Getting Started on Your Fitness Journey

So it’s the first week of 2017 and I’m sure that many of us are still riding the energy and excitement that a new year brings! I know I am! There are all sorts of projects I can’t wait to start! One of those things for you might be to get started or restart your fitness journey. If it is, that’s wonderful! And I want to help you get set up for success as you get going!

Are you wanting to get started on your fitness journey for 2017?! Here are 4 things that I want to share with you to help you succeed!
There are many paths you can take on your fitness journey, but there are a few things you can do to start off that will help you succeed throughout the year!

Find a program –

When you are just getting started, it can be difficult, even paralyzing, to know what you should do. You go to the gym or your workout space in your home and then it’s just “Now what?”…. This is where a program can help you! It takes all the thinking out of the getting started part and just lets you DO IT!
I had a lot of starts and stops with very little progress until I started Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide! It was amazing  what having the program did for me! I didn’t have to think about what my workout was going to be, because it was planned out. I was just able to check what (little) equipment I needed and GO!
Now, it doesn’t have to be that program, but finding a program to start with is so helpful. You also don’t have to find that one program to stick with forever! As you get more comfortable and set in your fitness routine, you can pick a new program or even design your own!
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Set your schedule –

I do this at the beginning of every week, regardless of how similar it is to my schedule from the previous week! This helps me take a look at my schedule for the coming week and adjust things as needed. Plus there is a certain level of finality from writing it down on a schedule. You are making an appointment with yourself to work out!
Now, I suggest writing down not only the workout of the day, but also what time you are going to do it. This doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible, but it’s so much easier to keep to your schedule when it is all planned out right down to the time!

Progress pictures –

I know. I wasn’t a big fan of progress pictures either. They feel a bit awkward to take and they are very baring. But they serve such an important role in your journey! They can be amazing tools to really help you see your progress. You see your body every day, so a lot of the changes that are made through working out aren’t going to be noticed by you right away. Sometimes major progress has been made, but you won’t even see it! This is where progress pictures come in. By using the same positioning, lighting and clothing, you can really see what changes have been made when you put them side-by-side!
For example, I didn’t really feel like I had made much visible progress this year. What with the setbacks I have had and everything. But when I put my pictures up next to pictures from December ’15, I was shocked to see that there WAS visible progress! So take those progress pictures!
fitness-journey

Just go –

I don’t mean to make that sound simple. I know that sometimes it’s not. Some days you just don’t want to do it. But if you make a commitment to yourself that you are at least going to GO, then you are much more likely to actually do the workout too! I know I have had times where I have gotten changed into my workout clothes and went to the gym, all while my brain was trying to convince me that I should just skip that day! But by the time I got to the gym and got going, I was glad I did!
One idea I’ve seen used that I love: I’ve heard multiple people say that the only time they can skip their workout is if they get dressed and go to the gym, stay for 10 minutes and THEN still want to leave.
Are you focusing on your fitness for 2017? What have you doing to help make sure you succeed this year? I would love to hear about them!
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sunday meal prep 8/21/16

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! I have had a wonderful weekend, with the first ever Iowa BBG Meet-up, an easy meal prep (remember my posts are staggered by one week 🙂 ), a home movie-date with Draz and a lot of time working on my Etsy store!

Over the past few weeks I have been preparing for a weekend where things will be very off-schedule and I don’t know how much time I will have for meal prep. With a little planning though, we will still have awesome healthy food with very little to do that week! This week was the last of my prep for that upcoming week…. I added in some extra snacks and breakfast burritos for the freezer. And you can be sure that my freezer is pretty packed now!

One of the big advantages of meal prep to me is that I’m already thinking ahead to the coming week. So thinking a little farther ahead and looking at weeks that are going to be extra busy fits right in! Now, instead of looking at the coming weekend with stress about  my routine being all crazy and unknown, I know I am prepared. I can just be excited! This is a pretty big change for me, since I am very routine-based. It’s amazing how being organized can actually make you feel more free and flexible! Do you have any things like this that you do?

Anyways, this won’t be the last time you see me doing extra prep for a future event. This one has gone so well that I think I will be doing something similar for an even bigger event I have coming up next month! I will be attending my first blogging conference, so there will be very little time to meal prep all weekend! Plus I’m going to want to have some healthy food options to take with me for snacks and such, so that will be added in too. I’m so excited!

But now, on to this week’s meal prep! Enjoy!

How to use meal prep to plan ahead - Eat healthy, tasty food all week, You can even add in a bit extra to freeze for those future busy week's too!

