A Few of My Favorite Shake Recipes

I’ve been drinking my superfood shake for almost a year now, and I love it!  It makes a quick breakfast and/or workout recovery drink, it gives me energy, it helps my mood, and it just overall makes me feel GREAT!  Since it’s part of my daily routine, I’ve been rather boring with the recipes I make.  I generally find something that tastes good to me and stick to it–if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?  With that being said, sometimes it’s nice to have some options.  Here are just a few of my favorite recipes for my daily superfood shake!

Chocolate Covered PB Banana

1 scoop chocolate Shakeology (vegan or regular)

4-6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Handful of ice

1-2 tsp all natural nut butter (peanut, almond, etc)

1 banana

8-10 oz water (I like my shakes a little thinner; if you prefer thicker texture, lessen or omit the water)

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender.  Enjoy!

 

Tropical Chocolate

1 scoop chocolate Shakeology (vegan or regular)

4-6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 tbsp (1 orange 21 Day Fix container) unsweetened coconut flakes

1 banana

Handful of ice

8-10 oz water

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender.  Enjoy!

 

Berries and Cream

1 scoop vanilla Shakeology

1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc)

4-6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

8-10 oz water

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender.  Enjoy!

 

Cinnamon Roll (from Pinterest)

1 scoop vanilla Shakeology

2 tsp almond butter or peanut butter

1 tsp cinnamon

4-6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Handful of ice

8-10 oz water

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender.  Enjoy!

 

Honey Nutty Cafe Latte (from the Beachbody Blog)

1 scoop Cafe Latte Shakeology

4-6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Handful of ice

1 banana

1 tbsp local raw honey

1-2 tsp nut butter

8-10 oz water

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender.  Enjoy!

 

Coconut Cafe Latte Mocha

1 scoop Cafe Latte Shakeology

4-6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 tbsp (1 orange 21 Day Fix container) unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

8-10 oz water.

Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Meal Plan 1.23-1.30

Well, this week was Snowpocalypse 2016.  We had Monday off for the holiday, went to school Tuesday, and then snow days the rest of the week!  I always love an unexpected day at home (especially when no one is sick!!!!), but I always have the fact that I have to make those days up somewhere in the back of my mind.  But we had a great time and I’m thankful for the time home with my boys.

Since my knee is hurt, I’ve really been focusing on my nutrition this week.  If I want to continue to see results without the fitness piece, I have to have my nutrition in check every day.  That doesn’t mean I can’t have cheat meals, but it does mean that my relaxed approach of “an extra carb here, some chocolate chips there” isn’t going to get me to my goals.  It is completely possible to lose weight while you are injured/can’t work out, but you have to be committed to you nutrition.

Here is my meal plan for this week (apparently this is the week of Fixate, so there are limited recipes!  You can get your own copy here):

Saturday: taking my own food to a birthday party for my father-in-law–yes, I’m that person.  Grilled chicken fajita bowl with roasted garlic.  Yum!

Sunday: Southwest Chicken Panini

Monday: Fixate Mexican Chicken Soup

Tuesday: Fixate Chicken Parmesan

Wednesday: Quinoa Enchilada Bake with lean ground beef

Thursday: Fixate Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Little Man’s birthday!  We are having smoked pork, mac and cheese bites, veggie tray, green beans, skinny taco dip, and vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.  I’ll be sharing these recipes in a later post!

For breakfast, I’ll be using up my pantry supply of oatmeal.  I will probably do some coconut flakes and cinnamon and keep it simple.  My new superfood flavor of Cafe Latte is delicious with a tsp almond butter, one banana, a tablespoon honey, and almond milk with ice, so I will be drinking that in the mornings.

Lunches will be dinner leftovers.  I am feeling excited about my food this week after being stuck in a rut!  I’m excited to share some “recipe makeovers” with you to share some tips and tricks for how I make recipes more nutritious and make them work for my eating plan.

