126 Transcript: Healthy Meals You Can Eat At Home Tonight (with Tiffany King)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 126. We're talking about all things meal prep. We want to eat at home because it's healthier, but how do we fit it into our lives? You'll learn how in this episode; stay tuned.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant winning living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Hey ladies and gents, what's shaking? Jen Riday here, and thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Vibrant Happy Women podcast. How are you doing? I hope you're doing well, I hope you're happy, and I want to let you know I love you guys and thank you so much for listening. We have an awesome episode today and I'm bringing on Tiffany King and we're talking about practical meal plans you'll actually use. And I know I've said this before, but she divides things down by, “Hmm, what do you cook when there's nothing in the refrigerator?” or, “What do you do when you only have 15 minutes?” or, “What do you do if you're going to be gone all day and all the time you have is in the morning?” She has meal plans divided by these categories and she's going to give us some great tips; and that is coming up today. I want to give a shout out to Jaclyn U. who left our review of the week. She wrote, “I am loving the podcast. I love the way you interview your guests from a neutral perspective. It's fun to hear stories from a wide range of women and to hear about their favorite books, recipes, personal mottos, and deepest times of trial. Your podcast has pumped me up into a ‘I can do this’ mode. Thank you.” Wow, thank you so much, Jaclyn, I appreciate that review so much. And, everyone else, if you'd like to leave a review, I will definitely read it; I appreciate all of them and they helped us to reach a bigger audience. You can leave your review by going to jenriday.com/review.

Well, let's get into today's episode. Tiffany King is going to be talking about meal planning in a practical way that's quick and easy so that you can eat at home more often. Too many of us report going through the drive-through too much and we don't want to do it. I've heard over and over again from you the listener that you want to have more healthy meals at home; so this episode is for you. Let me tell you a little bit about Tiffany. Tiffany has cooked, she reports, more than 10,000 meals for her family; sweet, right? She has figured out what works and what doesn't work for getting the dinner on the table fast. And her recipes are really, really good because they're for a real family and tested by millions of readers on her website. And now, she has an amazing new book called ‘What's for dinner tonight?’ and you'll hear more about this book in the interview, but this book divides the meal planning by what you can do. For example, when your fridge is empty, cook these meals, when you only have 15 minutes, cook these meals, or maybe you just have a pocket of time after school, put it in your instant pot, use these recipes. It's really cool how she's divided it so practically by the time we have available, so you're going to love everything she talks about in this interview. Well, she's my special guest today, and without further ado, let's get into that interview with Tiffany.

Hey, everyone, let's jump in today. And I'll be talking with Tiffany King who has cooked over 10,000 meals for her family oh my gosh Tiffany, welcome to the show.

T: Thanks so much for having me, yeah.

J: Yeah, you're here. And so Tiffany is the author of… Well, tell us about your book and then we'll dive into some of the tips you have for us today.

T: Yeah, the book is called ‘Eat at Home Tonight: 101 Simple Busy-Family Recipes for Your Slow Cooker, Sheet Pan, Instant Pot, and More’, and it's really geared to busy families. The chapters are arranged kind of by excuses that, you know, “I only have 15 minutes tonight,” or, “We're going to be out of the house all day and I don't have time to cook,” different situations that we find ourselves in so that you can turn to a chapter and find a problem solving recipe.

J: Oh, that's so good. I mean, and those are all different scenarios when you're going to be gone all day, it's a totally different way of thinking and sometimes switching my brain between all those ways of cooking just throws me out of even trying. (Laughs)

T: Yes, yeah, it happens a lot times where we think, “Oh, I've got a nice 30 minute recipe,” that's great and there's a time and a place for those, but if you're coming in at 6:30 with your hungry crew, you don't probably have 30 minutes to get your dinner don, yeah.

J: Exactly. Well, let's start off the show with a favorite quote if you have one.

T: Yes, I do, “People who love to eat are always the best kind of people,” and that is Julia Child of course.

J: Ooh!

T: Yeah. I love that quote because it's true. I think it's… I would say, “People who love to gather around the table are always the best kind of people,” and if you're ever on the table, of course you're going to eat and you're going to talk.

