The Magic Switch

I’ve been talking with several people this week about being ready to make a change.  Whether you want to lose weight, or eat healthier, or read more, or watch less TV, or whatever your self-improvement goal is, so many of us spend a lot of time thinking about it, talking about it, planning for it, and wishing for it, but it takes us a really long time to actually put any kind of action into making it happen.  Why is that?

I was talking to a friend the other day about how she wants to lose weight, but she just isn’t ready yet.  I so get that.  That was totally me.  I knew I wasn’t happy, and I knew I wanted to change, but I also knew that I wasn’t ready.  Some people would say to fake it til you make it and go through the motions anyway, but I think that would probably have just set me up for failure.  If I had lost any weight before January 2015, I would have gained it back and lost the little motivation I had.  There is definitely something to be said for waiting to act until that switch flips in your head.

But how does that switch flip?  How did I go from not ready to ready?  How does that happen?

I’ve been really reflecting on this, and then I went to the Louisville Super Sunday event through Beachbody this weekend and heard someone else say it.

Change happens when you want to change more than you want to stay the same.

Read that again.

Change happens when you want to change more than you want to stay the same.

That is the switch, folks.  Right there.  When your desire to stay the same is more than the desire to change, you’re “not ready.”  You would rather keep the easy route–the habits you’re used to–than go through the effort to change.  I’m not knocking that or shaming anyone here–there are some very valid fears and stresses that stop us from wanting to change.  I get it.  I lived it.  It’s all part of our journey.

But the switch?  The mental shift where you suddenly are ready for change?

You’ve just started wanting change more.  That’s where the magic happens.

Where are you today?  What do you want more–change, or the status quo?

When you’re ready for the change, I’m ready to help you.  Contact me when your switch gets flipped.

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Meal Plan July 25-31

This week’s meal plan is not as clean as I would like. We are moving out of our house in Thursday, so we need to clean out our pantry, freezer and fridge since we aren’t moving into the new house immediately.

I surveyed the food and ingredients we need to eat up and came up with this meal plan.

Sat: leftover Shrimp Thai Stir Fry and White Fish Tacos with broccoli slaw

Sun: chicken stir fry with leftover rotisserie chicken and frozen bags onion/pepper blends

Mon: homemade pizza with crumbled bacon topping

Tues: Chicken Pesto Meatballs with pizza sauce

Wed: pasta/zoodles with meat sauce and pesto

Thurs/Fri–out!

I’m looking forward to moving into our new home and getting back into a routine with clean cooking. Thanks for being patient with my meal plan while we transition!

Healthy Snacks

Let’s face it: three square meals a day just doesn’t work for a lot of people. Especially if you’re active, eating just three times may not be enough fuel to get through the day. Have you ever gone a little longer than you expected between lunch and dinner, and then get SO. HUNGRY. that you were a little lightheaded or cranky? We’ve all been there. Having something to eat in between makes a big difference!

The key is to make sure that you have something healthy that you can eat. When we get really hungry, it makes it easier for us to make unhealthy choices because in moments of true hunger, it doesn’t really matter to us what we eat–we just need to eat! That causes us to hit the convenience store for a candy bar, or the drive thru for a milkshake, or whatever your particular guilty pleasure might be.

So, how can we try to prevent these unhealthy choices? Find some healthy snacks, preferably non-perishable, that you can keep available to you at all times. The key is to think about items that have protein and/or healthy fats; these foods are going to fill you up more and keep your energy up without the crash that sugary foods bring. Here are some of my favorite snacks:

  • Quest protein bars–low in sugar and high in flavor. These are a little more expensive than your average protein bar, but for me it’s worth it so I can count it as only a protein instead of a carb.
  • Raw almonds–unsalted. A handful of almonds provides healthy fat that can satisfy hunger until the next meal time, and the healthy fat is good for your brain! Make sure you either get the 100 calorie packets or pay close attention to the serving size, since these calories add up fast.
  • Trail mix–this has healthy fats, and dried fruit can help with sugar cravings. Dried fruit does have extra sugar, so limit this.
  • Low fat popcorn–bonus points if it’s airpopped!
  • Low fat string cheese–not non-perishable, but good for a quick eat.
  • Low fat cottage cheese–again, perishable, but a good source of some quick protein.
  • Banana and peanut butter–I love those packets of Justin’s nut butters! They are the perfect amount for a banana and make it easy to control the portions.
  • Presliced veggies–jicama, celery, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber all either are available presliced at my grocery, or they are easy to prep once at the beginning of the week for easy snacking. Paired with hummus, you have a healthy veggie with a healthy fat.

