Monday, September 28, 2015

Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

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).  
  • 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. 
I hope that you find a few tricks that make your meal prepping easier. I would love to hear what your favorite tricks are!

      Take care of you,

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fall is Upon Us

Happy Fall Y’all! While 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
Kalamata olives
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan 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
steamed veggies!

I would love to hear from you! Take care of you!