Easy Meal Prep Tips/Ideas

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a busy week with nothing good to grab and eat, or no time to cook a good meal?

I’ve been there, and it’s no fun.

When you don’t have much (if any) healthy snacks to grab or healthy meals prepared and you know it’s going to be a busy day/week, then having some of these things ready as you go into your week will help you tremendously. It will reduce the chance of you going through a drive thru, or picking up something that may not be all that good for you.

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Today I thought I would share with you some easy meal prep ideas to help you better prepare for you day/week ahead. When it comes to meal prep, a lot of people think you have to spend hours on hours in the kitchen over the weekend..but you can actually achieve this in a reasonable amount of time.

It’s not always big recipes either. Simple things like chopping veggies, fruits, boiling eggs (or the egg muffins below), and just baking a lean meat, like chicken, can save you tons of time throughout your week.

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Yesterday I baked several chicken breasts in the oven with minimal seasoning(salt + pepper) so it will be prepared for this week. I have a decent bit of back and forth in my schedule this week, and most evenings around dinner time I will be training, so having this prepared will be wonderful when I come in for dinner.

Even if you will have time to cook dinner, you can have something like this ready for your recipe to save you a few extra minutes!

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Something else I like to do every now and then are boil eggs. I have to be in the mood for a plain boiled egg, but I decided to make them this week so it’ll be a quick snack, easy breakfast, or just ready to throw on a salad!

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For my veggies I steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes.

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There are a few different ways you can steam: microwave, stove top, a steamer, or these (above) handy creations…steamer bags. They are harder and harder to find these days apparently, and the bags I have are leftover from a while ago, so if you ever run across these, grab some! They are perfect if you are short on time during the week. 3 minutes to get this broccoli steamed for the next few days!

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(I scooped some off before I remembered to take a pic. I had thin pan covered!)

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things ever, and I honestly think roasted sweet potatoes are my favorite…next to sweet potato fries of course! 🙂

I chopped these up, sprinkled them with cinnamon, and baked about 15-20 minutes at 350.

I didn’t chop up my carrots as planned, but I will do that today when I chop some for my salad. The good thing about some of this prep was that I was able to have more than one thing going at a time. My broccoli was steaming while I was getting ready to put the sweet potatoes in the oven, and all the while I had my eggs boiling. Simple things like this will not take up your whole afternoon, and will help you to be better prepared for the week to come!

Questions:

-What’s your favorite thing to prepare for the week?

-Do you have any meal prep tips/ideas that work well for you?

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Things I’m Loving Friday #1

Welcome to the first of many “Things I’m Loving Friday” posts!

Every Friday I will do one of these posts and feature things I’m loving as of lately: food, recipes, products, fitness things, etc., and I will post the link to where the items can be found.

So, drum roll please……………………………………

Things I’m Loving Friday #1

1. Goodness Knows Bars

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These little gems were found by my Dad. I had seen commercials for them and heard they were good, but never came across them to try. They are 4 little squares already pieced out for you (instead of a full granola bar that will sometimes be crumbly) and comes in a number of flavors…all which involve chocolate. So far I have tried the blueberry, a couple apple, and the cranberry. The cranberry + blueberry are my favorite! You can find these in most convenient stores or a CVS or Walgreens I’m sure, but you can also find them HERE. The price may change depending on the flavor you choose.

2. Crunchy Rice Rollers

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I am obsessed with rice cakes, so when I first tried these crunchy rice rolls a while back, I fell in love! They are a sweeter version of a plain rice cake. I love eating them plain, or with a little peanut butter on top. These came from BOXED, but I have also found these at Costco!

3.Warm Oatmeal with Coffee

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There’s something about a warm bowl of oatmeal with coffee in the mornings, especially as we slowly start to get into cooler mornings. I usually just get the quick oats either from Sprouts, Target, or Walmart!

4. Fiber One Brownies

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I normally don’t eat sweets, but I do crave them like a lot of other people. If I just HAVE to have something to curb that sweet tooth, these brownies/bars from Fiber One do the trick! They come in all kinds of flavors: brownie, chocolate chip, lemon, cinnamon, and they even have cheesecake!