Everyone can benefit from keeping healthy snacks available in their purse,  car, desk, or pantry. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

Meal Plan July 18-24

Last week didn’t go quite as planned, so some of these are repeats from last week.

Saturday: Leftovers and crackers (recovering from the stomach virus)

Sunday: Blackened Chicken with roasted broccoli and garlic spinach

Monday: Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers with brussels sprouts and sweet potato

Tuesday: Spicy Thai Shrimp Stir Fry with brown rice

Wednesday: Brown Rice Bake with leftover chicken

Thursday: Pasta/Zoodles with meat sauce

Friday: Leftovers

Breakfasts are going to be a combo of oatmeal, Quest protein bars, and the super green egg cups (I put them in the freezer when I made them last week).

For Little Man, I still have pesto meatballs in the freezer for him.  I don’t have any treats planned as of now–I’m planning on strawberries and grapes as treats for him.

This Week’s Meal Plan (July 11-17)

Breakfasts: Super Green Egg Cups (I’m going to add green onion and use red pepper instead of green)

Lunches: various leftovers and eating out some, but I’m keeping some cans of boneless, skinless sardines (yes, sardines) in the pantry to throw together a salad if I need to.

Dinners

Saturday: Steak Fajitas with black bean salsa on whole wheat tortillas

Sunday: Grilled pork chops with green beans and quinoa bake

Monday: Cilantro Lime Salmon with asparagus and salad

Tuesday: Blackened Chicken with Avocado Cream Sauce and Roasted Broccoli

Wednesday: Fish tacos with broccoli slaw and brussels sprouts

Thursday: Bunless Burgers with garlic spinach and green beans

Friday: Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers with roasted broccoli

For the Little Man: I’m making these Chicken Pesto Meatballs to keep in the freezer for quick snacks or lunch entrees.  I’ll be baking these blueberry oatmeal cookies for a treat, as well!

Derby City Anniversary: Cincinnati Weekend

The Bread Man and I got married on the 4th of July at his request.  I think he just really liked the idea of it at the time, but it’s worked out nicely for us because no matter what, he always gets a day off of work when we can celebrate.  It’s become our tradition to go out of town for at least a weekend, and this year was no exception.

Since we just got back from Myrtle Beach, we didn’t want to travel too far, so Bread Man planned a relaxing weekend in Cincinnati to go to the Soak City water park at King’s Island.  We went to Holiday World for our first anniversary, so it was a nice throwback anniversary event.

We left a little later in the afternoon and planned on just going to dinner and checking out some big grocery store Bread Man had been to before and thought I would enjoy as a foodie.  We found a local dinner place called Troy’s Cafe and it was AMAZING.  They advertise that they are a casual place with a professional chef, and you could tell that the food was created with care and expertise.  I had their famous fish tacos, and Bread Man had a grilled chicken sandwich.  We both shared their homemade chips with their secret sauce.  It was so good!  If you’re ever in the Mason/Cincinnati area, I highly recommend it.  Good food, nice atmosphere-it was casual, but felt like fine dining.

   
 After dinner we headed to this crazy grocery store–Jungle Jim’s.  If you’ve ever been there before, you understand why this was a special trip!  If you haven’t been there before, you need to figure out a way to get there.  It was great!  There was a regular grocery section when we first walked in, but then we kept going.  This place has everything!  Deli, bakery, seafood counter, international sections–it’s ridiculous.  The international section is split into different nationalities, too, so there is literally something for everyone there.  I even found cans of haggis in the Great Britain section! There was also a whole aisle of chocolate. Oh, yes, these are my people.

