Yes, those jeans DO make you look fat. (It’s about self-love, I promise!)

Do these jeans make me look fat?
Yes..yes they do.
Throw them out! Burn them!
Whatever you do don’t put those horrible leg prisons back on!  I have had these jeans for years now and have never once liked how I looked or felt in them.  However I decided to hold onto them because I felt that one day I will like them. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Force ourselves into wearing or buying things that don’t make you feel absolutely beautiful for the sake of a reminder that you aren’t there yet??
I was sitting in my car running errands as the waist band was digging into my sides.  I made sure to wear a shirt that was more flowy to hide my protruding gut.  As I kept thinking how gross I look, how bad I feel, guilt for eating that brownie (hey it was paleo at least) I had to stop myself. All these horrible emotions over a pair of jeans?? I decided that moment that when I get home they are going in the trash.
Are these not the worst fitting jeans you've ever seen?  Worst. Muffin. Ever.

Are these not the worst fitting jeans you’ve ever seen? Worst. Muffin. Ever.

How can I possibly work on fixing myself if I don’t love myself? If a friend or family member comes to you asking for help you help them! And why do you help them? Because you love them. The same goes for yourself. How can you possibly change something you don’t feel love for? How can you get that fire little inside you if you don’t feel passionately about it?  These simple pair of jeans became this big road block so in the trash they went.

Garbage pants.

Garbage pants.

My goal for you is to find that road block in your life and kick it to the curb and keep going on your journey!

Saving Time With Meal Prep

“Meal prep takes too much time”

“I don’t have the time for that”

“I don’t have the patience for that”

Excuses no longer!

Yes, I am a firm believer in meal prep being the answer to success but I do understand it’s a time suck.  I choose to do full meal prep since the time it takes during my weekend I gain back during the week days.  After waking up for 5:30am crossfit + full day at work + long commute times, I have no desire to cook when I get home.  When it’s fully done for me I find myself less stressed and less likely to go through a drive-thru.

However I am realistic and know this doesn’t work for everyone.  The answer is partial meal prep!

Since I have been fairly content with my schedule lately I thought I would give this a whirl.  There’s times where eating out of tupperware gets old so I wanted to partial meal prep so the brunt of the work is done for me and I can finish up when I get off work.

First things first…Meal plan. (my favorite part)

I’m a list person almost to a fault..

Breakfast

Pork belly Hash w/ poached eggs

Leftovers

Lunch

Trail Mix Tuna Salad (Down South Paleo)

Chicken Cacciatore (for the boyfriend)

Blueberry Beef Roast (Adapted from Down South Paleo)

Bone Broth

Dinner

Southwest Pulled Pork Salads

Fish & Veggies (Swordfish + Tuna)

Crab Stuffed Beef Roulade

Snacks

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Marinated Chicken Breast + Bone Broth

Nuts

RX Bars

So from this list I had to see what can be made or prepped now to make my life easier.

This meant –

  • Starting bone broth
  • Pork roast in the slow cooker
  • Cut all veggies
  • Make crab salad for roulade
  • Make Breakfast Hash
  • Complete Cacciatore for boyfriends work lunches (easy recipe might as well bang it out)

By doing this partial prep it cut my usual meal prep time in half but also allowed me to save time during the week so I did not have to prep the veggies, make the crab salad or worry about the most difficult meal to worry about – breakfast!

20160123_130840

Mushrooms & Peppers for Cacciatore, Carrots for Bone Broth, Chives for Crab Salad, Potatoes for Hash

20160123_134416

Delicious pork belly for breakfast hash!

20160123_183131

Sweet potato hash for me – Regular potato for the boyfriend

I really wanted this to be corned beef hash but the store didn’t have corned beef.  Pork belly is a great substitute in anything, right?

I seared the pork belly on both sides until a nice golden color and since they were pretty thick slices I just tossed them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 min to cook through.  For the potatoes I small diced them and tossed in olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 25 min.  Dice up the pork belly and mix together.  Saute for breakfast and top with a poached egg.  Yum!

20160123_124147

For more on bone broth be sure to check out my past post!

20160123_184024

One of my quick go-to favorites, Southwest Pulled Pork Salad

Just added a boneless pork roast with my favorite bbq rub and let it go until you can easily pull away the meat with a fork.  Timing will definitely depend on the size of the roast.

