Tag Archives: exercise

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!

3-Day Refresh

3-day-refresh


What is the 3-Day Refresh?

The 3-Day Refresh is designed for those looking for a fast, clean break-to drop a few pounds in a hurry, break through a plateau or break some bad habits.

This gentle cleanse consists of three daily shakes, a fiber drink, plenty of filtered water, plus a wide array of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats throughout the day to keep your energy and metabolism going.

Though the plan is simple, it offers many alternatives, including some creative ways to prepare your meals, so you’ll see that you can actually enjoy eating healthy food without having to season it in ways that can damage your health and undermine your weight-loss goals.

What is included?

  1. Shakeology
    It’s your daily dose of dense super-food nutrition. Shakeology has 70  different healthy ingredients mixed together to offer you the best possible nutritional meal. Your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
  2. Vanilla Fresh Shake
    This patent-pending, high protein vanilla shake not only helps satisfy your hunger throughout the 3-Day Refresh, it delivers the essential nutrition your body needs for healthy weight loss.
  3. Fiber Sweep Drink
    With it’s scientific formulated blend of soluble and insoluble fibers, this patent-pending fiber drink gently and naturally eliminates waste from your digestive system, while supporting healthy intestinal flora.

What would a typical day look like on the 3-Day Refresh?

  1. Wake up: Drink 8-12 ounces of filtered water
  2. Breakfast (within an hour of waking): Shakeology plus a fruit option
  3. Mid-Morning: Fiber Sweep
  4. Lunch: Vanilla Fresh plus options from the fruit, vegetable and healthy fat list provided with the program
  5. Afternoon Snack: From the fruit, vegetable or juice options list.
  6. Dinner: Vanilla Fresh plus a delicious meal made from the dinner recipes list included.

Can I exercise during the 3-Day Refresh?

  • YES! Mild to moderate exercise during the 3-Day is recommended. Can you hammer out a harder program? Probably, but the 3-Day Refresh will use your energy more effectively to help clean up your system if you’re not. You many want to put your copy of Insanity way for a couple days.

How do I get my 3-Day Refresh kit?

Day 1 starts tomorrow!

 

 

21 Day Fix – Day 9!

21_day-fix

 

Day 9’s workout was Upper Fix, which I’m grateful for as my legs are completely spent after Total Body Cardio Fix and so resting them is nice. Plus, I love working my arms. I’m hoping to sculpt them for sleeveless summer tops this season and I’m certain Autumn will deliver.

Here is a sneak peek!

Planning was crucial today because of my Birthday and I knew I was going out tonight. I think it was successful.

Breakfast:

001Chocolate Shakeology (red container), water and ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snack #1:

003Greek yogurt (red container), mixed berries (purple container).

 

 

 

 

Lunch:

001Tuna sandwich (1 red, 1 yellow and 1/2 orange (for a dab of mayo)), baby carrots (green container) and hummus for dipping (blue container).

 

 

Snack #2:

006My trusty apple and peanut butter combo (purple container and 2 tsps).

 

 

 

 

Dinner:

1901463_10151930056751681_869712885_nThis was a great success for me for dinner out! Grilled salmon (red container), lots of grilled veggies (2 green containers). Doubled up on the veg and omitted the potato so I could have a glass of red wine with my meal (yellow container)! Sorry I started eating it before I took a picture. It looked so good! And it was.

Day 9 complete with a healthy birthday celebration!

Want to join my next challenge group ? Simply email me at exerciseeatlove@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExerciseEatLove and check my event listings!

21 Day Fix – Day 6!

21_day-fix

Today’s workout was Dirty 30! This workout focuses mainly on strength training. Some of the workouts you will recognize from previous workouts, but most are new.

You will need a light set and a heavy set of weights (I use 7 and 10 lb), a yoga mat as there is some floor work and of course your water.

This workout targets just about every area from triceps, to glutes, to abs and every move incorporates a set of weights. Again, there are 4 rounds, 2 60 second exercises per round repeated once. And no bonus round this time. This workout will get you sweating and will challenge you. My only complaint is in some rounds the first move is standing and the second is on the floor. With only 20 seconds in between, it doesn’t give you a lot of time to get ready for the next move. Would have been nice to have standing grouped together and floor grouped together. So just be prepared for a quick transition.

