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!

healthy-sunday-food-prep

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.

sunday-food-prep

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!

sunday-food-prep-healthy-meals

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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Finding Fitness: Jen from Burpees For Breakfast

Hey everyone! I’m super excited to bring you this month’s Finding Fitness! Jen from Burpees for Breakfast is someone I discovered relatively recently, but is so inspirational! As you might remember, I’ve been getting more into weightlifting lately. Well, here is someone who definitely believes that girls can lift heavy! I love her focus on a healthy mindset and on weightlifting and am so happy to get to share her with all of you. Finding Fitness is all about sharing others experiences in their fitness journey with the hopes of inspiring you on your own journey!

Enjoy!

Jen from Burpees for Breakfast shares all about her fitness journey, gaining a love of weightlifting and so much more in this month's Finding Fitness!

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

I help women fit healthy living into their everyday life. I’m a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutrition coach and blogger. While I have my own business, I work full time in corporate wellness. I’m from a small town in Indiana and currently live in a smaller one with my husband and fur child, Oscar. I’m a huge fan of coffee and kombucha, pancakes and sushi. I love the beach and dream of living by it some day. Friends is my all-time favorite show, followed closely by How I Met Your Mother, Parks and Rec and New Girl. Currently, I’m slightly obsessed with the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack. And of course, I love all things fitness, nutrition and mindset!

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

I started running the summer of my senior year of college to keep up with the other interns I was working with. Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying it. I continued running for a few years post college and eventually started to incorporate HIIT workouts, using the Nike Training Club app. During this time, I was dealing with some pretty difficult gut issues. It took a journey to heal my gut to really motivate me to change. I started eating better and working out smarter. The change I experienced with my gut healing journey has motivated me to keep going. In the past 4 years, I’ve made healthy living a lifestyle and I honestly can’t image it any other way. I love how I feel when I take care of my body, so it really only takes a couple days of not eating so well to get me back on track! If anyone is interested, they can read more about my gut healing journey here.

burpees-for-breakfast

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

Understanding that rest days are necessary AND finding a form of fitness that I love. When I first started, I worked out 7 days a week and would feel back every time I had to skip or had to take an off day. Now, I can have weeks where I only workout twice. The key was finding balance and experimenting with different things. It was a lot of trial and error, but it was worth it!

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

I’m a type-a, overachiever, let-me-do-all-the-things kind of girl. This does not always work well for the body. I’ve dealt with gut issues and adrenal fatigue twice. The last time was in early 2016 and I actually just stopped working out all together. This break, while tough, but so important. It helped me figure out why I wanted to workout, what types of workouts my body enjoyed and helped me identify how fitness could fit into my life.

What achievement are you the most proud of?

Starting my own business was a pretty big deal and I’m proud of the fact that I did it AND still do it! On the fitness side of things, I just PR’d my deadlift at 205# and finally nailed my pull-up. I’m at 4 – 5 in a row right now and working on 6+.

pull-up-fitness-goals

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

Learning to love my body. A few years ago, my husband challenged me to lift weights for 2 months. I was a cardio queen and lifting had no appeal to me. However, lifting ended up changing my life and view of my body. Muscles started popping up and I got curves. With my history of digestive and hormonal issues, I noticed huge changes in this department as well. I credit lifting to helping me fully embrace and love my body.

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

Right now, I’m not working on much. With the summer, I tend to have trouble staying consistent at the gym because I want to be outside doing activities. So, this time of year I’m in maintenance mode. I am working on my back squat goal, hoping to hit my 225# deadlift goal and working pull-ups. Once June hits, I’ll likely just focus on maintenance and knocking out more pull-ups!
I guess my long term dream as of recent would be to bust out pull-ups like the people on Bar Starz!

deadlift-fitness-goals

What does a typical training week look like?

I usually aim for 3 – 4 days of workouts each week. Monday is typically Leg Day and I focus on squats. I usually do an upper body focus, deadlift / back day and a HIIT day. Now that summer is around the corner, I tend to enjoy workouts outside. I will sometimes skip the gym in favor of long walks or playing tennis with my husband.

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

As much as possible, I start my day with a big mason jar of water and a cup of warm lemon water with collagen. I usually have a fat + protein + veggie heavy breakfast. After lots of experimenting, I find my body does best with this ratio. Occasionally, I’ll throw in a carb like half a banana. I love coffee, so I drink at least 1 cup most days, usually with a scoop of collagen. Lunch is a typically homemade and will include a carb, fat, protein and veggies. I like to workout after work, so depending on the workout, if I need a snack, I’ll have a little carb / protein 1 ½ – 2 hours prior to my workout. I have Creatine/half a EAA scoop for my workout. Rather than a post workout snack, we typically have dinner, which is more carb heavy! I love chips, so if I have an evening snack, I like to have those. Boulder Canyon is my favorite brand!

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

What works for me and my body is taking the following supplements. This might not work for everyone AND some people might need more/less. I use supplements to enhance my diet, not replace.
EPA / DHA or Fish oil for inflammation. I have asthma, so I like to reduce inflammation as much as possible. Magnesium for gut health and muscle recovery. Vitamin D helps my mood and my skin. Probiotic for gut health. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for gut, skin, hair, nail and joint health. Superfood Greens (occasionally) for extra support. Protein Powder (occasionally) for workout recovery or a treat. EAA for muscle recovery. Creatine workout performance.

burpees-for-breakfast

What is your favorite exercise? Your least favorite?

I love lifting and HIIT workouts. Favorite exercise move is probably a deadlift – pretty much any variation. My least favorite exercise is probably side plank…only because I’m not very great at it!

What do you do if you find your motivation lacking?

If I’m lacking fitness motivation, I figure out if I’m enjoying my workouts. If I’m not, I’ll either switch it up or take a break from working out. In the nutrition department, I’ll try new recipes out or make simple meals that require little creativity. For other areas, I like to journal through my thoughts and try to figure out what’s going on that way. Usually just writing down my thoughts helps my mood shift.

