Saved by meal prep!

I have your meal prep solutions for next week. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Decide if you want 1 or 2 meals for lunches.
  • Decide if you want 1, 2 or 3 meals for dinner.
  • Decide which meals you want for which.
  • Bookmark this page for all the shopping, recipes & steps!

This week I actually meal prepped to take examples to my church. I don’t typically do this much of a variety! I am pretty skilled at reusing items in order to make the most of what I buy (#onabudget).

img_4996

What’s pictured?

  • Red chili
  • White lightning chili
  • Greek bowls
  • Taco bowls
  • Pinwheels
  • Sammiches

Let’s dig deeper.

img_5004

I’m from Texas so it took a long time for me to change my chili over to turkey and beans. In fact, I might’ve been excommunicated, I’m not sure. Nonetheless, having a healthy option that still feels comforting and is super tasty is a MUST for me for a healthy lifestyle.

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cans Black beans
  • 2 cans Chili beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I double that)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 large jalapeños
  • 2 cloves or 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP Chili powder (or 2 if you’re crazy)
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Choose ONE accessory: Cheese or Greek Yogurt

Recipe:

  • Chop onions, jalapeños, garlic.
  • Dump in with ground turkey & a bit of olive oil. Brown.
  • Add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin & oregano, salt & pepper.
  • Bring to boil, simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with cheese, chopped green onions and/or tbsp of Greek yogurt.

Meal prep:

  • Put 1.5 cups of chili in microwave-proof container.
  • In a separate container, put ONE accessory (cheese or yogurt).
  • In a separate container, put 2 TBSP green onions.
  • Package all together in one lunch container.
  • This should make enough for you to meal prep for a week and freeze some for emergencies.

img_5003

This is one of my favorites of all time!! I had to make it today to use the rest of the chicken from the greek bowl chicken. But I always love to make it anyway.

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 cans great northern beans
  • 2 cans navy beans
  • 2 cans green chiles
  • 2 onions
  • 2 large jalapeños
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 cloves or 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 15 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (MUCH more if you’re crazy like me)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cilantro
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Choose ONE accessory: Cheese or Greek Yogurt

Recipe:

  • Boil chicken.
  • Chop onions, jalapeños, garlic.
  • Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil.
  • Shred chicken using forks or stand mixer.
  • Stir in chicken, broth, and 2 cans great northern beans, 1 can navy beans.
  • Coarsely mash remaining can navy beans and stir into chicken mixture.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring often; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  • Add in spices.
  • Serve with cheese, chopped cilantro and/or tbsp of Greek yogurt.

Meal prep:

  • Put 1.5 cups of chili in microwave-proof container.
  • In a separate container, put ONE accessory (cheese or yogurt).
  • In a separate container, put 1 TBSP cilantro onions.
  • Package all together in one lunch container.
  • This should make enough for you to meal prep for a week and freeze some for emergencies.

img_4998

Greek. Meal. Bowls.

That’s fine. Say no more. I am on board.

In this particular situation, I’ve not photo’d the tzatziki sauce, but it will be in your recipe. I mean, it’s just a big bowl of Grecian goodness that will not leave you bored. At all. It is the more complicated of the bunch, but it’s not that bad. We can do this. I mean, we can’t take a photo without my housedress. But we can make and enjoy this.

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 lbs grape tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 red onion
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
  • Pita bread
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried dill
  • S&P

Recipe:

  • Chop chicken into small pieces. Place in container to marinade with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 TBSP red wine vinegar, 1tsp oregano, 2 tsp garlic, 1 tsp lemon juice, Cook 2 cups brown rice according to packages.
  • Start/Cook rice according to package.
  • Next, make cucumber salad. Chop & slice 1 & 2/3 cucumbers. Thinly slice 1/2 red onion. Add in 1 TBSP lemon juice, 2 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP red wine vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, pressed & 1 tsp dried oregano. Refrigerate.
  • Next, make Tzatziki sauce: Mix 1 cup greek yogurt, 1/3 finely diced (or food processed) cucumber, 1 TBSP garlic, 1 TBSP dill, 1 TBSP lemon juice, salt & pepper. Refrigerate.
  • In hot oil, fry greek chicken mix until done to internal temp of 160.
  • Chop olives, red onion & tomatoes.
  • To make the tzatziki sauce, combine Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill, lemon juice, lemon zest and mint in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld; set aside.
    Divide rice into meal prep containers. Top with chicken, cucumber salad, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.