I’m still taking rest time for my knee, so no fitness schedule this week.  I’m bummed and missing my workouts, but I’m looking forward to being healed so I can get back at it without worrying about making permanent damage.  I will probably do some yoga and pilates, and maybe some upper body this week if I’m feeling good with my knee!

What does your week look like?

Recipe Makeover–Broccoli Pesto Pasta

I used to make this Broccoli Pesto Pasta all the time before my son was born, and it somehow just fell off of my radar as I’ve searched for new recipes to make each week.  I recently rediscovered it and wanted to make it both kid-friendly and eating plan-friendly. Luckily, the original recipe is amazing and I really didn’t have much work to do!

If you have picky little ones that probably won’t eat pasta covered in green, it would be really easy to cook some frozen broccoli, puree it in the blender or food processor, and add it to your favorite tomato sauce.  You are still give some veggies to your kids, but masking it a little more covertly in the red sauce.

If you are really limiting carbs or want to make sure it’s gluten free, you can use spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini “zoodles” instead of pasta.

I stuck with most of the original recipe, but did make a few changes to fit my needs–a little more nutritious and a little quicker for busy moms!  For the grilled chicken I used frozen chopped grilled chicken that you can reheat in the microwave instead of cooking my own–much faster.

Below is the recipe I ended up with!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta (adapted from Annie’s Eats)

1 lb whole wheat penne pasta

1 small white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp coconut oil

1 lb bag frozen broccoli, steam-in-bag variety

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Up to 1/2 cup low fat plain greek yogurt (1%-2% fat)

1 lb grilled chicken, shredded or chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

Black pepper to taste

 

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions.  Once cooked, reserve 1.5 cups of pasta water and set aside.  Drain pasta and set aside.  Cook frozen broccoli according to package directions and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat.  Add chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes.  Add minced garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently as to not burn the garlic.

Transfer onion mixture to a large blender or food processor.  Add cooked broccoli.  Pulse until mixture is finely chopped.  Add in greek yogurt one or two tablespoons at a time, pulsing until fully incorporated and mixture is creamy. If necessary, add in reserved pasta water (1/2 cup at a time) until sauce reaches desired consistency. (Don’t add the water all at once–if you make it too watery there is no going back!)

Transfer cooked pasta back into the pot or into a serving bowl.  Add chicken, broccoli pesto, and black pepper to taste and mix to combine.

 

Serves 4 adults, or 2 with leftovers for lunch!

 

 

Dealing with Injuries

The past several months of my health and fitness journey have been…really frustrating.  I’ve started a round of 21 Day Fix 4 or 5 times, only to be thwarted by an illness ever. single. time.  Since July, I have had food poisoning, a cold, bronchitis, double pink eye, Hand Foot and Mouth, the stomach bug, another cold, some weird virus thing that gave me a fever for a day.  It was really really discouraging and frustrating to constantly be interrupted during my programs like that. I was sidelined every single round, and it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with my progress.

After I got The Master’s Hammer and Chisel program for Christmas, I was so excited to start it.  I had never done a 60-day program before, and I was ready to switch up my routine after a year of running and 21DF.  I was ready to start the new year with a new program and get it done.  I wanted to do the program full out for 60 days and show people what kind of awesome results you could get in 8 weeks!

After the first week, I was really happy with what I saw.  I saw more definition in my abs and had lost almost an inch in my waist.  I knew that the next 7 weeks were going to blow people away with my results!

  
And then I got injured.  My knee was feeling kind of weird during certain moves, but I pressed on because I’m stubborn.  By the end of week 3, I was in legit pain.  My left knee was hurting when it was bent at all–squats, lunges, leaning over to pick up my son–and there was some kind of weird movement in my joint or my muscle; I’m not exactly sure what it is, but something is moving side to side instead of up and down, if that makes sense.  You can put your hand on the side of my knee and feel that something is moving not quite right when I bend down.

I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I am by this.  I want to believe that I can just ignore it and have it disappear, but some loving people in my life have reminded me that that’s stupid and could lead to a really serious injury that could sideline me for a much longer time period and in a much more serious way.