For the snacks and treats, I tried a couple new recipes this week. Double Chocolate Dairy-free Ice Cream is a “nice” cream with only four ingredients! It was super easy to make! While Draz and I both say that this doesn’t taste like ice cream to us, we both thought it was pretty tasty! I will definitely be making it again 🙂 It’s a nice dessert that’s still healthy! Plus the fact that it’s made out of things that we always have on hand. (I have SO MANY bananas in the freezer!)protein-balls-sweet-potato-banana-bites-chocolate-nice-cream

The other new recipe was No Bake Maple Vanilla Latte Protein Balls, with a few small changes. I used whole wheat flour instead of almond meal and our protein powder is chocolate, not vanilla. I did add in the vanilla essence that was suggested as optional in the recipe as well. You might be shocked, but I think these might actually replace the Cookie Dough Protein Balls as our favorites! Draz seems to really like them and I love them!chocolate-nice-cream-protein-balls-mini-banana-muffins

Of course, I had to make up our favorites too! One batch of Cookie Dough Protein Balls, putting around half in the freezer to take out next week. Some Sweet Potato Banana Bites for me and I gotta tell you, I am loving the new change I made to this recipe! I was originally adding in Special Dark Chocolate Chips into the mix right before spooning it into the muffin tins. The last couple times I have been taking a square of unsweetened baking chocolate and chopping it up and adding that in instead. It’s not a huge change, but it has made a noticeable difference and I really like it!breakfast-burritos-grapes-cheese-mason-jar-salads

Our salads were pretty much our basic this week, though I did add a few cherry tomatoes into each of mine 🙂 They are tasty! Another two weeks of breakfast burritos and my grapes and cheese for the week were the same as always and just as tasty as ever!healthy-meal-prep-main-dishes

For our main dishes, I tried to keep things pretty basic this week, but I did try one new recipe: Butter Chicken Curry! I have to say, I loved this mild and saucy curry! I picked up some garlic naan to go with it and it was delicious! This will definitely be made again! That being said, we are still on the search for our favorite curry recipe. Draz like this one, but it wasn’t his favorite so far. Any suggestions?

Our other dishes were repeats for us: Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta (anyone surprised? :-p) and Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls. Both turned out wonderful! I did use some extra turkey in the Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, just based on how the packages were weighed out. I really like how the Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls turned out, though I think I will try to spice it up a bit more next time.

So that’s it for this week! Do you have any events coming up soon where some meal prep in advance could make things easier? Have you ever tried that before? I love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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sunday meal prep 6/12/16

Hey all! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know I did! The week in general went pretty great, which was in large part due to being back on my workout schedule 🙂 I knew I had missed it, but I didn’t realize just how much. It felt great to be pushing my body more again! Another great part of this week was this meal prep. I loved trying (and creating) some new recipes, plus a throwback to one of my favorite jar salads to mix things up even more!

How you can use meal prep to eat healthy, tasty food all week, no matter how busy you are!
Enjoy!

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sunday meal prep 6/5/16

Hey all! If you read my post on Friday, you know that this week was kinda rough for me. It’s weeks like this that I am so glad I started doing meal prep. While I may not have eaten the best all the time this week (too much Chex Mix for my own good) I managed to stay mostly on track even with my energy being super low and motivation gone. After all, it doesn’t take much work to reheat food that is already prepared, right!?

And this is one of the many reasons I meal prep. You never know what is going to happen, or how a week is going to go. This week it was a lot of trouble sleeping. As some of you know, other times it’s been trips to the ER, thanks to my accident-prone-ness. But no matter what, at least I don’t have to worry much about what Draz and I are going to eat!

Ok, so before I start going on about the wonderfullness of meal prep even more than I already have….How about we just get on to the actual food!?

How I cook once a week and eat healthy and delicious food all week long!Read More

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sunday meal prep 5/22/16

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had an amazing weekend! Mine was pretty good, though I am pretty sad about my vacation ending. I got a lot done and feel really rejuvenated…but I still don’t want to go back to the “real” world 🙂 Oh well…life goes on and I must return to work. And part of life going on is meal prep! I had a lot of fun with this week’s menu, with a few new dishes and a change up in my salads! Enjoy!

How I cook once and eat healthy all week long with meal prep!

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Sunday Meal Prep: April 10, 2016

Hey everyone! It’s time for my favorite part of the week, meal prep time! As most of you know, I love my meal prep. I pretty much think prepping is the best thing for making my week run smoothly and one of my highest priorities of the week. And this week is no different! I am actually getting busier than ever over the next few weeks (possibly longer) and I know that it will be even more essential than ever to keep my eating on track and working towards my fitness goals 🙂

Meal Prepping for an Healthy and Easy Week: Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, Chicken Lo Mein and Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes for a tasty and healthy week of meals!

