Tag Archives: healthy-living

Own Your Shit

own-your-shit

The secret to success is in your daily routine. You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.

As I’ve said before, these changes don’t have to huge. They can be small, they can seem simple, but they have to happen and you have to build upon them in order to create that big change in your life.

-> Seriously, if you struggle in this area I highly recommend a book called The Compound Effect or The Slight Edge. Go read one of them!

This week I challenge you to pick one thing that you need to change and do it!

If you fail at getting your workouts done when you’re supposed to, I want you to set the alarm earlier and get it done before you do anything else for the day. Getting it done first will ensure that NOTHING can come up and keep you from reaching that goal.

-> Now if you hit snooze 5 times and sabotage yourself, that’s on you and you have to face yourself in the mirror and take the blame…you won’t like how that feels, trust me!

Being aware of your habits and the changes you make to them will really help you to reach your goals…actually it’s a big key to this journey.

Own your bullshit.

Do something to change it.

You’ll be happy you did!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, My Ramblings

Stuffed Peppers = Simple Meal Prep

stuffed peppers

Meal prep is one of those things that should really be a non-negotiable when it comes to staying on track with a healthy lifestyle.

When we take the time to make a menu for the week, purchase the groceries that go with it and even pre-make some meals, we make it easier to avoid takeout and the drive-thru.

One of my favorite meal prep items to make are stuffed peppers. They are flavorful, convenient and tend to portion control themselves (as long as you don’t buy the biggest peppers you can find and overstuff the hell out of them.)

These are some stuffed pepper recipes I have shared on here in the past:

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers
Santa fe Style Stuffed Peppers

Sometimes I just keep it super simple and skip the recipes. You can just browned up some ground beef with onion & mushrooms, added some cumin, chili, cayenne, garlic, salt and tomato purée. Stuff it into par boiled pepper halves and topped with cheddar cheese. Bake them up and top with a little salsa and guacamole for a tasty low carb lunch.

Stuffed peppers are so versatile and can easily fit into a low carb lifestyle! For the recipes above that contain rice, just use cauliflower rice instead!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes

Why Are You Waiting?

just go for it
Everyone wants to get into better shape and eat healthier. I see posts all the time about it being a new month…new week…. and what not. But I have a question for you…

Why wait until then?

If being healthier and getting into better shape is something you really want to do, why not start right now?

Why wait for a Monday, or a new month or even a new year…when EVERYONE joins the gym and it’s super crowded? Why not join now and get comfortable with it while it’s empty?

Why wait to start eating healthier?

Do we really need to eat every food offered to use at BBQ’s or parties? Or drink ALL of the alcohol?

Why don’t you start practicing balance with food now? Say no to the things you REALLY don’t enjoy and allow the things you do, but without stuffing yourself to the point of regret.

I was the girl who set the resolution EVERY DAMN YEAR to lose the weight and get my shit together, but I failed EVERY DAMN YEAR because I felt I had to be perfect with my “diet”. Check out Monday’s post Be Stubborn, Yet Flexible for my thoughts on this.

Making the decision to change your habits now can really be a deciding factor for if you stick with them for the long haul.

Being healthy isn’t about deprivation, it’s about balance. It’s about making time to take care of yourself and ensuring it’s priority. Perfection is NOT part of the process…if you think it is, you need to change that mentality now!

There are going to be good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. You’re going to want to give up but you can’t… you have to believe in yourself and know that YOU ARE WORTH IT.

f56eded6d577a58212a154e44047ecc4

Life gets hectic and we get pulled in many directions at once, but we can’t pour from an empty cup! Being a healthy version of yourself shouldn’t have to wait until a new week, new month or even a new year…so why are you really waiting?

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

Celebrate the Small Things

The Secret of Change Quote

You have to keep your mind positive on this journey.

If you only focus on the mistakes you make or how far you have to go, you’ll get discouraged and quit.

(Raise your hand if you’ve been there and done that. – If you don’t raise your hand you’re lying and we both know it!)

When you’re feeling frustrated I want you to make a list of all of the new habits you’ve started or something you did today that the old you would have never done. Once you list is complete, celebrate the fuck out of it.

Examples of what could go on this list:

  • Ordered a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.
  • Only had a few fries or skipped the fries instead of inhaling a large without thinking twice.
  • Boxed up half of an order before eating, while at a restaurant.
  • Woke up early to workout or read some personal development.
  • Did a workout after work instead of laying on the couch watching Netflix.
  • Did a workout even though you really didn’t want to.