So for now, I will be wearing a super sexy brace and resting my knee completely.  Since I wasn’t athletic AT ALL growing up (like, not even a little bit), I have no real experience with injuries.  My plan right now is to rest my leg for a week, but I want to still get some workouts in, so I will probably do some Pilates, yoga, and upper body.  If there aren’t any improvements, then I will call to see the doctor to see what’s going on.

  
There are a few reasons why this is so frustrating to me: one, it’s just another event out of my control that is preventing me from reaching my goals.  Getting sick so many times this year is a result of a high amount of stress in my life, which I’m working on, but injury is really kicking me when I’m down.  I can work out the frustration of a sickness, but to feel like I can’t work out at all with an injury really sucks.

Second, I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and winter is really hard for me with my depression.  Eating clean and Shakeology help with that, but exercise is a huge part part of my coping mechanism. I’m really nervous to not have that as much and I’m worried about my depression symptoms flaring up as the weather decides it is truly winter and I can’t be outside as much.

Third, I like food.  That’s no secret.  Scaling back on workouts means that not only can I not eat as much, but that I can’t really have cheat meals.  I mean, I know I CAN have cheat meals, but I suddenly feel a lot of pressure to have a perfect diet to make up for the lack of exercise.  I want to still see results, and I know clean eating can make that happen, but I’m also a little bit of a perfectionist; I want to show people the amazing things that clean eating can do for you, but I’m also a real person that likes chocolate chips in my oatmeal.  I’m having a little mental crisis thinking about balancing getting the results I want and not being too hard on myself.

In an effort to stay true to the title of this post, I want to leave you with three tips for dealing with an injury:

  1. Don’t be stubborn.  If something feels off or painful, don’t just push through it.  Give yourself rest, or schedule a visit to the doctor.  Or ask your coworker to feel your leg while you do lunges in the hallway between classes (thanks again, Lauren!).  Figure out what is going on sooner rather than later.
  2. Tighten up your eating.  Your goals don’t really care if you’re hurt.  #toughlove.  Your nutrition is a HUGE part of seeing results, whether you’re working out or not.  You can’t make up for a bad diet with working out, but you can make up for not working out with a super clean diet!
  3. Rest.  Don’t work out.  If you are in pain and have an injury, do not work out until you have been cleared by a medical professional.  And if you yourself are a medical professional, get cleared by someone else.  When you have goals you want to reach, it is so easy to downplay what’s really going on for the sake of continuing on toward your goals.  Don’t make it sound better than it is, and don’t start back too soon.

So that’s my reality right now.  Hopefully I will start to feel more normal in a few more days, or at least be able to get to the doctor soon to get some definitive answers.

I’ll keep you posted!

Meal Plan 1.16-1.23

I have been in a food rut lately.  I’m all about simplicity, but I’m a little bored with what I’ve been eating lately.  I have been avoiding some of our favorite dinner recipes because they aren’t lean and clean for my current eating plan, but I want to focus on reworking those favorite recipes to be healthier so I can share them here!

Here is my plan for this week:

Breakfasts: I’m going to try out some overnight oats this week for breakfast!  Quick and can be customized for whatever sounds good to me!

Lunch: Leftovers from dinners

Dinners

Saturday–Lean Beef Burgers with green beans and broccoli

Sunday: Baked Salmon with veggies

Monday: Garlic Butter Chicken with Caramelized Onions

Tuesday: Steak Fajitas with roasted garlic spread

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Friday: Southwest Chicken Paninis

Saturday: Leftovers or out for birthdays

 

My fitness plan is still to follow The Master’s Hammer and Chisel calendar.  I’m starting Week 4 on Monday!  I’m excited to zero in on my nutrition and see my results halfway through the program!

What does your week look like?

Busy Mom Lunch Ideas

I’m officially one full year into my health and fitness lifestyle change.  I have come so far!  I have a long way to go, too, but I am so much healthier and happier now than I was a year ago.  I am a better wife and mom, and I feel better about myself.  It’s awesome!

