Weekend Round Up

This past weekend marked the yearly tea party my running buddy and I throw. This year out friends little ones are a bit older so it was much more exciting to cater to the miniatures.

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We picked a princess theme and got prepared to stuff people’s bellies have some tea and spend some time catching up. Seeing how I am still doing my 100 days of digestive clean up the food theme was fresh and detoxifying. The salads and chicken skewers were a hit and as always the mayo free deviled eggs and hummus were a crowd favorite.

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The adults had lots or fun food so I figured it was only fair to make sure the miniatures also had a healthy, organic variety of foods for them to choose from. We put it in a muffin tin so it was little a small buffet for them.

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Lots of chatting, eating and running after little ones made for a busy and fun afternoon. Once the party was over my co-party thrower and I were ready to put our feet up. It was a great afternoon and we were lucky enough to be left with lots of left overs so good prep this week was made super simple, besides having to take care of the protein portion of my meals for the week my veggies are completely taken care of which is a nice change of pace.

I hope you all had a great weekend and I hope you had as much luck with food prep as I did this weekend.

Happy Monday.

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Monday Motivator

Well folks it is Monday once again. I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend and hopefully had some time to get outside sit under the sun and recharge your batteries. Now it is Monday and it is time to refocus (for me at least) get your plan ready and get ready for the week.

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I have recently signed up for a 30 day yoga challenge with my studio and I can’t wait for a the challenge and having the opportunity to be involved in a fun community building activity like this.

Sometimes in order to motivate yourself you need to become a part of a community to pull additional support and energy from other like minded individuals. Personally I feel like I really need this type of motivation to stay on track as the weather starts warming up so I am definitely excited to get started on this adventure. So for this week to keep me on track for my personal goals I am going to take this excitement and run with it.

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I wish you all a great Monday and a great week.

How are you getting yourself motivated this Monday?

Dealing with Discouragement

Discouraged, disheartened, exhausted, at a loss, etc. There are so many ways to describe the feeling of being lost, tired and not sure what your next steps should be. Like workout and eating healthy the motivation for getting the life you want can wane over time. It is in these moments that we have to dig deep and remember what we are doing, why we are doing it, and yes re-assess some of our decisions.

It is great to put all of your energy into something, but if you are putting out a lot of energy into something with little to no return it is good to stop, sit down and re-assess your action plan. Much like losing weight, if you kick your butt in the gym but you are still going home to eat a medium pizza afterwards the likelihood of seeing substantial progress is pretty low. Same with school, you can study your heart out but if you are focusing on the wrong material you aren’t going to get the grades you want to receive. So our life gives us these little checks to make us stop and take stock in what is going on.

20140501-055010.jpgSo it was after a recently humbling moment that I had to actively remind myself of a couple of things:

1. Was I actually giving it my all or were there aspects of my effort that weren’t 100%?

2.  If I was giving it my absolute all I had to now let go of the outcome and allow what was meant to happen to happen.

After sitting down and asking myself question #1 I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t giving it 100% I was maybe giving it 70-80% which is only enough to be kind of successful at something and definitely not enough effort to get me what I want. Then I had to remind myself that working myself up about what might or might not happen is not serving me, nor is it serving the outcome.  So it is best to let go of the stress I cause myself for wanting perfection and instant success and instead place my effort and energy into working towards the best possible outcome.

So my new self challenge will be to be sure I am putting all the effort I am able to into my success and to releasing myself from the worry and stress of the outcome and trusting that all the effort I have placed in my projects, life, and work will be compatible with the outcome.

Is this type of stressing something you do?  Does your desire to have a perfect outcome sometimes cloud your assessment of the actual amount of effort you have put into something?  How do you keep your head on straight during all of this?

Happy Thursday!

 

Food Friday – Freezer Meals

I have talked a load about meal prep in the past so I don’t want to get into that today. I do however want to give some food making time saving ideas.

Recently I have gone back to school and started teaching yoga, all while keeping my day job and yup meal prep can often feel like the last thing I want to do but I know in the long run it will save me some time. So after speaking with a good friend we settled on a great way to do meal prep and keep some variety in our lives.

