Monday, September 28, 2015

Meal Prep Day


It’s that time again: Meal Prep Day!  I have come to enjoy my Sundays so much.  I love prepping my foods while relaxing with the family.  It gets me ready for the week to come, ensures that I will have delicious meals all week, and that I will continue to fuel my body so that it doesn’t let me down!

For breakfast, I’ve been alternating oatmeal and Cajun turkey omelets, but this week I was craving something a little different.  Omelet muffins won out.  These are SUPER easy to make and can be customized to suit any taste.

(Makes 12 muffins) – Beat 12 eggs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  I like to do steamed spinach, Cajun turkey, and cheese.  My husband likes sausage in his, so I did a few of those as well.  Spray muffin tin then add in veggies and meat.  Top with shredded cheese. 

  

Slowly pour in egg mixture.  Leave a little room at the top, as these expand while they cook.  Cook at 350 for 18-20 minutes.  Allow to cool, then remove from pan. One serving = 2 muffins (only 171 calories for both) these are awesome with fruit or salsa!


I like lunches that are easy to reheat and include a protein, veggie and carb.  It seems to keep me satisfied so much longer, and it fuels my lunch time runs.  I enjoy alternating between chicken and fish during the week.


 
This week, I decided to add sweet potatoes into the mix.  I love a baked sweet potato but it is so hard to bake one then try to reheat it (if you’ve never tried it, I wouldn’t recommend it – not the best quality).  By roasting these sweet potatoes, I can take them with me and enjoy all week.

I start by peeling the sweet potatoes, then dicing them (I usually slice the sweet potato in half length-wise, then again long ways, then dice).  I tossed these in Tuscan olive oil from one of my favorite local vendors, but an olive oil will do.  Just use enough to coat well.  I topped with paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Feel free to season these to match your preference.  At our house, we LOVE garlic, so it and paprika go on just about everything!
These will cook at 350 for 15-20 minutes (flipping about 7-10 minutes in).
 
Since I seem to not be able to ever get enough broccoli, I have it included as well.  Broccoli is so good for you.  I eat mine plain, but feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations.  Sometimes I enjoy lemon vinegar on mine – it’s delicious without adding a ton of fat.

My mid-day snack is half a peanut butter sandwich with a gala apple.
And I have room to have a salad (1 cup spring mix + 2 TBSP dressing) for an additional snack, or add it to dinner.  Dinner is (as usual) a protein, veggie, and carb.

I absolutely LOVE that a couple hours on Sunday results in meals for me all week!

Pictured here are my breakfasts, morning snack, and lunch.  Each with a serving of fruit.  Not pictured are my salads, nor my daily superfood shake.
 
What are you eating this week?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Meal Prep Time

 
Mmm, meal prep time!  I absolutely LOVE prepping my foods in advance so that I can stay on track throughout the week.  Of course, there are meals I cook "live" simply because I have time (and they are quick and simple meals) at dinner.

We were on vacation last week and arrived home to a very sparsely stocked kitchen and pantry.  However, since my freezer is filled with fish, shrimp, veggies, and other basics, I was able to toss together a quick week worth of breakfast, snack, lunch & dinner in less than an hour, which is great because I had a ton of laundry to take care of!

 
I absolutely LOVE my homemade oatmeal - it is so easy to make a big batch, portion it out, and grab-n-go each morning.  Breakfast is usually oatmeal with a side of fruit (this week, it's canned pineapple, did I mention I hadn't had time to go shopping?)
 
My after workout go-to is Chocolate Shakeology  - I blend it with ice & water. My husband likes his with a banana & peanut butter, blended with milk.  Either way, it's a great post-workout treat!
 
Another one of my favorite breakfast foods is my Cajun Omelet.  Cajun turkey, broccoli, and Swiss cheese make this a wonderful breakfast (and sometimes even dinner!).  I whisk one egg and 4 egg whites (1 red container for you 21 Day Fixers) together.  Season to taste.  I cook in a non-stick pan, so I don't add any fats.  Let set, then flip. 
 
 
Add 3/4 cup diced Boar's Head Cajun Turkey (1 red) and 1 cup diced broccoli (1 green). 
 
  Top with 1 oz (blue) Boar's Head Baby Swiss Cheese.  I'm serious - this is AMAZING!!
 
 

For lunch, I alternate between Chicken Burrito Salad Jars 
 
 

 
And Cajun shrimp (or tilapia) with broccoli & peas.  Nothing fancy, but it gets me a serving of protein (red) and 2 greens!  Plus, this keeps all week without losing its flavor, which is an absolute MUST for me.

 
 
My snacks this week are either Hot & Sour Soup (seriously, WE LOVE THIS STUFF!!  It is super easy to make and we go through it so quickly. It was a great option for coming back home to a very empty fridge!) or an apple with peanut butter.
 
 
Dinner is either the fish/shrimp combo listed above or Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with zucchini & rice (if I have the time once I get home).
 

 
This is one of my favorite go-to meals.  It's super simple, cooks quickly, and requires very little effort, but tastes amazing!  Seriously, look at that bubbly cheese! 
 
 

The great thing about this meal is it reheats well, so if I get tired of my other lunch options, I can always take these leftovers the next day!
 
Last but certainly not least, my kids LOVE Taco Tuesday.  The typical options are usually heavy in calories and low in nutrients.  Our spin adds a bit of the good stuff so that I can feel better about what we are eating (and I stay on my meal plan!)
 
