Category Archives: Healthy Living

A Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping

meal-prepping
Prepping your meals can save you a ton of time, money and ensure that you are eating healthy throughout the day. I have personally dropped 10 pounds since I started prepping my meals 6 weeks ago. Along the way I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to it that I’d like to share.

1.  Plan it out

Every Thursday I sit down and plan out my meals for the week. I am personally following the 21 Day Fix so I make sure that I have all my containers accounted for.   For me I only plan out breakfast, lunch and snacks as I make my dinners fresh every evening after work using the balance of my container count as a guide to what I can have. But if you feel you would slack off by not preplanning/prepping dinner, do that too.

Plan out when you are going to prep. I prefer to do it all in one go on a Sunday afternoon. Some people prep 2x a week. Make it something that works for you when you know you will have time to set aside.

2.   Make a grocery list

Once you’ve planned out your meals, write out everything you will need. Check your pantry after and cross off what you already have and then bring that list and stick to it! If it’s not on your list, it doesn’t go in your cart. I do all my prep on Sunday, so I will typically go Friday or Saturday evening to get everything I need. I can say with all honesty that I have drastically cut my grocery bill by planning and sticking to my list.

3.  Keep it simple

You don’t have to make lavish meals, the easier the meals the less time consuming your prep day will be. I typically pick 2 different lunches consisting of a protein, carb and veggie that I alternate. If I make brown rice, I typically make enough for lunches as well as for a quick reheat to serve with dinner.

4.  Invest in some good containers

Get some containers that won’t crack after a few uses and that are freezer friendly. I will put my first 2 days of meals in the fridge and then freeze the rest so they keep (and put them in the fridge the night before), so spend a little so they go the distance! You can find some good ones on Amazon.

5.  Don’t try a new recipe

If you don’t like it, you are stuck with it for several meals. Play it safe and only try out new ideas on the weekend.

6.  Portion control

I use my fix containers for the most part, but often I will weigh out my protein. A scale has become a key fixture in my kitchen. And they are relatively inexpensive. While you’re at it, if you don’t use the Fix, get yourself some good measuring cups too and be diligent about using them.

7.  Slightly under cook your veggies

Remember, you are going to reheat them so you don’t want them turning to mush. This was a lesson learned through my own failings. Unless, of course, you like mushy veggies.

The options are endless when it comes to prepping food ahead of time. There really is no right or wrong way to do it. It all comes down to planning, and making time to get it done. Just like any weight loss strategy, to be sustainable it needs to fit into your lifestyle. So do what works for you. If the only thing you want to prep each week are lunches, then that’s fine. Do whatever meets your needs. The more you do it, the better you will get at it!

 

 

Sunday Meal Prep – Week 1

Sunday-Food-Prep

A big part of a week of successful eating, is a day of successful planning! And the 21 Day Fix takes most of the guesswork out. However, it can still be quite easy to slip. But if you have everything packed for the week, and you just need to grab and go, you are less likely to get lax where eating is concerned.

So, Thursday I sat down, planned out my meals for the week, made a grocery list and off to the store I went.

Now I fall into the lowest bracket of the 21 Day Fix, so my list and prep are based on that. Your mileage may vary.

Meal 1: Shakeology.
Meal 2: Two egg “muffins” (1 whole egg with 3 egg whites, mushrooms and spinach, baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes). Mixed berries and grapes.
Meal 3 (Mon/Wed/Fri): 4 oz. grilled chicken, 1/2 cup sweet potato, roasted mixed veggies
Meal 3 (Tues/Thurs): 1 veggie burger, roasted cauliflower, roasted mixed veggies.
Meal 4: 4 oz. Oatmeal, sliced almonds and an apple.
Meal 5: Salmon, cod, turkey burgers, chicken sausage, or chicken with veggies. Brown rice on Tues/Thurs.

My counts per day:
4 red
3 green
2 yellow
1 blue
1 orange (olive oil)
2 purple

First up I did up my mixture for my egg muffins. I mixed 1 egg with 3 egg whites and placed in muffin tins and continued until I had enough for my work week. Came out great, and smell SO good!

eggs
Next was my roasted veggies. I decided on a mix of mushrooms, onions and red peppers. I measured out 5 green containers worth, spread them out on my baking stone with some olive oil, and cooked for approx 20 minutes at 350°.  TIP: Measure a bit over your green container count as they will shrink during cooking so you’ll come up short. Lesson learned.

Veggies

Next was my cauliflower and sweet potatoes. I seasoned my cauliflower with Buffalo Wing mix from Epicure Selections. All natural, no additives, preservatives or MSG. Just spices to add some flavour! 21 Day Fix approved! Cauliflower was in the oven for about 30 min, the sweet potatoes were around 1 hour.

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Now, for some oatmeal! I used organic rolled oats and just followed the instructions on the bag. Added some vanilla (a 21 Day Fix freebie) for some flavour and will season with a bit of cinnamon later.