   
   
The next day, we went to Soak City.  We really enjoyed it!  I had been there once before, but it was Bread Man’s first time.  We had a great time!  We rode all the slides (even the scary ones that make you feel like you’re just falling down), did the wave pool, and Bread Man even rode the surfing simulator.  Unfortunately there are no pics of that–it was pretty hilarious.  Obviously, it’s hard to be successful, and he gave two valiant efforts.  While he was in line for his second try, he was asking the middle schoolers in front of him for some tips, but just couldn’t fight the current.  I did not attempt it because I’m a wuss!  The slides were about as adventurous as I could get.

After the day at the water park, we headed to a place called Pappadeaux.  Neither of us had ever heard of it, and we were really impressed.  The service was good and the food was great.  We shared fried alligator for an appetizer and it was phenomenal.  I had never had alligator before, and honestly I felt a little weird eating it, but it was delicious.

  
I had grilled scallops and shrimp with sauteed spinach and a mushroom risotto–oh. my. word.  It was amazing!  The risotto was creamy and well-seasoned, and there were bits of mushroom that added so much more flavor than I expected.  The spinach was great, too, which surprised me because I generally don’t like cooked greens–too bitter for me.  I’m sure the spinach was cooked with butter or wine or something unhealthy, but I chose to believe it was healthy.

  
Bread Man got pan-fried fish with green beans and a cheddar risotto cake.  He loved it all, too.  I had a bite of his risotto cake, and it was so rich and so good. It was a dish that you have a hard time finishing because of the richness, but that you really want to finish because it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever had.

  
I definitely recommend Pappadeaux, but you have to know going in that you’re going to spend a lot more money than a typical night out.  The entrees were all priced around $22 minimum, which is more than I am comfortable with, but, hey, it was a special occasion.

What a great, relaxing weekend with my husband of 6 years.  It’s been a wild ride, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!

  

Toddler Eats: Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Feeding a toddler is hard.  It’s so easy to fall into the rut of Cheerios and Goldfish crackers, but I am trying to be really conscious about what I feed my Little Man.  I’ve noticed that he is obsessed with carbs.  OBSESSED.  If he sees something carby, it’s all over.  Whatever else you have for him will be ignored.  Because of this, sometimes he doesn’t get as much protein or veggies as I want him to have. Even when I offer the protein first, it’s very hit and miss.

Look how bored he is with his dried fruit. Oh, geez. We are in for it in a few years!

Look how bored he is with his dried fruit. Oh, geez. We are in for it in a few years!

I needed something that was easy for me to make, easy for him to eat, tasty, and nutritious.  When I found this pin on Pinterest, I knew it would be great!  Little Man loved these meatballs and they were so easy to put together.

Not the greatest picture, but you can see the colorful veggies and pesto! So yummy.

Not the greatest picture, but you can see the colorful veggies and pesto! So yummy.

A couple of notes: I misread the original recipe and grated all the veggies, including the red pepper.  I discovered that grating red pepper results in a pile of mush.  Mince the pepper with a knife and grate the other veggies.  It works so much better! I’ve also made these with lean ground turkey and it was just as tasty.

Enjoy!

Chicken Pesto Meatballs

**slightly adapted from Super Healthy Kids

1 lb ground chicken or turkey

1 zucchini, ends cut off and grated

1 large carrot or 4 baby carrots, peeled and grated (**if you use baby carrots, no need to peel)

1/2 red bell pepper, minced

3 tbsp prepared pesto

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Put the grated and minced veggies in a small colander over the sink.  With a few clean paper towels, cover and press veggies to release excess water.

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well combined (this is best done with clean hands, but can be done with a large spoon as well).

Roll meat mixture into a ball, one tablespoon at a time, and place rolled balls onto cookie sheet.

Bake meatballs for about 10-12 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

Meatballs should be served warm, and keep well in the freezer.

This recipe yields around 20 meatballs.