Quick, Healthy, and Tasty Meal Prep

Hey everyone! Settling back into your routine after last week’s holiday festivities? Even with Draz and I not doing much here, I know things have calmed down a bit this week. I’m gearing up for a lot of things coming up here, so quick and healthy meal prep has been my main focus lately! This week’s meal prep were wonderful and only took a few hours to put together!

Enjoy!

Get your week started right and save time with this quick, healthy and tasty meal prep!

Once again, I forgot to take pictures of our snacks. These honestly haven’t been changing much lately, though this week I really only put together a couple of snacks total. (I know, shocking!)

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But our main dishes more than make up for that. Not only are they oh-so-pretty and colorful, but these dishes turned out delicious! For me, I made more Chicken Burrito Bowls and Kielbasa, Peppers, Onion and Potato Hash! This hash is seriously one of my favorite dishes! So filling, healthy and very savory. The one main change I made to the hash was using sweet potatoes instead of regular. Just plan for longer to saute the potatoes a bit longer than the recipe calls for. For the burrito bowls, I might use guacamole instead of chopped avocado. I think the using lime juice to keep it from browning didn’t work quite as well for me this time around. Still was tasty, but didn’t hold up as well as it did last week.

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For Draz, I made Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli, Baked Smothered Chicken, and Skinny Lasagna Rolls. A couple of these ended up having extra servings that I got to enjoy later 🙂 His favorite for the week was definitely the Beef and Broccoli! So tasty and it only takes 15 minutes or so to get going!

Here is the macros breakdown for the week:

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Want to give this one a try yourself? Get your downloadable grocery list here!

That’s it for this week! As I said earlier, I’ve been pretty focused on quick and simple recipes lately. Lots coming up, and some of it even has to do with the blog! I am headed to Las Vegas in a little over a week for BlogFest and couldn’t be more excited for it! I’m sure I will have a lot to share with you afterwards!

Any trips or vacations coming up for you? I would love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below!

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Budget-Friendly High Protein Meal Prep

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! I actually got to celebrate a little for this holiday. My parents came to camp nearby, so I got to spend some time out there with them! It was great to just relax by the fire and chat 🙂

I am super excited to share this week’s meal prep with you all! Not only is it absolutely delicious, but it was really nice to our budget too. Enjoy!

Want some high protein meals for your weekly meal prep without having to spend a lot of money? This meal prep is the perfect solution!

So, in all my crazy distracted-ness, I actually forgot to photograph the snacks from this week’s meal prep. I kept things pretty basic though. Cookie dough protein balls for Draz, chicken lunchmeat and cheese, celery sticks and peanut butter, and a few hard-boiled eggs. These higher protein and fat snacks have been working great for me! If you have any suggestions for high protein snacks you love, I would love to hear about them!

Now on to our main dishes of the week: Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta and Slow Cooker Pulled Pork for Draz (some favorites). Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken and Low Carb Chicken Burrito Bowls for me! Normally we have a little more overlap in what we eat throughout the week, but this one turned out pretty well split between us. I did have a little pulled pork though, because it is absolutely delicious 🙂

One change I made to the Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken – I doubled the amount of chicken in the recipe. This recipe is originally intended to be side dish. So to make it work better for a main meal, I increased the amount of protein! I didn’t have to change anything else and it worked great with more chicken!

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The Burrito Bowls were new and I absolutely loved them! I will admit, I was a little skeptical at first, since part of it calls for cutting up avocado and putting it in the bowls. But the lime did the trick and the avocado held up great throughout the week! For the shredded chicken, I used a variation of her Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken, but subbing out the tomato sauce for 2 cans of diced tomatoes (mostly because I didn’t have any tomato sauce haha). One thing to note for this recipe – it might make things easier to buy the avocados a few days ahead of time so they are ripe. I didn’t plan well for this, so I actually ended up assembling the burrito bowls a day later than the rest of the meal prep. Also, I left out the sour cream, since I’m not a big fan of it.

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Here are the macros for this week’s main dishes:

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Want to give this menu a try? Get your grocery list here!

That’s it for me this week! What did you do over your holiday weekend? Did you still do meal prep? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below!

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What is the Best Time of Day to Workout?

Whether you are just getting started on your fitness journey or have been at it for a while, I’m sure you want to get your best results! I know I want to get the best workout possible. After all, we are already taking out some serious time out of our day to work on our fitness, so we want to know when the best time to workout is. After all, we want the best results from that time, right?

The short answer - there isn't one! Click through to hear about why I think the "best" time to workout is the one that works best for you!

So what is the best time for you to workout? Short answer – There isn’t one. The best time to workout is the time when you will ACTUALLY do it!