You get the point, right?!

These might sound like small things, but those small things will snowball into an avalanche that will change your life!

If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading this blog for awhile, you might be sick of hearing me talk about the small things, but it’s true. Small positive actions compound over time to make drastic change!

Don’t believe me, go read a book called The Compound Effect or The Slight Edge!

You have to keep your mindset positive and if you have a hard time doing that, you may want to take a closer look at the people you surround yourself with.

Those closest to you should be supportive, celebrate your small accomplishments and  remind you of them when you’re feeling down. They should want to see you succeed!

If instead, they are fueling the negative thoughts or peer pressuring you into behavior that won’t get you to your goals, it might be time to look at that relationship a little closer and maybe put some distance into place.

I know no one wants to hear that, and it’s even tougher when it’s a family member, but you have to make yourself a priority and your goals are important!

So what small thing can you do today to help get you closer to your goal? Leave a comment below or let me know via Twitter or Instagram!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

Adventures in Keto

In my last post I mentioned that I started doing Keto and if you’re like me, you’ve heard the term on social media and know it has to do with eating large amounts of fat…but you don’t really know what it’s all about.

I’ve been friends with people who follow a ketogenic diet on social media for quiet some time and I thought they were insane because all they ever posted were chicken wings, crazy amounts of cheese, bacon, steak and butter. Now there is nothing wrong with any of those items…. I’m actually a huge fan of all of them! I just couldn’t wrap my head around how eating those could possibly help you lose weight and be healthier. Then I met a dude who was super passionate about Keto and how it helped him and he explained it all to me. I mean he totally explained it all… like science nerd explanation complete with YouTube videos and books! After falling down the YouTube rabbit hole and taking a shit ton of notes I decided I couldn’t judge these people on Instagram without trying this and the science behind it all actually made a ton of sense to me.

I am not about to attempt to explain it myself. While I’ve read tons and watched a bunch of video AND took notes, I’m too new to actually explain it. So if you want to learn more about ketosis, read this: What is the Keto Diet 

Prefer videos? Check out Thomas DeLauer on YouTube he is easy to understand (and easy on the eyes) and really gets into the science behind the ketogenic diet.

Now as a sugar junkie, carb loving woman, my inner fat girl threw a hissy fit when I decided to give this a try. No pizza, no bread, no sugar….how was I going to survive?! No really…. I was pretty sure I was going to die. (I can be quite dramatic at times.)

But I didn’t. As I type this I am just about a week into it, intermittent fasting and all, and I gotta tell you, I feel awesome! I am never bloated, I don’t get hungry during my fasting (except for that one I baked a cookie cake before I even had my first cup of coffee, lol) and eating a ton of healthy fat is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Yes, I did have some “keto flu” symptoms. I had a headache one day and brain fog another. I also had some bad charlie horses in the middle of night because I need more electrolytes and I had this feeling that I can only really describe as “energy buzzing”  for a short time on days 3 and 4, but all in all it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, having a Keto Guru in my corner helped A LOT in figuring it all out and answering all of my dumb questions when I was too lazy to Google them. (Thanks dude!)

As you know I’m also a total Pinterest junkie so of course I did my “keto homework” and found lots of “fake keto” recipes. What’s fake keto you ask? Well, it’s recipes that are keto friendly but simulate the delicious carb heavy foods that you love! Recipes like the ones below have been my saving grace in all of this because if I can simulate a carb or sweet treat, I’m a happy camper. These Fathead bagels and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fat Bombs have been staples in my diet this week! They are sooooooo good!

Want the recipe? Check out Wholesome Yum’s blog here!

Want the recipe? Check out PaleoMomNoms blog here!

So  stay tuned for more Keto updates from me as well as life saving recipes that I try along the way. If you’ve done Keto before or currently follow a Keto Lifestyle, I’d love to hear your best tips and tricks to making it through the first few weeks!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Health & Fitness

Avocado Bacon Stuffed Turkey Burgers

The temps are slowly rising, the yard is getting cleaned up and we picked up a new propane tank, so that means grill season is coming!

My love for Pinterest is still strong so I’ve been collecting recipes to try and I’m happy to report that this one was a winner! I looked at quit a few of the avocado turkey burger recipes on there and decided to create my own by taking a little from each and the results were moist and delish!

13198657_1089701427762982_7656174619253585860_o

I mixed everything except the avocado together first to ensure that the garlic and onion was distributed evenly, without working the avocado too much.

