Oh. My. Gosh. Y’all….seriously, this meal prep is delicious! I have been excited to share this meal prep with you ALL WEEK. 3 new recipes, including one impulse decided-to-make-during-prep type of recipe haha. Usually I’m not one to impulse make dishes that aren’t planned out, but this one I just had to give a try! And when you already have all the ingredients needed and ready…well, it’s an easy and delicious decision to make!
So, to kick things off, our snacks and smaller meal! The snacks were pretty basic – my celery and sliced turkey and Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls! The smaller meal was the impulse make, inspired by a recipe I saw on Instagram! These are basically a healthier and tastier version of cup noodles, and far more satisfying too!
a mixture of curry base, chili garlic sauce and sesame oil on the bottom
shredded napa cabbage
cooked thin spaghetti
Overall, pretty basic, right!? But oh so good. You just add boiling water and let it “steep” for a while, then enjoy! And there are so many options. I think this will become a regular addition to our meal prep.
I didn’t even make much for changes this week! One main change to tell you about – For the Kale Soup, I used pre-cooked quinoa that I had in the freezer. I took it out to thaw the day before and added it in when I took the chicken out to shred. I wasn’t sure how well it would work, but it worked beautifully! I’m sure it would be great the way the recipe has it, but we had some already prepped that I wanted to use up first.
Want to give this one a try? Get your grocery list here!
So that’s it for this week’s meal prep! Have you tried any new recipes lately that you’ve loved? I would love to hear about them!
As I mentioned last week, the second half of 2017 was missing a lot of balance for me. One of the biggest things lacking was a steady workout routine! As my jewelry business kinda took over my life and my focus, I allowed it to create excuses for me too. I couldn’t go to the gym…I had jewelry to finish up! Now, some of that was legitimate. But at lot of it was lack of focus on the bigger picture and what I truly needed.
So here I am, markets and the holiday season done for now. It’s a new year and I want it to be a year of balance! Of growth, yes, but not at the sacrifice of my health and happiness. And one of the ways to maintain that? With a steady workout routine!
But it can be hard to get back into a workout routine after you have been skipping for a while. You know you want to do it and that you will feel better when you do. But you’ve also gotten used to having that extra time! So how do you get back into your routine? Or better yet, set a new and better one?
There are a lot of ways to go about it, but here is how I have worked to set a routine that works for me and that (I hope) will help keep me on track even when market season comes around again!
Take a hard look at your current schedule.
What things are immovable? I currently have my FT job, PT job, and sleep. Those are the regular things on my schedule that can’t or shouldn’t be changed!
Do you have any big time-wasters that need to be removed from your current routine?
Do you have a time of day you prefer to workout? Does that time of day work for your set schedule?
Is there anything you need to change or add in that would help you be successful?
These could be things like packing your bag and/or food the day before. Meal prepping if you don’t already. Changing from a routine at the gym to one at home if the travel time is what is stopping you.
Write it down! Set your week in advance and write in your workouts.
Not just the word “workout” but when and even what workout you are going to be doing! Make sure to plan in roughly how long the workout is going to take.
Allow for some give, especially at first. Going from not working out to 6-7 days a week is not usually feasible.
I am aiming for 6 a week, but my minimum is 3. If I hit 3 and miss the rest, that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I don’t stop trying for 6, but it does mean that I don’t beat myself up as much for missing!
Need some extra motivation? Join in a movement online and use others to help you with that extra push!
The one I’m loving right now is the #IAmLimitless movement with FitApproach! Check out the Instagram feed here!
It has felt great to get back into the gym on a regular basis and to feel more fit and healthy again! And I want that feeling for you too!
Are you just getting back into your routine? What tools or tips are you using to help you do it? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below or shoot me an email!
I’m so excited to be back on here, sharing my weekly meal prep with you all! I can’t even tell you how much I’ve missed this the last few months! To be honest, my eating towards the end of market season left something to be desired. I was still prepping, but I was impulse eating more and not planning as well for meals at markets by the end of it. I am so excited to get my food back on track and using meal prep to do it!