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

Moving my body is a priority, so I make time for it. Moving and nourishing my body are my top priorities and help me feel my best. With all the things I have going on, being able to full give myself to the projects and people in my life is important. If I want to be able to do that, I move and eat well. Some days are ‘healthier’ than others. I’ve learned to just lighten up and give myself grace, instead of being obsessive and strict, making sure I do things perfectly everyday.

burpees-for-breakfast

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

I actually wrote a post on this topic recently called How to Start Working Out and Stick With It. I expand on the tips in the post, but my top 3 would be

  1. Just start moving. Walking is a highly discounted form of fitness. For people that have maybe never worked out before, walking is a great place to start.
  2. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals. If you have a SMART goal, it’s more likely you will stick with it!
  3. Start at your current level of fitness. If you are just starting your journey, it’s unlikely that starting out with a 200# deadlift is the best option. Start with the basics, master them, then move on from there.
    I’ll also add: Find something you enjoy. If you start running just because other people are, but you hate it, it’s unlikely you will stick with it. Doing something YOU enjoy is the key to consistency.

Anything else you want to share?

I recently started a free Facebook group called The Burpees for Breakfast Squad! It’s a community for health-minded women to chat about wellness topics and offer support! I’d love for anyone interested to join us.

Sara here: Jen, thank you so much with sharing all of that awesome information with us! Guys, I hope you enjoyed getting to know Jen and hearing about about her journey. I love how many different ways that we come to fitness in our lives and I hope you are being inspired by all the different stories being shared in my Finding Fitness series!

jen-burpees-for-breakfastJen Elliott helps women fit healthy living into their everyday life. She is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, group fitness instructor, blogger, dog mom and girlboss behind Burpees for Breakfast.  Her passion is educating, equipping and inspiring women with simple, smart and sustainable solutions for healthy living. On her blog, she talks all things fitness, nutrition, mindset, self-care, body love and more.  

 

To see more of Jen, check out her blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

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Meet Your Fitness Goals with this High Protein Meal Prep!

Hey everyone! I am so excited to share this week’s meal prep with you! This week’s meal prep was all about the healthy comfort food and it couldn’t have come at a better time. While it didn’t start out this way, the week ended up being a surprising and stressful one. I was very happy to have these filling high protein meals to enjoy when I got home each day!

Get ready for your week with this delicious high protein meal prep! Perfect for hitting your fitness goals and enjoying some comfort food at the same time!

So why was this week surprising and stressful? Well….it was decided rather unexpectedly that I will be going to part-time at my regular job. And while I have been hoping to make the move to part-time by the end of the year, I was not planning on it happening quite so soon. Or with such little notice. I did have the option to remain full-time, but it would have required a major schedule shift that neither Draz or myself thought was the best option.

I’m actually pretty excited about it and what it could mean for both my blog and for my jewelry business! But change is stressful, so this week wasn’t the easiest. And it’s week’s like this that make me so glad I do meal prep. I know I say this regularly, but it really did make all the difference this week! I didn’t sleep the best most days from the stress and things were pretty busy around here working to figure things out. So not having to think or worry about what we were going to eat any given day was a relief. Add in that all three main dishes this week were very comfort-foody and, well, it just helped things out a lot!

Enjoy!

mason-jar-salad-food-prep-snacks

Our snacks this week were pretty basic. Neither Draz or I needed protein balls, so all I had to make up was the other snacks. I tried something a little different with the No-Crust Pizza Bites this week. Instead of 3 slices of Canadian bacon per muffin tin, I cut it down to 2. I think this worked a lot better to make the bites “sink” into the tin while they were cooking and made them hold together much better. I will definitely be doing it that way in the future!

weekly-healthy-food-prep

You might be wondering why my grapes containers have no cheese haha. Well, I have been using the Baybel individual wheels instead and I really like them! It’s a nice change up from the other cheeses I’ve used in the past. Other than that, I made more Quinoa Omelette Bites, Cheeseburger Inspired Salads, and more Freezer Breakfast Burritos!

2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
These breakfast burritos are a staple in our home! Tasty and filling, they are our favorite breakfast. Pair with some healthy homemade cinnamon bread and cottage cheese and you have a breakfast that will start your day off right!
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
These breakfast burritos are a staple in our home! Tasty and filling, they are our favorite breakfast. Pair with some healthy homemade cinnamon bread and cottage cheese and you have a breakfast that will start your day off right!
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: burritos
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage over med-high heat in a large skillet. When sausage is almost cooked through, add bell pepper and onions. 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, 10-15 minutes.
    freezer sausage breakfast burrito filling mixture
  3. Once mixture is cooled, spoon into tortillas and fold into a burrito. Wrap in cling wrap (my preference) or aluminum foil.
    2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Recipe Notes

Our burritos have two sizes. Mine have 1/3 c filling wrapped in a FlatOut wrap. Draz's have 2/3 c. filling wrapped in a larger (burrito-size) white tortilla. This recipe usually makes 30 burritos in total, 15 of each size. If you are just making the smaller burritos, it should make roughly 54 burritos.

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)

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food-prep-main-dishes

For our main dishes this week, we had Jambalaya, Skinny Chicken Enchiladas and Healthy One-Pan Baked “Smothered” Chicken! I love all of these so much I don’t even know if I can say I had a favorite this week! The jambalaya is adapted from a family recipe and has been one of my comfort foods for a long time. And I love this healthier version of it I’ve been making for the past year or so!