J: Yeah, yeah. Well, tell us how you got started with being able to, you know, write a cookbook; wow. What was the low point that inspired all of this?

T: Yeah. I actually started my blog in 2008 like a lot of people, and of course the economy wasn't great for my family; we were doing a lot of traveling soccer, my kids were getting into high school, and I just found myself in the car all the time with really high gas prices.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: And we were gone a lot at dinnertime and I noticed other soccer families were doing a lot of eating out, and I have no idea how they afforded it and; my guess is that, I mean, you know, it stretched them thin, just like it was us. So I began to change up how I would do dinner and think about packing food or starting food before we left so that it was ready when we got back, and I just really pulled out a lot of time-saving tricks and learned a lot of things that helped get dinner on the table a lot more easily than it did back in the day when I was home more often. So, yeah.

J: Yeah, so you didn't have to eat out all the time.

T: Exactly, yeah.

J: Well, tell us what it looks like, you know, a lot of people listening exact same, boat soccer practice and drama and whatever other sport is going on right now, what do you do when you come home at 6:30 and you need to get a meal on the table and you don't want to eat out?

T: Yeah, my favorite, favorite thing are 15-minute meals. You really can get your dinner on the table in… in 15 minutes, start to finish, with the right recipe and sometimes a little bit of prep, which I know feels a little bit like a cheat, but if you've got like say cooked chicken in the freezer, you can give that a spin for a minute in the microwave and it's ready to add to all kinds of different recipes; same thing if you've got cooked ground beef in the freezer, so I like to keep those things on hand. But honestly, if you just use beans, you know, for your protein, that's another way to get it done really quickly.

J: Mm!


T: Yeah.

J: Do you mean like canned beans or…?

T: Canned beans or I've also done big batches of beans from dried and a slow cooker or the instant pot; it works well either way.

J: Oh.

T: And then you can freeze those and use them just like you would canned.

J: Okay, so let's say we have a freezer, we've got our chicken, our beef, and maybe even some precooked beans that we've frozen again, and we come home, what are some ideas of things we can do with this so we can just start to expand our minds about this?

T: So one thing would be Mexican bean and rice bowls, that's one of my favorites. You can just sauté an onion and some garlic with some cumin and chili powder and some salsa, a couple cans of kidney beans, serve that over cooked rice or quinoa. I actually like those… I forget what the brand is, Seeds of Change, I think (I don't know). Anyway, they microwave in like 90 seconds if you're really short on time. (Laughs)

J: Oh…

T: Not your most cost efficient way to do it, but it's very fast.

J: So, Seeds of Change, they're like spice packets?

T: They are little packets of rice and quinoa.

J: Oh really? Oh.

T: So it’s already… kind of already cooked and you just microwave them for 90 seconds and ta-dah.

J: Ah.

T: But that's not the best most cost-effective way to do it for sure, but like I said, they're so convenient. And they only have about 2 servings per bag, so if you're doing for a whole family, that's not a great option; just use your instant pot and make some brown rice. (Laughs)

J: Right, right. Have you ever precooked your rice and frozen that as well?

T: I have never done that, I'm not sure why I never have, but a lot of people I know have a lot of success with them.

J: So I think you just get into the habit; I think it's habits. But let's say you're cooking a batch of rice in your instant pot, how much rice you put in and how much water? I mean, let's just get one thing in our heads so we don't have to think so hard. (Laughs)

T: One thing that is good, so if I'm going to do brown rice in the instant pot, I will do a cup and a quarter of water and one cup of rice if I'm doing for like 3 to 4 people…

J: Uh-huh.

T: .. as a side dish or, you know, I'm going to add other things to that. If I want more rice, then I just double both of those amounts…

J: Mm-hmm.

T: … and I set the pot for 17 minutes.

J: And you don't add any salt or butter or anything?

T: I don't; no.

J: Okay.

T: You can add salt. I tend to add salt at the end and let people add to taste, but it's whatever you'd like…

J: Oh, that’s easy.

T: … for your family, yeah.

J: What about hard-boiled eggs in your instant pot, how do you do that?

T: Those, they come out fantastic and they really do peel a lot easier, but I have found that it's a little bit of trial and error to get the timing right.