Great workout overall, and I suspect I am going to feel it tomorrow!

Here is a sneak peak!

And now for the food! Just a brief reminder, I am allowed 4 red containers, 3 green containers, 2 purple containers, 2 yellow containers, 1 blue container and 1 orange container per day. And I almost goofed today! The perils of the weekend!

Breakfast:

001Went for the Greenberry Shakeology again today. I really do like it. Mixed with the Oasis Smoothie, the colour isn’t very appealing, though. Ha! Shakeology (red container), Oasis Smoothie (yellow container).

 

 

 

 
Snack #1:

003Some kiwi and pineapple (purple container), and greek yogurt (red container).

 

 

 

Lunch:

008The yummy salad from yesterday. I have a feeling this will show up a lot! Baby spinach, carrots and onions (2 green containers), 1 boiled egg and crumbled bacon (1 red container), honey dijon dressing (orange container) and 12 raw almonds (blue container).

Snack #2:

012Sliced cucumber (green container) sprinked with some Red Garlic Sansel (no added salt) from Epicure for flavour.

 

 

 

Dinner:

015Here is where I almost goofed! 2 eggs scrambled, 4 oz back bacon gave me 2 red containers. For some reason I thought I had to left, but right when sitting down to eat realize “OMG you only have one”. Easy solution, 1/2 my eggs and 1/2 my bacon went to my other half (much to his happiness) and I was back on track! hashbrowns (1 yellow container) and mixed fruit (purple container) rounded out my dinner.

Day 6 in the bag!

Want to join my next challenge group ? Simply email me at exerciseeatlove@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExerciseEatLove and check my event listings!

 

21 Day Fix – Day 4!

21_day-fix

Today’s workout was Pilates Fix. This is fast becoming a favourite. She focuses a lot on abs and glutes, and that’s not an argument as they are problem areas for most of us, so a little extra attention is always welcome.

You will need a mat for this as it is all floor work. Again, there is a modifier for anyone new to Pilates or perhaps not as flexible or comfortable with the moves yet.  The routine is a little different in the sense that it is not set up in rounds like the previous workouts, and none of them are repeated. Also, the length of time differs for each one. You just move through different areas of focus.

An overall tough, but wonderful workout that is a nice “active rest day” for your body after all the weights!

And onto my food for Day 4!

Breakfast:

001No surprises here. It’s the only way for me to start the day. And yes, you’ve seen this picture before, and you will see it again.  Oh you will, and you’ll like it. Chocolate Shakeology (red container).

 

 

 

 

Snack #1:

004WHAT? Again? Yes, I’m a creature of habit. And it’s a delicious one. Greek yogurt (red container), mixed berries (purple container).

 

 

Lunch:

006Wait a minute… Yes. Leftovers. Stop judging me. Leftovers are my friend. Chicken fajitas and salad (red, yellow and 2 green containers, plus an orange container).

 

Snack #2:

006Remember? Creature of habit? Apple and peanut butter = one purple container and 2 tsps

 

 

 

Dinner:

001Steak, sweet potatoes and beans! Red container, yellow container and green container respectively. And 100% yum!

 

 

That’s rounds out my Day 4!  I also made a grocery run tonight so I’m stocked and ready to keep going!

Want to join my next challenge group ? Simply email me at exerciseeatlove@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExerciseEatLove and check my event listings!

21 Day Fix – Day 3!

21_day-fix

Today the workout on the schedule was Lower Fix. Now be forewarned, your legs probably haven’t fully recovered from Monday and now Autumn is going completely destroy them. But hey, it’s all in the name of firm legs, buns and thighs, right?

For this 30 minute exercise you will need a set of weights or resistance bands and a mat as the last round of exercises will be done on the floor. There are 4 rounds, 2 exercises lasting 60 seconds each and repeated once per round. You will be squating, lunging and sweating your way through with 20 second breaks between exercises. OH! And just when you think it’s all over, you get a BONUS exercise for an additional 2 minutes to make sure your legs are complete jello before stretching you out and sending you on what is hopefully a stair free day.

And now, my food for Day 3:

Breakfast:

001Ye olde standby, Chocolate Shakeology (red container) with water and ice. YUM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snack #1:

001Thought I would change things up a bit and today decided on 2 hard boiled eggs (red container) and some sweet red peppers (green container).