Meal prep:

  • Put 1/5 chicken mixture in microwave-proof container.
  • Put 1/5 rice in microwave-proof container.
  • Using 5 small separate containers or baggies, put 1/5 cucumber salad mixture in microwave-proof container.
  • Using 5 small separate containers or baggies, put 1/5 tzatziki mixture in microwave-proof container.
  • Using 5 small separate containers or baggies, put 1/5 olives & tomatoes mixture in microwave-proof container.
  • Using 5 small separate containers or baggies, divide pita bread into 5 small servings.
  • Package all together into 5 separate lunch containers.

This is a fun lunch. It’s ambitious but whimsical. Who wouldn’t want to eat this? Fun pinwheels that are limited only by your imaginations, yummy fruits & veggies. A homemade trail mix that is simple yet will delight your taste buds.

Shopping list:

  • Wraps (either whole wheat or veggie wraps)
  • Deli meat
  • Cheese OR avocado
  • Greenest leafy veggie you can tolerate (Kale, spinach, romaine)
  • Tomato
  • Mustard or sugar free Italian dressing
  • Veggies of choice (shredded cucumber/carrot, pickles)
  • Berries of choice
  • Unsweetened or salted nuts of choice
  • Carrots
  • Sugar free peanut/almond butter

Meal prep:

  • Lay out 5 wraps. Only “prep” 1/2 of the wrap.
  • Drizzle small amount of mustard/dressing on the 1/2 side.
  • Place 4 pieces of deli meat on the 1/2 side.
  • On top of the meat, layer cheese/mashed avocado, spinach, tomatoes & veggies evenly.
  • Roll pinwheel from 1/2 side to clean side.
  • Cut in 1 inch sections.
  • Place pinwheels together in 5 separate meal prep containers.
  • Using 5 small separate containers or baggies, place 1 cup chopped carrots.
  • Using 5 small separate containers or baggies, combine about 10 nuts & 1 cup berries.
  • Scoop out 2 tsp peanut/almond butter into 5 separate containers.
  • Place pinwheels, carrots, nut butters, berry/nut mix together into 5 meal prep containers. Viola!

I’ve thrown this one in there for the person prepping for kids / unable to commit to based on time / food choices. It’s also SUPER budget friendly. EVERYONE can accomplish this. And it’s better than 99% of what you or your kids will get at school / restaurants. I mean…you CAN do this y’all. ZERO cooking required.

Shopping list:

  • Bread
  • No sugar nut butter
  • Low sugar jelly
  • Berries of choice
  • Pineapple
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Hummus

Meal prep:

  • Using two pieces of bread, make 5 PB&Js. Cut each into four triangles.
  • In a separate container, combine 5 1/3 cup berries & 1/3 cup pineapple portions.
  • In a separate container, put 5 2 TBSP hummus portions.
  • In a separate container, put 5 1/2 cup chopped carrots portions.
  • In a separate container, put 5 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers portions.
  • Package all together in one lunch container.

Can you ever go wrong with tacos? With burritos? I don’t think you can. In fact, my husband always compliments this meal!

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 can/bag corn
  • 1 can/bag black beans
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 3 large jalapeños
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Cheese
  • 2 cloves or 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Chili powder (or WAY more if you’re crazy like me)
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Choose ONE accessory: Cheese or Greek Yogurt or Avocado
  • Optional Dressing: 2 TBSP Herdes salsa + 1 TBSP Mayo

Recipe:

  • Cook 2 cups brown rice according to packages.
  • Mince 3 tomatoes, 2 jalapeños, 1 onion. Add lime juice, Salt & pepper. Place in separate refrigerated container (this is Pico de gallo).
  • Chop 1 onion, 1 jalapeños, garlic.
  • Brown meat in hot oil. Add in & sauté jalapeños, onion and garlic.
  • Season with garlic, chili powder, oregano, S&P. Add in tomato paste. Mix evenly.
  • Sauté (or mix in to above) corn & black beans.
  • Shred cheese to equal 5 ounces or 1 & 1/4 cups (or dice 1 avocado).

Meal prep:

  • Put 1/5 meat mixture in microwave-proof container.
  • Put 1/5 rice in microwave-proof container. Add in corn / beans if needed.
  • Put 1/5 pico de gallo mixture in microwave-proof container.
  • Divide cheese, avocado or even 1 cup greek yogurt into 5 portions for accessories.
  • In a separate container, put ONE accessory (cheese or yogurt).
  • Add in 2 TBSP dressing for each meal if desired.
  • Package all together into 5 separate lunch containers.