Jambalaya
Print Recipe
This is one of the first recipes I learned to cook and one of my favorites still!
Servings Prep Time
10 people 15-20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
50 min 25 min
Servings Prep Time
10 people 15-20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
50 min 25 min
Jambalaya
Print Recipe
This is one of the first recipes I learned to cook and one of my favorites still!
Servings Prep Time
10 people 15-20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
50 min 25 min
Servings Prep Time
10 people 15-20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
50 min 25 min
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Cook sausage 5 min; remove from pan. Add chicken, cayenne pepper, and 1 tbsp Emeril's to pan and cook 5 min; remove from pan.
  2. Add onions, bell peppers, remaining Emeril's and garlic powder to the pan and cook 8 min or until vegetable are softened, stirring regularly. Add rice and cook 3 min, stirring frequently.
  3. Return sausage and chicken to the pot. Add stock and bay leaf. Increase heat to med-high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 25 min; remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 10 min. Remove bay leaf and stir in green onions to serve.
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skinny-chicken-enchiladas

For the Enchiladas, I made a couple small changes:

  • I didn’t measure out the chicken, but it was roughly 1.25 lbs. I didn’t change any of the rest of the chicken mixture. It ended up being 11 enchiladas, with 1/3 cup filling in each.
  • For my enchiladas, I used Light FlatOut wraps instead of tortillas. They worked great! For Draz’s I used regular flour tortillas.

one-dish-healthy-baked-chicken-veggies

For the Smothered Chicken, I didn’t change anything to the recipe itself. However, I did make an exciting change to how I served it! Draz’s portions were with brown rice, but mine were with a delicious cauliflower rice! Now, I know, I’ve made cauliflower rice on here before. And that is the new thing….I didn’t make it! I ended up impulse buying some frozen prepared Bird’s Eye Riced Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic and I am so glad I did!

Guys, this stuff is delicious! I have struggled with making cauliflower rice for months now. I would make it and be pretty disappointed with it each time. It was fine…it just wasn’t working for me as a rice substitute. But this?! This totally works for me! I can honestly say I don’t even noticed the difference. While I usually am all about making things fresh, this is definitely going to be the exception for me!

Here is this week’s macros breakdown!

healthy-food-prep-if-it-fits-your-macros

Want to make this week’s meal prep for yourself? Get your downloadable grocery list here!

That’s it for this week! What have you tried recently that surprised you, like the frozen riced cauliflower did me? What is your favorite healthy comfort food? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

 

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1 1/2 Years, 101 Things: My Day Zero Project Update!

I can’t believe I’m over halfway done with my first Day Zero project! 101 Things in 1001 Days is just as hard as it sounds haha!

If you are pretty new to the blog, you can check out my first post about this project here to get a better idea of what I’m talking about! There have been a lot of changes since I started this project, both with my life and just with myself. It’s really interesting to see where my focus was a year and a half ago and what has shifted in that focus now!

This project has also taught me a lot about goal setting. It’s so easy to get distracted and take your focus off of your goals, whether they are big or small ones. This happened a lot with this project! It’s really going to be a push for me to finish up most of it in the next year. And a few of them are just not going to get done at all! But I’m pretty excited to see what I can get done. One year left!

101 Things in 1,001 Days

Start Date: October 6, 2015

End Date: July 3, 2018

  1. Get $2000 in Emergency Savings – In progress
  2. Take a day trip to a state park I’ve never been to – In progress! I will be going to one at the end of my trip to Las Vegas in July 2017
  3. Complete Kayla Itsines BBG1 – Started 10/12/15 Finished 1/17/16 (Check out my progress through the guide on these posts: Month 1Month 2Complete!)

    by David Smith at ShutterSmith Photography
    by David Smith at ShutterSmith Photography
  4. Complete Kayla Itsines BBG2
  5. Take a trip to another state (for at least 3 days) – In progress – I will be in Las Vegas for a week!
  6. Attend a BBG Meet-up – Done! Attended first ever Iowa meet-up in Iowa City August 20, 2016. I do hope to attend an out-of-state one at some point though!Push your comfort zone, try new things and meet new people!
  7. Start my business- Done! Launched my Etsy store June 27, 2016shop-header
  8. Blog 5 days a week for a month
  9. Take a weekend trip with Mom
  10. Meditate daily for a month
  11. Complete a 365-day photo project
  12. Take a cooking class
  13. Take a metal-working class
  14. Upgrade my camera – Done! I love my camera so much!
  15. Take a photography class
  16. Run a 5K
  17. Attend a blogging conference or workshop – Done! Go Blog Social in Des Moines, IA Sept 9-10, 2016Pushing my comfort zone by going to my first blogging conference!
  18. Go to a jazz festival
  19. Make a piece of wood furniture
  20. Complete a pull-up – In progress
  21. Do 30 consecutive full push ups – In progressfitness-journey-30s
  22. Learn to can vegetables
  23. See a ballet
  24. See an opera
  25. Write a recipe ebook -In progress Started 10/13/15
  26. Have a picnic
  27. Learn to sew
  28. Finish 5 crochet projects
  29. Go to an art museum
  30. Attend the local crochet & knitting group
  31. Learn Japanese to a conversational level
  32. Take a pottery class
  33. Go zip-lining
  34. Bake a birthday cake
  35. Get dressed up for a special dinner
  36. Go to the Omaha Zoo
  37. Get a massage – Done! Nov 2016 and it was wonderful.
  38. Take a ballroom dancing class
  39. Go rock climbing
  40. Take a yoga class – Done! I actually take one almost every week now.
  41. Create a gallery wall – Done! Finished Early Dec 2015
  42. Read a book of poetry
  43. Wear a two-piece swimsuit
  44. Go to a drive-in movie
  45. Bake a pie from scratch
  46. Make a new friend – Done. I’ve been making a few new friends lately 🙂
  47. Find and buy the perfect LBD
  48. Find and buy the perfect shoes to go with the LBD
  49. Complete a coloring book -In progress. Started early Jan 2016
  50. Learn basic HTML
  51. Wear a skirt or dress every day for a week
  52. Have fresh flowers in the house every week for a month
  53. Have a date night once a month for six months
  54. Learn how to make sushi
  55. Do something special for my 30th birthday – Done! Girls Night Out to see “Chicago” and get dinner all dressed up!
  56. Build a snowman
  57. Wear nothing black for one week
  58. Meet an online friend in person – Done! 
  59. Save $10 for each task completed – In progress
  60. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  61. “Re-learn” how to ride a bike – Done! Got my bike from an awesome coworker June 11, 2016. I have since ridden many times, included a 30-mile ride!