This week’s meal prep is full of new recipes (yes, again! I love my new recipes kick!) I also cooked with a couple new ingredients this week, which was pretty fun!
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Our two staple dishes for the week were our Mason Jar Salads and Breakfast Burritos. As always I am really happy that I have these every week. Our breakfast burritos, combined with my cinnamon bread and some cottage cheese, allow me to have a delicious, healthy and filling breakfast ready in around 10 minutes!
Meal Prep Sunday
On to our main dishes for the week: Healthy Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, Healthy Chicken Lo Mein and Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes. I am pretty happy with how these turned out! That being said, while these were all delicious, there are a few things I will adjust when I make these next time. To be clear, these are in my own preparation, not in the recipes themselves.
For the Healthy Chicken Lo Mein – This actually became Chow Mein for us, since we didn’t have any Lo Mein noodles available. Also, the ounces was a bit off for the packages, so it ended up being a lot of noodles! I love how it turned out, but next time I will probably double the sauce and veggies if I use the same noodles. This dish was the favorite for both of us and will be made again!
For the Chicken Pasta – If you make this, make sure to cut your chicken into smallish tenders, or bite-size pieces. I definitely did not cut ours small enough and it was a little annoying when I was eating it later.
That’s it for this week! A pretty basic prep overall, but it was delicious! What did you prep this week? Any new dishes or ingredients? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!
Sara

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Sunday Meal Prep: March 20, 2016

Hey everyone! I hope you all had an amazing week. I’m still enjoying sinking back into my normal routine and working on improving those same routines this week, and it went pretty well! One part that helped a lot with that, as it always does, was our meal prep! This week was a pretty full week, schedule wise, and the peace of mind that comes from the meals already being prepared helped me keep on track and get stuff done!

I decided to go with another quick and easy prep this week, though I am trying out 3 new recipes! The only downside of the “quick and easy” part this week is I’m sure this will result in a bigger prep next week. We are running low on some of our freezer staples, so those will definitely be included next week!

For this week though, I was able to keep things simple! This prep took around 2 hours of active cooking, which means that I was able to cook AND work on some DIY projects for our in-progress bedroom remodel! I can’t wait until that’s done and I can share it all with you! Anyways…on to what I CAN share with you!

Meal Prep for an Healthy and Easy Week, Food Prep

Mason Jar Salads, No -Bake Oatmeal Protein Balls, Grapes and cheese snacks, Meal Prep

This week’s snacks were pretty simple. We still had some other protein and energy balls left in the fridge from last week, so I decided to try out one new protein ball recipe instead of making our regular ones: No-Bake Oatmeal Protein Energy Balls! These turned out really tasty. I really like the addition of the cinnamon! I did use chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla because, well, that’s what we have in the house 🙂 For the liquid, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and for the addition at the end of the recipe, I used dark chocolate chips. I will definitely be making these again!

Other than the protein balls, I just put together my normal grapes and cheese cups (still my favorite daily snack!) and our Mason Jar Salads.

Spicy Sausage Alfredo Bake, Sweet Chili Sesame Chicken, Meal Prep Main Dishes

For our main dishes, both were new recipes: Asian Sweet Chili Sesame Chicken and Spicy Smoked Sausage Alfredo Bake. These turned out great, though you may not believe me from the picture! I know that the Alfredo Bake looks a bit browned on the top 🙂 Let’s just say that me and my broiler are still getting to know each other! I put it in for 3 minutes when I probably should have done 2. Oh well! It was still really tasty, and the top was only a little extra browned.

I did make some adjustments to the Alfredo Bake as well. I sauteed some chopped onions and bell peppers in a little olive oil and set them aside. When it was time to add the sausage to the sauce, I added the sauteed vegetables as well. Along with that, I substituted smoked turkey sausage for the smoked sausage and evaporated milk for the half and half. It turned out great! I think next time I may add in some broccoli too. I love that the recipe is easily altered and added to!

Well, that’s it for this week’s meal prep! Have you been trying any new recipes? I’ve been on a huge new recipe kick, probably from getting started more on Pinterest. Have you found any favorite recipes on there? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Fitness Mini-Update

It’s been one month since I finished Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide! Sadly, I can’t tell you that I’ve been doing much since then 😕 My body seems to have turned on me and my fitness journey has stalled (again). It does that a lot, doesn’t it?

That is not saying I haven’t been able to work out some…it’s just been limited to mostly treadmill and exercises they gave me in Physical Therapy.

Setbacks can be difficult to deal with. I know I’ve had some ups and downs over the last month. Times where I felt like I was never going to get back into my fitness routine. Heck, there were times it felt like I was never going to feel well again at all!