Meal prep you can get excited about

God made food to look good, to smell good and to taste good. For some reason, when we turn to eating healthy or meal prepping our recipe repertoire can be boring, basic and bland.

Sometimes that’s okay I guess. Especially if you’re just getting into meal prep or healthy eating and you need a very basic way to get started. Unfortunately, though, it can backfire.

It can backfire as you sit at your desk at work around 10 o’clock. Your mind starts thinking about what you’re eating.

Oh yay. Chicken and broccoli. Again.

That’s when Jim or Pam stops by and asks if you want to go out to lunch with them. All of the sudden that temptation looks a whole lot more tempting.

Adding variety and excitement to your food can really make a difference in your long-term success.

In fact, this weekend I get the privilege of hosting a healthy living table at my church. This fall I’m leading a group of them through a fitness and food group that will hopefully allow them to lead a healthier lifestyle in accordance with their goals. One of the main things I like to teach is that you shouldn’t eat food you hate. So, part of my “advertising” will be some really fun meal prep ideas for them that will bring us back around to healthy food that looks good, smells good and tastes good. I thought I’d share a few of those options with you today!

grekEazy Peazy meals

Greek Chicken Bowls are a great meal prep idea, particularly for beginners! In the beginning, most folks haven’t given up dairy yet and this is a nice way to have it without overdoing it. It’s also mostly raw. You know what that means? It means less time “preparing” your meal prep. It means more time chewing your food, signaling to your brain that you’re not being deprived. It’s also more nutrients for you. Most of all, it looks pretty!

shrimp-prep-bowls-5-of-7

These shrimp taco bowls are totally colorful, super fast and easy to make and feel like you’ve made it to a restaurant. They’re very balanced with carbs, protein, fats and a little fruit. I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat that? Side note: If you want less carbs, swap the rice for salad greens. I also make a quick & easy dressing for taco bowls out of a little mayo & salsa. It’s super delish!

pinwheels
theeverygirl.com

Pinwheels are always a got to for meal prep for me to share with my family or my clients. They seem fun because they’re finger food. They seem filling because the wrap seems like bread. Plus you can be endlessly creative with them! Wrap (basic tortilla to a spinach & sun dried tomatoes wrap), protein (deli meat of choice or a variety), veggie (spinach, lettuce, thinly sliced carrots, tomatoes, peppers, pickles), fat (cheese, avocado, olives or hummus) and a sauce (mayo, mustard, Italian dressing, etc). You can be your own Subway sandwich artist. Top with raw fruits and veggies and you’ve got a fun, interesting, super not boring lunch.

sriracha-cauliflower-fried-rice-meal-prep-2

Why go out for Asian food? You can make so many delicious and nutritious variations on your own at home and then have something to look forward to all week without the drive through headache. I like to make chicken fried cauliflower rice these days.  Of course, you can always go the brown rice way and just add in more veggies. Finally, you can choose to do half and half of rice and cauliflower rice! All you have to do is make the rice. Then stir fry veggies in oil. Then add in rice & a couple scrambled eggs. Mix it all up with soy sauce and ginger and other spices. That’s FRIED RICE y’all! That simple! Add in orange chicken or beef & broccoli and you’ve got a full on meal. Add in Sriracha and green onion to make it look pretty!

sandwiches
Damndelicious.net

If you really want to keep it simple and you’re not ready to say goodbye to sandwiches yet, check out this fun option! And, if you’re going to have crappy carbs, you may as well have them for lunch so they can burn off throughout the day! Add in a variety of fresh (aka no cooking required) fruits and veggies and this is the fastest meal prep ever!

There you go! Five options for meal prep that will have you excited. You’ll be sitting at your desk thinking,

I can’t wait for lunch!

4 mindset switches to help you eat healthier

Our nutrition is the most important component to our overall health as well as any attempts to lose weight or reshape the body. Even if we know that, though, sometimes the doing it can be pretty tough. So, here are 4 mindset shifts you can ponder today that might help you.

Food is fuel.

Many of my clients (and myself) use food as a reward or for pleasure. If you really try to think about and practice using food as fuel, it can really help you. If your body is a car, it needs high quality food do perform well. The food you give it is simply fuel. Keep feeding it high quality fuel. It is what powers our daily activities and all of our body’s functions. 

