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!

Allison-Waking-Up-Thirty

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.

sleep-healthy-lifestyle-allison-waking-up-thirty
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’.
get-outdoors

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.

journal-daily-gratitude-list

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.

love-yourself-allison-waking-up-thirty

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 19, 2017

Hey everyone! Before we get going, I want to talk a bit about meal planning for your prep. This week really reminded me of how important it is to build up a list of recipes you really like! While some weeks you might feel inspired or be craving something in particular, there are going to be weeks where nothing sounds particularly interesting. For those weeks, having your list of go-to recipes helps so much!

This week was one of the uninspired weeks for me. I had a really hard time making my plan for this meal prep. Draz didn’t have any requests this week and nothing was coming to mind that I really wanted for the coming week. Enter Pinterest! This is seriously my favorite tool ever for meal prep. I’ve been menu planning for years and for the majority of it I didn’t use Pinterest. It was all cookbooks, printed off recipes and the occasional Internet search. Now though? When I’m stuck, I just go to my “Recipes Made and Loved” recipe board and pick from there! It’s so much easier. If you haven’t started using Pinterest for your own meal prep planning, I highly recommend it.
And now, on to this week’s meal prep! Enjoy!

Get your week started off right with this healthy and budget-friendly meal prep!

This week’s meal prep was super quick and tasty, plus being pretty budget-friendly too. I don’t know how you can get more of a overall win than that!
I hadn’t made Sweet Potato Banana Bites in a while and I forgot just how much I love them! They are such a dessert-type snack, but still healthy and made with wholesome ingredients. One of the first things I made when I started meal prepping, they have been a favorite of mine for over 2 years now! I also whipped up some more protein balls for Draz, some cinnamon bread for our breakfast, and more Cheeseburger-inspired jar salads! Overall, not a bad set up for our snacks and my lunches for the week.
weekly-food-prep
For our main dishes, I made Slow Cooker Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili and Easy Skillet Chicken Cacciatore. I also altered this Kielbasa Hash. Our two chicken dishes both turned out delicious! That chili is still our favorite one and it just makes me happy every time I eat it. Plus is so easy to make and macros-friendly! The chicken cacciatore turned out well, though I kinda wish I had thought to make some rice or pasta to go with it….so much sauce!
healthy-food-prep-main-dishes
For the Kielbasa Hash, I am so happy with how this one turned out! I was honestly a little hesitant about using sweet potatoes. Other than the sweet potato banana bites, I haven’t found many recipes that really make me love sweet potatoes. But this one definitely does! The only change up I made was sweet potatoes for potatoes. Otherwise, I followed the recipe!
breakfast-hash-fried-eggs
I have a serious obsession with all things breakfast foods and this one is by far one of my favorites. Peppers, onions, turkey sausage and potatoes, all combined with fried egg? Perfection! I will admit, this one is a little higher in fat than I would prefer, but it was well worth it! If you are wanting to cut a little of the fat, you could probably forgo the eggs on top. (Which would be crazy and sad, but you could do it!)
Speaking of macros, here are the macros for this week’s meal prep!
healthy-weekly-meal-prep
Want to join in and make this meal prep for yourself? Get your grocery list here!

And that’s it for this week! What are you making for your meal prep this week? Any delicious sweet potato recipes? I would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!

sunday meal prep 10/16/16

Hey all! I hope you had a wonderful week! Here things went pretty well, with some progress on a few exciting changes I hope to tell you about soon!! Other than that, if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I have been back to my workouts and at the gym full-force this week and loving it (despite having a bit of a cold 🙂 )

This week was a perfect example of why I love meal prep so much. Even with work, the gym, my other projects, and not feeling my best, we had healthy and filling meals the whole week! And after the actual cooking on Sunday, all of that required no extra work from me. I don’t think I would be overstating when I say that meal prep is one of the things that makes it possible for me to work towards my dreams! Which is why I love sharing those meal preps with you, so you can do the same!

So with that, enjoy this week’s meal prep (and make sure to get your grocery list)!

Use meal prep and your free grocery list to help you eat healthy all week and have more time for the things you love!

We were running low on breakfast burritos in the freezer, which ended up being perfect timing! Last weekend I went hiking with my parents and they had some extra bell peppers from their garden….so some of them went right into the breakfast burritos! Being able to cook with garden fresh ingredients is great, isn’t it?!