    101-things-1001-days
    20 mile bike ride!
  62. See 2 stage productions – In progress – “Chicago” Feb 25, 2017
  63. Visit Hindu Temple and Cultural Center
  64. Pick 10 books by unknown (to me) authors and read them – Done!
    1. “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
    2. “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown
    3. “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon
    4. “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin
    5. “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling
    6. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins
    7. “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion
    8. “10% Happier” by Dan Harris
    9. “Ghost” by Fred Burton
    10. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
  65. Go to a personal clothing stylist
  66. Do a handstand – In progress
  67. Send in a card to PostSecret
  68. Do henna on someone else
  69. Refinish deck
  70. Build pergola
  71. Take parents out for a nice dinner
  72. Do yoga outside in a public place
  73. Go ice skating
  74. Go to a local town festival
  75. Plant and maintain a raised garden for one summer
  76. Plant a fall garden
  77. Visit two friends from college
  78. Make a meal entirely from the garden
  79. Learn to play the guitar
  80. Take another bellydance class
  81. Do an outdoor photo-a-month project: Ada Hayden -In progress Started 10/13/15. Lost photos in hard drive crash in Sept 2016. Restarting Jan 2017!

    101-things-in-1001-days
    One of my favorites that I was able to recover
  82. Go to a poetry reading/event
  83. Write a letter to my college mentor
  84. Go on the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad
  85. Go minigolfing
  86. Make a healthy pizza from scratch
  87. Go canoeing or kayaking
  88. Find a daytime job – In progress – I am actually going down to part-time at my regular job on overnights in two weeks!
  89. Go to an arts festival – In progress – planned for May 20, 2017
  90. Go to a crafts fair – Done! April 1, 2017
  91. Attend a holiday service with my parents
  92. Attend a religious service of a religion I’m unfamiliar with
  93. Run a charity race
  94. Donate any clothes I don’t use anymore – In progress. Many bags of clothing donated, a few thrown out! (Not sure how to tell when I’m done with this one)
  95. Go to a big fireworks show
  96. Declutter and organize basement – In progress. Many bags of trash gone, a carload of items donated! (Not sure how to tell when I’m done with this one either!)
  97. Go to hot balloon festival
  98. Take a floral arrangement workshop
  99. Read 100 new-to-me books- In progress – Get my book list here!
  100. Make treats for everyone at work for no reason
  101. Go to 2 cultural festivals
  • Complete: 14
  • In progress: 16

So that’s it! My progress so far! Not as much as I would like it to be, but I’ve at least gotten some done and some very close! I will probably actually start doing 3 month updates on here instead of 6 months for this last year, to up my accountability.

Have you ever done a project like this? What would be something on your own 101 Things project? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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Prepare for your Week with this Healthy Stir-fry Meal Prep

Hey guys! Are you as ready for spring as I am? I know that technically it’s already spring, but it sure hasn’t felt like it! I think that the “missing spring”  thing definitely influenced this week’s meal prep. Stir-fry, for me, always makes me think of veggies and spring-time goodness. The funny thing is, I didn’t actually even realize that all 3 dishes were stir-fry until I sat down to write this! So I guess that tells you how observant I was this past week haha!

This week’s meal prep dishes were pretty delicious regardless. Like last week, this week was kinda split into “food for Draz” and “food for me.” But that’s ok! Sometimes it just works out that way.

Enjoy!

Get your week started right with this healthy and budget friendly meal prep! If you love stir-fry, then this one is definitely for you!

This week had a full snack prep, as both of us needed protein balls and I’m still on my newer snack obsession. I am loving the No-Crust Pizza Bites and the Quinoa Omelette Bites still. They are just perfect for my second snack of the day. Of course, Draz needs his Cookie Dough Protein Balls as well 🙂

healthy-weekly-food-prep

I’m still making these Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites for myself and loving them! I don’t know if I mentioned it last time, but I did have the issue of them being a bit on the dry side when I first made them. Did you try them and have that issue to? Anyways, I figured out a solution guys! Just add a splash of unsweetened plain almond milk to the mix! It works great and they were much easier to form into balls.

weekly-food-prep-snacks

For our main dishes this week, I made two of our favorites for Draz and a new recipe for me! For Draz, I made the Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta and Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken. Both of these are so good, though Draz’s favorite will probably always be the Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta. I did forget that I usually double that one, so we did end up a little short on food later on throughout the week.

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For me, I made this Sweet and Sour *Tofu Peppers Broccoli. Now, the original recipe calls for chickpeas, but I was trying to lower the carbs, so I decided to try cooking with tofu for the first time! Because of this being my first time cooking with tofu, I’m not sure if that is what caused my overall reaction to this dish….which is kinda “eh”? It wasn’t bad, but I don’t know that I would make it again in it’s current form. I also cut the sugar in the sauce in half, but honestly I liked the sauce, do I don’t think that was the problem. I might try making this dish again with chickpeas and see how I like it then!

As always, here is this week’s macros breakdown!

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Want to try this meal prep yourself? Get your grocery list with all the main dish ingredients here:

That’s it for this week! Have you tried cooking with tofu before? Any tips for a newbie? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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Finding Fitness: Jo at Fallen Angel Fitness

Hey everyone! I am so excited to bring you this month’s edition of “Finding Fitness”! Today I’m introducing you to Jo from Fallen Angel Fitness. If you follow me over on Instagram, you know that I’ve been getting pretty into weightlifting the past few months. So my interview with Jo was even more exciting for me with her passion for lifting!

Whether you are just getting started on your fitness journey or have been at it for years, I think she has a lot of insight to share, so I will let her get to it. Enjoy!

Whether you are just getting started on your fitness journey or have been at it for years, my interview with Jo is sure to have some insights for you!

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

My name is Jo, I’m 37 years old, from England, and I live with my husband Alan, my cat Charlie and my terrier-cross Cookie.
I’m really new to the world of blogging. I have a few social media pages and also upload videos to a Youtube channel each week, but decided to start my blog in December 2016 because I wanted a place where I could merge my love of fitness with my passion for writing.
Aside from my interests in fitness, I’m a trainee psychologist in my final two years of training. I believe that psychology has a huge role to play in fitness and I try and bring aspects of this into my blog posts where possible. I’m also a qualified counsellor and I enjoy being able to make connections with people and help them explore their stories at a deeper level.