J: Oh.

T: Yeah, you wouldn't think so, but depending on the number of eggs you put in there and your own pot that you have because I've got a Cuisinart pressure cooker in an instant pot, they cook a little bit different.

J: Okay.

T: But it's like 5 to 7 minutes.

J: Oh my gosh!


T: It seems to be the sweet spot for doing them. But, again, it… I don't know, I've… you know, I've had it be a little bit too long and a little bit not quite it long enough, it just depends on how many eggs you put in there because that affects the temperature of your pot.

J: Mm-hmm, that's true.

T: How long it's going to take.

J: Then you just cover the eggs with water essentially inside the pot?

T: I usually use a rack that came with my pot and I rests the eggs on top of there and then pour one or 2 cups of water in the bottom of the pot.

J: So the eggs don't even have to be covered; wow.

T: No, mm-mm, no.

J: Oh, that's so crazy, yeah.

T: It's kind of magic and they peel so much easier than doing them on the stove.

J: Really?

T: Yeah.

J: Oh, that's fantastic!

T: I did learn the hard way that you should not walk away from them, you need to get them out when they're done or else they will be way overcooked. (Laughs)

J: Oh.

T: Because, you know, the heat’s still in there and they're still cooking even after the time goes off, so you want to get them out, put them in the cold water to stop that cooking process.

J: Wow.

T: But, yeah, it works great.

J: Okay, I'm writing this down; a rack, 1 to 2 cups water…

T: (Laughs)

J: … and 5 to 7 minutes, remove immediately! (Laughs)

T: Yes.

J: Okay, ooh, that's good. Okay, so we're home from soccer, we've made… last night, let's say we made the Mexican bean and rice dish, what else could we do with those things we have in our freezer?

T: Yeah. So if we had Mexican last night, another fallback of course is quesadillas.

J: Oh yeah.

T: Because you can… you know, anything can go in a quesadilla. But since we had Mexican last night, we don't want to have that again. So I would maybe do a chicken Florentine quesadilla…

J: Ooh!

T: … which is so good. You just take some cream cheese and mix a little garlic powder in with that and spread that on the tortilla and then use fresh spinach and some fresh tomatoes and the chicken that you've thawed out in the microwave and artichoke hearts.

J: Oh.

T: And put that in there and… and grill it just like you would a quesadilla. The perfect thing about this is you can make it for your family. So if your kids are not going to touch artichoke hearts with the 10-foot pole, you get them for yourself. (Laughs)

J: Yeah.

T: Just so easily customizable. And with the extra spinach and tomatoes, you can make a salad to go with it; really simple.

J: Oh, man, that's so good! Okay, give us one more; I'm totally buying your book.

T: (Laughs)

J: Because I won’t remember these recipes, but everyone, it's called ‘Eat at Home Tonight’, it's really, really awesome. I got a proof copy; a galley copy, right, is that what we call them?

T: Yes.

J: And so, yeah, I'm going to get my own real copy. Okay, one more; one more recipe.

T: Okay, one more. So, again, we eat a lot of chicken in our house because it's easy and my family likes it and it's relatively cheap for a protein.

J: Right.

T: Beef can be kind of expensive sometimes.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

T: So let's just go with the chicken thing. We've had Mexican, we've had the quesadillas which were a little bit different, but let's think about, “Okay, I've got some pasta, we'll add the chicken to some pasta and make a quick sauce; maybe we could give it a chicken parmesan spin.” This is off the top of my head, I have no recipe. (Laughs)

J: Yeah, oh. No, you’re good at this! You’re a natural. (Laughs)

T: Yeah, this is actually how I create recipes for the book and for the blog and the meal plans is I put myself in the situation that we all find ourselves in when you're standing in front of your pantry thinking, “Oh my word, here comes my family and I have no time to make dinner.”

J: Yeah.

T: “It's got to be with what I've got on hand.” So, yeah, this is how I do it.

J: So you'll just whip up a sauce, and any tips on favorite sauces or sauce packs or quick and easy sauces?

T: If I'm doing a tomato sauce, I like to use a can of crushed tomatoes and then, you know, sauté some onion and olive oil with some garlic and add your basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper, all of that good stuff. You can have a sauce ready in 10 or 15 minutes, add Italian sausage if you've got that or ground beef, or just have a vegetarian and not have any meat in it at all, yeah.

