Saturday, February 6, 2016

Finding the time

I am definitely guilty of saying, "I just don't have time for that." This statement is true some times but mostly it's just an excuse we give ourselves because we don't want to do something, or are afraid, or just don't realize that we do have the time if we reshoot our priorities.

Whether it's finding time to exercise, or work on a project, or go out with friends, where there's a will, there's a way. I don't waste much time these days. I wake up at 5, work out, get myself and my boys ready to leave by 7, drive 40 miles to work, work until 5, commute home, make dinner, play with boys, boys down by 8:30, pack lunches and general prep for the next day, then work. Sometimes I'm working on my day job stuff, sometimes on my professional org commitments, and most recently it's been on my Beachbody coaching. Bed by 10:30 ish, read, and then lights out. Usually 1 or more middle of the night waking by one or both boys. 

I fill my time. And yet I still find ways to squeeze in other things as the occasion arises. Stop watching TV, get up 30 minutes earlier, find ways to multitask. If you want to find the time, you will.

Dinners: week of February 7, 2016

Starting week 3 of the 21 Day Fix. I caved a few times this week because I am a social eater and we had a 2-day counselor event at work. Plus I'm burning the candle at both ends and doing some double workouts and I am hungry some days!

But this week we are back on track. Tomorrow we are having my parents over for the Super Bowl. We've taken to making foods that represent at least one of the teams who are playing. Tomorrow we are featuring barbecue in honor of Carolina. 

In adding a few "new" foods to our menu this week: tofu and cauliflower. I need some more non-meat proteins. In reading the vegan 21 day fix meal plan, beans and legume count as protein even though they aren't as complete as animal protein and are counted as carbs in the regular meal plan. Made me feel better than I can go back to using meat alternatives in my meals!

Here's what we're having:
-barbecue pork (slow cooker), sweet potato fries (homemade of course), Asian broccoli slaw
-roasted salmon and cauliflower
-slow cooker turkey marinara over oodles
-cauliflower fried rice with tofu
-teriyaki turkey meatballs and broccoli

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dinners: Week of 1/31/16

I've been meal planning and prepping for years. But now I'm really trying to do this healthy and simple meal planning. Especially now that my boys are cranky messes in the evenings and Jeff and I are doing the 21 Day Fix and being very conscientious (more than usual) about our meals. Here's what we're eating this week, plus a few tips for meal prep:

  • Grilled Chicken Sausage, Roasted Butternut Squash and Salad
  • Roasted Salmon and Broccoli over Quinoa
  • Turkey and Veggie Chili (slow cooker)
  • Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs over Stir-Fried Zoodles
  • Broccoli and Turkey Bacon Frittata
I almost always chop all veggies and package by meals. That's pretty much standard when it comes to meal prep. I baked the turkey meatballs (ground turkey mixed with egg, cooked quinoa, fresh parsley, garlic, salt and pepper) and froze them so I just have to pull them out the night before and heat in a pan with the teriyaki sauce. I also cooked up quinoa which I will use throughout the week for lunches and mixed in with my oatmeal.

Quick Freezer Meals

I've been meal planning for years and I've really only just gotten into making freezer meals in advance. I like freezing soups/stews when I have a lot leftover; let them thaw in the fridge overnight then heat in a sauce pan.

But back to quick freezer meals. Freezer meals are great when you have a busy weeknight; take them out the night before to thaw in the fridge then throw in low on the crockpot the next day. Also great in my life because I travel for work and my husband isn't really a cook. He's able to pull these out of the freezer and have a healthy meal that lasts several nights; having to manage 2 boys and the dog solo, this is one less thing he has to worry about.

Don't overthink them. I need to remind myself of this when it comes to meal planning in general. You can make healthy and tasty meals with minimal ingredients. I have found that in fact often the really complicated meals are not that healthy. Save yourself time and energy and focus on a few key ingredients and season generously.

Meal prep is key!
I do a bunch of prepping on the weekend because, for example, it doesn't take much longer to cut the whole onion than it does to cut a little bit of onion each night. Just do all chopping in one fell swoop.

Make double.
For example, yesterday I prepped beans and veggies for a turkey chili that I'm making this week. I doubled up on the veggies and beans, and added the second half to a freezer back, plus ground turkey and seasoning. I ran out of tomato, so I made a note on the freezer bag that when it's time to cook I need to add pureed tomatoes.

Just add meat.
Really the only difference between prepping for meals for the week and prepping freezer meals in the meat and seasoning. Add meat to freezer meals and season. For meals cooking during the week, save the meat until the night you are cooking.

Once again I will state, I'm not a huge recipe follower. Especially if I'm making dinners on a weeknight, looking at a recipe slows me down. But I use recipes as inspiration, and as a result I've learned how to more creatively combine different foods (like using squash and sweet potatoes in Mexican inspired dishes) and to learn about different flavor profiles (lime, peanut, and ginger = yum).

Here are the freezer meals I quickly threw together this weekend:
  • Mediterranean Chicken: spinach, zucchini, chicken, pesto, lemon, parsley
  • Fajita Chicken: bell peppers, onions, salsa, chicken, cumin, chili powder
  • Turkey Chili: bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, butternut squash, black beans, white beans, ground turkey, tomato
  • Chicken Stew: green beans, carrots, celery, onion, chicken, parsley, thyme (broth will be added later)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Finding your Virtual Community

I just wanted to share a message about the importance of community. I've been seeking a community for years and haven't really been able to find one. I lack confidence when it comes to making friends and I don't ever ask for help. 

I've been pleasantly surprised by Team Beachbody's emphasis for coach development. I wouldn't say I hit bottom this year but between post partum depression/anxiety and then my back injury, I was not happy. This winter I realized that something needed to change and I needed to be proactive in seeking community and support. 

The first step was joining online wellness communities. The next step was reaching out to friends old and new about my experiences. In part to encourage them to consider Team Beachbody and their products, but also because my increased confidence has allowed me to actually do what I've wanted to do for years which is to build a stronger community. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dinners: Week of 1/24/16

This is the week that Jeff and I start the 21 Day Fix! This won't be super challenging when it comes to the food we eat for dinner since I'm already very conscientious about what I make for our meals. Although apparently beans count as a carb in this program and I'm so used to counting them as a protein source! It's going to require a little re-programming.

My goal is to start logging all of my meals into a Meal Plans spreadsheet that is easy to copy and paste meals as I'm doing my weekly menu. Eventually I will have more robust menus but for now I at least have basic ingredients, preparation, and the 21 Day Fix container colors.

One of my tips for meal planning/prep is to pick a few key ingredients and reuse them in several meals. This week's key ingredients: sweet potato and pork. Here's what I'm making this week:

  • Sweet Potato and Black Bean skillet
  • Crockpot Pork Tenderloin and Balsamic Roasted Veggies
  • Kale Pesto Pasta (and Pork?)
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki over Quinoa
  • Slow Cooker Lentil Soup
  • Sweet Potato Latkes and Eggs
Another post to come on how we're going to prep lunches!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Team Beachbody

Hi all! Just a quick update (more to to come, I promise).

I've been on quite a fitness and wellness journey these last 9 years. I'm coming back stronger than ever after my second baby and then a broken back. Several of my friends joined Team Beachbody and have made incredibly positive changes in their lives.

I want to build muscle so I never feel as frail as I did this summer. I want to be a better mother and a better role model. And I wouldn't mind a little extra income.

So I've joined Team Beachbody as an Independent Beachbody Coach! I'm pretty excited! Feel free to check out my website and contact me with questions.

I'm going to be be better about posting blogs and keeping them with a positive focus on health and wellness.