Lettuce, tomato, red onion, pulled pork, Annes BBQ sauce & chipotle mayo.  Always a winner!  My pulled pork is ready to go for the yummiest salad ever.  Also great with chicken thighs.

20160123_183826

Chicken Cacciatore with Brown Rice for the boyfriend.

Sauteed mushrooms, peppers, garlic then added chicken breast and tomato sauce to the pan once the veggies are soft.  Serve with rice and I added some chopped olives for fun!

__________________________________________________

Meal prep will normally take me about 4 hours to finish for the week but all this only took about 2.  Especially since 2 of them are slow cooker recipes so it didn’t require much work.  Now during the week I only have to worry about rolling up my crab stuffed beef, tossing another roast in the crockpot and assembling salads!

Did that seem so bad?

If meal prep still intimidates you don’t ever hesitate to shoot me a message on my Contact Me page!

Also to view fully completed meals follow me on instagram @piggytummy or follow my facebook page!

Frankenfood: Convenient For Who? Ep2 Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Hey all! I have another cooking demo for you.  I will apologize for the fuzzy sound in this video but I assure you it will improve!  My boyfriend felt my video and sound could have been better if I am going to keep up this videos so he got me a Go Pro.  Be prepared to be bombarded with cooking and crossfit videos!! Maybe both at the same time?

20150619_143327

Today’s video is a simple throw together meal.  The video is really all the prep that went into it so its under 10 min of prep time and about 25-30 min of cooking time.  This recipe makes 6 servings.  Although there is more calories in my version I assure you that you will stay fuller longer and that this recipe is full of quality ingredients and not frankenfood.

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

  • 1.5 lb meatloaf mix (beef & pork)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp each onion powder, salt, pepper (meatloaf)
  • tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 can of hunts fire roasted tomato with garlic
  • about 6 small red skin potatoes, skins on
  • 1/2-1 cup milk (use to get desired thickness)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 package of frozen vegetables of your choice

20150618_191813

Set oven for 350 degrees.  Mix meat, egg, dry seasonings and garlic.  Mix until combined but don’t over mix.  Divide meat into 6 portions and form 6 even patties and lay on a greased sheet pan.  Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

Start potatoes in cold water and boil until fork tender.  Remove from heat and drain.  Add seasoning, butter and add milk in small amounts until you get desired consistency.

Thaw veggies for assembling your meals.

Divide up all food items into 6 containers and enjoy a cooking free week!

20150618_201836

And here is Lean Cuisines….mmm…

meatloaf

Here is a ridiculous list of all the frankengredients

Red Skin Potatoes, Beef, Water, Cream, Onions, Tomatoes, 2% Or Less Of: Soy Protein Concentrate (With Caramel Color), Modified Cornstarch, Rolled Oats, Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Green Peppers, Beef Flavor (Maltodextrin, Salt, Beef Extract, Rendered Beef Fat, Sesame Oil), Salt, Sour Cream Flavor (Maltodextrin, Sour Cream Solids, Cultured Buttermilk, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Yeast Extract), Brown Sugar Syrup, Brown Sugar, Bleached Wheat Flour, Potassium Chloride, Sugar, Dehydrated Onions, Egg Whites, Worcestershire Sauce (Vinegar, Molasses, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Anchovies, Tamarind, Spices, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder), Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, Garlic Puree, Spices, Dehydrated Soy Sauce (Soybeans, Salt, Wheat), Seasoning (Tomato Paste, Natural Flavor), Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Flavor, Enzyme Modified Butterfat), Caramel Color, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan With Dextrose, Natural Flavors, Cultured Whey, Beef Stock, Lactic Acid, Calcium Lactate

Frankenfood: Convenient for who? Ep1 Creamy Basil Tortellini with Chicken

Hello all!  I am so proud to announce I am going to be doing a video series!

It is called Frankenfood: Convenient for who?

The reason for this series is to show everyone how easy it can be to make your own food and not resort to convenience foods.  It is more work and I am not going to deny that.  I want to educate people on what they are putting into their bodies and try to convince them that there can certainly be a better way.  I am taking popular convenience food items and showing you how to make them yourselves with real ingredients.

I hope you enjoy the video.  Recipe and franken-ingredient details below!

Also for the record from looking online sources said they bought it for about $2.75
By following my recipe each portion only costs $2.95.  Not bad if I say so myself..