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

 
I haven’t always been interested in fitness. Far from it! In my mid-20s I didn’t take great care of my body at all. I smoked, drank a lot of alcohol and didn’t eat particularly well. In around 2005, me and a few friends decided to start training for a 5k to raise money for a breast cancer charity as we all felt we could do with getting fitter. I’d never done any running before and started off with only being able to run 30 seconds at a time. A few months later I was able to run 5k non-stop. It was a huge achievement and I felt such freedom from being able to just put on some running shoes and get out there.
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What has been your biggest challenge in your fitness journey and how have you dealt with it?

Body image has been an issue for me since my 20s, and although it’s not so much of a problem nowadays it can still play on my mind from time to time. As part of my powerlifting training I am currently ‘bulking’, or eating in a calorie surplus, in order to help build strength. This means that I am not as lean as I would perhaps like. There are some days where I can feel a bit self-conscious about it, and I think that’s mainly because we’re surrounded by so many messages about how we ‘should’ look. But, when I see how much stronger I’m getting in each training session and I keep hitting PRs (personal records) in my lifts this helps to reinforce that bulking is helping me right now, and that it won’t be forever.

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

A few years ago I strained my IT Band whilst training for a marathon. Despite taking a few months off to allow it to heal, it was never really the same and so I had to find other ways to keep fit. I got into doing fitness DVDs and in mid-2015 I came across a DVD which focused on weight training. I loved the feeling of getting stronger and that’s what spurred me onto continuing with lifting weights.
 

What achievement are you the most proud of?

I am a much different person to who I was about 10 years ago. I’ve been through personal difficulties and done a lot of work on myself to be where I am today. I have a lot more faith in myself and my abilities, and I actually like myself now! It’s been hard work but it has been worth it to come through the other side and start enjoying life and doing the things I love. I should say, that despite the difficult experiences I’ve had I wouldn’t be where I am without them and so I am grateful for having been through them.
 
 

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

The biggest change outside of the physical has been my increase in confidence. Getting physically stronger has been a huge boost to the way I feel about myself and how I look. Weight training has helped me to become more disciplined in other areas of my life. I used to put off doing things I was worried about, but now I am more likely to tackle them head-on rather than avoiding them. I’m not the most patient person in the world and lifting weights has also helped me to become much more patient because my strength is going to take time to build and so the work that I put in now is going to pay dividends when it comes to me competing.
 
 

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

I’m currently training for my first powerlifting meet in May 2017. I’m loathe to call myself a powerlifter until I have done my first meet! I have no doubt that I will enjoy the experience so I’d like to compete in further meets afterwards. Perhaps I’m dreaming too big at this stage (is there such a thing?!) but I would eventually like to move from a novice category of lifting to a more ‘professional’ category. Of course that means getting stronger, which I fully intend on becoming!
 
 

What does a typical training week look like?

I train five days a week and have the weekends as my rest days. On Mondays I do front squats and deadlifts, Tuesdays is decline bench press, Wednesdays is an active recovery day which consists of light weights to keep working the muscles but not fatigue them. Thursdays are back squats and Fridays is flat bench press. I have an online coach and he sends me the weights and reps that he wants me to do for each exercise. The weights and reps vary each week as sometimes he’ll want me to do heavier weights and lower reps, and other days I’ll lift lighter weights with higher reps. He will adjust as we go along, depending on how I get on with the different weights. It certainly seems to be working as I’m gradually increasing what I can lift!
I also try to do one 15-20 minute HIIT session each week for heart health. Because I’m training for strength my coach wants me to keep cardio to a minimum, which is fine, but I do like the feeling I get from doing HIIT and feel my heart racing!
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What does an average day of eating look like for you? 

In each of my meals I try to get a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. I tend to eat the same things for breakfast and lunch but vary things for dinner. I’m a creature of habit and routine just feels easier for me! I rarely get bored with the same foods.
For breakfast I have oats which are cooked in water with egg whites. I then mix in chocolate protein powder and peanut butter. It probably sounds horrible but it’s actually very nice, honest!
Lunch doesn’t tend to be a big meal as I save most of my calories for later in the day. I normally have some rice cakes with tuna or chicken and also some boiled eggs as protein helps me to feel fuller for longer.
For dinner it’s usually chicken or fish with mixed vegetables and rice, but I vary the sauces so that it doesn’t get boring. I also have a meal a few hours before going to bed which is usually another (smaller) portion of oats with protein powder and peanut butter.
I do have a few squares of dark chocolates most days, and whilst it’s nice to be able to do that I try to stick to nutrient-dense foods as much as possible.
 
 

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

I use protein powder with my oats at breakfast time, just because there are only so many egg whites and chicken breast I can eat in a day! The protein powder makes it easier for me to hit my protein requirements, but I aim to get the majority of my protein from whole foods.
I also take Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine is a natural substance found in our own bodies, mostly in the muscles, and is said to be one of the best supplements when it comes to building strength and/or muscle. Creatine helps me get a better ‘pump’ when lifting weights and also enables me to push that bit harder when the weights get tough.
I also take an Omega 3 capsule each day for heart and joint health. I do try and get a decent amount of oliy fish but it can be expensive so the capsules help with that. Also, I take a multivitamin in case I’m not getting all the micronutrients I need from my food, and a specific joint health supplement as I want to help preserve my joints and be able to lift for as long as possible.
 
 

What is your favorite exercise? Your least favorite?

My favorite lift is the deadlift. There is something very empowering about being able to lift a dead weight off of the floor! My least favorite is wide-stance squats. They help to build the hips, but they are just so awkward and I’m glad to get them done!
 
 

What do you do if you find your motivation lacking?

I’ve so far not found my motivation to lift to be a problem. However, there are often times when my motivation to get out of bed (in order to lift) can be low! I don’t have a magic formula in these instances, I just tell myself to get out of bed and get ready. To be honest, once I am out of bed and changed then I am ready to go, but leaving a cosy bed can sometimes be hard especially in the cold dark winter months!
 
 

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

I get up at 5am on my training days. I have to train in the morning because I know that when I get home from work all I want to do is sit on the sofa and relax! Finding the time for fitness isn’t so much an issue, but there can be times where blogging and updating my social media can take a lot of time. Whilst I enjoy it, I want to make sure I have a balance between that and spending time with my family. On Sundays my husband and I tend to go on a long walk with Cookie, out in the countryside. This gives us some down-time from everything and the space to just be out in nature and enjoy what’s around us.
 