In other cases, I’ve seen folks use food as a means for punishing ourselves by withholding it. But you know what? Food is just fuel. It’s what your awesome, strong, capable body needs to do awesome things. When you feed it the right fuel, it gets stronger and more capable. When you feed it the wrong fuel it gets sluggish and less cooperative. It doesn’t function well.

But, what about that yummy food that makes you happy?

Outsource your joy.

If you’re overweight, if you have a problem with overeating and over drinking there is a big problem. You’re relying on food for pleasure. No, really. The dopamine hit you get when you crunch those salty chips or drink that sugary coffee give your brain temporary pleasure signals and you think you’re happy. But, there are consequences. First, your body goes into panic mode trying to process and deal with the non-fuel you just fed it. Then there’s the fact that you might often feel bad either about that choice or possibly just your body image overall. In the moment happy. After the moment NOT happy. Instead, figure out what things you can do that ACTUALLY make you happy. That ACTUALLY bring you long-lasting, residual joy. Do those things instead. I’ve noticed many people feel their day is so out of their own control, the only time they can get some pleasure is their food choices. That might also be the only time they get to do what they want to do. That’s a really crappy way to live, and you all deserve better than that. Find more ways to infuse joy daily and you might find yourself turning to food/booze less. (I’ll post about creating a joy list soon! You can also just schedule a session with me if you need help here!)

Eat real food.

This is the easiest and hardest of all four. People try to come up with different strategies and different diets. That just complicates things. Keep it simple and make it so you might actually find some success. Just eat real food (food that God & nature produced, not man). For example, I have a friend who wanted to go gluten free and dairy free. So she bought gluten free bread and coconut dairy stuff. You know what’s way easier? Just don’t eat bread or dairy. That is SO much easier than trying to find these  sneaky ways to have your cake and eat it too. Now, I am not saying it’s what you WANT to do. I’m just saying it’s going to make it easier to be successful. Go back to the last strategy and do it LOTS more if you find yourself that upset over the loss of cheese.

Don’t eat food you hate.

Real food is colorful, flavorful, smelly (good or bad) and all the things. You know why? Because you are supposed to enjoy eating. It’s a total experience. But many times when we make the switch to healthy, we limit ourselves to really bland, boring or disgusting food. No WONDER we revert back to the drive thru or junk food aisle. I don’t want to eat steamed fish and steamed broccoli either.

What you can do is find your very favorite foods that also happen to be healthy. Keep them around and well stocked. Look forward to your food. That’s allowed, even in healthy land.

*The above is an excerpt from my upcoming book. To be notified when it’s released, simply put your name and email here.

*If you’d like to work together, fill out the contact form below.

Picky eater solutions

Last night I was at football practice listening to parents lament about their kiddo’s eating habits. Oh yes, this is something we can all relate to. If you can’t, you have some miracle parenting method that I really need to soak in!

We all face the picky eater issues to some degree. Sometimes that’s a toddler testing independence, a kiddo with texture issues or even a child who has never developed a palette for anything other than chicken nuggets and macaroni.

I always say I ruined my first kid, then I figured it out from there. Because I’d not ever learned how to eat correctly, I had no way how to feed him. To make matters worse, he had a gag reflex, made worse by the tool they gave me to feed him because of the reflex. Now I know it made things worse, but I just didn’t know then.

I fed my first kiddo Nutrigrain bars. I don’t really remember what else, but that was probably as nutritious as it got. As for texture issues, he would vomit spaghetti and other foods his mouth couldn’t handle.

As for my other kids, I literally just cooked down or blended whatever we ate and gave it to them. By the third kid, I had it down. Her first foods were avocado and eggs and she still drinks a shake everyday.

The road has been long. I don’t want to tell you all of my woes but I do want to tell you picky eaters can definitely be CAUSED by us parents and fortunately, they can also be REMEDIED by us parents. Today Zach eats eggs and oatmeal for breakfast and his favorite vegetable is raw spinach. He’s not perfect, but we have made great strides in his future. My goal is for my kiddos to leave my house with healthy eating habits so they don’t have the health issues or learning crisis I had as a grown woman.

Here are some strategies I’ve used and I recommend to you if you have similar goals:

Reduce portions.

The first strategy to help your picky eater is to reduce portions. We often put so much more food on their plates than they can or even should eat. They’re little people. With little bellies. Start with really small portions for the kiddos because it will seem less daunting to them as they look at their plates. I’m talking like two green beans. Then you can easily celebrate success because it might be one or two bites you have to get through. And you better celebrate. I mean, make this the biggest deal in the history of the world. Then maybe next time they’ll eat three green beans. Gains. We’re all about the incredibly slow, microscopic gains.