J: Mm, yum.

T: And then Alfredo sauce is a simple quick one to whip up as well if you want to do that.

J: Alfredo sauce, how do you make yours?

T: Alfredo would start with some butter and I usually use half and half so it's not low cal. (Laughs)

J: Ooh, yum. Oh, that’s okay.

T: But it is good. Sometimes, I'll thin that down with a little bit of chicken broth and then you put in the Parmesan cheese and get that melted; just make sure you don't boil it so it won't curdle.

J: Wow, you're a natural. I think people don't really in general know how to cook like this anymore, but it would sure make it easier. Well, tell us about slow cookers and instant pots and all of these time-saving appliances in the kitchen. We talked about the instant pot a bit, but how does your cookbook help us with all these gadgets we all own, but maybe aren't using?

T: Yeah, the gadgets are very handy, but you do kind of need to match that up to the time that you have available in your day. So if your schedule is such that you have more time in the morning to put your dinner together, a slow cooker option is a great one for you. Just make sure, if you're going to be out of the house 8 or 12 hours, depending on what your… your life is like that day…

J: Mm-hmm.

T: … you need a recipe that can handle that cooking time. There are slow cooker recipes that can take that long heat, but not every one.

J: Okay.

T: So you want to make sure that you get one that's going to hold up or else you're going to come back to very overdone chicken breasts and you won't be happy.

J: Right.

T: But if you go with a soup or a large cut of beef like a barbecue or something like that, it can handle that cooking time; those are great types of recipes for you if you've got time in the morning. If you find that maybe you're running kids after school to practices, a lot of times those sports practices are right at dinnertime and it's hard to cook when you're in the car. But if you find that that's your life, maybe you have a couple of minutes to load up a pressure cooker like an instant pot before you go; you can let it do its pressure cooking before you leave the house. The pot will switch to keep warm and it'll stay that way for several hours; your food will be perfect when you come in for dinner later.

J: Mm.

T: That's one way I like to use those pressure cookers.

J: So if you have time after school, load the pressure cooker and set a timer for it to begin or let it go ahead and start?

T: Yeah, I go… I usually go ahead and start it so that it's cooking under pressure while I'm still at home. Now, I have let it cook while I'm gone and my house didn't blow up. (Laughs)

J: Yes.

T: (unclear) [16:35] always think, “Well, maybe I should be home for this part of the process.” So if you're more comfortable when it's under pressure being home, it usually doesn't take very long depending on what you're making. You can also of course use the instant pot right before dinner, but I will say, sometimes on the internet, you'll find a recipe that promises you you can have your dinner ready in 10 minutes, that is not going to be the case. Even if you set the cook time for 10 minutes, you still have to wait for the pots to come to pressure.

J: Yeah.

T: The fuller the pot and the colder the food, the longer it's going to take to get reach pressure.

J: And how long is that typically, I mean, the range; 20 minutes to get to pressure?

T: Yeah. If I'm making… some of the recipes I really like to make, I'll use frozen chicken tenders, and I don't thaw them out, I just put them in there straight frozen, then with whatever other ingredients go in there, and set the pot… maybe it's got a… say a 20 minute cook time on it, then we're looking at maybe 30 minutes to have the whole thing done.

J: Okay.

T: So it's not bad and you can go do whatever else you need to do while that's cooking; it's entirely hands-off at that point, but you still need to be home for it.

J: Ah, okay. So I feel like I have a better grasp of slow-cooking because it's been around longer than the instant pot, but what kinds of things would you put in an instant pot after school before the sports and stuff let's say?

T: Well, lots of different things. The thing about instant pot is it has to be a recipe that you can add enough liquid for the pot to come to pressure because that's what the pot needs; it needs a certain amount of liquid. It doesn't have to be water it could be tomato sauce, salsa, chicken broth, you know, things like that.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: But any kind of soups, chicken curries are good, chicken cacciatore works in there, really, a lot of different things, as long as you've got enough liquid in the recipe to get that pot to come to pressure.

J: Hmm, cool.