 

 

Lunch:

004Today I decided on a tuna sandwich, which thrilled my cats who got to eat what wouldn’t fit in the red container. Oh joy of joys! Tuna (red container), one slice of Ezekiel bread, toasted (yellow container), a little bit of mayo just to dampen and hold the tuna together and add a bit of zip (1/2 orange container), and some diced watermelon (purple container). Now at first I though, “I’m basically making 1/2 a sandwich, this won’t fill me up”. But you’re filling up on protein instead of carbs. Completely satisfied and full after.


Snack #2:

006Apple (purple container) and peanut butter (2 tsps). Yawn, I know, but it’s so yummy.

 

 

 

 

Dinner:

006Chicken Fajitas and salad! Cooked in my Pampered Chef covered baker that I go on about! Chicken (red container), tortilla (yellow container), peppers, onions and salad (2 green containers) and dressing (1/2 orange container).

 

And there you have it! Day 3 in the bag. You certainly can’t say I’m starving.

Want to join my next challenge group ? Simply email me at exerciseeatlove@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ExerciseEatLove and check my event listings!

21 Day Fix – The Trainer

Autumn

If you are a fitness addict then, you may already be familiar with the name Autumn Calabrese. If not, here is a brief bio.

Autumn Calabrese is a celebrity fitness trainer and national-level bikini competitor. A rising star in the fitness community, she’s made a name for herself by helping people lose weight and get fit through simple portion control and consistent exercise.

Autumn holds personal training certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). Her supportive, motivating style has made her a highly sought-after expert among celebrities and the fitness industry.

Building on a foundation of good food choices and exercise habits, Autumn empowers her clients to reach their goals in a healthy, sustainable way. In addition to her celebrity clientele, Autumn is the fitness specialist for ModernMom.com. Her workouts have been featured in C magazine, LA Parent, The Palisadian-Post, and Daily Candy, and on TV shows like Home & Family. With a passionate, entrepreneurial spirit, Autumn is the perfect addition to the Beachbody family of trainers.

It’s pretty clear this woman knows fitness, and more importantly she’s not annoying in her videos at all. As a huge Chalene Johnson fan, it is one thing that always worries me about a new program and that’s “what if I don’t like the trainer”. Let’s face it, there are some out there that can really grate on your nerves fast. Not so with Autumn, at least for me, which was a relief.

Want to know a bit more? Check out this YouTube video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2tKucqqnYQ

Want a copy of the 21 Day Fix? You can find it HERE!

21 Day Fix – The Containers

 

21-day-fix-containers-e1391284791291

I received my copy of the 21 Day Fix last week, and although my Challenge group doesn’t start until the 17th I couldn’t resist taking it for a spin.

What makes this program unique is the coloured containers (seen in the picture above).  These containers are designed to take the guesswork out of weight loss. Each coloured container corresponds to a different food group. If it fits, you can eat it.

What first crossed my mind when I opened my containers was “boy they seem small”, followed by the realization that we have a very distorted view of portion sizes.  Think about ordering a meal in a restaurant. We are probably given about 3x the amount that we should actually eat. We see this as normal. Also, think of the ratio on that plate. Meat and carbs take up most of the plate, while veggies take up a small corner. Is it any wonder most of us do not know how much we should eat and of what?

The containers completely eliminate counting calories, weighing, measuring and best of all how much of each food group. It’s the answer to my prayers, the missing piece of the puzzle.

So how do they work exactly?

First thing you are going to do is calculate your required calorie intake per day. “But you said no counting calories”. Don’t worry, you won’t have to, but you do have to know how much fuel your body needs.  Once you have your number you will refer to your guide to find your daily allotment of the fixed colour coded containers and list of foods by coloured container that you can use to fill them!

Use your worksheets included with your program to track your containers. Along the top you will place your daily allotment for each colour (as laid out for you based on your required calories) and then mark it off when you’ve eaten it. I find it really easy to plan and pack my containers the night before so all my food is ready and perfectly portioned. If you are like me and work out of the house, you will probably want to order an additional set of containers.

Below are the tracking sheets (additional sheets can be printed off at the Beachbody website). The are easy to use and make planning so simple! There is even an area to track your water.

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Want to find out more or order your copy? Just click HERE!

Next I will look at the workout programs and give a little overview of what you can expect!