Choices empower.

The second strategy is that choices empower. When it comes to your picky eater, you can give them choices. A while ago I wanted all of the kids to try cherry tomatoes. To be fair, their dad doesn’t even like them. I wasn’t expecting much. I gave my son the choice of trying one tomato for dinner or ten pieces of spinach. Do you believe he chose a huge handful of spinach over the one tomato? I can. With this strategy he still gets nutrition (it wasn’t one tomato or candy) but he feels a little more in control. Control is a key factor with picky eaters. I let my kids pick their choices in their lunches. I control what they can choose from, they get to choose. Would you believe my son now chooses spinach every time as his lunch veggie? This is the kid who hadn’t even tasted a raw vegetable until he was 3 or 4 years old.

To eat or not to eat.

Another variation of this strategy is to allow your kiddos to choose whether to eat or not. You see, for so many of us meal times can become a nightmare. We are either making a million different foods or begging people to eat the food in front of them. It can be so draining. And we want meal time to be nice. I’ve given you some overall strategies for kiddos above like ensuring there is always something they like on the table, something worth fighting for. For your picky eaters, you should also consider allowing them to choose not to eat. Also, let them choose how much to eat. Consider allowing them to dish it out on their plates themselves. Then, sit back and ignore their choices. Choose not to engage in coaxing, nagging or arguing or any of it. I’m here to tell you you cannot out stubborn a picky eater, or at least not without unneeded consequences. Science shows it typically makes matters worse anyway.

Instead, serve it and let it go. Just ask about their day and get about the business of enjoying meal time, regardless of their choices. If they choose to go hungry, that’s their choice. Most mealtimes will offer something they will eat so they probably won’t starve. But if they do, they do. They’ve made the choice not to eat. Empowering them also means allowing them to feel the consequences of their choices. Your job is to give them the choice and then leave it alone.

The kitchen is closed.

The third strategy is to close the kitchen and it’s probably the one that can make the biggest difference in our lives. Stop allowing kids to eat all day. Most kids don’t eat because they are not hungry. They’ve been snacking. ALL DAY. You’ll be amazed at how this simple trick can change your picky eater’s habits. Also, don’t offer any other options for dinner or after dinner. They will learn. And no, they will not starve. You also win in this situation because you can be done with food battles in between meal times. That includes dishes. Yay!

Repitition is okay.

Fourth, I want you to be okay with repetition. If you can only get your picky eater to eat a few healthy things, that’s fine. Celebrate the win and understand that their palettes will eventually change. As they continue eating healthy, their taste buds will adapt to desire (or at least not hate) more healthy things. Remember how many times they watched that one show or wanted you to read them that one book? Kids are all about repetition, so use it as a tool in your toolbox.

Lead the way.

Finally, lead the way. One study showed the variety of fruits and vegetables purchased by the parents directly correlated to the amount the children ate. In 2005 researchers showed that kiddos were more likely to try something new if they saw an adult eating it first. This strategy also means eating as a family. 

So, what do you think? Do you think any of these strategies can help you?

Food is medicine

You are a fortress. The things your body has done for you, the things it does on a daily basis and the things it will do for you in the future are all pretty incredible. The fortress, though, needs fuel. It needs fuel to function, at least if you want it to continue to do be a fortress.

In the land of adulting, one of the hardest adjustments for me to make was how to eat like a human. You see, most of us are eating the SAD (Standard American Diet) and either don’t realize the damage it does or just don’t know how to get away from it.

In fact, I’d submit to you that learning about real nutrition requires you to completely unlearn what you’ve thought or been taught. It’s like learning a foreign language. I remember when my mom told me that I just knew more stuff about food than she’d ever been told. She had regrets, but there simply wasn’t the information out there when she was a mom that we have available now.

That’s more true than we realize. Some examples of popular ideas in the past include the food pyramid (doesn’t even exist anymore, hello) and how bad fat is for you (nope, fat isn’t bad. Eating fried food all day everyday? That’s bad). Those ideas are just a few of the ideas that illustrate we essentially have to unlearn everything and use our own common sense and critical analysis on nutrition.

The first step to getting our minds right about nutrition is to see food as fuel. It is what powers our daily activities and all of our body’s functions. Many of us have an unhealthy relationship with food. We may see it as a reward and we overindulge. Sometimes we see it as a means for punishing ourselves by withholding it.