When I first started on my fitness journey many years ago, I was obsessed with finding the right time to workout. I ready article after article and came to the eventual, horrible conclusion – You are supposed to do morning workouts. Now, I am seriously not a morning person. Not even close. But that is what expert after expert said, so I resigned myself to the fact.

To say that didn’t go well would be an understatement. There were days I managed to get up and workout at the beginning of my day, but those were far and few between. I will admit, I always felt really accomplished on those days that I did get it done! I had done the responsible, right thing to do! It was great! But more often, I was plagued with guilt the whole day for “being lazy” and not getting my workout done when I planned to. (We can talk about my negative self talk another day – that is something I still struggle with today)

But the workouts themselves didn’t always go very well either! I had a really hard time waking up, which led to a few clumsy injuries. And I had a harder time pushing myself too. So my workouts themselves weren’t as effective as I wanted them to be. I just didn’t have the energy I needed to really go hard!

The other issue that came up with this failure to consistently do my morning workout – I would then do my workout after work, but still try to get to bed early enough to wake up for next mornings workout. So then I would be trying to force myself to go to sleep not too long after my workout, and then getting frustrated that I couldn’t fall asleep.

You can see how this all got to be pretty terrible, right?!

A couple of years ago, I got fed up with this whole cycle. I was stressed all the time and felt pretty horrible about myself and my lack of willpower. Plus, I had started to notice that when I worked out after work, I pushed harder and still felt good, even though it was the “wrong time.” So I decided to do a bit of an experiment.

For one month, I would plan for my workouts to be after work. No more getting up earlier or going to bed earlier. This still requires willpower of course. There are many days after work where I don’t want to do much of anything. But I wanted to see if there would be much of a difference.

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Not only was there a difference, but it was a big one! I started having more energy, sleeping better and getting more workouts in each week! I felt better about myself and just better in general! And this is when I really realized that there is NO best workout time. In the end, the time that lets you actually get your workout in is much better than some ideal time that doesn’t work well for you.

Do I always get my workout in after work?…No, I don’t. There are days where I get off of work and go home and basically collapse. But overall, I get more and better workouts in after work then I ever did when I tried to do them in the mornings! And I feel better every day because I am getting my workouts in regularly. And that is what really matters to me!

Now, none of this means that you shouldn’t workout in the mornings. If that works for you, that is great! Even if you aren’t a morning person but think it would work better for you, I would encourage you to give it a try! What I really want you to take away from this is that you don’t HAVE to workout at one particular time, and you aren’t failing or lazy if you can’t make yourself workout in the mornings. That might just not be the best time for you!

What has been your experience with timing your workouts? Do you love morning workouts? Hate em? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please leave a comment below!

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When Meal Prep Doesn’t Work Out (and an Announcement)

Hey everyone! It’s been a while! And that fact is where the announcement comes in – I might be missing posts a little more often right now. I do love sharing my life with you all! My meal preps, fitness tips and so much more.

But part of taking care of yourself is working to find balance. And lately, well, my life has been pretty out of balance. I’m hard at work on my jewelry business and trying to build more of a career in fitness. Along with that, I’m still working overnights at my “regular” job and trying to maintain some time with Draz as well. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave me nearly as much time for the blog as I would like.

I am going to try to still put out 2 posts a week, but I’m going to ask that you bear with me while I try to figure out my new schedule and responsibilities! Hopefully at some point I will be able to leave my overnights job and have a little more time available.

Now on to the second part of this post – the downside of weekly meal prep!

You all know that I absolutely love my meal prep. It helps me set up for success each week, save money and have more time! I’m able to plan well to hit my macros, feel full every day and keep my stress level down while I deal with my busy life. But there are some downsides as well. One big one is when your meal prep doesn’t go the way you hoped it would!

That is just what happened this week. Sometimes I will have one recipe I’m not thrilled with. This week I had the bad luck of all 3 recipes not turning out well! Add on to this that I didn’t check the macros before planning and so my carbs were over every day. And I didn’t make enough food for the week. So all in all, not a great week for food at our house!

But this is one of the risks when doing meal prep. There might be the occasion when you don’t like anything you cooked. Now, of course, this can happen any given week that you cook, even if you aren’t prepping. But there is something discouraging about knowing that all of your food is ready for the week and you don’t like any of it!

This is one of the reasons I encourage people to only test 1-2 new recipes any given week. This is usually a rule I stick to myself as well, for just this reason. That way, if something doesn’t turn out well, you have other options that you do like! It won’t save you from eating the dish you don’t like, but at least it’s not for every meal haha.

So, no recipes to share with you this week, because I’m not going to subject you to that! Instead, a reminder to try to pace yourself with new recipes. And a peak into my kitchen, showing you that even someone who meal preps every week has weeks that go wrong! It’s all part of the learning process!