Of course, that was (mostly) in my head! I am feeling better now, though I have come to the realization that the PT exercises for my back have to become a part of my daily life.

I am hoping to start BBG1 round 2 next week and can’t wait to get going again…hopefully with less injuries this time! 😀

How have your workouts been going? Have you been struggling this winter with your routine or had any setbacks? How have you dealt with them? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Sara (1)

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Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Round 1 Complete!…Well, Kinda Complete

Ever since I started Kayla’s guide the first time I have been looking forward to this moment. Through all the setbacks, the injuries, everything…I’ve been looking forward to being able to say I had completed it once and showing off these fantastic progress pics. Only…that didn’t really take real life into account.

This first round through has been full of difficulties. 3 injuries, 2 sets of stitches, 2 months of physical therapy (which I’m still needing to continue at home sometimes, this week included), sickness, the holidays, etc. All of those things were things I didn’t plan on when I started the guides. But that’s life. And that is a lesson that I think I needed to really learn when I started this journey. It’s a journey. It’s a lifestyle.

Life isn’t always smooth sailing. While I knew that, I don’t think I fully appreciated how that would play into my workout program, especially this workout program.

Weeks 9-12 fell during and directly after the holidays. Now, I’m not making excuses. I could have pushed myself harder some of the time and been more on top of things. But between work being crazy due to the season, the “winter blues” hitting me a bit and just a general feeling of exhaustion, I did not do as well during the last four weeks of the guide. I skipped some workouts, did LISS directly after my resistance workouts other times and just in general didn’t do as well as I had hoped to.

For a while towards the end and right after, I was beating myself up pretty good over my lack of performance. But I’ve come to the realization that just because I had an off few weeks doesn’t mean I failed or anything like it.

I am still in the best shape of my life! I can (usually) do 10+ push-ups in a row before I need to go to my knees! I can do box jumps and tuck jumps and all sorts of other jumps that I couldn’t really do before!

So while I may have not done every resistance workout and these progress pics aren’t as impressive as I had originally hoped they would be, I’m counting this first round as done and as a success! I have made so much progress over these last 4 months and I can’t wait to see what the next round of BBG brings! (Hopefully less injuries than the first round!)

BBGRd1FrontBBGRd1SideBBGRd1Back

 

We did take measurements, but our methods weren’t practiced enough for me to be sure of the accuracy, though I think we are getting better at it! I am pretty positive that a few things changed though, especially one that can’t just be user error!

  • Waist: 37 in –> 31.5 in!

Things to Improve On During This Next Round

  • Go back to working out when I wake up instead of after work. I kinda fell out of that habit over the last month.
  • Keep LISS separate from resistance
  • Keep tracking diet for this whole round

I am currently having some issues with my back again, so I’m down to exercises from my physical therapy, LISS and yoga until it stops hurting so much. I can’t wait to start round 2 of BBG though!

How are your fitness goals coming? Did you have any difficulties over the holidays or due to the “winter blues” like I did? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a comment below!

Sara (1)

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Sunday Meal Prep: January 24, 2016

Hey everyone! I am super excited to bring you this week’s meal prep! This week I am highlighting recipes from Eat Yourself Skinny. Kelly creates wonderful dishes that are not only healthy and filling, but full of flavor too! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you definitely should!

You’ve seen recipes from her a few times, particularly the Skinny Chicken Enchiladas that have been making an appearance the past few weeks. That one has quickly become one of Draz’s favorites, so don’t expect to see it going away anytime soon. Each week it’s “What would you like on the menu for next week?” and his response has been “Enchiladas!?” each time!

Now, on to this week’s meal prep!

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Along with our Mason Jar Salads, Sweet Potato Banana Bites, my grapes and cheese and the Skinny Chicken Enchiladas, I made three new recipes this week!

Sausage and Veggie Stir-fry: Her recipe calls for spicy chicken sausage, which I sadly couldn’t find. I did use the Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage of the same brand and it turned out wonderful! Hopefully I can find somewhere that sells the spicy version, because I would love to try it 🙂

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili: Kelly is not exaggerating when she says it is the best turkey chili you will ever taste! If there is another, better recipe out there, I haven’t tried it. Quick to prep, easy, tasty, and healthy?! I think this will be our new stand-by for chili from now on!

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken: I like the versatility of this shredded chicken. So far I’ve used it in a couple wraps with some cheese and it was really good! I want to try it with some taco fillings…I think it will be even better!

That’s it for this week! Expect to see many more recipes from Kelly’s blog in the future. Her recipes are just too tasty!

What are you making this week? Any new recipes? I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below!

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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