- 1. Wash and chop your veggies. Taking the time to wash and chop up carrots, celery, bell pepper strips or any other veggie will save you a ton of time. All ya gotta do is grab and go. Bonus: storing them in a mason jar with hummus makes it a very easy snack!
- 2. Homemade trail mix. Add washed berries with a handful of nuts and you have a great snack combo to keep in your purse or lunch bag. My Favorites include: strawberries with raw almonds and walnuts, Blueberries with raw almonds and cashews, and Raspberries with walnuts and mini dark chocolate chips.
- 3. Prepare a big batch of shredded chicken in your crockpot. This is soo easy and soo good! Add 1-2 lbs chicken to your crockpot with ¾ cup chicken broth and cook on high for 3-5 hours and low for 6-8 hours. Variations: Add 1 jar Salsa Verde instead of broth and jalapenos for a spicy twist or ½ cup low sugar BBQ sauce with ¼ cup water for awesome pulled BBQ chicken or 1 jar marinara with chopped zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms for an Italian twist.
- 4. Boil 6-12 (or more) eggs. I love having hard-boiled eggs on hand. They are an awesome protein-packed snack, easy to chop up and add to salads or top off your sandwich.
- 5. Slow-cooker oats! Adding your favorite oats, whether it be gluten-free, steel-cut or old fashioned, they go great when added to your slow-cooker with cinnamon and apples or mixed with almond milk for a little extra protein. Cook once and enjoy all week! Just add your favorite toppings and you are good to go.
- 6. Roasted veggies. One of my favorite things is roasted veggies drizzled with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Chop your favorites (think broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus, and peppers), throw on a cookie sheet and bake. Easy as can be and what could be better than having pre-cooked veggies to throw in with your eggs, chicken, soups, salads. The possibilities are endless.
- 7. Roasted potatoes. Not only do veggies hold up through the week but so do potatoes. I love slicing sweet potatoes into rounds and baking them for the week. It is so easy and so delicious! My favorite is to top warm sweet potatoes with a dash of cinnamon and stevia for a sweet treat after dinner.
- 8. Rice cooker. My rice cooker gets used more than most appliances (besides my crockpot). Throw in 2-3 cups brown rice or quinoa and push the button. Viola, you have grains for the whole week to throw in with your veggies and proteins.
- 9. Grill. We use our grill A LOT in the summer. I love taking chicken breasts and marinating them in lemon juice, garlic, onion and grilling them. I store the grilled chicken in a big glass container and heat when needed. Throw a couple pieces on some zucchini noodles and you have a delicious meal in 5 minutes.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Devoting time to prepare food for the week is one the key components to staying on track. Setting aside one or two hours on Sunday = healthy eating all week long, without even thinking about it. How is this possible you ask? Preparing a lot of food on a dedicated day will allow you to stock your fridge with so much good stuff, that eating good all week will seem like a breeze. I want to share some of my favorite tips and tricks to help your week seem effortless (well the eating side of things).
Take care of you,
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Happy Fall Y’all! While balancebyj.com is under construction, I wanted to re-connect with all my favorites here and provide a new delicious recipe for the upcoming cold weather (even the husband loved it!)
With the weather changing, the mornings taking too long to turn to light and the afternoons fading before you even leave your office, motivation to get to the gym, the trail, or your home work out can often fade along with our beloved daylight. How do you manage to still get active during the day when the couch and new fall episodes of Scandal, Nashville, and The Voice (just to name a few) are calling your name? Here are some of my favorite tips/tricks to get your sweat on BEFORE you get your comfy on.
- 1. Schedule it in like you would a dentist, doctor or hair appointment. That may require setting the alarm (or 4) in order to get out of bed in the morning and get to the gym or an early morning cycle class. Not your style, no problem! Get an awesome DVD and workout in your living room or call a friend and set up a time to meet right after work and hit the local trail or park and use your body weight for a workout.
- 2. Layer up in long sleeves and leg warmers if the cool weather prevents you from getting in a workout groove. For one, you will be nice and toasty on the way to work out and your warm-up time will be less when you are layered up. Plus have you ever worked out in a sweatshirt and leg warmers, talk about sweat city!
- 3. Hire a trainer. You may know how to use the machines and free weights, but having an accountability coach will make it easier for you to get up and get it done.
- 4. Keep a log. Hang up a calendar where it is obvious and you will pass it throughout your day. Mark a big red ‘X’ on the days that you do not work out. After seeing two or three of those bad boys, you will definitely want to get your butt in gear!
- 5. Keep your beats fresh. Changing up your playlist on your iPod/phone can make a significant difference during your workout! Don’t know where to look? Spotify and Slacker both offer free workout playlists or ask a friend if they can help you out with providing a copy of their favorite playlist.
Time to reveal my new favorite recipe! It is soo good and so easy to make, in fact, I make it a head of time so whoever gets home first just has to warm the oven and pop dinner in. I love Tzatziki sauce and a good one is hard to come by. This dish plays a twist on Greek chicken but in fewer calories!
Greek Inspired Chicken
2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¾ - 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 TBSP Fresh Lemon juice
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp oregano
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 can (15 oz) artichoke hearts
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish (9x9 works too) with non-stick spray.
Mix in a bowl Greek yogurt, lemon juice, pepper, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Place
prepared chicken in baking dish and top with yogurt mixture. Add artichokes, olives, tomatoes,
mozzarella and parmesan to the top. Bake for about 30 mins. Serve with a whole grain or
I would love to hear from you! Take care of you!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Thank you for your patience as I took a break from writing on J's Daily Dish, I greatly appreciate it! I am pleased to announce that I will be blogging on my new website: Balance By J (you can find that right OVER HERE!) You will find news and information on keeping a healthy body, mind and life in addition to recipes, and services that I offer. Head over, take a look around, and let me know what you think! And as always....