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

1. Do your research – Whatever area of fitness you want to get into, look on Google for websites which may prove useful. I did this and found lots of great information about things such as the equipment I needed to buy and the sort of lifting programs which would be best suited to me.
2. Find other people who are interested in the same thing – I joined some forums and got chatting to other people. This really helped to motivate me to pursue what I wanted to do, and the other forum members were also able to give me great advice based on their experiences.
3. Don’t worry about what other people may think – I’ve had some unkind comments from so-called friends about me choosing to lift weights and it’s sad when people don’t appear to support your efforts to do something positive. There will always be people who don’t necessarily agree with, or support, your fitness journey. Don’t let those people deter you from what you are passionate about – surround yourself with like-minded people and go for it!
 

Anything else you want to share?

I’m a huge believer that women shouldn’t be afraid to lift heavy weights. There are so many myths out there, for example, that women will get bulky if they lift heavy. That’s just not true as we’re not physiologically able to get bulky due to our low levels of testosterone. Lifting weights can have many physical benefits, such as increasing bone density and minimizing the risks of osteoporosis later in life, and it’s certainly increased my self-confidence. Even if women don’t want to lift as their main source of fitness, I believe that incorporating some lifting into their fitness routine will bring them huge benefits.

 

Sara here again: Jo, thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your insights!
Guys, you should definitely go check out Jo and all that she does. She inspires me all the time and I’m sure she will do the same for you!

 

finding-fitness-jo-fallen-angel-fitnessJo is a trainee psychologist from the UK who likes to lift heavy weights and is training for her first powerlifting meet. Her blog merges her love of iron and her interest in the human mind by relating elements of psychology to different areas of fitness in order to help readers get the most out of their fitness journeys.
You can find more from Jo on her blog, InstagramFacebook, Twitter, and YouTube!
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Use This Budget-Friendly Meal Prep to Make Your Week Easier!

If you have been around the blog for very long, you know that I love meal prep. There are some weeks though, that really highlight just how much of a difference meal prep makes in my life. This week was definitely one of those weeks. I started off the week super focused on getting ready for my first craft market of the “season” and stayed pretty focused on that the majority of the week. (Along with the blog, I also sell handmade jewelry here) Combine that with a couple projects I was working on for the blog and I was staying up way later than I should be. I had no mental energy left to think about what I was going to eat.

And this is where meal prep really becomes so helpful! The thought was taken completely out of the equation. Even when I was exhausted and distracted, I knew that we had healthy food in the fridge ready to eat. I even had some food that could count as one of my “comfort foods,” so that was one more thing to help me feel a little better and de-stress.

All this to say, you can really make meal prep work for you! Those weeks when life just gets insane don’t have to be quite so stressful, because at least one major area of your life is already handled. Because let’s face it, cooking and food can take up a pretty large chunk of our day, especially if we want to eat healthy, homemade meals.

On that note, enjoy this week’s meal prep!

This budget-friendly meal prep is the perfect way to get you set up for the coming week!

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For snacks, I’m still seriously loving these No Crust Pizza Bites and Quinoa Omelette Bites. I can’t get enough of them and the are a lovely change-up from the snacks I was eating for a long time. I also switched back to the Cheeseburger Salads because, well…they are delicious! While I might be switching this up more often, I don’t think this is going to change much any time soon. This salad is so good, filling and still fits well within my macros.

For our main dishes this week, there was really a split between food for me and food for Draz, more so than normal. This is another example of how meal prep can work for you! Other than breakfast, we ate very different food all week this week with no day-to-day extra work. And while I didn’t really realize it at the time, all of our main dishes this week were vegetarian! Which is pretty rare for us and was a nice change of pace.

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My dinner dish for the week: Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry with Cauliflower Rice. You guys…I think I finally got this whole cauliflower rice thing down! Check out this guide from Minimalist Baker for the method I used. Also learned this week..sometimes shocking things happen in the kitchen. Things like your blade in your trusty food processor suddenly breaking in half while making cauliflower rice. Thankfully, I had just started making it, so I only had to throw out a little bit. And I had another type of blade, so I was still able to make it 🙂 But it was definitely startling!

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Back to this curry. This is seriously delicious. I have made this recipe before, but never with sweet potato. When I realized that I wanted to make this dish for this week, I also realized that I had some sweet potato left over from a previous meal prep. Perfect! I wasn’t entirely sure how well the sweet potato would work with the flavors of the dish, but I was worrying for nothing. It turned out wonderful!

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As for Draz’s food for the week, I made Skinny Lasagna Rolls and Homemade Lentil Soup. I can say, without any surprise, that the lasagna was his favorite of the week. The soup was tasty, but those lasagna rolls are just SO good! If you haven’t tried them yet, you definitely should. Not only are they tasty and macros friendly, but they are pretty easy to make too!

Here is the macros breakdown for the week:

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Want to make this for your own meal prep? Get the full main dish grocery list here!

That’s it for this week! Any kitchen mishaps that you have had to deal with lately? Or tried out any recipes with a new ingredient? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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Get Healthy With This Macros-Friendly Meal Prep

Hey everyone! I’ve been pretty excited to share this week’s meal prep with you! For the first time in quite a while, I’ve done some major changes to my snacks and I think you are going to love these new recipes!

Enjoy!

Get your week started off right with this healthy meal prep!

For this week’s snacks, I actually decided to switch things up a bit! I’ve been tracking macros for a few months now and hitting my daily protein is hard. Especially if I don’t want to go over on carbs or fat! So I’ve been searching a TON for new snacks and these are a few that I found! (Isn’t Pinterest the best?)

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These No-Crust Pizza Bites are so tasty! I couldn’t get them to “sink” into the muffin tins as much as I would have liked, but I think that might just need some practice. But tasty-wise? They are SO good! Definitely going to be making these ones again.

Another new snack of the week are these Quinoa Omelette Bites. Guys…these are so good. Seriously. Super easy to make, macros-friendly and worked perfectly as my second snack of the day! Plus they are just as good cold too, which works great for me at when I’m at work.

