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Year of Wellness: Healthy Dinners


When I set out to formulate my 2020 goals, I knew I wanted to include something health-related. But how to set a realistic, actionable goal when SO much is going to change from month to month? Knowing I’ll be going from third-trimester pregnancy, to postpartum, to hopefully a season of nursing, and trying to plan some type of health goal that covered the gamut, felt a little like setting myself up for failure.

Being baffled by that question is exactly how I came up with the idea to embark on a year of wellness, choosing a different health-related focal area to prioritize each month of this year. My hope is that I’ll find even just one or two takeaways from each month to carry on with, and it will add up to make a decent impact by the end of the year!

This took a little longer to flesh out than I had expected, so I’m starting a month late, but here’s what’s on the docket, topic-wise!

February: Healthy dinners
March: Staying hydrated
April: Walking
May: Sun protection
June: Healthy breakfasts
July: Fruits and vegetables
August: Strength training
September: Healthy lunches
October: Cardio
November: Sleep/bedtime routine
December: Stretching

I’m kicking things off with healthy dinners because I’d LOVE to add a few more easy, nourishing meals to my go-to list before baby girl arrives. Dinner is one thing that has changed a lot in our family over the last few years. Pre-kids, Dave and I used to eat REALLY healthy dinners—lots of vegetables, very low carb…and oftentimes, lots of ingredients, prep time, and dishes. We loved cooking together after work, and while that’s still something we enjoy when we can, we’ve prioritized quicker, less-complicated meals in this season of life. Unfortunately, for us, that has meant resorting to some less-healthy options to keep things cheaper and simpler.

While I’m under no illusion that the next few months will be the perfect example of daily healthy dinners in our house, I’m hopeful that I’ll uncover some recipe gems. Here are my action steps:

1. Test 6-10 (depending on baby girl’s arrival, to be honest!) new-to-me recipes from my favorite food blogs, cookbooks, and the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan.
2. Ask for recommendations! Ahem :) I’d love to hear YOUR favorite healthy dinners, whether they’re links to recipes or just go-to meal combinations (for example, one of ours is cajun-seasoned salmon + roasted broccoli + brown rice).
3. At the end of the month, compile a master list of easy, healthy dinners, including any new favorites, to keep on hand for quick reference.

I am very excited that I convinced my friend Stephanie to join me in my year of wellness for accountability! Health is a passion of hers, but she’s also a great example to me of balance, so I’m excited to learn from her. We’d love to have you join us too…Instagram hashtag TBD :) We’ll also be hosting a few giveaways throughout the year to go with the different topics, so keep an eye out for those!

In the comments, I’d love to hear:
– What are some of your go-to healthy dinners?
– Which of the month’s topics are you most looking forward to participating in/following along with?






  1. Katrina says:

    I love this plan! What a great, manageable way to look at a year of health! Another rec – make your dinner anytime that you have a few quiet moments (or when someone else can do it!) – doesn’t matter if it’s 10pm or 6am or 4pm – make it, and put it in the fridge, this way it’s ready to pull out and bake/grill/assemble right at dinnertime and nobody will be worrying about what to eat!

    A few of my favorites:

    1. SALADS. Goodness I love salads! Taco salad, strawberry/pecan/chicken/poppyseed dressing, all of it.
    2. Naptime Kitchen’s “greekish chicken” in the croc pot.
    3. Stuffed sweet potatoes.
    4. Wraps on “siete” tortillas
    5. Breakfast for dinner! Omelettes with lots of veggies and some good meat. quick and SO good
    6. Anything from Danielle Walker!
    7. SO SIMPLE but I don’t think you can beat grilling some meat and veggies – whatever you have on hand/is in season. Steak, pork, chicken, hamburger patty, all of it.
    8. Burger bowl – burger patty over greens with your fav condiments.
    9. Rosemary chicken with sweet potatoes – what’s great about this is you can make the night before and put in the fridge! http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/266576/rosemary-chicken-with-sweet-potatoes/

  2. Kristen M says:

    This has become a go to meal for us during the week now that we have two little people (4 and 6 months) and both my husband and I work outside the home! It’s easy – and I think you could definitely still use it for Charlie – my 4 year old is incredibly picky but she really likes the pulled chicken. We typically do tacos with it but it would be really good just on rice too. https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/4-ingredient-instant-pot-chicken-chile-verde/

  3. Em says:

    I have been making the Lemon Dill Soup from Savor by Shauna Niequist! It is really light but yummy, and paired with a big salad and bread it’s a great dinner! Excited for this yearlong adventure!!

  4. Mary says:

    Yay! What a fun idea. A few of our go-to’s: roasted whole chicken (or rotisserie from the store) over simple salad, Homemade meatballs or meat sauce with spaghetti squash, veg frittata (for meatless days), nitrate free sausage, peppers, and onions and roasted potatoes/broccoli, stir frys (one pan and so many combinations), taco salads (served over greens), Instant Pot pulled pork or pot roast (just google any recipe, it’s hard to mess up in the IP!).

  5. Dana says:

    Excited for all of these!
    We like these, but just do stuffed sweet potatoes, not sweet potato skins. Good for meal prep too: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/healthy-chipotle-chicken-sweet-potato-skins/

    Enchilada casserole: quinoa, enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, onion, chicken if you have it, topped with cheese. I make my own enchilada sauce, but I’ve used the cowboy corn salsa from TJs instead and that was yummy too. Kristen and I would eat this like twice a month in Austin. You can also add peppers, but I hate peppers. I make red enchilada sauce or chipotle enchilada sauce from How Sweet Eats. Both listed under lightened up enchilada recipes.

    I’m on a citrus kick right now and this citrus avocado salsa is amazing. We preferred the salmon recipe and used sweet potatoes and cauliflower instead of regular potatoes. Zesting is time consuming and I’m bad at peeling oranges so that takes me a long time. But you could modify these to take less time: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/sheet-pan-cuban-chicken-with-citrus-avocado-salsa/

  6. […] a healthy living challenge in 2020. February was healthy dinners, and March is hydration. Click here to read more about the each monthly […]


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