T: It's also great for side dishes. Like, if you can bake potatoes and not really baked, but again, the same kind of like you would do your eggs, you put your potatoes up on a rack (or sweet potatoes) and put the water in the bottom and set the pot… I'm trying to think of maybe 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how many you have in there, and then they're just like baked.

J: Oh yeah, that's so easy .

T: Yeah.

J: So give us an overview of all the chapters or some of your favorite chapters in your book so we can get a grasp of all the ideas available to us when we want to start eating at home more often.

T: Yeah.

J: Because I know a lot of my listeners have this exact wish, “I want to eat healthier. I want to eat more at home.” (Laughs)

T: Yeah, yeah. And it can be rough when you've got your schedule conflicts. So the chapters are ‘I only have 15 minutes tonight’, ‘My refrigerator is empty tonight’, which is all about pantry ingredients and things you can keep on hand so that you can get dinner done when you don't have much in your cupboard.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: ‘Everyone's on a different schedule tonight’; that happens a lot if you’ve got people who are working shifts or once your teenagers get old enough to drive and they're involved in different activities and work and all. ‘I'm out of the house all day and won't have time to cook tonight’, ‘I don't have time for dishes tonight’; so that's a lot of sheet pan meals and one pot meals.

J: Ah, okay.

T: Yeah. ‘I want to cook for tonight and tomorrow night’, which is kind of a planned leftover; so we're going to make a lot of some then tonight and then we're going to plan to change that up for the next night.

J: Mm.

T: And most of those, you can actually freeze and face it out if you don't want to eat it, you know, 2 nights in a row.

J: Oh, wow! That's great.

T: And then there's a chapter for cooking for the whole week tonight. That chapter has 6 dinners in it that you can make in 1 hour.

J: What! (Laughs)

T: And I’ve got 2 plans like that. Yeah, those are fantastic.

J: All 6 in 1 hour?

T: You can get all 6 of them done in 1 hour.

J: What! (Laughs)

T: They're all designed to go in the slow cooker or the pressure cooker. So, yeah, those are fantastic. That's some of my reader favorite types of meals; we do those for our ‘eat at home’ meal plans every month, our members get a new plan for that and I've got a lot of Facebook videos of showing how I do that. But, yeah, about 10 minutes per meal; you kind of can't beat that.

J: Oh yeah.

T: Yeah. Those are my favorite emergency meals like the ones that keep us out of the drive-thru. When all else fails, you can have that.

J: And so if you froze something, it could go in either the slow cooker or the instant pot usually?

T: In most cases, yeah. There are a few that just work better in the slow cooker because they don't have enough liquid in them.

J: Okay.

T: But, yeah, mm-hmm.

J: So tell us, you mentioned the ‘eat at home’ meal plans, what's that all about? I'm wanting all this; you can tell.


T: ‘Eat at home’ meal plans is a done-for-you service. So we offer color coded grocery lists with all the ingredients that you're going to need, all the side dishes, the menu. We give 15-minute meals each week, slow cooker and pressure cooker meals each week. A plan… you know, one of those freezer plans, we give one of those a month. And we have 4 different meal plans; traditional, wholesome traditional, slow cooker, and ‘no flour, no sugar’. And members have access to all of that.

J: Oh my gosh.

T: Yeah, so that's another option.

J: I would pick the ‘no flour, no sugar’ because that's what I'm into right now. So do you email them the plan every week or is it monthly?

T: We email them and you have access to a whole month all at once. So if you're a person who likes to shop all at once, you can do that or you can pick and choose. It's way, way more recipes than you could possibly use in a month, but it's just all and you have the options of what's going to work, you can bounce back and forth and, yeah, there's a member area you log into to download everything.

J: And, yeah, where do we find that? What's the URL for that?

T: That, you can go to mealplans.eatathomecooks.com, or if you just go to eatathomecooks.com, there's a link there as well.

J: Yeah, this is sounding good because I love to cook a month at a time, I mean, I… sorry, not a month, I love to shop…


J: I love to shop a month at a time and I love to cook a week at a time, and so this is going to be awesome. Well, now, let's say we get our meal plans or we have your cookbook or anything else we're trying to do but we want to plan our meals, tell us how you do that like for your week. You look at your calendar, how do you kind of decide what's going where? What's your process?