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Now for the last new snack of the week! I’m honestly not surprised at all to love these Cinnamon Vanilla Protein Bites. They aren’t the first ones I’ve tried from Cotter Crunch and they are always delicious! I can’t wait to make them again, especially after I get some vanilla protein powder.

For the salads and the rest of the snacks, things were pretty standard. I decided to switch back to my normal Buffalo Chicken salads for this week, plus Draz’s favorite protein balls and, as always, my grapes with cheese!

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For the main dishes this week, I went with two of our recent favorites and one new one! Draz requested both the Low Carb Sausage and Peppers Mock Lasagna and the Low Carb Deconstructed Pizza Casserole. Yes, he actually asked me to make something! Usually I just decide and he eats whatever I make haha. Both of these are delicious and so easy to put together, so I was happy to make them!

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Our new dish for the week was this Bacon and Cheese Crockpot Quiche. Now, I love pretty much everything breakfast-related, so this was an easy decision! Plus it’s in the slowcooker, which makes it even better! Now, I know the picture doesn’t look the best. This was my first time baking turkey bacon and well….I overdid it a bit, but it still tasted pretty good. Lesson learned for next time – bake for a lot less time!

Other than sightly overdone bacon, this dish turned out wonderful. I will definitely be making this one again! I will say, I will probably split it into 6 servings next time instead of 8. The servings were a little on the small side for us.

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I also made up a bunch of our breakfast burritos and ended up making some extra with the leftover bacon. I don’t think it will be part of our normal ones, but was a nice switch-up!

Tracking macros? Here is the breakdown for this week!

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

What are your favorite high protein snacks? I’m still looking for new ones and would love to hear yours, so please leave a comment below!

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5 Simple Health Tips For All Of Us

Hey everyone! I am so happy to be welcoming back Allison from Waking Up Thirty! In case you missed it, you should definitely go read my interview with her from a couple weeks ago!

Today, she is sharing with us her 5 simple health tips. Enjoy!

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Over the past few years I have been on a roundabout health journey. I went from being the healthiest in my life to probably being the sickest I have ever been.

During my last pregnancy I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I had to reevaluate myself and look at my fitness in a whole new light. I had to start from the inside out and make myself strong again mentally as well as physically. Even though there were many things I had to change, I want to share a few things that any of us can do to better our health no matter the obstacles we are facing. These are five core concepts I try to put in place and evaluate any time I think I need a little boost in my routine or if I am feeling a little “off.” Most of the time I just need to readjust one of these things and I immediately start feeling better. Best of all – none of these things are going to cost you any money or require you to have any crazy equipment or knowledge beyond what we probably already know as adult humans.

Here are Five Simple Health Tips

1.) Sleep.

I am sorry to all you new parents out there that aren’t getting your regular sleep – I feel you. Someday you will have the chance to catch up on your sleep, but for now just power through it. For everyone else – go to bed. Go to bed at a reasonable hour each night for one week and see what happens. Try getting in bed by 930pm and seeing if you can fall asleep by 10pm. Even if you have to read a dictionary, if they still exist, try to get the shuteye you need. If you can get a solid amount of rest in before midnight, you are benefitting your body by hitting REM (Rapid Eye Movement sleep – Google it) earlier than usual, you will wake up more refreshed. If you have to wake up super early, go to bed even earlier than 9:30pm. The important thing is to get a solid sleep. Some of us only need seven hours, some of us need up to  nine. You have to do what works the best for your body and two weeks of concentrating on your sleep pattern is going to give you a general idea of how much sleep your body truly needs.

Getting an adequate amount of sleep can improve so many different parts of your body and mind including your cognitive function, your mood, the strain on your adrenal gland and thyroid gland, it also may even improve inflammation and aid in weight-loss. Wowza.

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2.) Drink water.

Duh. I know, if you hear one more person tell you that you need more water. you might flip your lid, but there are a multitude of reasons why we need to get our water intake up. Our bodies are roughly 55% water… or they should be. All of our internal organs need water in order to operate properly. Our biggest outer organ, or skin, also needs water so it can regenerate and “glow.” When we optimize our water levels we allow our bodies to run smoothly and not overwork themselves. What are some of the immediate benefits of drinking water? Well, aside from not being thirsty, you can notice increased energy levels, less head and body aches and your muscles can even operate more efficiently! Yes! Your muscles can work better and this can prevent injury and muscle spasms or tightness. If your current health goals are to lost a few pounds, drinking more water should be at the top of your priority list. The average adult male needs about 3 litres (12 cups) of water per day and the average adult female needs 2 litres (9.3 cups) of water per day in order to optimize their bodily fluid levels. This amount can change slightly based on several variables such as individual activity level or even the climate, but starting with a solid 2 to 3 litres of water per day is a great base point.

3.) Go outside.

I worked at a desk job in a dark little office for almost a decade. There were weeks that I didn’t leave my building and I worked well into the evenings. The only time I saw the light of day was to run and grab my coffee or lunch, or to and from my car. It wasn’t until I started an outdoor running/jogging/hiking program that I noticed my general mood improved drastically. I slept so much better on the nights that I had spent time outside that day. I had actual colour in my cheeks (even with using sunscreen) and I had a bigger sense of wholeness in my health routine. The impact of spending time outdoors was so much more a mental benefit than a physical benefit. I truly believe mental health and physical health go hand in hand together.

Spending time outdoors seems like such a no brainer, but it is something we overlook doing. This is an age where we spend hours and hours being lost in the interwebs, but we can’t seem to get 15 minutes outside of our four walls. Making it a daily habit to get outside can be immensely beneficial for yourself. Vitamin D is also amazing… just sayin’.
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4.) Write in a journal or make a daily gratitude list.

“Ahhh, here it is,” you say. “Here comes the work.”

Whenever someone hears the word JOURNAL, they automatically have flashbacks to grade four when their teachers made them do a daily log and they had to rack their brains for something interesting to say. Or they imagine a soft, leather bound book with empty pages that sits in box or drawer somewhere in their own homes – probably given to them by a caring family member, but never used.