Creamy Basil Tortellini with Chicken

  • 1 lb ‘taco meat’ cut chicken
  • 1 tsp each kosher salt, garlic powder, black pepper (for chicken)
  • 2 cups snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 package tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic, pre cooked
  • 1 tsp each kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (for sauce)
  • about 1 tablespoon fresh basil

Instructions on how to cook are in the video but I will do a run down here.

  1. Boil tortellini until they float, drain and set aside
  2. Steam peas, peppers, carrot until tender either on the stove in a steamer tray or in the microwave
  3. Saute chicken with seasonings in just a little bit of olive oil until fully cooked
  4. For the sauce melt butter and add flour and stir until there are not any flour lumps.  Add milk, but not all at once!  Add milk and stir until it becomes thick and keep adding milk slowly and mixing until it becomes a thick Alfredo consistency.  Add seasonings and mix well.
  5. Combine all the ingredients into the pan with the chicken and enjoy!

20150614_154243

Above is my version of the Lean Cuisine dish ^^

0209121351

This is a picture of the original dish made by Lean Cuisine..Which would you rather eat?
(Photo provided by http://www.thefoodhussy.com)

Here are all the ingredients in the Lean Cuisine version of this dish

SKIM MILK, LOW FAT ASIAGO CHEESE TORTELLINI (ENRICHED EXTRA FANCY DURUM FLOUR AND SEMOLINA [DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, SEMOLINA, NIACIN, IRON {FERROUS SULFATE}, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID], WATER, FAT FREE RICOTTA CHEESE [PASTEURIZED WHEY, PASTEURIZED SKIM MILK, VINEGAR, XANTHAN GUM, VITAMIN A PALMITATE], WHOLE EGGS, ASIAGO CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES], BREAD CRUMBS [WHEAT FLOUR], SKIM MILK WITH VITAMIN A ADDED, PARMESAN CHEESE [PASTEURIZED PART SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES], ROMANO CHEESE MADE FROM COW’S MILK [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES], COOKED ONIONS, LOW MOISTURE PART SKIM MOZZARELLA CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES], BUTTER [CREAM, SALT], BROWN SUGAR [SUGAR, CANE SYRUPS], WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR [WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR, WATER], ROASTED GARLIC, COOKED GARLIC, SPICES, SALT, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, BETA CAROTENE), COOKED WHITE MEAT CHICKEN (WHITE MEAT CHICKEN, WATER, MODIFIED TAPIOCA STARCH, CHICKEN FLAVOR [DRIED CHICKEN BROTH, CHICKEN POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOR], CARRAGEENAN, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SOYBEAN OIL, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT), ITALIAN GREEN BEANS, WATER, YELLOW CARROTS, RED PEPPERS, 2% OR LESS OF CREAM, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, PARMESAN CHEESE PASTE (GRANULAR AND PARMESAN CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES], WATER, SALT, LACTIC ACID, CITRIC ACID), BASIL, GARLIC PUREE, POTATO STARCH, SEA SALT, BUTTER (CREAM, SALT), DRIED CREAM EXTRACT, YEAST EXTRACT, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, SPICE, XANTHAN GUM, LACTIC ACID, CALCIUM LACTATE, SEASONING (WHEAT STARCH, EXTRACTS OF ANNATTO AND TURMERIC COLOR, NATURAL FLAVOR).

Holy cow!

Here are some details about some of these ingredients..

MODIFIED CORNSTARCH – There are probably more than 100 different types of starches available for use as food ingredients, and all have been tweaked in some way through various chemical or physical reactions, to make them more useful. Starches are used for thickening—pudding, gravies, etc. (hooray for chemicals in our food!) Resource – http://whatisthatingredient.com/ingredient.php?id=29

YEAST EXTRACT – Yeast extract has replaced monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as a taste-booster in most processed foods because it appears to be a natural ingredient on food labels. However, yeast extract contains the same concentrated free glutamic acid as MSG. The increasing use of yeast extracts in foods ranging from soups and sauces to meats and canned fish is due to its distinctive taste, resulting from the peptides and amino acids formed by autolysis of yeast protein.
Resource -http://www.livestrong.com/article/345981-foods-that-contain-yeast-extract/