Have you ever had a meal prep not go well? How did you deal with it?

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Finding Fitness: Di from Work Out With Di

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to bring you this month’s Finding Fitness interview! Di is so open and honest, and with over 20 years in the fitness industry, she has a lot of knowledge to share! Enjoy!

Looking for some inspiration and guidance on your health and fitness journey? Then Di has you covered! Come check out my interview with Di for some new inspiration, then head over to her blog to check her out as well!

Background: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Oh boy this could be a blog post in of itself.. in a nutshell: I’m a 45 year old woman living in California, though I was born and raised in England. I moved to the USA in 2001 with my husband and we became citizens 3 years ago. We have been married 18 years, no kids (more on that one later), and have one dalmatian. Fun fact: we got married in a hot air balloon! That already tells you we’re non-traditional, and have a quirky sense of humor right?

How did your fitness journey start? What motivated the change? Along with that, what has kept you interested?

I guess it started with school. I wasn’t on any sports teams but I grew up in the 80’s in the era of Jane Fonda and fondly remember doing her workout videos in my living room with my leotard, tights and legwarmers. We had a weekly aerobics class after school and I grew to love group fitness classes. Post-school me and my BFF would go to weekly classes at the local fitness center. Just once or twice a week if it fit into our work schedule (we worked shifts).

For me it wasn’t so much a change in fitness journey but life in general. When I was 23 I got a callback after my annual well woman check. I had some ‘abnormal cells’ on my pap results. After a whirlwind of more tests, biopsies, and laser surgery I was declared “clear” but it was a ‘wake-up call’. I was in a job I hated (retail management) and they say if you find something you love to do you’ll never work another day in your life… so what did I LOVE to do? The only thing I could think of was the group fitness classes! In 1996 at 24 years old I switched careers and earned my group fitness certification and I’ve worked in fitness since.

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What has been your biggest challenge in your fitness journey and how have you dealt with it?

When we moved to the USA in 2001 I wasn’t able to work as I didn’t have a work visa. That year was the year of the terror attacks and understandably all visa/green-card applications came to a screeching halt so it took us 7 years to get our green-cards. During that time I gained 25lbs. To say we fully embraced the standard American diet would be an understatement. That combined with moving less (I was playing World of Warcraft with friends), and being so far from family. I wasn’t sure I wanted to return to a fitness career but that possibility was there, so I set about cleaning up my diet, I started running and working out again, and dropped the 25lbs. In 2009 I started working in the fitness industry again.

Have you had any setbacks since starting your fitness journey? If so, how did you deal with them?

I mentioned we don’t have children. One reason for that is that I have a hereditary condition called Polycystic Kidney Disease [PKD]. Cysts grow in and on your kidneys, reducing function. The chances of passing that to my children is 50% and as the condition has no cure, and the treatment is basically eventually dialysis/transplant. That’s a big risk that we weren’t prepared to take so we simply opted out of parenthood.
With the help of diet and exercise I’d been pretty healthy since my cancer scare but 3 years ago I had my first bout of symptoms due to PKD. I was actually teaching a Les Mills CXworx class and the last exercise was prone back extensions. An exercise that was so simple right? I felt “something” pushing into the floor from my abdomen. I came home and slept the rest of the day. I made an appointment with my nephrologist we ran tests. My left kidney was “growing”, as I now had more cysts, and cysts on my liver too. The enlarged kidney has continued to cause me issues and I’ve had to make significant changes. I stopped teaching CXworx, and BodyCombat. As much as I loved the classes they continued to aggravated my left kidney due to movement speed, rotation, and compression. Honestly it was all a “wake-up” call for me. I’ve seen my family members on dialysis, my mum and uncle both have transplants, and I still have an aunt and cousin needing transplants. I could continue to stress my body and cause more damage to my body… or choose to listen to it. I chose the latter. That’s when I began moving into the current era of my fitness journey.

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What achievement are you the most proud of?

I started my career in fitness in 1996 and during the last 20 years I’ve done so many forms of fitness. Spinning, running, cycling, weights, pilates, step, aqua, Zumba, Les Mills… but none bring me to the same space as Yoga. I started teaching yoga at a gym in 2010 but in 2014 I took the plunge and did my RYT200. I took my first yoga class at 13 and 30 years later I was teaching it!
Goals are progressive though, when I achieve one I take a break then start looking for others. I’ve run multiple 5k races including two dressed as Santa and the color run was fun! I’ve also run a couple of 10ks, a 1/2 marathon, all of which lead to a few duathlons, a cycling event and and in 2016 I did my first triathlon. As someone who hates swimming that was a task. I’m always the most proud of my last goal, and for me that was the triathlon. Ask me again in 5 years!