This week’s meal prep is a bit smaller than you are probably used to. While I was getting ready for market season, I prepped extra for the freezer to make things a bit easier. It was such a huge help! But we do have some of the extra prep left over, so we have been using that for part of our meals to get it used up!
I am super excited to share this week’s meal prep dish with you though! It’s a new dish to us: Healthy Broccoli Chicken Casserole! I love getting recipes from Slim Sanity and this one was no exception! I love the flavor in this casserole. The only thing I would change up was likely my own fault. It was a bit dry, but I’m pretty sure that is due to me increasing the amount of chicken, rice and broccoli without increasing the “sauce” enough. I will definitely be making this one again, with some minor tweaks!
I did make some changes to the original recipe. All the ingredients are basically the same, but I didn’t really measure much of the main components for the casserole. Here is what I used:
3 large broccoli heads (roughly 4-5 cups chopped)
roughly 1 1/2 lbs chicken, shredded.
roughly 1 1/2-2 c jasmine rice (thawed from frozen)
1/2 c unsweetened plain almond milk
1/2 c shredded Italian blend cheese (in place of Mozzarella)
1/2 c shredded Fiesta blend cheese (in place of cheddar)
Most of these changes were based on just what we had around the house, like the cheese. I had frozen the chicken and rice (separately) before and I’m honestly not quite sure how much there was.
Other items on the prep list: Healthier Cinnamon Bread, Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls and a celery and lunchmeat combo snack! The cinnamon bread remains one of our staple dishes and Draz and I have a slice of it every day! The protein balls are mostly Draz’s, though I’ve been having them between my FT and PT jobs lately to get me through til dinner. As for the combo snack, that is all mine! I’ve been playing with different snacks again for me and this is my most recent one. Not sure if I will stick to it or not, but I’m enjoying it for now!
While the protein balls are loosely based on this recipe, they have changed quite a bit over time! Make sure to keep an eye out, because I plan on writing a recipe post for them soon!
Want to make this menu for yourself? Sign up for my email list and get it sent directly to you!
That’s it for this week’s meal prep! How are you faring with your meal prep post-holidays? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below or shoot me an email!
Oh. My. Gosh….I can’t believe it! I’m finally back and is is wonderful! I don’t know if I can truly express just how much I have missed blogging these past few months. It has been the longest I have gone without posting since I started the blog!
The last 6 months (especially these past 3) have really taught me something. While it is wonderful to have drive and to push yourself, you can’t lose sight of your balance! Well, my friends, my balance in 2017 was pretty much nonexistent. Between my jobs, my business and being here, I ran myself into the ground….And failing to do many of the things I talk about on here. Things I believe in!
But, I got through it and now I’m ready to get back that lost balance! I will be talking about that more in the coming weeks. Today, I want to talk about GOALS! As the new year comes around, we all shift our focus to what we did (and didn’t) achieve in the past year. We get fired up to set new goals and DO ALL THE THINGS! And that is great, really.
But you want to make sure you are not setting yourself up for failure as well. It is great to set goals and want to push yourself, but going crazy isn’t going to help you at all! So I encourage you, take a look at your life and what you want your life to be. Is there something missing? Something that stands out that you want to improve upon?
I also want to encourage you to pick a word…a intention that really embodies what you want this year to be about. I’ve heard of this practice before, but I honestly haven’t given it much thought. But as I’ve been planning out some changes I want to make and practices I want to put in place for 2018, I’ve found this to be invaluable. Each time I look at a change or something I want to do, I ask myself (and sometimes Draz!) if it is helping me move towards that intention.
My word for 2018? You guessed it….BALANCE. I love the life I’m building and I’m okay with it taking a lot of work to create. But I don’t want to become so focused on the work that I miss the actual life part.