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Sometimes I will put a little peanut butter on top for something different. But these are definitely good for an afternoon sweet tooth…and with a cup of coffee! You can find these in just about any store: Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, etc.

5. Pumpkin Spice + Everything Nice

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Tis the season for all things pumpkin! You can call me your basic white girl because I LOVE pumpkin. The towel above was made by my best friend and Matron of Honor, Staci Thompson. I am in love with it!!

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Target literally will have the best random finds when it comes to the pumpkin flavored things. These pumpkin spice pretzels are the bomb!!

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And finally, my recent delicious pumpkin find: Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Coffee Syrup! 😀 I found this at World Market. I had it this morning in my coffee with some almond milk and I was in coffee/pumpkin heaven! You can find it in stores, or online HERE.

6. This Week’s Favorite Workout Moves

This week was full of some good total body/ HIIT workouts, but the two moves below (Deadlift + Row, Burpee) were my favorites!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and that it’s full of good food, friends, family, and sunshine!

😀

Silent HIIT workout (no jumping)

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

The last few days I’ve been dealing with the slightly sore throat which turned into the stuffy/runny nose and coughing/congestion. Yesterday had been the worst, but by 6pm (I’m writing this at 6:30pm) I was starting to feel better: less head pressure, able to breathe more from my nose, etc.

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Something that is SO important when you are sick or feeling under the weather is to be sure you drink plenty of FLUIDS…specifically water. I was drinking on it just about all day and still never felt like my thirst was satisfied.

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The other thing is to be sure you eat something nutrient dense. I didn’t take many food pics yesterday, but I started my day with a bowl of figs and banana slices, and pictured above was my lunch: romaine lettuce topped with chicken and orange pieces (for my Vitamin C)

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And who doesn’t want some kind of “treat” when they’re sick? I decided to eat some of this Arctic Zero Maple Vanilla ice cream. At 150 calories per PINT, it’s a treat I don’t feel guilty eating.

By early evening, I had to move my body in some sway. I can’t stand sitting/laying around all day. Sure, I like having lazy days and relaxing days where I don’t do much, but I had stuff I wanted to get done and feeling the way that I did…it was just not happening.

I opted for creating a silent/quiet HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that would take me around 20-30 minutes to complete. Now that I am a top floor apartment, I knew I had to avoid jumping. Plus, I just wasn’t in the mood for plyometrics -_-

I created this workout and completed it right around 20 minutes…and I was left sweating!

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I used furniture sliders for my mountain climbers, but these can be done quietly without the sliders, or if you want, you can sub this move out with another ab move like crunches or plank hold.

For those who are beginners, you can stick to only 2 rounds of circuit #2, or lower your time to 40-45 seconds….even 30 seconds if need be. Adjust it to your fitness level and do YOU. 😀

I finished off the night with some steak tips Matt cooked, on top of a bed of spinach, along with some cooked potatoes and onions.

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I went to bed fairly early after that. I had napped on and off a couple times during the day and was still tired early. Oh well…today is much better.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Workout Anxiety

Happy Saturday, everyone!

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Getting my morning started early with coffee in my new mug my best friend made me. This describes me to a T lately. “Stressed, Blessed, + Pumpkin obsessed!”

Today I want to talk to you briefly on Workout Anxiety.

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Over my years of running/fitness, I have experienced some ups and downs, but one thing remains: I love working out and being active!

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I don’t run as far and as often as I did in college, but I still run a few times a week at least, and I run however long my body feels like running.

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Something I personally have struggled with, but am getting better with, is this workout anxiety. This is when you get so anxious and uneasy during your day when you either haven’t worked out yet (but want to), or you see you won’t be able to.

We all live busy lives in today’s world, and everybody’s lives look different on a daily basis: kids, school, work, etc., and sometimes we just don’t have time to get a workout, or much of one, in.