My two breakfast essentials! Breakfast burritos for the freezer and cinnamon bread for the pantry! Plus some roasted chickpeas to snack on :-)

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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Healthier Cinnamon Bread
Print Recipe
I have loved having cinnamon bread as part of my breakfast for a long time now, but I wasn't always happy about how healthy it was. Not so with this recipe! After a lot of adapting and experimenting, I created this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Healthier Cinnamon Bread
Print Recipe
I have loved having cinnamon bread as part of my breakfast for a long time now, but I wasn't always happy about how healthy it was. Not so with this recipe! After a lot of adapting and experimenting, I created this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
Servings: loaves
Instructions
  1. All of these directions are using an electric stand mixer. If you are using something else, adjust as needed.
  2. In your mixing bowl, add bananas, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla essence. Mix on low until combined. Add unsweetened almond milk, then lemon juice; continue mixing on low.
  3. One cup at a time, slowly add whole wheat flour while mixing on low, scraping sides of bowl between each cup. After adding the last cup of flour, add the baking soda. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix on low briefly to fully combine.
  4. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon to make a cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray. Put 1/2 of the batter (or a little less) into the loaf pans; 1/4 in each pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter in each pan.
  6. Add remaining batter to pans, then sprinkle with last of the cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional Information according to MyFitnessPal: 141 calories - Carbs 32 g, Fat 1 g , Protein 3 g , Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 116 mg, Potassium 120 mg, Sugars 17 g, Vitamin A 1%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 5%, Iron 5%

Nutritional Information is for 1 slice. Each loaf, for us, comes to 13 slices.

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I also made a couple types of protein balls, some roasted chickpeas, salads and cinnamon bread. I’m still trying to get the recipe right for the roasted chickpeas, but you can find the basic recipe below. I will update it when I finally get the seasoning right! (They are still pretty good in that recipe, just vary the seasonings to your liking) Our normal protein balls turned out delicious! The other ones this week were Peanut Butter Brownie Balls and, well, I had some issues. She says at the end to add extra honey at the end if they are too dry….I should have followed that. Instead, I thought they were forming well enough and didn’t. They taste great but are kinda crumbly when I actually try to eat them!

Spiced-Garbanzo-Beans
Spiced Chickpeas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Spiced-Garbanzo-Beans
Spiced Chickpeas
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 min
Cook Time
30-35 min
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast 30-35 minutes or until crisp.
Share this Recipe

Some healthy snacks and lunches!

As for our main dishes this week, I went with a mix of new and old recipes. The old recipes include Garlic Parmesan Pasta, Slow Cooker Chicken, Potatoes & Green Beans, and Baked Beef Chimichangas. For our new ones, I made Red Curry Lentils & Cauliflower, and Spicy Thai Chicken & Veggie Noodles. Everything turned out delicious! I think the one complaint either of us had was that, for the Spicy Thai Chicken, the rice noodles (which I had never used before) soaked up too much of the sauce, making the dish a bit dry later on. I think next time we might go back to our regular chow mein noodles and/or double the sauce.

And that’s it for this week’s meal prep! What did you make for your own meal prep this week? If you don’t meal prep, how do you think meal prep could help you with your current schedule? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

life outside of your comfort zone (+ 5 tips to pushing your boundaries!)

Do you like to try new things and push your limits? I know I do! This wasn’t always the case though. I used to avoid new situations, especially if I was trying them on my own! My comfort zone was well established and I liked it there.

It can be easy to stay in of our comfort zone. After all, they are by definition “a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable” We avoid a lot of stress, insecurity and self doubt by staying there. They are where we feel the most self-assured and capable. But while comforting, those feelings can be deceptive.

Getting outside your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries can be difficult, but so important! Click through for my top 5 tips, plus my story of how I am working to push myself too!Read More

I’m back!!

Hey guys! Wow, it’s been a while! I just want to start off with this: I did not plan on this break. This nearly month-long absence was not intentional. But it has has some interesting side-effects! I’m getting ahead of myself….

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I got pretty sick a few weeks ago. I’m not going to get into details, cause they aren’t fun at all, but I was unable to pretty much do anything for over a week. Following that first week, it took another week or so before I was getting close to back to normal. At that point, I was super excited! I could finally start blogging again! I went to go get on my computer…..and was informed that my hard drive was failing 🙁

So this led into another week and a half waiting for my computer to come back from HP. The good news: I have a new hard drive! Gotta love warranties. The bad news: I lost most of my photos…I will do better about backing things up in the future.

And this is how we end up with a month-long silence here on Nymph in the Woods.

Now on to the side-effects of my absence!

  1. I had been dealing with a creative block when it came to the blog. A month of no blogging and I have some great new ideas and I can’t wait to get writing!
  2. I had been feeling pretty discouraged about the blog, mostly about myself, my expectations and where I wasn’t reaching them. But I missed blogging so much during this month….Which made me remember that even if I’m not where I want to be yet, I love what I’m doing!
  3. You guys didn’t disappear! Ok, this is not a side-effect, but it does make me feel better. Beforehand if I missed one post I was stressing out. Now, I’m not going to get into the habit of missing posts or anything. But now I missed a month and everything and everyone is still here.

Thank you guys for being patient with me! It’s going to take a few days to get the computer set back up the way I need it and get some other things in order, but I will be back to posting as normal next week!

links i love 8/26/16

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! Looking for some fun reading for your weekend? Here are some links I love that you may have missed this week!

Enjoy!