But you know what? Food is just fuel. It’s what your awesome, strong, capable body needs to do awesome things. When you feed it the right fuel, it gets stronger and more capable. When you feed it the wrong fuel it gets sluggish and less cooperative. It doesn’t function well. That’s because:


Food is medicine.


 

Just like gas is made up of certain factors that make an engine run, (real) food is made up of compounds that our bodies need to run. You know, proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals. Fats, 50 grams per day. Vitamin C, 75 mg per day. Calcium, 1,136 mg per day (recommended daily intakes according to the USDA). You get it. Food is medicine. Let’s look at a couple of Merriam Webster’s definitions to really, effectively and annoyingly hone in on this idea:

 


m e d · i · c i n e: a substance or preparation used in treating disease


 

Okay, so if that’s true, then what is the definition of disease?

 


d i s· e a s e: a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms


 

So, if disease simply means the body is not functioning normally and we know that 1) medicine is what is used to treat those impaired functions and 2) food is the source of things that make our bodies function properly, then we can conclude food is medicine.

Every time you eat, you can be putting medicine down your gullet. Likewise, every time you eat you can be putting stuff down your gullet that impairs functions. That makes it pretty clear, at least to me.

Clear, however, doesn’t mean easy. Right?

*The above is an excerpt from my upcoming book. To be notified when it’s released, simply put your name and email here.

*If you’d like help with fitness, fill out the contact form below.

 

Fuel or chaos?

The food God provides also comes with instructions for your body. It’s fuel.

Yes, things like fruits, veggies, nuts, olives, beans and other stuff come with their very own decoding instructions. Your body knows what to do with them. They provide you with fuel without confusing anything (unless you’ve got a unique case).

The food made by man messes with your brain, hormones and digestive system. Your body doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s havoc.

Yes, things like flour and sugar are man made (I mean unless you’re chewing on some sugar cane) and therefore they elicit these really weird responses in your brain, with your hormones and with your digestive system. That’s not to say the body doesn’t work REALLY hard to figure out what to do. But the dopamine response you get is like CRAZY. The insulin response is like CRAZY. The turmoil your gut goes through (even if you don’t feel it) to break this food down into something it can transfer to cells to use is CRAZY.

Real food gives you lasting nutritional benefits. Energy. Vitamins. Nutrients. Fiber.

Fake food gives you lasting medical issues. I bet you can name someone you know with everyone of these issues: sleeping problems, energy problems, chronic pain, headaches, anxiety, depression. Then there’s things like diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, colitis, IBS, high cholesterol and more. While there are environmental factors to this disease, there’s also a lot to blame on the Standard American Diet (SAD).

Real food gives you lasting benefits like energy, pride and a body less encumbered. Because your body can use real food efficiently and nutrients and energy to cells, you’re going to have more energy. You’re also not slowed down by a digestive system that is literally  like WHAAAAT do I do with all this nonsense?

Pride! That you put your health first, that your clothes fit, that you honor and care for your body.

A body that is free to do more because it’s properly fueled. One that isn’t stopped by figuring out what clothes are going to fit. One that doesn’t have big obstructions when you bend over to do things.

Fake food gives you short term happiness and sacrifices those long term benefits. You feel happy in the moment (and it’s not your fault, your brain is like WOOOO and your gut microbes are like FEED MEEEE. But I teach, I PLEAD, how we can find OTHER sources of temporary, natural highs so that we can still ALSO get those long term benefits too.

I know that’s the logic. But how to put it into action? Actually IMPLEMENTING that can seem overwhelming. Need a coach? I’m your Huckleberry. Fill out the form below and it will come straight to me!

photo_178324429229526

 

Veggie monster

One simple trick to help you get your food/health/life under control is to become a veggie monster.

Yes, go back to the good ol’ days when mom forced you to eat your veggies. This time, though, feel free to pick veggies you actually like. Prepare veggies the way you like them.

Then, fill your plate mostly with them. You see, it’s pretty hard to overeat veggies. That’s the good news.While they are low in calories, veggies are high in other good stuff. They’re where our vitamins and nutrients come from, they bring fiber and other goodness with them. That means we can “fill up” on them but then our body can naturally process them and we’re fueled properly.

 

36875874_10216666786600829_2077281690287341568_n
Veggies most. For me.With a small side of brown rice noodle chicken pad thai! Let’s not get carried away with him.

When we fill up on processed foods, meat, dairy and pretty much anything other than veggies, the likelihood of us taking in too much energy is much higher. And remember, we’re on a food budget. Wait, what?