So now, on to my goals! They are pretty sparse this year, because I want to be more focused on the practices I’ve put in place than any one specific goal (but that is for a future post)! Your word can be whatever you want it to be! Give it a try and I think you will be surprised! I was!
Workouts: A minimum of 3 workouts a week, health allowing. I’m aiming for 6, but I need to be flexible and understand that my sleep is important too!
Schedule: Plan out each week in my planner over the weekend. Focus on not over-scheduling, but make sure I’m staying focused on the big picture!
That’s it! It’s probably the least annual goals I’ve set in years, but I’m okay with that. I have quarterly goals set for both my jewelry business and the blog and I can’t wait to build those to fruition!
What goals have you set for 2018? Have you ever chosen a word for the year, or are trying it this year? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below or shoot me an email!
Hey all! As the title of this post says, I have decided that the blog will be going on hiatus – but only until the end of the year!
I love blogging and sharing my passion for healthy food and an active life with you all. But as some of you know, I also am working to build my handmade jewelry business. This is my first active holiday season since I started selling my work and let’s just say it’s a bit overwhelming! I have markets more weekends than not, along with my “pay the bills” job and my work at the YMCA. Sadly, that leaves very little time and even less energy to really focus on the blog.
This was not a decision I came to lightly, but in the end, it was an issue of self-care. And as much as I love the blog, I couldn’t continue to stress about getting 1-2 posts out a week (or failing to) or cutting into my already limited sleep. Self-care is important y’all! Even when it requires you to do something you otherwise may not want to.
I WILL be back at the beginning of the year though, and I might pop in before then if possible! And my biggest hope for 2018 is that I will be able to cut out one of those time commitments (my “pay the bills” job) and be able to really devote more attention here! Until then, you can continue to see my meal prep and fitness thoughts over on Instagram! (like this one from this weekend!)
I want to thank you, both for your understanding and your support. It means so much to me and I can’t wait to get back to regular blogging!
Want to check out my work and see what is taking so much time away from the blog? You can see my work both on Instagram and my Etsy shop!
Hey y’all!! Can you believe it’s September already!? I know I can’t. We are heading towards fall so quickly, and it’s more important than ever to be getting those healthy habits in place. One of those habits for me is meal prep! You all know just how much I depend on meal prep to get through my week and this week was no exception.
In fact, it was even more important this week in many ways! Not only am I taking part in this awesome September fitness challenge, but I have an all weekend market for my jewelry at a local winery. So having all of our food ready to go was the only way I was going to stay on track.
Of course, it worked great! I was able to have a healthy meal and snacks at the market yesterday and have more ready for today. The September challenge started off wonderfully too! (See more details on how you can join in at the bottom of this post)
I have really been changing up my snacks lately and this week was no exception. Grapes and chunks of grilled chicken are one of my new go-to’s, sometimes with piece of string cheese. Celery with peanut butter are another favorite.
The new one this week – this mock “tuna salad” to use as a dip with some lower calorie crackers! I really like how it turned out, but the recipe stills needs some work. Basically, I combined tuna with cottage cheese, some seasonings and couple other ingredients. Pretty quick and simple, and a great tasty snack!
My dishes included Cauliflower Chowder and Low Carb Burrito Bowls! One thing I love about the burrito bowls is that they are eaten cold. Since I had the market this weekend, I wanted to make sure I had food I could take and eat there easily! This time around, I got pre-packaged avocado and put a container of each in with the rest of the ingredients. I LOVE this method! It worked great and I didn’t have to worry about how well the avocado would hold up throughout the week. I will definitely be doing that again.
You might be noticing that a couple of the containers look a little different than normal. I am testing out a Six Pack Fitness meal bag and those are the containers that go in it! I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you on how they work later on!