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE – You should not use potassium chloride if you have kidney failure, Addison’s disease, severe burns or other tissue injury, if you are dehydrated, if you take certain diuretics (water pills), or if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia). Do not crush, chew, break, or suck on an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking or crushing the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Sucking on a potassium tablet can irritate your mouth or throat. Take potassium chloride with food or just after a meal. I dont know about you but I dont want drug facts for my food ingredients!
Resource – http://www.drugs.com/potassium_chloride.html

XANTHAN GUM – It is produced by fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. After a fermentation period, the polysaccharide is precipitated from a growth medium with isopropyl alcohol, dried, and ground into a fine powder. Later, it is added to a liquid medium to form the gum. Oh Hello sugar sugar and sugar!
Resource – http://whatisthatingredient.com/

EXTRACTS OF ANNATTO – Is made from achiote tree. It is mostly used to color cheeses orange (like cheddar). In its pure form it tastes lightly sweet and peppery. Some people say that it tastes similar to nutmeg.  Annatto is one of the top 10 food allergens in America. Although this is a natural item, why do we need to add color to our food?!
Resource – http://whatisthatingredient.com/

NATURAL FLAVOR – Here is an excellent read on ‘Natural’ Flavor

Broccoli Pesto

This recipe is an adaptation I learned when I was working in the culinary program at College of DuPage.  I had the pleasure of meeting a phenomenal chef named Gianluca Pardini.  He is a Certified Master Chef who was visiting us from Italy.  His recipe of course was beyond amazing and it seemed so simple I felt I could do it again at home.  Of course months went by and I still never made it.  I finally decided it was time to recreate it but now I have to go off the memory of something I saw made a year ago.  Hooray!  I think it still turned out pretty well.  It was different from his because I had to make it Paleo but its still pretty darn tasty.

Broccoli Pesto

  • 1 head of fresh broccoli (not frozen, important)
  • 1 carton chicken stock (homemade is better, at least 6 cups)
  • 1/2 small can anchovies
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk (optional)

The method is just as important as following the exact ingredients.  This is a recipe that does require some patience and you can’t skip over steps to get it done sooner.  That being said..here’s what you gotta do.  In a sauce pan heat up your chicken stock.  Don’t let it come to a rapid boil, if you see it starting to bubble up just turn it down to low.  Chop up your broccoli so they are relatively the same size and mostly florets over stems.  You can still keep stems but your end result may not be as creamy then.  Add your broccoli to a hide sided sautee pan.  Here is the important part..only add the stock a cup or two at a time.  You do not want the broccoli to be fully submerged and boiling in the stock.  You want the broccoli to slowly suck up the stock and eventually it’ll end up being so creamy that you wont even have to blend it, just stir it gently with a spoon.  Keep repeating this step until you achieve creamy broccoli sauce.  Let the stock cook off slowly before adding more stock.  Also make sure to not run of of stock and the broccoli ends up burning.  It wont be ruined but it just might have a bitter flavor.  When your broccoli gets to the point where you can stir it with a spoon and it turns into a sauce its time to season.  Chop up a couple anchovy fillets into tiny pieces and add to the sauce and stir.  Do not be afraid of this step!! It does not end up tasting fishy or funky.  This is that Umami flavor you always hear about on food network!  Add salt and red pepper flakes and just simmer to let the flavors meld, about 5 minutes.  Feel free to add Parmesan if your diet allows.

If you are adding this to pasta then just cook your pasta to al dente and toss in the broccoli sauce.  I made mine with zoodles (zucchini noodles).  For zucchini noodles I spiralized a whole zucchini and added it to already heated sauce on the stove and just tossed it until heated through.  Enjoy!

zoodlesbrocolli

Excuses, excuses

7deeea21fdef8a474be925cc7930955a

My intentions of this post isn’t to be rude but to just be blatantly honest.  This isn’t just against others out there but this is a reflection of my own situations that I have been able to push through.  Today was a really good day and I need to have something to remind myself that when I free myself of excuses I can do really amazing things.

I have mentioned in past posts that I am really..really..really..bad at box jumps.  I can do them but it takes all my power and strength to jump on that box and get back down.  Once I am down I stare at that box pretending that I am floating back up on it.  I adjust my clothes..since you know, jumping 9 inches up in the air just messes up the entire wardrobe..I take deep breaths, get a sip of water..and maybe at some point I will jump and repeat.