Be sure the spray your grill with some nonstick spray or wipe down the grill grates with some oil so there is no risk of sticking.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large ripe avocado – cut into chunks or gently mashed
  • cooked, chopped bacon
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add all your ingredients  to a large bowl and gently mix together. If patties seem really moist and won’t form together well for you, add ⅓ cup bread crumbs but they will no longer be Whole30 compliant.
  2. Shape into patties and grill, making sure to cook the turkey meat completely.

These burgers were super moist and full of flavor! They are also paleo friendly and Whole 30 friendly (if you use Whole 30 approved bacon).

We served these up with some sweet potato fries and I served mine over some baby spinach and topped it sriracha ketchup.

For those of you who follow the 21 Day Fix, these could be counted as 1 Red and 1 Blue container. (Counts are for 1 burger only without a bun)

blog sig

1 Comment

Filed under 21 Day Fix, Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes

Oven Fried Chicken {Healthy Comfort Food}

Oven Fried Chicken

Forget greasy fried chicken! This oven fried chicken recipe has all of the juiciness and crunch you’d expect from fried chicken, without the added fat and calories.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup cornflakes, crushed finely
  • 1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces*

* I’m a huge fan of dark meat, so I use boneless skinless chicken thighs. 2 thighs per serving.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, Cajun seasoning, pepper and cayenne pepper together in a medium size bowl. Place buttermilk and corn flake crumbs in 2 separate shallow bowls.
  3. Roll chicken in flour mixture and evenly coat each side. Next dip chicken into buttermilk and then corn flake crumbs.
  4. Place coated chicken on your prepared baking sheet. Spray chicken with a light coating of the cooking spray.
  5. Bake until chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 25 to 30 minutes (there is no need to flip the chicken during baking).
    Makes 4 servings.

For those of you using the 21 Day Fix this is roughly 1 yellow and 1 red.

Once you have your first round of the program under your belt, try not to stress out over your containers. Life should be about balance and making healthier choices to keep yourself headed toward your goals and this recipe does that…even if you don’t have exact container counts.

Anytime you skip the KFC drive-thru, search for a healthier recipe and go to the store to buy the ingredients to make it, you’re on the right track!

What would be your side dish of choice with this chicken? We opted for some zoodles quickly sauteed with garlic.

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under 21 Day Fix, Main Course, Recipes

Shepherd’s Pie {Healthy Comfort Food}

Healthy Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie and comfort food go hand in hand to me. Mashed potatoes, beef, veggies and a creamy sauce….yuuuuum!!

In this version, I have lightened things up a lot. There is no butter, milk, cream or sour cream to be found, but there is still a lot of comforting flavor!

Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

Potato Topping:

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold or Russet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsps Greek yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste

Meat Filling:

  • 1.5 lbs 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas & carrots
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes in a medium pot of salted water until cooked and soft. Drain and mash with chicken broth, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. In a large saute pan brown meat over medium high heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté on medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the flour, frozen vegetables, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Simmer on medium for about 8-10 minutes, until sauce thickens.
  5. Spread the meat filling on the bottom of 9×13 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, then place under the broiler 1 to 2 minutes until the potatoes turn golden. Remove from oven and let it cool 5 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings.

21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme Containers: 1.5 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Green

For those of you following the 21 Day Fix, you can cut back on your yellow container and tack on an extra green by cutting the amount of potatoes and adding mashed cauliflower. The two mix together wonderfully and you keep the great potato flavor without going over on a yellow container.

Want to cut all of the potato? Top with just mashed cauliflower. Not sure how to make mashed cauliflower? Just steam your cauliflower, toss into a food processor with the Greek yogurt and broth and pulse it all together until creamy. (Reserve a little cooking water or add some more broth if it is too thick.)

You can also substitute mashed sweet potato for your topping!

This is a really a forgiving dish and a great way to use up veggies that you may in the fridge.

I hope you are enjoying this Healthy Comfort Food segment. Don’t forget to share YOUR favorite comfort food with me below, so I can try and share a healthy alternative to it.

blog sig

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 21 Day Fix, Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes

Portuguese Kale Soup {Healthy Comfort Food}

Portuguese-Kale-Soup

Fall is the official beginning of comfort food season. The temperatures drop, we dig out the sweaters and there is something about casseroles, soups and baked pastas that just warms our soul as we kick off fall.