For the Cauliflower Chowder, I do a few things different than the recipe. At the end of the cooking, I ladle out a couple of cups of the soup, making sure to get some big chunks of cauliflower. That goes in the blender and is blended until mostly smooth. That goes back into the soup. It really helps thicken it up to the consistency I like! Along with that, I substitute the following ingredients:
grapeseed oil instead of butter
turkey bacon instead of regular bacon
unsweetened almond milk instead of 2%
That’s it for this week’s meal prep! Want to give my main dishes a try? Get your grocery list here!
Want to join in on the #AssOffTheCouch September fitness challenge?! It’s not too late! Registration doesn’t close until September 5th! Not only is it a great way to get moving more, but there will be tons of awesome prizes! You can register here and you can use the code 7022smus to get 30% off of your registration, making it only $11.90! That is only 0.40 a day to get motivational emails and be a part of an awesome community that will help keep you going!
Have you tried any new snacks lately? What are your favorite healthy snacks? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!
Last month I had the honor of hearing Todd Durkin speak a couple of times at IdeaWorld. Now, I’ve talked a couple of times about my experiences at the conference already here on the blog. But I’ve had this really on my mind and I want to share it with you!
“Life is not a marathon. Life is a series of sprints and recoveries.”
This was something said by Todd Durkin during his keynote address to BlogFest. It resonated with me then and has been on my mind ever since. I can get caught up in the marathon mentality pretty easily. There is always more I should be doing and I just have to keep working at it, right?! Sound familiar?
This mentality has been something I’ve struggled with for a long time, but the past couple of years have really highlighted it. And I will be honest…I think it’s at least part of the reason that I have had so many health issues the past year. I always want to push harder, longer, do more. So when I got back from the conference, all that energy wanted to go into working more, even has I said that I was going to try to stay more balanced!
Well, my plans for the past month and all I wanted to work on and do kinda fell apart. My body had other plans, leading to me getting sick twice within 3 weeks and just overall struggling to keep up with my basic responsibilities! But as I’ve been recovering, this idea of sprints and recoveries really has just been repeating in my head. In the past, any time that I have been sick or unable to make progress for a while, I have gotten overwhelmed and stressed with the idea of all the things I wasn’t doing.
But what if I view this time as a recovery? What if instead of getting stressed and overwhelmed, I view it as time to get ready for that next hard sprint?
So this is what I’m trying to do now. To be kinder to myself and hopefully view things with more understanding. Life isn’t a marathon….I don’t always have to be ON and neither do you! So if this resonates with you…if this is something that you have struggled with too, I hope this helps you make that mentality shift.
Are you ready for your next sprint?!
If you want to join in with me on this next sprint, one way to do that is by joining on on the #AssOffTheCouch September Challenge from Couch to Active! There will be a ton of awesome prizes being given out and it will be a lot of fun! The challenge starts September 1st (TOMORROW) so don’t wait! Use the code 7022smus to get 30% off your registration, bringing the price down to $11.90! Register here
I am so happy to welcome Shannon back to share her thoughts on successful goal setting! If you missed her Finding Fitness interview, make sure to check that out here!
How Do You Eat an Elephant?
One of my favorite sayings is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” We can apply this wisdom to many areas of our life but for the sake of this post I’m going to focus on making the change to a healthy lifestyle.
For many years when I was trying to lose the 25 extra pounds that had stuck around after 2 pregnancies I’d get overwhelmed. When I looked at people who were in shape or eating right or just loving life it seemed like they were so far ahead of me. And, honestly, they were. I didn’t know their stories. For all I know they could have been standing in the exact same spot as me 3 years prior. I was comparing my beginning to their middle. At the time I couldn’t see any of that. My mind wasn’t working that way. All I could think was that there was no way I could ever achieve that.
That negative mindset held me back from making any progress for over 4 years. Then suddenly a switch flipped in my brain. I can really only attribute it to a perfect storm of thoughts coming together in my mind. At that point I changed my process and eventually lost 40lbs…twice. Yes, I got pregnant a third time and had to do it all over again.