Recipes

My Go-to Avocado Toast by Minimalist Baker

Balsamic Chicken Skillet by Budget Bytes

Garlic Grilled Broccoli by Slender Kitchen

Homemade Peanut Butter Protein Bars by Jar Of Lemons

Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas by Gimme Some Oven

One Pot Cauliflower Piccata Pasta by Slender Kitchen

Garlic Basil Barramundi Skillet with Tomato Butter Sauce by Pinch of Yum

Family and Life

How to Deal With Being Overwhemed by A Fresh Start on a Budget – This is a great post! We all get overwhelmed…I know I do. And when you feel that way it can be hard to get anything done, much less everything! I know I can just kinda freeze up. This has some great tips for getting past the overwhelmed feeling and moving forward, plus making sure to take time for self-care. And we all know how important I think self-care is!

Is Wealth Just About Changing Your Mindset by Our Freaking Budget – I love this! And past a certain point, like being unsure if you can afford groceries or bills, I would have to say they are right! Mindset makes such a huge difference!

21 Books I Loved, 5 I Liked and 3 I Wouldn’t Recommend by Design Darling – Great list! I can’t wait to check out some of these! I have my own “new book goal” on my own 101 Things in 1001 Days list and this will help me get there! Plus a few that she read are ones I read for my list too! (Also, this gives me a post idea….maybe do my own book list halfway through or something?)

Things I Know for Sure at 28: Outstanding People, the Comparison Trap and Standards by Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat – I love this! It sounds a lot like the things I learned around that time! It amazes me just how much we learned in our late 20s….makes me excited to see what we learn in our 30s!

Art and DIY

Unique {and Cheap} DIY Fall Decorating Ideas by Re-fabbed – I love fall and I especially love making fall decor! These are some seriously cute ideas and I can’t wait to make a few of them for our home!

Industrial Dog Bowl Feeder Stand by Pretty Handy Girl – This is great. I have wanted to build or buy something like this for a while, but hadn’t seen anything that seemed like it could stand up to Achilles-level slobber (gotta love mastiffs haha!). This one might actually do it!

Health and Fitness

Trying New Fitness Adventures by Gettin’ My Healthy On – Yes! I love trying new things and having been focusing a lot on getting outside of my comfort zone lately. I actually decided just this week that I am FINALLY getting a gym membership and I can’t wait to attend some fitness classes! Plus I have a few other things I want to try too!

Hair and Beauty

Waterfall Braid Tutorial + the Fix for Dry, Damaged Hair by Hair Romance – Yet again another great post from Christina! The waterfall braid is one I love but haven’t tried yet. (I mostly stick to my Dutch and Fishtail Braids) I can’t wait to try after this video! And my curly hair gets dried out so easily, so I will definitely be trying some new products she suggests to see if I can’t get it back to health!

Blogging and Business

How to Design Blog Post Graphics That Convert (With Before + After Examples!) by Melyssa Griffin – Wonderful post! This is something I struggle with, so I am definitely going to be trying out her tips!

That’s it for the links I love this week! Did you have something you loved or something you published? I would love to check it out, so please leave a link below!

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!

links i love 8/19/16

Happy Friday everyone! Any exciting weekend plans? For once I have some! I’m heading to Iowa City for the first Iowa BBG meet-up 🙂 I’m sure that I will be telling you more about this soon, but I can’t wait!

But for now, here are some links I love from this week for your reading pleasure!

But before we get to the links, cute rats! These are two of our new pet rats and my favorite picture from the week :-)
But before we get to the links, cute rats! These are two of our new pet rats and my favorite picture from the week 🙂

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sunday meal prep 8/14/16

Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! Here things are pretty good…much better than they were during the week at least. I was kinda sidelined this week by a pretty nasty headache and my whole schedule was thrown off. It was severe enough that I actually got sent home due to how light and sound sensitive I was. No workouts and a lot of rest, quiet and dark for a few days and I’m back to normal! But it definitely threw my normal schedule off balance. It’s times like this that I really appreciate meal prep! Even though I couldn’t do much for a couple days we still had good healthy food!

Another exciting thing from the past week: Have you checked out Instagram Stories?! I am loving it! So, you may remember that my meal prep posts are actually staggered by one week from my actual meal prep (this week’s post is of last Sunday’s prep and so on). One thing I am having a lot of fun with on Stories is showing some behind the scenes stuff, including a sneak peek at my meal prep! Last week I did a step-by-step through how I go about my meal prep and what dishes I was making that week. So if you want a sneak peek or some ideas for how to streamline your meal prep, make sure you head over to my Instagram each Sunday for my meal prep process! What do you think of the whole Instagram Stories thing? You enjoying it so far?

Ok, so now that I have rambled on for a bit, let’s get 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!Read More

links i love 8/12/16

Happy Friday! I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Things have been a little off here, but are getting back on track now. I had a pretty bad headache for a few days, so I haven’t been working out much this week or getting as much done as I would like. But my head is doing better and I’m getting back to normal productivity! No workout today, but hopefully tomorrow that will be back on track too!

Anyways, I found some links I love this week for your weekend reading pleasure! Enjoy!Read More