When I saw that this weeks Lurong Challenge was to do 50 box jumps with a 16″ box I laughed!  Well first I was ticked because I said to myself “but the first workout had box jumps! WTH!”  I told myself there’s no way around it you’re going to have to just do it or face the fact your score is gonna suck.  Last night I noticed that step-ups are allowed and that sort of soothed me.  However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t want to be the heavy chick that can only step up on a box and not jump so I had my heart set on at the very least – trying.

Also just to set the scene..I have literally avoided workouts with long runs because I am slow as all hell when running and never want to embarrass myself.

So now that the scene is set..lets just say I killed it today.  I did all 50 16″ box jumps and the 50 KB swings and then finished off with a mile run with a fellow crossfitter who also tackled the challenge today.  I would love to thank her for her support today cause I nailed 2 things that I have previously been making excuses for.

Since I was in such a good mood after how well the morning went and how I tackled two major fears of mine I really had to reflect on my journey.  I have had a bad couple of weeks.  I got out of my daily crossfitting because I was having a very bad AI flare.  I was very down that I couldn’t do my usual workouts but I was able to walk! So walk I did!  I walked the dog, I walked at work..walk walk walk.  In the past I would have said “im sick…i just can’t” but where would that get me?  So that people understand and don’t leave comments “if youre sick then don’t workout!” I am sick all the time.  I have an auto immune disease and my body hates me.  If I just always took a break when I got sick..I would never workout.   I do know that when I flare though that crossfit is out.   If I was deathly sick well that’s another story.

  Who are the excuses for anyway?  To make yourself feel better or to try to prove to others you can’t accomplish your goals?  Either way you’re only hurting yourself.  I wanted to list recent excuses/negativity and how I squashed them.  Maybe you too can find a way to squash your excuses.

I can’t do box jumps – I haven’t tried to improve my box jumps

I am a really bad runner – A bad runner is still a runner.  I at least try

I am too tired to workout – it’s 5am..everyones tired.  Sleeping in doesn’t get you any closer to your goal

I dont want to workout today – Why? If there’s no real excuse, remember how good you feel when you do

I don’t have enough money to eat healthy this week – Hello Aldi

It’s too cold/hot/rainy/snowy – Good thing the gym is inside…

I won’t ever achieve my final goal – You’re halfway there

The WOD is too difficult to go today – Theres always a scale and no one will judge you

But I am craving XYZ – It will still be there later

No one else around me eats healthy – That’s on them.  It’s called willpower

No one else works out with me – See above.

Honestly there is so much more that I have conjured up in my brain that has tried to stay in my way.  The best way I can explain it is that I have to treat myself like I would treat a child.  Lots of positive reinforcement but tough love when it counts.  If a child keeps on doing the same thing wrong over and over and all it’s doing is hurting them..are  you just going to keep saying “it’s okay..maybe next time you’ll do better” or will you finally start to put your foot down and possibly recommend another approach?  I can’t keep telling myself “you know its okay you ate that cake..theres always tomorrow!”  Yes..and then another tomorrow and another tomorrow and so on.  At some point it’s just time to be honest to yourself.  Pack away those excuses, negativity and coddling.  Get it done 😉

ad5d78e62b8f17b33019e11d224a476a

Faux-Tato Salad (Paleo ‘Potato’ Salad)

This post is a bit late but can I still start it out by saying Happy Memorial Day!

I had made this recipe because I was jealous that my boyfriend got to eat some classic American salads you’d have at a BBQ such as potato salad and macaroni salad.  I may have indulged due to the holiday and all but since I am on the Lurong Summer Challenge it just wasn’t an option! It had to be that creamy goodness that accompanies BBQ so well!  And the faux-tato salad was born…

 Faux-Tato Salad (Paleo ‘Potato’ Salad)

20150525_170046

Salad

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped small
  • 1/2 turnip, peeled and chopped small
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped small
  • 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
  • Small amount of oil for roasting
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1 cup extra light tasting olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

 

Roast cauliflower at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Pieces should be fork tender and lightly browned on top.

While cauliflower is roasting chop all your other veggies into small salad-sized pieces

For the dressing add all ingredients to a mason jar or another wide mouth jar and use a stick blender to turn it into the consistency of mayo

When cauliflower is done combine all ingredients.  Add the mayo to desired creaminess.  I only used half of the mixture and saved the rest for later.