Write It Out
Before you can make a change you need to know what you’re working toward. What is the end goal? We’re talking big picture here. Maybe your goal is to lose 40lbs and lower your cholesterol. Or maybe you want to lose 30lbs and run a 10k. Give it some thought and write it down. Don’t let fear hold you back from how big it seems.
Make it SMART
Did you write down that big goal? How do you feel when you look at it? If your goal is big enough you likely feel a mix of excitement and overwhelm. This is where most people stop. They dream big but when it comes time to work toward the goal they have no idea where to start. Your next task is to turn your goal into a SMART goal. It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Let’s use the example of losing 30lbs and running a 10k. Those are really two separate goals so we’ll make a SMART goal for each. For example “I will exercise 5 days a week to lose 30lbs in 7 months so I have more energy to play with my kids.” And “I will follow a 12 week training plan to complete a 10k so I can check it off my bucket list.”
Chunk It Down
Now you have a timeframe for your goals. I suggest working toward one goal at a time, unless they’re very closely related (such as losing weight and lowering your cholesterol). I’m going to continue with the examples I used for SMART goals. In this case I’d start with the weight loss. A big reason that people get so overwhelmed when it comes to losing weight is because they try to do too much right out of the gate. They want to workout at high intensity levels 6 days a week and overhaul their nutrition. Then what happens? Three weeks in they’re completely burned out and they quit.
You need to approach it slow and steady. Much like the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race.
So how can we chunk down the weight loss goal? Make a list of all behaviors that need to be addressed for you to reach your goal.
Need to exercise more than twice a week.
Need to start resistance training.
Need to cut out my daily soda habit.
Need to eat more veggies.
Need to cut mindless snacking.
Need to drink more water.
Look at your list and decide what makes the most sense to start with. Let’s start with exercise. Go from walking for 30 minutes twice a week to doing it 3-4 times a week. At the same time, look at what nutritional changes you can make. Increase your water intake by 10oz. Add a serving of veggies to two meals.
Commit to these changes for 1-2 weeks. Evaluate how you’re doing and then pick another item from your list to work on. When you break your goal down to manageable tasks it becomes much less overwhelming.
This is what I had to do in order to move past my overwhelm and achieve my results. Making a lifestyle change is hard. It’s a combination of nutrition, fitness, and mindset. Facing that looking only at the big picture of the end goal is enough to frighten anyone into inaction. But if you can use the process that I outlined above then you’ll be well on your way to success. Just remember, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Shannon Dombkowski helps moms find their fabulous. She’s a certified health coach, personal trainer, wellness educator, mom of 3 girls + one lazy dog, blogger and the girlboss behind Tough Mom Fitness. Her passion is helping moms adopt and sustain a healthy lifestyle by making time for moving and nourishing their bodies while improving their mindset. She shares her tips on her blog and various social media sites. You can follow along on her blog, Instagram, and Facebook.
Ok, so a lot of the gear I’m loving right now, fitness wise, are things I got from BlogFest! Our sponsors were so generous and there were a lot of awesome vendors at the IdeaWorld Expo as well! Some of this fitness gear has become things I’m using every day and am absolutely loving.
Guys…This water bottle is amazing! Drinking enough water is so important and this bottle keeps it cold for so long! I don’t know about you, but I hate room temp water. It’s just the worst. Having cold water means I will actually drink enough! I fill it up with ice before I head to my “regular” job and will refill it at least a few times during my shift. The handle makes it easy to carry around and I love the dual lid design.
Plus, look at that color!!! It’s such a fun and vibrant pink!
The first time I saw Vooray was on Instagram around a year ago and I have been in love ever since! So when I saw that they had a booth at the Expo, I had to go down so I could see them in person. After about 4 visits in two days where I tried to talk myself out of buying one…I finally gave in! I am so glad I did! I absolutely love it! Right now, with my schedule, I’m only using it a couple of times a week. But once I (eventually) go full time with my business, I foresee needing it a lot more often!