 
 
These are awesome!  We use small corn tortillas (2 count as 1 yellow) topped with chopped romaine (1 green), salsa (1 purple), and some taco meat (1 red).  If I haven't already used my blue container, I also love adding 1/4 sliced avocado and Frank's Red Hot (I seriously put that * on everything!!)  If I am lacking on my green portions, I will add a side salad.  (When we feel like it, we do plain Greek yogurt on these as well - tastes just like sour cream without the guilt!)
 
So, what are you eating this week?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Slower Pace


Ever feel like you are right where you were meant to be?  The stars all aligned, you had a restful night, full of perfectly uninterrupted sleep, rocked your morning workout, made it to work early, killed the day, you came home with some leftover pep in your step, and your kids told you how awesome you were.

I just spent 6 days on these white sandy beaches and can say, I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be.  My littlest (she's 4) joined me on some of my morning runs.  We covered miles, discussed the finer things in life (if Elsa was better than Cinderella, if I thought our cat missed us, if she could go swimming forever and never go to sleep...), and enjoyed a sunrise or two.  Pushing that little lady slowed my pace in more ways than one.

Wait, do stroller miles count differently?!  They have to, right?

 
 

I was reminded that sometimes we just need to slow down in order to see how perfect things truly are.  Trying so hard to increase my mileage, build more muscle, be a better mommy, runner, wife, and manager, left me a little less than fulfilled. 

Running with her reminded me that we should take the time to smell the roses.  Even if they make you sneeze a little.  And it's totally okay to get sand in your running shoes.  Slowing my pace allowed me to see some pretty remarkable sunrises, beautiful beach homes, humming birds, flowers, seagulls, white sands, and ocean waves.  It also allowed me to have some serious mommy-daughter bonding moments.

  
 
She ditched me on the last two mornings.  Something about being able to sleep in with her Nanny became more appealing than being up before the sun, I suppose.  I was able to get two incredible runs in.  I ran faster and farther both of those day, than I ever had before.  Who would have thought that by slowing it down to a snail's pace, I would be able to give so much more?!  Okay, probably every expert out there, but I'm no expert.  I'm just a mommy that is finding joy in every step of her journey.
 
The peace I felt was amazing.  Fall crept into the air, the ocean breeze was chilly, my runs felt effortless.  AMAZING!!
 
 
 
Seriously, look at this view - I could have stayed there forever...
 

Instead, I used my weekend to run 26.2 in memory of a very dear friend that is no longer with me.  Sept 10th was Suicide Prevention Day and I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something I had never done before in his memory.

What an absolutely amazing vacation - I am beyond thankful that I was able to slow my roll and just enjoy BEING PRESENT!  I think I will carry that mantra with me as I continue my journey...

Until next time!




Thursday, September 3, 2015

Challenge Accepted

Can you believe that it's already September?  I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown past!  I came into 2015 with some pretty lofty dreams and ideas on what I would get accomplished this year, but an injury and life somehow got in the way.  I would love to say that I have completed a couple marathons, beat all of my previous PRs, lost 30lbs, found myself, and won the lottery, but I can't.

However, I can say that I am continuously making small changes every single day that lead me closer to the completion of my ultimate goals.  Every day, I get a little bit stronger.

My husband made me this piece of awesomeness (yeah, he's a badass like that)
 That's been my motto this year - Challenge Accepted.
 
I started running because I heard it burned more calories than any other cardio exercise out there.  I kept running because I fell in love with the way it made me feel.  Simple tweaks with my nutrition, along with adding strength training, have made me a stronger runner.
 
Changing my nutrition has really helped me reach some of my goals (I did break a couple of PRs, and have lost about 20lbs so far).  I've always enjoyed cooking, I just never really understood WHAT I was supposed to be fueling my body with.  For 34 years, I ate what I THOUGHT was good for me.  For 34 years (okay, more like 22 years, since I really didn't give a crap what I ate when I was six), I wondered why I wasn't seeing results.  I worked out.  I thought I ate well enough.  Nothing was changing.  It was frustrating to say the least!

I'm learning to feed my body now.  I'm learning how to make better choices that will allow me to continue to get stronger.  It's been a challenge, but I'm up for it.

Are you interested in learning more about my journey? Are you looking for a little guidance?  Do you want to experience crazy results?! It's not a gimmick - you WILL have to work hard.  You WILL have to dedicate yourself to changing your life - you WILL have to give it your all.  And you WILL see the results for yourself.
 
If you are sitting there, reading this and thinking that this might be something you want to learn more about, CONTACT ME!  We are so much stronger together!




 
 



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stronger Every Day

After 3 weeks on the 21 Day Fix I can honestly say I am hooked!  Not only have I consistently been challenged throughout the past 3 weeks, I have watched my body get stronger each day.  I started this plan with a really weak left wrist & elbow from an injury earlier in the year (Let’s just say that push up position wasn’t something I could even think about trying…) and a desire to up my mileage.  I wanted a strong nutritional base that would allow me to build miles and muscles.

But seriously, 3 weeks later, I am NOTICABLY stronger and I’m nowhere near ready for this journey to end!  I guess I am hooked! Look, I FINALLY have a little muscle definition! 

I started this program in hopes of changing my eating habits, feeling better, and fueling my body so that it would continue to help me build miles - because after all, I love the feel of my feet hitting the ground.  So on the running front, I am happy to report that in the month of August, I shaved over 2 minutes off my mileage pace!  Fueling my body, eating to perform, and taking the time to build a solid core has me on a path I never want to get off of.  I am addicted!
My nutrition plan over these past 3 weeks focused on REAL foods, along with Shakeology (I LOVE Shakeology and use it as a recovery drink after my workouts) and consistency.  I can’t wait to see what the next 21 Days does for me!

If you are sitting there, reading this and thinking that this might be something you want to learn more about, CONTACT ME!  We are so much stronger together!