One thing that hasn’t changed over the past year, though, is that I’m a busy mom.  I work full time as a teacher, which makes eating healthy difficult at times, especially for lunch.  I only get 20 minutes to eat every day, so keeping it simple is key.  Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the past year to have a healthy lunch that is fast, simple, and tasty:

  1. Utilize your leftovers.  This is the number one tip I have.  You’re already cooking dinner, so plan to have some leftovers and save yourself the time and cost of making a separate meal if you can.  If you’re eating healthy as a lifestyle, there is no reason your dinners shouldn’t be lean and clean, so use those leftovers for your lunch!  Portion it all out the night before so you can just grab and go in the morning.
  2. Incorporate at least one veggie serving.  If you are only eating protein and carbs at lunch, as you might with a sandwich, you are missing out on prime time to get your greens in!  Slice up some bell pepper, throw some baby carrots in a baggie, or eat last night’s green beans–however you like it, make veggies a part of your lunch.
  3. If you’re making a separate lunch as opposed to using leftovers, make it a one pot meal–saves you space and time so you can eat all your food quickly if you need to! Some of my go-to lunches include
    • Burrito bowls–ground turkey with taco seasonings (homemade and salt/sugar free!), chopped onion/tomato/green lettuce, avocado, Greek yogurt
    • Chili or soups with lots of chopped veggies and a lean protein
    • Quinoa salads–cooked quinoa with chopped tomato, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, banana peppers, and balsamic vinegar.  This is a great one because you can eat it cold, so you don’t have to worry about heating it up!
    • Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
    • Basically any combination of lean protein, veggies, and a healthy carb works!  Use seasonings and flavors that you love to mix it up!

These are just a few tips that have helped me maintain my healthy lifestyle over the past year–what is YOUR favorite healthy lunch?

Meal Plan and Fitness Schedule 11.11-11.17

Going back to school after Christmas break is crazy.  It’s like the very beginning of the school year all over again, both in terms of students not being used to school and me not being used to it, either.  And my birthday is always the week we go back, so it’s a busy week no matter what.  I always feel really frazzled, and I’m still struggling to feel in a groove and in my routine.

Because of all of that, I find myself needing to be really flexible with my eating plan.  I make a meal plan, but I have to have flexibility in my mind to move meals around and maybe switch out one snack for another, but that often leads to eating things that aren’t on my plan at all.  *Says the lady eating the cookie while she types.*  Just keeping it real.

So, I’m struggling with not being so rigid with my meal plan that it adds more stress to my life, and not being so flexible that it creates opportunities to not eat for my goals.  It’s a daily struggle!  I’m glad I have my fitness community to help motivate and encourage me.

Here are the meals I’m planning for the week (notice how I am not putting days to the meals!)

Chili (no recipe, just throwing things together)

Chipotle Lean Beef Burgers with veggies (literally mixing minced chipotle pepper into beef and forming into patties)

Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

BBQ Chicken

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes

 

For breakfast, I’m alternating between steel cut oatmeal with coconut flakes and sausage with onions and peppers sauteed together.  I will continue to have my daily superfoods with peanut butter and banana!

For snacks, I have cottage cheese, grilled chicken, and veggies and hummus.  My lunches will be leftover dinners.  Yum!

 

For my fitness schedule, I’m beginning week 3 of The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.  I am loving the program so far!  It is definitely more intense than 21 Day Fix, my program of choice for the past year, but I was ready to mix it up and step it up.  I lost almost an inch in my waist the first week!  Pretty exciting stuff.  I am excited to do my 30 day measurements in a couple of weeks!

Monday: Total Body Hammer

Tuesday: Chisel Agility

Wednesday: Max Hammer Strength with 10 Min Abs Hammer

Thursday: Rest day!

Friday: Total Body Chisel with 10 Min Abs Chisel

Saturday: Hammer Plyometrics

Sunday: Iso Strength Chisel

 

I am looking forward to a great week with my nutrition and fitness!  What does your week look like?