20150526_184842

 

The Keys To Successful Meal Planning

I know I have already had plenty of meal planning posts in the past but I really can’t stress how important it is.  I hear so many excuses as to why people cannot meal prep from not having enough time to not knowing how or where to start.  I wanted to compile all my important tools that I use for meal planning to try and lay out how to meal plan successfully and hopefully make it a less scary experience for all!  Without planning your meals ahead you are really setting yourself up for a disaster or at the very least a very bumpy ride.  Even a year into my weightloss journey and meal planning if I miss one week I fall off the wagon.  I look at all the uncooked food in my fridge and think “McDonalds is already cooked across the street…” or “Lunchables are a balanced meal, right?”

youre-going-to-ta35ok

Here are my (not so) secret weapons for successful meal planning

  1. Time – If you read nothing else but this key point then you are well on your way.  This is the biggest excuse I hear is “I don’t have time”.  What I really hear is “I don’t want to make time”.  If that is offensive in anyway I am sorry but it’s true.  I am fully aware people are busy and do have kids, husbands, jobs and life beyond their diets but think about if something you really wanted to do came up in your “busy” schedule.  Would you make time for that?  I bet if you were able to rearrange your schedule you absolutely would.  Meal planning shouldn’t be any different than that thing you really want to do.  We are on this journey because we really want to lose weight.  How can we do that if we aren’t make time for it? Just waiting for it to magically happen?  Think of it this way..Taking a couple hours out of one day of your week frees up that time for the other six.  That’s a total win in my book.  Yes there are days where I do not feel like meal prepping but I know what it will do for my week ahead if I don’t.  Schedule meal planning just as you would something you really want to do.  Because in the end you are trying to achieve something you really want!
  2. Lists – I feel the list part is easy.  It is following the list and not straying from it that is hard!  I first write out what I want for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then make a list of all the ingredients to make this happen.  This is the hard part…go to the store and put the blinders on for anything beyond your list!  The only time I make an exception with this is if there is a really good deal I was unaware of going into the store.  And no, I do not mean buy one get one free Oreos.  I am talking like super saver meat deals like BOGO steaks or something.  This won’t just help you with staying on track but it will also save you a lot of money.  How often do you go into a store for one thing and walk out with a cart?  That’s okay when it’s fun stuff like new workout clothes or something..but this can be a disaster if you walk out with way more food than you planned on getting.
  3. Open Mind – Another excuse I hear often is there is not a lot of variety when it comes to meal prep.  You are making the meals for the week which can sometimes (most often) mean leftovers. Unless you want to take up even more hours in your day and make a different breakfast, lunch and dinner for every day of the week then this is something that you’ll have to accept.  This does not mean you will eat boiled chicken, plain white rice and steamed broccoli for 7 days straight.  I tend to pick about 4 recipes and I mix and match if I want them for lunch or dinner.  I may make chicken and beef for example but change my sides so it’s not the exact same meal everyday.  Variety is important so that you don’t get bored and end up wanting to binge on something that you may find tastier.  You can still have variety with meal prep!  This is more of a concern for people who are cooking for themselves or two.  For people with a family variety is far easier to make a crock pot meal or a casserole that is different for everyday.
  4. Kitchen Essentials – “I don’t have a chef stocked kitchen!”  Yes I know I am a chef and therefore I have so many toys.  However! There are only a select few things that I use on an absolute regular basis that does not take up a bunch of space and is most likely in everyone’s kitchen.  My favorites include: *Floppy cutting boards in assorted colors – I use these to be able to prep meat and vegetables with ease without having to wash the cutting board every time.  They are super easy to store and I can use one and toss it in the sink and grab a new one.  They are simple to clean and keep the food safe from cross-contamination. *Plenty of wooden spoons and rubber spatulas.  When you are cooking with a variety of pots and pans and dishing out into your tupperware containers it’s annoying if you have to keep washing the same utensils.  Have plenty of back-up..they are cheap! *Herbs & Spices – Stock up on as many herbs and spices as you can! Build up a good pantry to keep your food exciting.  More flavor = less missing those bad foods.  *Clorox wipes – makes cleaning so much easier between prep.  Really..those are the things I use most often.  People can live without a vitamix and 10,000 tools from pampered chef claiming to make your life easier.
  5. Containers – Stock up on containers of all shapes and sizes to make it easy to portion out your food.  My favorite containers are the kind you find at restaurant supply stores.  I like having the same type of container for each of my meals.  Call me OCD but I don’t like if one type of meal is in a square, rectangle and a round container.  I like to easily distinguish which meal is which so I can grab n’ go!  The ones you find at supply stores tend to be a lot cheaper for a whole ton of containers that you can stow away until you need more.  If you do not have this luxury of having a restaurant supply store nearby you can find just as good containers at somewhere like Target or Walmart.  Also having different sizes zipper bags is nice to have too.  Snack size, gallon size, sandwich size..I don’t discriminate.