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Outside of the physical, what have been some significant changes brought on by your fitness journey?

While I did lose 25lbs the fact that I have PKD makes this a health journey not just fitness. Health care providers always ask what blood pressure medications I take as high BP is a symptom of PKD. At 45 most people my age with PKD are on at least one medication. Usually for high blood pressure. Thanks to diet and exercise I’m still at stage 2 of the disease and I want to stay here as long as I can.

What are you working towards now? What are your goals and dreams, fitness-wise?

Right now I’m working towards my RYT500 for my own practice and teaching, and my e-RYT200 to become a yoga educator. I’ve been helping with the current yoga teacher trainees this year and it’s something I’ve found I have a passion for.

What does a typical training week look like?

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This has changed a LOT over the last 5 years. I used to actively instruct classes (Les Mills etc) but now since switching class formats I coach more, which leaves me more time and energy for my own workouts. I now only teach 7-10 classes a week, have private clients 4 days a week, and coach a couple of clients online.

Honestly I don’t have a “typical week”, it’s an ongoing schedule I tweak depending on my goals (last year I did a lot of cardio for the triathlon) but this is the current training week for my current goals.

Monday – Weights: Legs & Glutes,
Tuesday -Weights: Shoulders & triceps;
Wednesday -Weights: Glutes, Biceps
Thursday -Weights: Legs, glutes, back,
Friday – Weights: Shoulders & triceps Cardio: Spin Class
Saturday – Weights: Legs, glutes & chest
Sunday – Rest day, usually just walking and yoga.

Everyday – I walk my dog 3 miles in the morning, then 30 mins in the afternoon and 20 in the evening. So I get about 2 hours of walking per day. I also try to get 30 mins of yoga and meditation daily. Plus I move a fair amount in my daily life teaching and interacting with clients. I usually try and get in 2 other HIIT cardio sessions in during the week beside my weekly spin class. Due to my schedule though, this changes. Right now it’s Tuesday and Sunday as I work early Wednesdays and Thursdays. My goal is to start running with my dog again a couple of mornings a week.

What does an average day of eating look like for you?

finding-fitness-diAgain due to my schedule my work days don’t have any consistency. I find meal prepping to be so important for staying on track and would encourage anyone with shift work or lack of time to do the same. Busy days are:

Breakfast is usually a smoothie with spinach, berries, bananas, almond milk, flaxseed meal and protein powder

Lunch is something I usually made ahead of time. Usually a burritto bowl with tons of veggies, beans, salsa, guacamole

Dinner in the week we eat late. Typically we sit down to eat around 7.30-8pm. Typical meals for us include tacos, burger’n’fries, meatloaf, or our favorite: curry.

Snacks: Tofu icecream, pancakes, or dateballs are things I snack on. Depends on the day and activity level.

In case I didn’t mention it already I’m vegan. I’ve been vegan since June 2013 and I was vegetarian for 20 years prior to that. My husband is vegetarian. One of our current favorite things is a sandwich with Benevolent Bacon, tofurky roast slices, and melted daiya cheddar slice on Eureka seeds the day bread. So good and 38g protein!

Do you take any supplements? If so, could you tell us a little about what ones and why? If not, why not?

If you’d asked me this 5 years ago I’d have said no. However since my PKD progressed I’m not processing some vitamins efficiently.
Currently I take: Vitamin D3 as that showed up on a nephrology bloodwork done 2 years ago (it’s processed by the kidneys); B12 (as I am vegan), and protein powders (I love plantfusion, SunWarrior and Nuzest).
For hot days, long runs, or intense cardio I also use electrolyte replacement drinks, I like Nuun, Emergen-C or as a push just regular gatorade. Dehydration is not good for my kidneys so this is something I pay close attention to!

What is your favorite exercise? Your least favorite?

Favorite: deadlifts, seriously I love deadlifts. I just think there is something about bad ass about deadlifts, and cleans, clean and jerk/press. Deadlifts are my favorite though.
Least: swimming. I did my first triathlon in 2016 and I did learn to like it a little more, but I’ve never once in my life just thought “you know what? let’s go swimming!”. Plus the triathlon was ocean swim, double ugh!

What do you do if you find your motivation lacking?

For me the toughest times are those times when I am low energy due to hormones. But that’s when you make results, on the bad workouts, not the everyday or the good ones. On the ones that suck. I tell myself I just have to do it for 10 minutes. If I still don’t want to after 10 minutes then I can stop. After 10 minutes I’m usually really into the workout. If I’m not, then I listen to my body and see if it’s body or mind. If the body is willing I’ll hold out for 30 minutes. If it’s the body telling me to stop, then I listen.