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Last but not least were 2 veggie burger patties. I have never had them, this will be a first for me. Baked according to the directions.

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Everything now cooked and ready to package.

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Below is the finished product of a day of eating (both meals for lunch shown below).  Dinners not shown. They are planned as laid out above, however will be cooked fresh when I get home from work.

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And there you have it! Sunday Meal Prep – Week 1 in the bag! Hope you enjoyed!

20 Secrets of Very Fit People

fit-person

 

by Chalene Johnson

Here are a few Turbofied tips. Read these tips, then print and post them so you have them as a daily reminder.

  • Look at exercise as a pleasure and a privilege, not a burden or chore. Think positively about the changes regular exercise will produce. Rather than obsessing about your next meal, get excited about your next workout!
  • Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.
  • Work to take your exercise to new levels of intensity.
  • Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 or 7 days a week. If some days you exercise once in the morning and once in the evening, even better! If you’re eating right, exercise will fuel your energy level!
  • Create an exercise schedule the day before instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to “find” the time. If the last three Presidents of the United States can make time to work out every day, you can make time too!
  • Enjoy contributing to the health of others by having a partner or friends to exercise with, as well as recruiting others who want to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who’s sitting on the porch every morning when you walk by? Ask him or her to join you on your walk!
  • Avoid monotony by taking up new forms of exercising, or using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.
  • Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a portable MP3 player or iPod®, fitness equipment, a new series of tapes, etc.
  • Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.
  • Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excess calories, even if they’re from food that’s fat free and high in protein, will turn to excess weight. No matter what the latest fad diet says, extra calories equal extra weight!
  • Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.
  • Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink from it often. Water should always be your drink of choice. To kick things up every once in a while, try adding lemon, lime, cucumber, or a few berries to liven up the flavor without adding significant calories.
  • Stick with eating plans you can maintain indefinitely. Remember that no matter how hard you’re working out, if you’re consuming too many calories, you’ll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.
  • Keep a daily log of what you’re actually eating. This includes every time you grab a handful of chips here or eat the crust of your kid’s sandwich there, and ALL of your snacking.
  • Enjoy an occasional (once a week) “unhealthy” treat, but never an unhealthy week or unhealthy vacation.
  • If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.
  • Don’t compare your body to others’. Instead, work to be your personal best.
  • Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, not some number on a scale.
  • Get adequate amounts of sleep, but remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.

 

Source

Excuses and why they are just that!

woman-runningExcuses

In the spring of 2012 I started going for nightly 5k walks and joined Weight Watchers. I dropped 25 pounds and felt better about myself. What’s more is I didn’t make a single excuse why I couldn’t take an hour out of my day to devote to me. I didn’t find the time, I made the time and have done so every day since then.

In talking with people, heading challenge groups and myself included, I have heard every excuse in the book why someone can’t find time in their day to exercise. Everyone has the same 24 hours to work with every day. It’s how you decide to spend and prioritize your time that’s the real issue. It’s easy to make excuses and kid yourself about why you don’t have time to make your health a priority, but until you take responsibility for your actions (or lack thereof) you will remain in front of the television or wasting time playing Candy Crush on Facebook because you “don’t have the time”.

Of course there are legitimate reasons to not exercise. But unless you’ve just given birth or had surgery, most of these reasons aren’t reasons at all—they’re excuses. If you’ve been allowing these excuses to keep you from the gym, it’s time to refocus.

Excuse # 1: I’m too tired.

Want more energy? Exercise. No joke. Even something as simple as a walk around the block with get your blood pumping, and boost your energy level for up to TWO hours after!  You will sleep better at night and wake up more rested.

Excuse # 2: I don’t have time.

My favourite. Don’t have time? Make time. I get up early to do a workout. It’s scheduled, it’s an appointment like any other, only instead of with the doctor it’s with me.  And yes, I’m groggy but read Excuse #1, that grogginess only last about 5 minutes into my workout. Still not willing to get up and start your day with a workout? Eliminate 30 minutes of television or Facebook each night and exercise for half an hour instead. Record your favorite shows and watch them while lifting weights or running on the treadmill to multitask.

Excuse # 3: Kids

I know many mothers who find the time every single day to devote to themselves. Many get up early before everyone is awake. No disruptions, emergencies or parental distractions. How about getting them involved?  Go biking with your kids, put up a badminton net in the yard, sign up as a family for “fun runs,” or just walk around the neighborhood with your children. When the weather’s bad, try active video games like Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Sport, and Wii Fit. Set a healthy example and a foundation for them to continue improving their health.

Excuse #4: Exercise is boring

You just haven’t found the right workout. Find something you LOVE, something you look forward to doing and mix it up! My soulmate workout is TurboFire, I love Chalene, I love the workouts, I love the natural high when my endorphins kick in. The music is fun, the instructor is motivating, I look forward to it. But I switch it up with other programs now to keep things interesting.

These are only a few of many, but trust me, for every excuse you can give I can give you just as many reasons why it’s simply that….an excuse. You either want it or you don’t.