A journal does not have to be anything more than a couple of written lines of how you felt at the end of that day. Alternatively, you could wake up each morning and write out three to five things that you are grateful for in your life and set your day off right.

Why would this type of thing be included in a health and wellness tip post? Here is your answer: When we focus on the positive aspects of our lives, we tend to radiate more positivity in other areas. We start focusing on the good. When we write down our feelings or what has transpired throughout the day, we are able to go back later and see how or why we may have been feeling the way we were in that moment. Personal reflection is a stepping point for anyone who wants to better themselves in any aspect of their life.

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5.) Meditate.

Annnd here is where I go off the deep end, right? Wrong. So wrong. A meditation practice is not some sort of new age, funky, hipster-trend. There are ancient Indian records of meditation practices as far back as 1500 BCE and also records of other types of meditation from Taoist China that date in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. The idea that total relaxation of the mind and spirit (whether you are religious or not) can be beneficial is nothing new – yet so many of us think it is hog wash and unfounded. Here’s the thing, there is actual scientific evidence that  there are benefits to practicing meditation: such as the increase of immune function, reduction of inflammation, decrease in anxiety & stress, and so on and so on. But, why the need to read medical journals or textbooks when you could do a little science experiment of your own and just try meditating for 10 minutes per day for a week. There are so many apps and resources on the web where you can find guided meditations to get you through your first sessions. You may be surprised at the results it gives you.

Whatever health and wellness journey you are on, I hope you are able to find a path for yourself. Even if you have to trudge through it on your own there are so many ways we can lift ourselves up during the process. Be smart. Love yourself throughout the trek and you will see the benefit a little self love and tenderness can give you.

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Allison, thank you so much for joining us today on the blog! I love these tips so much and am personally planning on adding in more meditation to my routine!

Which one of these 5 tips are you going to work on improving? Do you have another simple health tip you would like to share? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Finding-FitnessAllison lives on the East Coast of Canada and brings Bootcamp style classes to rural areas in her community.
She used to work a sedentary job in television production, but has found her passion in helping others achieve their physical fitness goals and is also hoping to offer mindfulness classes in the future.
Her blog titled “Waking up Thirty” is a look into the mind of a 30-some-year-old who is trying to figure out her purpose after having some major life changes. Her posts are relatable to anyone who is finding themselves wondering why their life doesn’t quite look the way they expected it would.

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Sunday Meal Prep March 12, 2017

Hey everyone! Can you believe we are into March already? It seems like this year is just flying by! I am definitely ready for spring though. Iowa has been all over the place with temperatures lately and I just can’t wait until the warm weather gets here!

I don’t always follow seasonal when I’m cooking or cook lighter dishes in the warmer months like some do. However, I think I can see my desire for spring in this week’s meal prep! Lighter dishes and veggies everywhere! Enjoy!

Get your week started right with this healthy meal prep! Get the recipes, details and a downloadable grocery list here!

For my salads, I’m still totally in love with these cheeseburger-insprired salads based off of this recipe from Organize Yourself Skinny! The main changes I made:

  • no cucumbers,  added in red onion
  • dressing was Bolthouse Farms Honey Mustard
  • used a salad mix instead of romaine

And for our snacks we have a recent favorite: 5-Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins! These are so tasty and really hit my desert cravings 🙂 Of course, my favorite, grapes and cheese, was also made. This week’s cheese? Smoked Gouda! I am loving the flavor of this one right now!

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We were also running low on my Healthier Cinnamon Bread, so of course that was made. If you haven’t checked it out lately, there have been a couple small changes to the recipe. I’ve lightened things up a little more by cutting back on the sugar. It’s still plenty tasty, but a little more carb-friendly! We were also running low on Freezer Breakfast Burritos, so a 2-week batch of those got made up too!

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For our main dishes this week, we have a couple new recipes! To start with, these Broccoli Quinoa Cheddar Bites are delicious! I love finding new vegetarian dishes, especially since we can be kind of a meat-heavy household. This one will definitely be made again! I did make a small change: The recipe calls for them being made in a mini-muffin pan. Instead I made them as regular muffins and baked them at 350 for 30 minutes. This worked out great! I also used Fiesta blend cheese instead of cheddar, since that was what we had on hand.

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The other new recipe, and my personal favorite of the week, was this Ham and Cauliflower Chowder based off of this recipe from Damn Delicious. The original recipe sounded, well, damn delicious, but I wanted to lighten things up a bit plus add in more meat than the original called for. I think it turned out pretty great and I will definitely be making it again!

Ham and Cauliflower Chowder
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Ham and Cauliflower Chowder
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery; saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, roughly 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken base, water and almond milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-6 minutes.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, roughly 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to tasty.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until desired consistency is reached.
  5. If immersion blender is not available, let soup cool slightly and then remove 1 1/2 -2 cups and blend in blender. Return to soup.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from this recipe from Damn Delicious

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healthy-weekly-meal-prep

Our repeat recipe of the week was this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo based off of this recipe from Julia’s Album. Again, I made some changes to lighten things up a bit and I love how it turned out!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cut broccoli into small florets. Steam and set aside.
  2. Cook chickpea pasta, drain. Set aside
  3. In a large skillet, heat grapeseed oil and butter on medium-high heat. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. Saute chicken for about 15 minutes, 7-8 on each side. Remove from heat, cover and let rest, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Using the same skillet, add minced garlic and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant, scraping chicken bits from pan. Add steamed broccoli and mix; remove from pan.
  5. Add evaporated milk to the same skillet and heat to boiling. Add mozzarella cheese and stir until melted and creamy. Reduce heat and slowly add almond milk in, stirring constantly. Simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add pasta, broccoli and chicken back to the skillet and mix. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from this recipe from Julia's Album

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Here are the macros for everything for this week! Most of it was pretty macros-friendly, though a few of the dishes were a bit carb-heavier than I aim for.

if-it-fits-your-macros-food-prep

Want to make this for your own meal prep? Get your free downloadable grocery list to get you started!

Just the main dishes:

All the food from this week:

How much do you enjoy altering recipes you find? Do you change them up a lot or make them as you found them? I would love to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

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