How do you balance fitness with work/life/social/etc? How do you “find the time” to workout?

I’m not gonna lie, this has been a struggle for me in the past. When I first began teaching group fitness classes I was actively teaching 20-25 classes a week! It doesn’t leave a lot for your own workouts. Now I focus more on being active in the day walking the dog, gardening, etc, and when I see friends we often opt for walking/hiking to catch up. As I work in both a gym and yoga studio I get free membership at both but don’t use it nearly as much as I should. Really though it’s about making an appointment and scheduling it into your day, then making a decision to do it. You wouldn’t cancel on the dentist or doctor unless you were sick, workouts should be the same!

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What are your top 3 tips for someone just starting their fitness journey?

  1. Just start! Now. Not on Monday, not on the first, not when the stars align and everything is “perfect” conditions but now!
  2. Start slow and find something you enjoy doing. For me it’s yoga, hiking, walking, running, and weights. For others it’s Zumba or CrossFit.
  3. Make a smart goal. So you want to “get fit”. What does that mean to you? Is it weight loss, cholesterol numbers, lowering your blood pressure, dropping body fat, or losing a dress size? You can’t shoot an arrow without a target.

Anything else you want to share?

The biggest excuses I hear all the time as a trainer are “I don’t have time” and “I can’t afford it”. Fitness doesn’t have to take a chunk out of your day or cost anything. Yes it can be 100% free. I have a free health & fitness planner on my website, and a free 31 day bootcamp (with workout videos) and I have a lot more at-home workouts you can do anywhere on my YouTube Channel.

Sara here: Di, thank you so much for joining me this week! Everyone, I hope you enjoyed this month’s Finding Fitness and getting to know Di a little better! You should definitely go check out her blog and social media!

finding-fitness-diDi is a personal trainer, wellness coach, and yoga teacher with over 20 years experience working in the fitness industry. Her passion is all things fitness, health and nutrition. When not working she can usually be found walking her dog, gardening, or out riding her dirtbike (Honda CRF230F). Due to family being spread all over the World she also loves to travel. Di is also a closet geek, she taught herself HTML, javascript and video editing, and loves Sci Fi.

Want to see more of Di? Head over to her blog WorkOut with Di, her Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube Channel and her Instagram!

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Meal Prep for my Macros – Higher Protein and Fat and Cutting the Carbs!

Hey everyone! I am SO excited to bring you this week’s meal prep! So I always tell you that meal prep should work for you. Well, this week I’m showing you the changes that I am making to my meal prep to make it work for me!

You might know that I’ve been using the If It Fits Your Macros method (IIFYM) method for the past few months to try to help my eating stay on track. While I have been loving it, it hasn’t quite been working for me as well as I had hoped. Basically? I was hungry A LOT of the time! I was feeling pretty good when I woke up and I did feel leaner, but I would get hungry between most snacks and meals. And not a little hungry either….REALLY hungry. I tried changing up snacks and meals, but nothing was really helping.

Around this same time, I had come to the realization that I needed some help if I want to get to my fitness goals. So I started looking for a personal trainer (more on that coming soon!) I checked out a lot of wonderful ladies, most of whom you have met here through my Finding Fitness series! When I ended up deciding on Jen from Burpees 4 Breakfast, I knew that I wanted to chat with her about nutrition too.

Jen helped so much and after some conversation, reworked my macros to give me something different to try! She cut down on my carbs and increased my protein and fat intake and I gotta say I’m loving it so far! It’s too soon to see if it will make much of a difference on my fitness progress, but I definitely feel more satiated than I have in quite a while.

So for now at least, my meal preps will be changing to reflect this! I loved this week’s meal prep so much and I really think you will too. Enjoy!

Satisfy your hunger with this high protein, high fat healthy meal prep!

Ok, to get started, snacks. You might notice that I didn’t take my usual photo of my snacks and salads. Well, I’m not going to be making the salads for a while! I still LOVE jar salads as a method of prepping salad for your lunch, but I was having a hard time hitting my protein goals with the salads. Plus, honestly, I’ve been eating salads for lunch almost every day for over 2 years. I think it is time for a break!