A food budget is simply taking in the amount of energy (calories) your body needs and no more. Like a real budget, we don’t want to go beyond our budget. We don’t want to go over the budget, we want to stay within. The amount of energy you need each day is called your Basic Metabolic Rate. It’s a wee bit complicated and there are calculators out there, but here’s the basics.

FORMULA FOR BMR:
W = weight in kilograms (weight (lbs)/2.2) =weight in kg  (for me, that’s 150 / 2.2 = 68.19)
H = height in centimeters (inches x 2.54) =height in cm (66 x 2.54 = 167.64)
A = age in years (35)

Men: BMR=66.47+ (13.75 x W) + (5.0 x H) – (6.75 x A)
Women: BMR=665.09 + (9.56 x W) + (1.84 x H) – (4.67 x A)

665.09 + (9.56 x 68.19 = 651.9) + (1.84 x 167.64 = 308.45) – (4.67 x 35 = 163.45) = 1462ish

Personally, I don’t specifically track calories (anymore) because I’m more interested in the bigger energy picture. I know if I am a veggie monster I most likely won’t go over my energy needs. Plus, calories are complicated when you’re working out AND trying to lose weight.

You know what’s not complicated? Eating a lot of veggies.

So, in order to be a veggie monster, simply place more veggies on your plate than anything else. Put the good stuff on there, sure, but not until after the veggies. And make sure the veggies are the majority of the plate.

Then be sure to clean your plate before going back for more. You might find you’re still hungry. Fine, go grab some more good stuff. Then again, you might find you’re not! Or at the very least, your jaw might be tired from chewing all the veggies! We’ll call that a success.

This is a small adaptation to make with eating and I KNOW you can do it. Even a small change can produce big results. One of my favorite examples to illustrate this concept comes from page 60 of Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect. It’s about a plane that will travel from LAX to NYC.

“If the nose of the plane is pointed only 1 percent off course – almost an invisible adjustment when the plane’s sitting on the tarmac in Los Angeles – it will ultimately end up about 150 miles off course, arriving either upstate in Albany or in Dover, Delaware. Such is the case for your habits. A single poor habit, which doesn’t look like much in the moment, can ultimately lead you miles off course from the direction of your goals and the life you desire.”

That’s it for today. Your action is to decide which veggies you like and how you like them prepared. Then fill your plate mostly with those with a side of good stuff. You’ve got this! Tell us your favorite veggies in the comments.

If you’d like more help, contact me and we can work together.

 

 

 

Chicken fried cauliflower rice

Chicken fried rice is a great healthy meal that isn’t as complicated to make as you might think! Most of us see it as comfort food, but if you make it at home it can be a really healthy and balanced meal.

My basic recipe for chicken fried rice:

  • 2 cups cooked & cooled brown rice (cook using chicken broth if you like)
  • Coconut oil.
  • Mixed veggies/onion/whatever you like.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce.
  • Sea salt & pepper.
  1. Cool rice before stir frying it. For science starchy reasons.
  2. Heat coconut oil in skillet.
  3. Add in veges of choice, sauté until softened. (You can also add chicken and stir fry at this point)
  4. Beat 1 egg, add in and scramble.
  5. Add in rice, brown a bit.
  6. Add in 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce, sea salt & pepper. Mix everything together.

These days I’ve switched over to chicken fried cauliflower rice for me. It’s a way to increase veggies while also reducing carbs and not feeling like I’m missing out. That’s especially important at dinner time which is the worst time to consume carbs. Here are some tips:

  • Use rice for them, at least 1/2 and 1/2 cauliflower rice for you! Or go all cauliflower for you!
  • Add in lots onions (I use 2!) to the sauté veggie process for EXTRA sneaky veggies AND extra bad breath. You’re welcome.
  • I don’t use rotisserie chicken, I just poach my own chicken breasts and then shred them using my stand mixer.
  • Make a double batch. Super easy meal prep and it’s ONE dish to heat for lunch. 
31713328_10216126487133680_2606954438962708480_n
His and hers Chicken Fried Rice. Mine is all Cauliflower Rice. Can you tell which one it is?

To make cauliflower rice you can either buy it in the frozen section at your grocery store (comparable in price really and so much easier!).