This time of year also tends to be the start of weight gain season for many. The sweaters hide the bulge, the leggings have give and stretch along with us as we indulge in these comfort foods and baking season, which isn’t far behind.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring healthy comfort foods that will help you to combat the cold weather weight gain. These hearty meals will satisfy your cravings while keep your waist line in check. PLUS if you’re doing the 21 Day Fix, they will also be plan approved!

There are so many reasons to love this Portuguese-inspired kale and sausage soup. As with many soups, this recipe tastes even better on the second day. For that reason, this soup is great for meal prep. It makes enough for a whole week of lunches or dinners, and freezes well.

Portuguese Kale Soup

Total Time: 48 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 38 min.
Yield: 6 servings, about 1¼ cups each

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. turkey kielbasa sausage, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 medium leeks, chopped, just white and light-green parts
1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, torn (about 4 cups)
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, no added salt
6 cups low-sodium organic chicken (or vegetable) broth
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add kielbasa; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned.
3. Add garlic, leeks, and kale; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.
4. Add kidney beans, tomatoes, broth, and pepper (if desired). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Nutrition-PortugeseKaleSoup

Doesn’t that look and sound delicious?!

Personally, I think the best part about this recipe is that it is meal prep friendly. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I am big on meal planning and meal prep, especially when doing the 21 Day Fix. It truly is the key to staying on plan and avoiding temptation during the week, when things can get hectic.

If you’re new to the 21 Day Fix, be sure to check out my 21 Day Fix Planning tools.

Been thinking about trying 21 Day Fix but have questions? Feel free to contact me with them! I’d be more than happy to help you figure out if it would be a good fix for you….plus it’s on special this month and I have a new accountability group beginning on October 26th!

What’s your favorite comfort food once the temps start cooling down?

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under 21 Day Fix, Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes

Football Snacks to Keep You on Track

Football

Are you ready for some football?!

I know I am!

This month I was going to run a 7 day group focused on football snacks to keep you on track, but I didn’t have any takers for it (insert sad Nikki face here). As a result, I decided to turn my idea into a blog post that might help some football fans who I have not personally connected with on Facebook yet.

(Hint Hint…you can like my Facebook page OR leave a comment below so we can connect!)

Fall equals football season, there is no denying that. Some of us can’t wait for Saturdays, so we can cheer on our favorite college teams, some are die hard NFL fans, some are into both and let’s face it…there are people who don’t care about who’s playing or who wins, they’re just in it for the snacks and the beer. I don’t know many of them, but I hear they do exist.

Personally I have always been into the NFL more (Go Broncos!) but over the last few years, I’ve been watching more Big 10 games and trying to keep all of the college rules and teams straight. I married into a family who takes football very seriously and likes to trash talk, which is really a lot of fun. Getting together with others on a Sunday to talk smack and drink a few beers is a great way to catch up and socialize, but the food that is typically served at these gathering can really screw up your week if you are trying to be healthier.

Below are some links to recipes that I love to make, as well as some that I plan on trying the football season. The goal is to help myself stay on track, while not feeling like an outcast who only eats steamed chicken and broccoli. I hope you give them a try and if YOU have any favorites that I did not list, I would LOVE to hear about them in the comments section below!

Football Appetizers

Healthy Football Appetizers:

Football Main Dish

Healthy Football Main Dishes:

Chili, Pizza and Taco’s just come to mind when I hear football. For you, it might be burgers or sausage subs. When you select your main dishes for game day, just keep a few things in mind:

  1. Keep it lean. (Sub turkey for beef or go 90% or leaner with ground beef. Turkey sausage is also super yummy!)
  2. Keep it hand held or easy to eat. (Sliders are a perfect way to enjoy burgers on game day!)
  3. Keep it simple. (You’ll want to watch the game, not be chained to the kitchen!)

As you can see, I kept things simple and flavorful. Good fun doesn’t have to be fried, full of fat or time consuming to make. These recipes are just the tip of iceberg and I encourage everyone to search Pinterest for more ideas, share some your favorite healthy game day snacks or even share an unhealthy favorite that you might need help cleaning up!

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box by using cauliflower pizza crusts, offering Energy Bites or Cookie Dough Dip as a sweet treat instead of cookies or using mini peppers to make some Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers!

My final tip is something that you already know…… LIMIT EMPTY CALORIES FROM BEER AND ALCOHOL! I know having a beer while watching football makes the experience feel complete, and it’s okay to have one or two. It’s when you begin drinking to excess that you run into problems. As with everything in life, moderation is key!

Have fun with your food this football season and best of luck to your team!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Main Course, Recipes, Snacks & Treats