As for the snacks, well….I forgot to take my usual photo! So here is a collage shot of all of my different snacks throughout the week! I think my favorite is probably still my grapes, chicken and cheese.

healthy-high-protein-snacks

Now for our main dishes! I made 3 overall this week, 2 for Draz and I to have and one that was specifically for me to have for my work lunches. Overall, everything turned out wonderful! For the both of us: Slow Cooker Italian Red Pepper Chicken and Healthy Kung Pao Chicken. For Draz’s servings, I paired it with jasmine rice. Mine I served over steamed cauliflower rice! Both of these dishes turned out wonderful, though I think my favorite for the week was the Kung Pao Chicken. The one change I would make for next time – doubling the sauce for the Kung Pao Chicken! I love things to be a little more saucy and there wasn’t nearly enough with a large serving of cauliflower rice 🙂

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For my lunch dish, a new recipe this week – One Pan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables. Funny thing…I actually originally intended to make this with green beans, a bit of bell pepper and sweet potato for the veggies. Only to get started with the cooking and realize that I was out of sweet potatoes! So instead, I ended up with more bell pepper and some onion. It was very good nonetheless, but next time I would definitely love to add sweet potatoes to the mix!

Here is the macros breakdown for this week’s main dishes!

if-it-fits-your-macros

Want to make this for yourself? Get your free downloadable grocery list for the main dishes here!

Do you follow a particular practice for your food, like IIFYM? Have you had to make changes to your meal prep to make it work better for you? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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2017 Goals – My 6 Month Check-in

I know this seems cliche, but it seems like this year is just FLYING! Just in the past 6 months there have been so many developments! Most weeks are a flurry of activities and work, but in the best way. And I’m proud to say that I’m making pretty good progress on my goals so far!

I love annual goals, but it can be hard to make sure you are actually following through and achieving them! By setting up regular check-in's, you help set yourself up for success!

Checking in on your goals is SO important to actually achieving them! You know the cycle – we set our goals for the year, get really into them for a month or two and then…life gets distracting. Suddenly, we are only a few months away from the end of the year and realizing that we haven’t made any progress. We rush to get some things done and then set new goals for the following year, convinced that next year will be different!

It doesn’t have to be like that! By scheduling in regular check-ins throughout your year, you can remind yourself as to what your “big picture” goals are and make more progress! In all honesty, I probably should have scheduled a few more check-ins than I actually did…maybe I should start checking in on them once every month or two?

Anyways, things have been very exciting here. In some ways, not much has changed since January. But in other ways, A LOT has!

2017 Highlights so far!

  • I got my very own kiln! I now am in control of all aspects of my jewelry making and I couldn’t be happier about it.
  • My new online shop for my jewelry TODAY!!! It is a brand new amazing site – a curated marketplace for handmade goods. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
  • My main job went from full-time to part time. It was a little scary, but it’s going okay so far.
  • I decided to invest in myself and get an online personal trainer.
  • I’m now a contributing writer over at Organize Yourself Skinny. This is something I never even really dreamed of, so I’m still kinda in shock over it! I so happy it happened though, and I can’t wait to keep writing over there twice a month!

2017 Goals

Personal Goals:

  1. Get certified in at least 3 different fitness classes. – So far, this has not really happened. Working overnights makes getting actual certifications hard. However, I am set up to do a Tabata bootcamp course as a pre-session to BlogFest next month! Plus, while the rest of the classes during IDEAworld won’t be actual certifications, they will be very educational!
  2. Complete a chin-up – I am working towards this! So far, no success, but I’m hoping that the personal training will help with that.

Business Goals:

  1. Sell 240+ pieces – Well, I haven’t achieved this one yet, but I am making headway! I know 45 pieces isn’t quite 240, but the Boone Farmer’s Market starts today, my new online store launches today too and I have a few other things in the works. It’s still possible! And even if I don’t sell all 240, I’m really proud of how this year has gone.
  2. Sell at 6+ craft markets (along with 2 weekly farmers’ markets) – Yes! With one slight change. I decided that 2 farmers’ markets a week was going to be a bit much for my first year, so I am just doing the one. Next year I plan on adding another!
  3. Buy my own kiln. – YES!! Done and loving it

Blog Goals:

  1. Have at least 5 guest posts on my blog. – Yup! My monthly Finding Fitness series is going great! I am so enjoying being able to bring you these other fitness journeys and sharing their knowledge with you with their corresponding guest posts too! You can find all of the posts to date here.
  2. Write at least 5 guest posts for others. – Getting there. This new contributing writer position is helping me meet this goal!
  3. Finish and release my Meal Prep E-book! – Ok…I honestly haven’t worked on this in a couple of months. I do need and want to refocus on it, and I will. The jewelry business kinda took over, focus-wise, for the past couple of months.
  4. Collaborate with one company for a post, giveaway or in some other way. – I collaborated with Plum Paper to bring you a review of their planners and my thoughts on it. You can check out that post here. If you aren’t happy with your current planner, I heavily suggest checking them out! Mine is wonderful!

I have to say, after giving my 2017 goals a review, I’m pretty happy with my progress so far! I do have some things to work on, and a few things that kinda fell to the side, but overall, not bad!