Starting with just the two of us writing emails back and forth figuring out our guidelines we formed a little two person freezer meal group.

What’s a freezer meal group? It is a group where people with common interests in food get together and bulk make some meals for sharing. When we stared our group we agreed on a couple things:

1. We would make healthy clean meals
2. We would give the other members of the group the power to say no to certain ingredients or meals as a whole. For dietary restriction reasons and taste, no one wants to get stuck with something they can’t or won’t eat.
3. Portion would have to be enough for a meal and left overs for a second meal. We also got specific on the size of dish for casseroles and such, we picked something that would be easy to make and still provide enough food.
4. We would exchange food stuffs once a month.

Pretty simple right! It has also been fun to challenge myself to keep finding tasty healthy meals that will do well in the freezer and it has saved me am infinite amount of time.

Now this idea isn’t a new one and it isn’t something I came up with off the top of my head. I have seen multiple blog posts about it but to be honest it always looked like more trouble than it was worth. Perhaps it was because those groups always had a minimum of 4 people and they always seemed to cook together.

Either way we have found something that works for us and I am sure happy we did. On nights where I have my own gym session, am teaching a yoga class and still have to come home and study meals that can just be popped into the oven have saved my life. Also knowing that the meals are clean and healthy makes me feel even more excited about their convince.

Just another example about how clean eating doesn’t have to be hard and complicated.

Have you ever tried something like this? Would you be interested in hearing more about this or what types of meals we make? I would love to hear back from you.

Happy Friday!

Monday Motivation

So as mentioned last week after two consecutive weeks in a row of forgetting my weekend round up I thought it would be more fun for everyone to receive some motivational posts on Mondays.

I personally find Mondays to be extremely important in setting the tone for my week. Although I am no longer the type of person who waits until Monday to start something (clean eating, a new exercise plan, a book, etc.) I do still find that what I do on a Monday helps to set me up for the rest of the week. This is why I make sure to follow through with my meal plan selection and hit the gym/yoga studio before the day is up.

So I thought providing you all with some motivation on Monday would help maybe give you that little nudge to keep you striving for your goals.

It is important to know that when it comes to a lifestyle change or a health and fitness journey motivation is often for much more than simply exercise. We all need to stay motivated to keep ourselves moving towards our dreams, our aspirations in life. Never stop doing because every choice, every success, and every hiccup helps to mold us into the people we are and the people we want to be.

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My 100 Day Challenge

So since I have gotten back from Costa Rica I haven’t be as great with my nutrition as I could have been, but I also understand that this ebb and flow is a part of life no one can be “on” 100% of the time.  I guess my “break” just lasted a bit longer than expected.

Now don’t get me wrong when it comes to the “big picture” my diet is pretty healthy, lots of fruits, veggies, healthy proteins etc., but I had thrown my 80% healthy 20% indulgence rule seems to have been thrown out the window. So in order to get myself back to feeling how I did before and while in Costa Rica I have started a little personal challenge with myself.

eliminate - clean eatsThere are only 94 days left now but when I started there were 101 days until summer, so I figured it was the perfect amount of time for this challenge. This amount of time is also more than enough time to start cultivating and reinforcing some healthy habits before summer happens.  the idea is to cut out all refined sugar, processed foods, preservatives and whatever other junk food has found its way back into my life.

So over the next 101 days I am going to start working on my insides.  I will be using my same basic challenge rules from my first two 50 day challenge, keeps it simple and it gives me the chance to reset my insides and get them back to an optimal level again.

spring challengeSo if you would like to join me on my Digestive Spring Clean Challenge here are the rules:

  1. Always eat breakfast, this is important! Your first meal of the day kick starts your body and gets your metabolism going.  If you can’t eat right away maybe start your morning off with a fresh cup of lemon water to wake up your insides – heck we should all try to start our day with a cup of lemon water.  Then be sure to have an actual meal within the first hour of waking.
  2. Drink Water. Everyone has a different daily requirement for how much water they need. If you are an athlete, pregnant, lactating or growing you may need more water than the rest of the population.  But it is a good idea to aim for 2-3 liters of water a day, or more if your personal situation demands it.  Just try not to drink any with your meal, drinking water while eating can dilute your digestive juices making it more difficult for your body to properly digest your food.
  3. Have 5-6 small meals a day. Instead of breaking your day into three giant meals, try and break your meals down into smaller portions and spread them out throughout the day.  I do this by still having my scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner and I just throw in two small snacks of veggies/fruit and protein between my meals.  Try to spread your meals out to ever 3-4 hours.
  4. Boost your vegetable intake. Make vegetables the main part of most of your meals and snacks. Giving vegetables more of a central role in your meals you can give your body a nice boost in vitamins and minerals. Also yes, fruits are important also, however I will also be trying to reduce my sugar intake so I will also be cutting down my fruit servings to 2 a day and doing my best to stick to more fibrous fruits like apples, pears, and berries. If you are not reducing your sugar try and keep your fruit intake to about 3 servings, with veggies at 7-9 servings.
  5. One treat a month. Every now and then these challenges can become overwhelming and a glass of wine or piece of chocolate or whatever your vice might be required for sanity purposes. To make the next 101 days feel less daunting I am giving myself 1 treat day a month.  I will be doing my best to skip treat days if I don’t really “need” them, however any skipped treat days do not get transferred to the next month.
  6. Clean protein.  Keeping with the clean eating idea stick to leaner cuts of meat (fish, turkey, chicken breast, lean red meat) along with other types of non-animal protein (chia seed, hemp seed, soy beans, etc). It can get a bit expensive but do your best to buy organic and non-GMO protein sources if your wallet allows.
  7. No more processed or refined foods.  Basic rule is if you can’t read it you shouldn’t eat it.  Remove all processed sugars, flours, high fructose corn syrups, and other foods that come in boxes from your fridge and cupboards. Fill your body with whole, fresh, organic foods. Focus on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats and dairy.
  8. Cut out the booze. Yup you have to cut out the booze.   Don’t worry refer to number 6 there is some wiggle room if you need it.

In addition to these rules I will also be reducing the amount of dairy I consume (because I know it doesn’t agree with me) my goal is to only use diary from small animals (goats and sheep). I would suggest that if there is something you know your body isn’t normally okay with you try and eliminate it for the duration of the challenge just to see how you feel.

My challenge to you is to set your own parameters, or feel free to use my guidelines, and set your own time frame.  I personally chose 101 days because I have done two 50 day challenges because having a goal like the beginning of the summer is exciting to me, I also like the longer length because it feels like a much bigger challenge, and challenge is where we find out what we are really capable of.

I hope some of you join me on my next personal challenge for cleaning up my diet.  If you don’t already follow me on Instagram to meal ideas and food inspiration.

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

Weekend Round Up – Never ending Meal Prep

Every now and again I put in more than my regular amount of effort into my meal prep and I end up doing some intense freezer meal cooking and that is exactly what happened this weekend.

This weekend my husband and I did our big grocery shop on Friday to save us some time on the weekend and to also make sure I could get a head start getting the meals ready and prepared without having to run around on top of all the cooking.

So what was on then menu? The plan was to make some tasty chicken wings for supper on Saturday and then make some freezer meals which would be: lasagna, quiche, meat balls, quinoa salad and dragon noodles.

20140223-163037.jpgIn the end I ended up making clean eating chicken wings, lasagna and quiche. I pawned the making of the dragon noodles off on my husband and figured I could make the rest later this week.20140223-163257.jpgIn between slicing, dicing, cooking and assembling the meals my mom and I went and did some shopping and ran some errands which was definitely a nice little break from being in a hot kitchen.

Once it was all done and labeled I was ready to plop myself down on the couch and watch a movie before serving up a healthy serving of lasagna for supper.

I hope you all had a great weekend and had a chance to kick back and relax.

Happy Monday everyone!