Before heading to the conference, I had been going back and forth about getting some new headphones to replace mine (they were slowly breaking). Now I’m glad I waited! I got these fantastic headphones as part of BlogFest at the Red Bull booth and they are working great. It took a bit for me to find a comfortable way to wear them. But they are super versatile for how they can be worn, so there is sure to be a fit that is comfortable for everyone! And they are very lightweight. My favorite part though is the clips that you can put on to the back to adjust the fit!
I’ve been wearing them both at work and at the gym and no matter what I’ve been doing they stay in. Full transparency: It took me a day or two to get the fit right for them to stay in like that. The first time I tried to run with them in they fell out immediately. When I ran yesterday they stayed in perfectly the whole time. The run-time has been really good too. I haven’t used them to dead yet, but I’ve used them all night at work and then at the gym with no issues!
Sweat Pink Tank Top
This tank top is just so cute and comfy! I love the fit – it’s not super form-fitting, but not really loose and flowy either. It’s pretty much the perfect mix! And now that I’m officially a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I love having a bit of gear to wear and represent!
Speaking of wearing and representing haha….My YMAC t-shirt is my go-to at least once a week! They are so cute, super comfy and are great to workout in! They were designed for our Des Moines YMCAs by a local clothing company called RAYGUN! (I loved them so much that I bought two!)
I am a big fan of our Y, and of the Y in general. I love the sense of community and support that comes from being a part of them and all the work they do! So I’m thrilled to have a shirt I love to wear to show my love and support of them!
I’ve been wearing this wrap almost every day since I got it! It’s so comfy, even during a workout. I can’t wait to get a few more from them!
Asics are pretty much my go-to brand for shoes anymore, and I’m currently in love with my pair of grey and pink Quantum Gel 180 2! They are versatile enough to go from the weight room to going for a run outside and provide great arch support. I broke 2 bones in my foot a long time ago, so quality shoes are super important to me!
Listening to – Mantras and Macros
I get a lot of listening time available to me at my “regular” job, so I love me some podcasts! Now, most of them are history, business, or nerdy geeky fun, but I do listen to one fitness podcast! I found Mantras and Macros recently and have been steadily working my way through from the beginning. I love listening to Mallisa and her guests converse! She has so much great information to share and a lot of her personal story just hits home with me so hard. If you are a podcast lover, I definitely recommend checking her out! (She also has a wonderful blog to go along with the podcast, which I’m sure you will love! You are here reading mine after all :p)
So that is it – just a little snapshot into what I’m loving right now! Do you have any fitness gear that you are really into right now? What about fitness podcasts?! I would love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below!
After my trip to Las Vegas, I was definitely ready for a food-reset! Am I the only one who finds it crazy that it was hard to eat healthy during a fitness conference? So when I got back, I knew I wanted to make sure that my meal prep for the coming week were packed with veggies!
Sadly, I didn’t get to enjoy it quite as much as I would have liked, since I ended up spending most of the week fighting off a minor flu. But that is okay! I got to experiment with some new recipes and I was able to save most of the prep that didn’t get eaten. The other plus side: Even while I was sick and had just gotten back home a few days before, I didn’t have to worry at all about what Draz was going to take for lunch or anything like that! Meal prep really can save you so much stress.
For snacks, I changed things up a bit. Before I left on my trip, I got some really delicious local ground mustard that I love to use as a dip. So I cut up some veggies to have as a snack to go with it! A couple of the days I ended up taking some pretzels to dip in it too. Have you ever used mustard like that? It’s delicious!
For me, I made some burrito bowls inspired by this recipe, some garlic-y zucchini noodles (still working on the recipe for this one) and the One-Pot Cabbage Veggie Saute I shared with you yesterday! Overall, everything turned out great! With me getting sick, I ended up putting a bunch of the cabbage dish in the freezer, so I guess we will get to see how well that recipe freezes!
Want to give our favorite breakfast a try? Get your grocery list here!
What are your go-to veggie dishes? Do you have a favorite? I would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!