Have you checked in on your goals lately? How are you doing on your 2017 goals? Any tips for others working to achieve their own goals? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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Simple Weekly Meal Prep

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! I know not everyone gets a long weekend, but either way, I hope you are enjoying your holiday! This week’s meal prep is a relatively simple one. Draz and I still had some leftovers from the previous week, plus a few less meals that we would be eating homemade, so I didn’t make as much this week.

I did, however, try a new recipe that turned out amazing! Enjoy!

This simple weekly meal prep is the perfect way to set yourself up for success! With just a few dishes to make, this prep is quick to make yet still filling!

Draz and I both still had some protein balls left, so snacks and salads this week were pretty simple. I’m still loving the addition of the rotisserie chicken lunchmeat to go with my grapes and cheese. It definitely helps keep me full longer! My other newer snack is celery with peanut butter, which I’m really enjoying as well. I do wish that the whole “peanut butter at the bottom of the jar” would have worked better, but oh well…It works just fine taking a separate tiny container of peanut butter! Hard-boiled eggs finish off this week’s snacks and are usually what I have before heading to the gym after work.

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Salads this week were still based off of this Cheeseburger-inspired recipe and turned out wonderful. Since I made a couple less than usual, these were a bit more meaty than normal (not a bad thing!)

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For our main dishes, Draz and I each had our own this week. For Draz, he asked for Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta, one of his favorites. One thing I like about making this recipe is that it works perfect to make it with another cabbage-based dish. So I ended up finding a new one for me to try this week and I LOVED it!

This Fried Cabbage and Kielbasa dish was hearty and delicious, plus high in protein! I will definitely be making this again! I usually had mine with some cottage cheese on the side and it was a very filling meal, even with the main dish being so low in calories! One thing to note for this dish – I didn’t realize until I was already cooking that I was out of white wine vinegar. So I used rice vinegar instead!

Here are the macros for this week’s main dishes:

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Want to try out this simple meal prep for yourself? Get your grocery list for these two main dishes here!

Have you tried any new recipes? What is your favorite cabbage recipe? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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Healthy Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

We all hear about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And while how your eating schedule works for you might vary, most people could definitely benefit from an easy, healthy and filling breakfast to start off their day!

When I started meal prepping for Draz and myself, I tried quite a few different recipes. Some worked better than others, and many were delicious! But it wasn’t until I started making breakfast burritos that we knew we had found the perfect breakfast recipe. I’ve made some changes over the years, but these burritos have been part of our normal breakfast pretty much every day since! Not only are the delicious, but they are healthy as well!

These delicious healthy breakfast burritos are the perfect way to start your day off right! Simple to make and freezer-friendly, they are a wonderful addition to your weekly meal prep!

One of the other things I love about making breakfast burritos is that I can make mine and Draz’s a little differently. We each have different calorie requirements throughout the day and different health goals that we are focusing on, so it makes sense that our breakfasts wouldn’t match up exactly!

For Draz, his burritos have 2/3 cup filling and are wrapped with a flour burrito tortilla. Mine, on the other hand, are wrapped with a FlatOut wrap and have 1/3 cup fill! I love that I can make the same recipe for these, so my prep time isn’t even effected!

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Now, you can vary up the ingredients as you please, but for my regular breakfast burritos, here is what I like to use!

  • 2 packages of Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, chopped (any color, but I prefer red or yellow)
  • 1-3 bell peppers, any color, chopped – a lot of the time, the bell pepper amount varies by how much I have left over from my other meal prep dishes
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 24-28 eggs, beaten
  • seasonings for eggs
  • 1 – 1 1/2 c shredded cheese – I use low-fat fiesta blend usually
  • 1 c salsa
  • FlatOut wraps

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Pretty basic, but SO delicious!

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To get started, brown the ground turkey in a large skillet. Make sure to use the largest one available, since your ingredients will add up pretty quick! When the ground turkey is mostly browned, add in the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute until veggies are softened and turkey is finished cooking. While this is cooking, beat and season the eggs.

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Add your eggs to the pan. Make sure you are stirring frequently, scraping along the bottom of the pan. Once the eggs are mostly set, add in your cheese and salsa. Stir well to combine and allow cheese to melt and eggs to finish setting.

Now, this is the most important part when it comes to making freezer-friendly breakfast burritos – Allow the filling to cool COMPLETELY before filling your tortillas. This keeps the tortillas from becoming soggy when you reheat them later on.

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Once your mixture has cooled completely, you can fill up your tortillas! I like to just use the measuring cup as a scoop to make sure most of them are pretty uniform in size. Once I have wrapped up the breakfast burrito, I then wrap it in cling wrap before placing it in a gallon-size freezer bag. For our burritos, we are able to fit 10 to a bag; 5 of his and 5 of mine. This recipe fills roughly 3 bags and lasts us a little over 2 weeks.