T: Yeah, definitely looking at the calendar is the biggest thing. You have to match up the type of meal that you have with your type of day that you're going to have. So, like I said, if you've got a little time in the morning, plan your slow-cooker meal for that day you're going to be out of the house all day. If you have one where you get home and you have a little bit more time at night, that's a great day to plan like a 30 minute meal or a time when you… you just have a little bit more time to do something more involved.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: Make sure that you have some of those 15 minute meals on hand and pantry meals on hand. I like to keep ingredients like say for Mexican bean and rice bowls because it's one that I know I can fall back on, I pretty much have the recipe memorized; so whatever that is for you, whatever your memorized recipe is. And it's fun to change those up sometimes if you find you're using it too often and your family is saying, “Not again!”

J: (Laughs)

T: Just, you know, find another one; there's plenty out there.

J: My growing up used to be tuna noodle casserole. (Laughs)

T: Yes.

J: And when I married my husband, he was like thumbs down, so I've never done it again.


T: Yes. Yeah, there's a time and a place for every recipe. (Laughs)

J: Yeah, yeah. So if we were doing the, you know, your site with the meal plans, so we're checking them off and it's going to give us a grocery list to go with everything we're choosing?

T: So, yeah, the grocery list, it's not like you can go in and choose your meals, which I actually think is a benefit because that just sets you up for making a lot of decisions.

J: Ah, okay.

T: You would just choose one whole plan and… but then, it is color-coded. So we give 6 meals every week, you maybe don't need that many meals; maybe you're only going to be home 4 or 5 nights that week. But you can easily cross off the ingredients you don't need because they're color-coded with the meals.

J: Oh yeah, that's great.

T: Yeah, mm-hmm.

J: That's great. So I'm loving this, you can tell, but one last question about meal prep. If you're planning for the whole week, you know, what's your flow in terms of when do you do your shopping and when do you do your meal prep if you're prepping for the whole week?

T: If I'm prepping for the whole week, I usually will do that like on a Friday or Saturday.

J: Mm-hmm.

T: Because, for me, I tend to have more company which is usually my older kids at this point in my life. But I'll be cooking for more people on the weekend often than I do during the week, so I want to have that more food.

J: Oh, cool.

T: But my biggest shortcut is to use the online grocery ordering.

J: Yes.

T: Would you have that available? Oh my goodness.

J: I’m with you.

T: That would've been amazing when the kids were little. (Laughs)

J: Yes, I love it too; it's amazing.

T: Yeah.

J: Well, let's have a quick break for our sponsor and then we'll come back and talk about some of your favorite things. Okay, welcome back, Tiffany. Thanks for all of that awesome cooking advice. And everyone, again, her book is called ‘Eat at Home tonight’ and it's totally awesome. Okay, well, your favorite things, what is your favorite happiness tool; the thing that you go back to when you're maybe low mood and you want to raise your level of happiness?

T: So my favorite happening this tool is my ‘no complaining’ bracelet. This is basically any… it doesn't matter what bracelet I use. I've had to do this a couple of times where I challenge myself to not complain for 30 days in a row.

J: Mm.

T: It usually takes me about 4 months to get those 30 days (Laughs); which, you know, complaining is such a habit and it's one that I fall into myself. It really, really affects my happiness and the happiness of the people around me. So that's a tool I don’t have to pull out too often, but when I do, it gets a lot of use.

J: So does the bracelet say ‘no complaining’ or it's just..?

T: No, the bracelet is just to remind me. So if I complain, then I move it to the other wrist and I have to start counting my days again.

J: Oh wow.

T: Just a reminder, yeah.

J: That's impressive.

T: Yeah, it's not easy. Like I said, it usually takes me about 4 months to finally get 30 days in a row.

J: Yeah.

T: But it's totally worth it.

J: Yeah, wow, that's amazing. I don't think I could do it. I once tried a friendship challenge… or no, no, a kindness challenge and, yeah…


J: I got like 4 days in a row and … I gave up; oh, so hard.

T: (Laughs)

J: I think you have to be in a really focused low stress part of life; I don't know, that's my excuse.