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Over the last year I have been working on trying to listen to my body more when it comes to fitness. If I have a very busy, stressful, or just tiring day, have little time for a workout, or am just not feeling it? I won’t do a workout…or if anything I will do some ab exercises/stretching.

On days where I have just a short amount of  time, I will get in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout so I can get a quick one in, but a sweaty and challenging one! This can be doing sprints, bodyweight moves, or with weights.

Here is an example of a HIIT workout:

–Set a timer for 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest–

**Do these 5 moves 3 times through, each exercise at 30 seconds**

-Jump Squats (squats for beginner)

Pushsups

-Mountain Climbers

Tricep Dips (off chair or bench)

-Burpees (Jumping Jacks for beginners)

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Are bodies are capable of doing awesome things, but we can’t push them too much. If you have a super busy day with no time for your normal workout routine, it just may be a good thing for your body to rest that day from working out. It doesn’t mean you sit around all day and do nothing. You may have errands to run all day, activities with your kids, or maybe you work outdoors. No matter the situation, if you are moving your body throughout the day, you don’t have to fit in an intense or long workout…especially if it’s one you are going to dread!

Do what feels right for you and your body, enjoy the exercise you do, and don’t sweat if you miss a workout! Anxiety over working out can build and cause issues, but listening and taking care of your body is more important to do in the long run.

Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities! 😀

Labor Day Happenings + New Site

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I hope your Labor Day was full of good fun, good food, and also relaxation!

As you can see, this is a new site for blog posts. Before I get into my Labor Day happenings, I wanted to explain this real quick.

Since I am going through a Health Coaching Certification, I thought about having a separate blog site from my health coaching site. I love blogging too much, and have really been wanting to focus more on it, that I didn’t want to have to keep up with 2 websites. So, I decided to go with a name that will not only go with my health coaching, but a name that would fit my healthy living blog. 🙂

If you are ever interested in health coaching by yours truly, you can contact me by way of email, Facebook, and/or by clicking on the “Health Coach Services” tab at the top of the website.

Now, on to Labor Day recap!

Monday morning started off with a wake up of around 6am. I have had a hard time getting good, restful sleep since moving into the new apartment, so I told myself Sunday I would take one of Matt’s melatonin, set no alarm, and sleep until I got up naturally….which was 6am. But hey, it was still between 8 and 9 hours of good quality sleep, so I’m not complaining!

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I decided to have my coffee and do my morning devotion out on the balcony. We’ve been having nice, cooler mornings lately, and with the view I have (mostly trees, but I like it!) I couldn’t give it up.

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For breakfast, I had a Blueberry Quest bar and an unpictured banana.

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I knew I had good food coming for lunch time!

In between, I just did some picking up and started putting up fall decorations, because it is now September and that is close enough for me to start decorating! I’ll share my decor soon! 🙂

Matt drove us over to my Granny’s for lunch, and we took the doors off since it was such a nice day.

(These pics sum us up pretty well!)

Lunch was delicious ribs, green beans from the garden, and sweet potatoes (for me)!

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Granny made potato salad, but she also had sweet potatoes, so I went with those.

After some down time (aka Matt napping), we headed to the super nice fitness center at the new apartment!

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Matt laid out by the pool to get some sun while I did a 5k run on the treadmills.

After my run my eating was very random. I ended up snacking on some rice cakes and hummus (which I didn’t get a picture of) while watching more of the US Open, and then I got in a baking mood!

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I was in the mood for baking with apples, and I had about 4-5 that I wanted to use for something. I decided on this healthier version of an apple crisp!

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This actually turned out really good! I will be posting the recipe for this on Thursday!

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Basically, the other part of my dinner, besides nibbling on apples and almonds while baking this recipe, was a bowl of the apple crisp. I am so happy how it turned out, and in the process it made the apartment smell SO good!

I hit the hay shortly after 9.

Questions for you:

What fall inspired recipes are you wanting to try this year?

Do you have a favorite fall dish you make every year?

Do you prefer baking with apples, pumpkin, squash, etc.?