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For our breakfasts, I like to actually take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge the night before, while I am heating up my dinner. I have found that this allows the breakfast burritos to reheat best and the most evenly. That being said, you can reheat these from frozen as well! I serve it with a slice of my Healthier Cinnamon Bread, some cottage cheese and a cup of coffee – It’s the perfect start to my day!

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What are some of your favorite foods for breakfast? Have you tried prepping your breakfast before? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please leave a comment below!

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Healthy Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
To make things simpler, all serving size and nutritional information is based on my burritos, not Draz's. Know that the information will be a bit different if you make them the way I do for him!
Servings Prep Time
54 small burritos 45 minutes, divided
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
54 small burritos 45 minutes, divided
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 20-25 minutes
healthy-freezer-friendly-meal-prep
Healthy Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
To make things simpler, all serving size and nutritional information is based on my burritos, not Draz's. Know that the information will be a bit different if you make them the way I do for him!
Servings Prep Time
54 small burritos 45 minutes, divided
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
54 small burritos 45 minutes, divided
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: small burritos
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage over med-high heat in a large skillet. When sausage is almost cooked through, add bell pepper, onions and garlic. Saute until tender. While sausage is cooking, beat eggs and any desired seasonings together.
  2. Once sausage and veggie mixture is cooked, add egg mixture. Cook, stirring regularly, until eggs are almost set. Add cheese and salsa; cook 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs fully set. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Once mixture is cooled, spoon into tortillas and fold into a burrito. Wrap in cling wrap (my preference) or aluminum foil.
Recipe Notes

To Heat: Remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight. Heat in microwave 1.5-2 minutes, flipping once. (You can heat straight from the freezer, but I find it's harder to heat evenly that way)

Nutritional Information - 153 calories Total Fat 5 g Total Carbs 7 g Protein 16 g

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Easy Healthy Sunday Meal Prep

Hey everyone! I’m back!!

I know it’s been a couple of week’s since you have really heard from me. Things have been changing a lot here and it’s kinda thrown my schedule into chaos. And if you’ve been here with me for long, you know how much I thrive on routine! But things are finally settling down here and falling into a new routine, so hopefully I won’t have any more long absences anytime soon!

Even with the chaos of the past few weeks, meal prep has been one of the main things that has helped me to keep the changes from becoming too overwhelming. I don’t always do well with rapid change, but knowing that I had our food ready and easy for us to grab helped a lot! This week’s meal prep was no different, with it’s high protein snacks and filling main dishes. Enjoy!!

Keep the chaos of your week at bay with this healthy and easy weekly meal prep!

Along with all the changes that have been going on for me personally, I made some changes to my snacks as well! With a focus on them being filling and full of protein, I added in some rotisserie chicken lunchmeat with my grapes and cheese for my first snack of the day. For my second one, celery with peanut butter!

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This is actually the second week that I have done these new snacks and I’m really liking them. Hard-boiled eggs, a couple types of protein balls finish out the snacks and I also made a big back of our breakfast burritos and some mason jar salads inspired by this recipe!

I have learned one thing though, when it came to my celery snack. All over Pinterest you can see portable snacks and one of those is celery in a small mason jar with peanut butter already at the bottom. The first week I made these I gave that a try….did NOT work well for me haha. It was very difficult to really dip the celery in the peanut butter and made for more frustration than the snack is worth.

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This week, I put the celery in the mason jars again, but just for ease of storage. I put a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter in tiny containers. Then I grabbed one of those each day along with our other food. It worked so much better! So while this does create a little more dishes, it’s well worth it in my opinion.

For our main dishes this week, I decided to stick with a few ones I have made before. While I love making new dishes, when things are overwhelming I tend to stick with things I’m familiar with. Draz requested Skinny Chicken Enchiladas and I also made One-Pot Spicy Cajun Chicken & Rice and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili. All of them are dishes we have enjoyed before and everything turned out wonderful!

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Out of the 3, the Enchiladas take the most work, but the flavor makes them well worth it! If you like this one like we do, you can cut down on the time it takes in the future by making a larger batch of shredded chicken. You can then freezing it into the amounts you need for this recipe! I like seasoning mine with some cumin, paprika and chili powder and slow cooking a big batch to shred. Tastes delicious and really cuts down on the time and dishes for making it in the future.

Here is the macros breakdown for this week’s main dishes:

if-it-fits-your-macros-healthy-eating

Want to make this one for yourself? Get your free downloadable grocery list for this week’s main dishes!

How do you deal with rapid change in your life? Have you found meal prep to be extra helpful in times like that? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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