Take care of you!
Monday, November 17, 2014
Happy Monday Y'all! I want to apologize for my absence over the past couple months. I have been working on some very big and very exciting changes that I can NOT wait to share with you! Details will be coming your way very soon!
Take care of you,
Monday, November 3, 2014
Good morning and happy November! I still can not believe that in a little over 3 weeks it will be Thanksgiving and month later it is Christmas! Where does the time go? The older I get, the faster the time goes and the more I wish it would slow down, just a little.
I am beyond excited to share this post with you and hope you join me for the next 21-days!
Meditation. What does that mean to you? Does it mean 5 minutes of alone time? Time to listen to your breath and allow your thoughts to wander? Allowing time to slow down, just enough to connect with your body, listen to your heart, and refuel your spirit?
I have found meditation and just recently started practicing different forms every.single.day and you know what...I have never felt more alive and empowered. Our thoughts create our reality and if you dont believe me, think back to a time when everything seemed to be going wrong. You woke up late, you spilled coffee all over your shirt, you jammed your toe all while trying to leave for work. You got stuck in horrific traffic and missed every single light and it is only 8:05 am. It's going to be a long day you think. But what we think attracts what happens. Think about the saying "Like attracts Like". When you think about something or someone that fills you with happiness, everything around you tends to be just as warming, beautiful and cheerful. When we dwell on negative thoughts and emotions, it never fails that more negative thoughts occur.
We can thank our subconscious mind for the stories we create in our head, which has been programmed since the moment of our conception. Without going into the technicality of how our subconscious mind is programmed however, what matters is that we make our own reality. We make our own reality by what we think and say to ourselves. I have found it helpful to replace the negative thoughts with positive, associate with positive, uplifting individuals and creating a positive environment in which I spend my time. It is time to stop assuming the worst and create a positive life.
Over the course of the next 21-days, I will start my morning with this amazing meditation program that Oprah and Deepak launched titled Energy of Attraction: Manifesting your best life. I would love for you to join me and share your experience along the way! I listened to the first lesson this morning and I felt overwhelmed with desire to be my best self. Overwhelmed to clear the negativity from my mind and my life by forgiving parts of my past, limiting fear by focusing on the present and NOT the future and loving every moment of my life in its current state. Of course I am not where I want to be but I know that I have the power within myself to get there!
Take care of you!
Friday, October 31, 2014
Happy Halloween to y'all! We all know what sugar can do to the body and how it affects every cell. We know the addictive properties of sugar work on the same brain center and has been shown to be even more addictive than heroin. If you need a gentle reminder about the effects of sugar, you can read about it right here and more here.
I came across a picture the other day (thank you Pinterest) that put those little candy bars into perspective and thought that it might help visualize the exercise equivalent for different snack size bars.
Who doesn't love a good piece of chocolate or a Snickers but 50 Burpees for just one? Lol
If you want to taste the rainbow, better lace up and get to jumping :)
In all seriousness, if you are craving a piece of candy and your kiddo happens to get your favorite kind, go for it! Just stick to one and not the whole bag when they have gone to sleep. The serving size is more important than the candy itself. If you want to try a healthier version of your favorite treat.
If you are a chocolate fan like myself, try RAW chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar. It has a lower glycemic index and is made with real cocoa and is a healthier version. I also like to warm up some vanilla almond milk and add a scoop of chocolate brownie protein for a high protein hot cocoa.
If you are more of a fruity sweets kind of person, try to make your own frozen yogurt with a berry greek yogurt and top with fresh berries or have a lollipop. I admit, I sometimes take a sugar-free jello and add a dollop fat-free cool whip. It is pretty delicious!
Tonight the hubs and I are keeping it low key and hoping to hand out some candy to the trick-or-treaters! I have a weakness for cookie dough and instead of making my favorite (ooey gooey chocolate chip) I am opting to make a healthier pumpkin protein cookie and have a glass of red wine.
Have a happy Halloween and take care of you!
Thursday, October 30, 2014
If you are new to HIIT workouts, I wrote a post (you will find it Right Here!) a while back explaining what exactly HIIT stands for... High-Intensity Interval Training.
I am frequently asked about cardio... How much should I be doing? What is the best type of cardio? Is X amount too much? Too little? Will I lose weight if I do X amount of cardio? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no definitive answer to these questions. What works for one person may be the exact opposite for another person. There is a general guideline however and according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), "American adults (aged 18-65 years) should accumulate at least 30-minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days per week OR engage in 20-minutes of vigorous activity 3 days per week". Now does this mean that you need to completely change your routine. No, it sure does not. What you should do however, is get moving and listen to your body.
Do you feel fabulous when you get in 20 minutes of cardio 4 days a week? Great, stick to it! Do you feel like you would feel better by adding in another 10 minutes a couple days during the week? Awesome, add it in after work or during your lunch break. Whatever it is that makes you feel like your best self, stick to it! I used to be a cardio girl and when I mean cardio girl, I mean just that. I did cardio. ALL. DAY. LONG. I would run and run and run (almost as much as Forest Gump) and steered clear of the weights. However, my love for running is not nearly as strong as it is for lifting heavy iron!
Nowadays, I stick to moderate to intense cardio a couple times a week for 20-30 minutes. I feel like it gives me the energy I need, it keeps my heart healthy, and when I am on track with my diet, I do not feel bad about cutting my date with the treadmill short. :) I love HIIT workouts because 1. They kick my butt every time and 2. They are short, sweet, and too the point. Plus, I love a workout that leaves me nice and sweaty.
Here is an incline treadmill HIIT workout for y'all to give a shot when you need a change of pace.
Take care of you!