocks at food! I'd like to be like her with this! yeah yeah, come on jules make it happen ;) I look like a loser compared to chef teresa and chef jamie ;)

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  12. Sounds like something I could use! I haven't been eating very well for my diabetes and it shows.

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  13. sign me up. i've been in a dinner funk and all my regular veggie dishes are getting old. i'd love someone to tell me what to do for a while because i'm feeling lazy and this vegas heat makes me dread turning on any of my appliances!

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  14. I have been thinking recently that our meals are getting downright BORING. Hopefully this will give me some "fresh" ideas!

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  15. I would love to try this out for even more inspiration in the kitchen!!

    My dad has always had the most beautiful garden...we grew up on lots of garden foods. I would say anything out of it is a favorite of his, and ours!! :-)

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  16. I'm always looking for new recipes, especially vegetarian.

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  17. You eat dinner at 5:45? What are you, 73 years old?

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  18. I'm in. I love the idea of knowing ahead of time what I am making for dinner, instead of trying desperately to think of something at 5:25...

    Thanks for thinking of this!

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  19. i have been looking for something like this. was considering savingdinner, but that costs more doesn't include sides, nor does it focus on fresh ingredients. thanks for this opportunity. blair9903 AT yahoo.com

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  20. I am in! I always seem to be missing something when i go to cook dinner. I also love the idea of using fresh produce that is in season. Thanks Julie! Oh, and my dad's favorite meal is my mom's spaghetti and meatballs.

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  21. As a person who gets to eat some of these meals, I will totally endorse this!! IN fact, I'm ;on the bandwagon. I'd love to win the free subscription...but at $5.00/month, I think I'll find the dough somewhere!!! It has changed Julie's life and is so positive.

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  22. This is phenomenal. I love the fact that it's nothing processed & has a veg option. I spend about 2 hours a week doing a meal plan & shopping list. It's hard planning meals that are healthy, easy to make & tasty.

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  23. Sounds great. It looks worthwhile checking out.

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  24. Being a working mom with a stay-at-home hubby, it's hard to have the time and energy to cook a healthy meal at the end of a long day. This would be AWESOME to win!! Thanks for the opportunity! :)

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  25. ooo...what I need!!! I've been struggling with this whole working momma thing (now that I work at an office vs. my guest room!). This would be a very nice change...

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  26. Alright...since I am in a rut for this week's dinner ideas... I'm leaving a 2nd comment and I 'liked' the Fresh20 page on facebook to enter myself for a 2nd chance to win :) I'm not sure how to follow her on facebook, so I hope that suffices! :)

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  27. My husband left the last comment (can we both enter?)... I have to say, he probably said it sounds great in part because my current method of preparing dinner matches yours EXACTLY! For real. It was kind of eerie reading your post. The only difference in our house is that instead of perogies and frozen pizza, my default is grabbing the block of ground beef out of the freezer and making spaghetti for the 18th time this month. (It is, after all, June 18th today.) You've definitely sold me on theFresh20 idea, whether we win or not! (But please pick me. ;-) )

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  28. This sounds great...I am starting to love cooking but just need some new ideas and menus. I also love the fresh ingredients (hopefully a lot of which will be coming from my garden in the near future).

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  29. Whenever you told me about this I thought it was such an AMAZING idea!!! ... And like most things I see or hear about, my first reaction is - "I can do/make that!" ... So for the two weeks after that I tried my own system of picking out meals and putting together a grocery list. Well let me tell you, I have spent HOURS trying to figure out what recipes to use, which days to use them, and compiling all the ingredients I needed into one list. I also found that my grocery bill was much bigger than usual because of all the weird ingredients that I needed. Having theFresh20 help me out with a cheap, fast, and easy way to plan my meals would definitely relieve a lot of frustration :) :) I will for sure be getting it even if I don't win.

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  30. I am intriqued . . .sounds like something that is right up my alley. I am so busy GROWING fresh produce (I run my own farm), that I never have time to cook it. Our family eats so poorly, when we should be the healthiest people on the planet.

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  31. Would love to win this subscription. I am all about fresh, unprocessed ingredients but not so much about the actual planning part...

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  32. I'm a slacker. My family may appreciate it even more than me! ;)

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  33. All 3 of my boys are good eaters....and I like to cook...PLUS, these recipes/method look amazing (and fast! Dinner time is CRAZY!) Fingers crossed you draw my name! :)

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  34. What a great idea for a family that is constantly on the move and watching their budget. Thanks Julie!

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  35. I am a friend of Marianne's from college, but I have been secretly stalking your blog for a while now. Your posts make me laugh, and after reading about thefresh20 I will give it a try whether I win or not. I am also the Mom/Wife who looks in her refigerator at dinner time to try to decide what to make and hopefully this will help me make healthier choices for me and my family.

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  36. I am so excited about this program and can't wait to try it out! I'm a little nervous about which plan to choose - I am a semi-vegetarian (I know it’s odd), but my husband will NOT be a fan if we cut out all meat entirely, so I would love to be able to try both plans for a bit to see which works best for us!

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  37. I'm not sure this would work for a single gal like me without some adaptation, but I love the idea, and would be excited to try if I won!

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  38. Julie - I heard you talking about this. I really need some help making wonderful meals for 2 instead of 5 and extras so please add me in the drawing. Love to you!

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  39. Hi Julie! I'm really interested in this whole Fresh20 thing.....and free would make it even more likeable. Thanks for the great advice!
    ~Melinda (Holquist) Foley

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  40. LOVE the fresh 20! Yummy and easy and healthy!

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Oh how I L.O.V.E. comments! Thanks for taking a walk on the (koskersidle)WILD side :)