OR:

  • Pulse cauliflower in blender/food processor with a teeny bit of water-don’t overdo it. Just enough to break it up.
  • Put in flour sack towel/paper towel and squeeze out excess water. Roast in a single, even layer at 450 with olive oil/seasoning until crispyish. (Don’t burn like I do almost every time.)
  • Fry cut up, seasoned (salt & pepper) chicken in sesame oil.
  • Remove, add in veggies, eggs (beaten) with soy sauce until they look amazing.
  • Then add chicken and rice in with a bit more sesame oil and soy sauce. *
  • Toss and cook until it looks even amazinger. Serve and enjoy all the amazingness.

*This is the kind of stuff I post daily in my health and fitness group. If you’d like to join my online health & fitness group, just let me know below.

Back up plan

Life happens, am I right? Sometimes your best intentions and even your best plans may NOT happen. That’s where a back up plan comes in. A back up plan helps us when things get crazy.

You see, often when things get crazy, our health and fitness goes to the bottom of the list. We have to break that cycle. Do you know why? Because you’re very important. You’re very important to people in your life. If you don’t find a way to make it work, you’re not going to be able to fulfill the roles that are making you “too busy” to be healthy.

Capisce?

You’ll be worse at work, worse as a parent, worse as a spouse if your health isn’t taken care of.

You’re also setting a terrible example to anyone watching by putting yourself and your health at the bottom of the list. Do you want that for the people you love? Is that what you want to teach them? I know it’s not.

So, one method to deal with the craziness is to have a back up plan for your nutrition.

Step 1 is to always have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, you’re just planning to fail. Unless you’re already super mindful about your food, you WILL NOT navigate toward really great choices as easily as you will with a full plan. (I offer new plans EACH week with shopping lists and recipes in my group!)

So, if for some reason Step 1 gets lost on us, let’s move on with grace. Let’s say it somehow came to be 4:30 and you have to leave for gymnastics and have zero plans for dinner. (No worries, that’s never happened to me.)

You need to have a back up plan! I live my life according to lessons learned on Friends. In Friends, Phoebe suggests to Rachel she should get a back up in case she isn’t married by 40. So, naturally Rachel tried to ask her friends Ross and Joey to be her back up. She realizes then that Phoebe has cunningly committed BOTH men as a back up to the back up.

And so it shall be for us.

Here are 4 back up plans in case dinner just escaped you:

  1. No cook salad. Yes, it’s boring, but it’s doable! Part of your monthly shopping should ALWAYS include things like EVOO, dijon honey, olives, avocado/cheese, the best deli meat you can afford and fresh veggies like lettuce and tomatoes. So fast! (Here’s a from scratch salad dressing recipe) You can put it in a wrap to make it different. And, if you have some turkey bacon on hand, swap a slice or two of deli meat for it!
  2. Breakfast for dinner. Again, you’ll have these ingredients on hand because you make it a priority to get ingredients for breakfast on your monthly shopping trip. And breakfast is usually pretty healthy. For example, if I’m really in a dinner bind, I throw a few eggs, spinach and tomatoes in the skillet. Tada! The kids might get the same with some pancakes added in!
  3. Shake for dinner. I don’t advise doubling up shakes everyday but in a pinch, go for what we call two-a-days: a second shake. Add in banana, peanut butter and greens to make it more filling. This is way better than other choices you’ll make!
  4. Something healthy at the grocery store. Aldis, Walmart, Trader Joes and Target ALL have some healthy to go items that are better than other choices you’ll have.

You might have ones of your own that would work really well. What are they? Commit a few moments to thinking about them now so when crunch time comes you’re ready.

*This is the kind of stuff I post daily in my health and fitness group. If you’d like to join my online health & fitness group, just let me know below.

“Low carb” isn’t the real answer

I’m not really a fan of oatmeal. But when I do eat it, I add pumpkin pie or apple pie spice and a tsp of raw honey.

🍯

I eat a “low carb” diet but only by accident. Rather, I fuel my body with what it needs and it just only needs a small amount of carbs like these.

🥒

I do eat a lot of veggies though. Also carbs.

😉

The solution isn’t eliminating them all together because the problem isn’t the carbs. It’s the AMOUNT. Carbs provide a LOT of energy. But we are not USING that much energy in a typical day. It’s a simple math equation.

🤷‍♀️

A friend of mine told me about her food one day through. Cereal in the morning, sandwich for lunch and corn on the cob with dinner. Among other choices.

🚫

When I first started put, I realized this is what I was doing too. (Crappy) Carbs with every meal because they were fast, easy, people didn’t complain about hem and it just seemed normal.

💁‍♀️

Now I know. A little with breakfast, a little with lunch and that’s how much I need to build a body I’m proud of. And I do mean a little.

😊