T: Yeah, yeah, you definitely have to be in a low focus… or, I mean, a lot of focus in a low place. Like, when I've done this ‘no complaining’ challenge, I have to need it really bad and know it.

J: Yeah, right, right.

T: Yeah .

J: Motivation.

T: (Laughs). Yes.

J: What's your favorite life hack? I mean, you've mastered the kitchen, any other interesting life hacks you have?

T: Well, one is that I never take my phone to bed with me and I use a separate alarm clock like not an alarm on my phone and I find that, at night, when I switched and stopped taking the phone to bed with me, it made such a difference. You know, you're not looking at your phone first, you know, right before you go to sleep. I had been in a bad habit of waking up and just laying there with it, it was causing my neck to be stiff and me to have headaches and then it's just kind of a stress; it's stressful way to start off your day. Yeah, so that that's…

J: That’s a good one.

T: … that’s my… yeah. Now, when you have kids that are driving and maybe they're not in yet and you do want to have a phone handy, I'll plug it in like in the bathroom or somewhere where I can still hear it, but it's not right next to me.

J: Oh, that's smart, yeah. And what is your favorite kitchen gadget?

T: A sharp knife.

J: Yeah, that's good.

T: Yeah, it seems like an obvious one, but a lot of people don't have a sharp knife and then it's really frustrating to… to get anything done in the kitchen.

J: Yeah.

T: Yep.

J: Yep. And your favorite book.

T: My very favorite book is ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe’ by Fannie Flagg. So I don't know… and there's a movie which is, you know, often the movies aren't as good as the book, but in this case it's a still a great movie. But I love it because it's about women who are finding their own happiness, they're supporting each other and learning from each other, and plus there's food.

J: Mm-hmm, that's perfect. And what's the best advice you've ever received?

T: Oh goodness, the best advice I ever received.

J: Yeah, who can narrow it down?

T: (Laughs)

J: How about just some good advice. (Laughs)

T: Some good advice; oh my goodness. Okay, my mom used to say, “Nobody will notice that on a galloping horse.” Like, if we had something about our clothes that didn't seem right…

J: (Laughs)

T: … or we thought, “Oh, this doesn't look great,” and she would say, “And nobody's going to notice that on a galloping horse,” and I would always think, “Nobody's going to be on galloping horse.”


J: That’s so true!

T: Which is true, but really, people don't pay attention the way we think and it's usually all okay.

J: Yeah, that's true.

T: Yeah.

J: Oh, funny.

T: It's actually good advice, if not odd.

J: No, no, I'm going to totally go say that to my kids and see how they react.


J: In fact, sometimes I like to make up the stupidest phrases like these that sound like there are a saying…

T: Yes.

J: … and they aren’t, you know?

T: (Laughs). Right.

J: I’m going to go with that.


J: Well, Tiffany, what does it mean for you to be a vibrant happy woman?

T: Yeah, my formula is, “Happiness is choosing to be grateful,” which is kind of the opposite of complaining, just being grateful for things; and that, I find that that is the foundation of happiness for me, and it is a choice for me…

J: Totally.

T: … as well.

J: I agree; I couldn't agree more. And a challenge to our listeners and then we'll say goodbye.

T: I want to challenge the listeners to eat at home or from home, depending on your schedule tonight. So you may have to use your creativity and be sure to keep things simple, but you can do this no matter what you've got going on.

J: Awesome; great advice. Everyone, definitely get your hands on ‘Eat at Home Tonight’, it's Tiffany's awesome cookbook with all of those chapters that will help solve your eat at home problems for sure. Thanks for being on the show, Tiffany.

T: Oh, thanks so much for having me.

J: Take care.

I will be back next week talking to Deborah Santana, all about listening to each other's voices, hearing each other's stories, especially when you're talking to a woman whose story might not be so easily heard, including women of color. I loved what she had to say because it's important that we listen deeply to each other. We are a collective society of women and we rise only as fast as the weakest among us. We are a sisterhood and we need to practice that deep and powerful listening. So if you'd like to be a better listener and to be able to listen with your heart, come back for that episode next week, and until then, make it a phenomenal and fun week. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.