Well those are my secrets folks!  Meal prep doesn’t have to be a scary thing.  It just takes some organization and definitely some dedication.  It may take some time to get into the routine of making your meals but I am telling you that when you get home from work and don’t have to worry about making a meal from scratch – you get addicted to it pretty quick!  Still confused about how to jump in and meal plan? Send me a message!  I would be glad to help you get on track to starting your new meal prepping lifestyle!

Nanacado Mousse

A few months back someone at work offered me a spoonful of this brown goop and said “You HAVE to try this!”

So I did..I mean..how could you resist such an offer?

She gleefully exclaimed “Its avocado!! Isn’t it amazing!?”

It was pretty good.  It had mint extract in it which didn’t tickle my fancy but overall it was chocolately and creamy and also had that appeal of it having avocado which means “OMG it’s healthy!” (Right?)

I finally decided months later to try and make some myself.  I checked some recipes online and they were all pretty awful..I can’t even lie.

Instead of “Its avocado!!” it was more like “Oh…its…avocado..”

I had a bunch of bananas I didn’t manage to get to on time before they started to turn a shameful color.  My problem with the previous recipes was it was not sweet enough and you pretty much tasted raw cocoa and avocado..no bueno.  I thought instead of turning these bananas into dessert that I can’t even have and end up having to pawn on others why not give the avocado mousse another whirl with bananas as a sweetener.

20150308_183115

This attempt was much more tasty than the previous..Success!

A dessert I can have to satisfy my sweet tooth and have some benefits that I don’t have to feel guilty about having a little treat once in a while.

Nanacado Mousse

1 ripe banana

1 avocado

2 tsp organic stevia

2 tbs unsweet cocoa

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

I ran all these ingredients in the magic bullet until smooth.  Top with some berries or almonds and indulge!

20150308_183207

15.1 You’re so fun! (not)

It has definitely been a week of ups and downs.

I was proud I participated in the open.

I was not thrilled to see my ranking.

Reminded myself I was very new to this.

Felt I was the reason our team scored low.

Back to proud I did it..

and then it cycles again.

10944875_898706223502469_6818325672249383801_n

I did the scaled version which required me to do knees to chest instead of toes to bar and then the weights were lower for that group too which after a few rounds I ended up being thankful for!  I was very nervous about doing knees to chest since I have only done it once before and when you’re carrying this much extra weight a dead hang isn’t easy!  I am proud that I gave it my all during the workout.  I do still shake my head and sigh that I wasn’t getting the clean and jerk.  I had never actually done a clean and jerk before.  Ive done a clean..done a jerk..never put them together.  My form started to definitely falter as the weight went up and I couldn’t even get myself into the clean.  I’d lift it and get to the jump and shrug..and then notice my elbows were still securely at my side.  Not out in front of me with the bar resting nicely on chest.  Why can’t I get this?!

The coaches kept seeing my struggle and would come correct my form.  I would fully take in what they were saying and totally understood it.  But my brain decided to not communicate with my body.  I just couldn’t get it.  I ended with 95#.

11026053_898704453502646_860109483046763991_n

I am still trying to feel good about signing up.  I still can’t shake that I bring the team score down but I am constantly reminded it’s about bettering yourself and setting a base score that you can improve on.  Well..I can really only go up from here!

Other highlights of the week

*Talked to one of the coaches about advice on this nasty plateau i’ve been stuck i for weeks.  Took his advice and have immediately lost 3 lbs

*Have made it into the gym 4 days this week (tomorrow will be 5)

*Started a goal challenge this month and it has been helping immensely

*Fit into a size 14 that wasn’t Old Navy brand

*Finally started getting some WOD pics!

pizap.com14256926266641

Onto 15.2 tomorrow! (yikes..)