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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Meal Prep 101: How to Plan

One of the questions I received when I posed this question on Facebook and here is

I don't even know where to get started.  How do I start?

I get it, you guys!  Trust me, I do.  I was exactly where you are about 2 years ago; I knew I wanted the organization in my life.  I knew I liked clean eating and cooking healthy recipes.  I just didn't have any idea how to make it all work for my family without spending hours inventing recipes.

So, I put together this worksheet to help you plan out your weekly meal plan.  It's got the necessities without any bells and whistles.  I'm sure there are other fancier planning sheets available, but if you're like me, those get distracting and then nothing gets done.  So I streamlined it.

When I started planning my family's meals, I focused on dinners.  To me, they were the hardest thing because they required me to think about more people, their likes/dislikes, evening activities, etc.  I'm a firm believer in starting with the hardest thing, tackling it, and then working backwards.  

So, I'm going to recommend that you do the same!  Think about your schedule.  If you have church on Wednesday nights and t-ball on Thursdays, those nights should be quicker and easier dishes.  Quicker and easy don't mean hitting up the drive-thru or unhealthy/tasteless frozen dinners either!  I will put together a list of healthy, quick dishes for those busy nights in the near future.  (That was another popular concern.)

You may find it easier to prep some meals in advance.  For instance, Sundays I typically roast my vegetables for the week so that at meal time I'm simply reheating them rather than taking 45 minutes to roast them.  My husband will often grill extra chicken so that we have grilled chicken for a quick salad or lunch throughout the week.  Do whatever you can upfront so that you aren't strapped for time later - we are busy enough during the week.

Take into account that you will undoubtedly end up with some leftovers by mid- to late week

I started finding recipes by scouring Pinterest for "21 Day Fix Recipes" or "Healthy Freezer Meals" or "Quick Family Recipes" and based my search on what I knew I had on hand or what my family likes.  You can follow me on Pinterest to see some of the recipes that I like here.  I have entire boards dedicated to clean eating, whole 30 meals, and food in general because...I love food.

I included a section for your shopping list because I find it easier to create my shopping list as I'm meal planning.  I generally meal plan on Fridays and check my cupboards/refrigerator to see if I have the ingredients needed to make the recipes I want to make.  Then, I add to the list anything that needs to be replenished or purchased making it easy so I'm not in the middle of cooking only to realize I am missing something.  

Let me know how your first week of meal prepping goes!  I will share my meal plan next week and some quick weeknight healthy meals you can use on those busier evenings.

Download my FREE Weekly Meal Prep Planning Sheet here!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fear Less

This past weekend we got together and celebrated one of the girls on my team, Melissa, hitting a major goal in her personal health/fitness journey.  She ran her first half marathon!

Honestly, I was reflecting on the way home about the little pool party and these women that I'm blessed to call friends and it was just so nice to have something like this in my life.  I don't know about you, but I spent a good portion of my early adult life trying to fit in.  Surprise, surprise, it didn't work.  But - NOW - it's not about fitting in; I belong here.

I won't lie...leaving my kids for even just a few hours to go hang out with other people is something that makes me uncomfortable and anxious.  I just don't get enough time with them, ya know?!  But, the anxiety I felt about this particular party was excitement, not dread; big difference.

The introvert in me has struggled with that for a long time.

It's hard to imagine that if I hadn't started my own business {almost} 3 years ago, I wouldn't even know some of these women.  I wouldn't have been at this little party.  I wouldn't have this place that I belong.  I might still be struggling trying to fit in.

I can't recap the weekend without sharing that our community was rocked last week with the loss of a student in a car accident.  A 17 year old HS junior was killed in a wreck and it instantly hit me.  As a mom, I cannot imagine losing my child.  Seventeen years just isn't enough.  But, then I started to think about all of the things in his life he won't get to experience; all the firsts that have been taken from him entirely too soon.

Events like that have always hit me hard, but this one really hit home.  It definitely makes me want to give my fears to God and just truly live and experience every moment.  I want to say no less and experience more.  I want to love hard and grow every day.  I don't want to have anything left to give at the end of this life; I want to leave it all out on the field.

As we celebrated my sweet friend, I couldn't help but feel overjoyed by this amazing group of women that I belong to and the awesome life we are creating for ourselves + our families.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Shift Shop Focus Group Preview

This has been in the works for a time and I've been collecting email addresses from women just like me who are interested in this program + just prioritizing their health and fitness in general.  So, I made a decision - WHY WAIT?!

The Shift Shop will officially be released in July, but there is nothing keeping us from joining together now in a Preview Group where I can share all the goods with you starting NOW!

When I say goods I'm talking all the things you need to start crushing goals before the program is even released:

  • Insider Tips - tips I've learned along the way to ensure your success with the program
  • Meal Plans - sample meal plans that you can implement now
  • Family/Toddler Friendly Recipes - recipes you can introduce to your family so everyone benefits
  • Move of the Day - sample moves from the workouts that you can incorporate into your daily workouts
  • Sample Workouts - LIVE sample workouts led by yours truly
The group will officially kick off on June 10th and really amp up as we get closer to the launch of the program, but throughout the month I will be sharing daily. 

If you're interested in joining complete this form and join my Facebook group here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Busy Moms Unite + Meal Prep

Are you too busy?
Are you EXHAUSTED when you get home?
Do you run from work to daycare to PTA to ball practice?

Man, I was in a RUT 3 years ago.  Between momming, wifing, working, adulting, there was NO TIME to be cooking, exercising, or worrying about being healthy.  At some point I threw my hands up and said, ENOUGH!  And decided to do something about it all.

I won't lie, it was overwhelming at first.  I didn't really know where to start and thinking about a whole week's worth of food at once + taking into account schedules was just too much.

But, I've practiced long enough to get it down to a science (for my family and me).  I completely understand that what works for one family doesn't work for every family, but I also believe in sharing the knowledge when you have it just in case it might help someone in your old situation.  So, I'm  putting together a mini-series here on my blog called MEAL PREP 101.

I want to share tips and recipes and strategies with you to help you and your family have MORE TIME TOGETHER, less stress, and start a healthier lifestyle in baby steps.

So, my question to you:


Ask me anything!
I want to know what your concerns are, your hesitations, your questions, everything because I want to help you find answers that allow you to make this part of your life in turn maybe feeling a little less busy.

Such a popular buzz word these days...we're all busy, right?  I'm hoping to launch this mini-series next week and will answer your questions, share recipes, trips, and strategies that work for us over the course of the following weeks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shift Shop Week 3

Y'all!  Week 3!  Wowza!  Sorry for being late with my recap - life happened.

So, Chris warned us that week 2 would be when we really had to push through and he wasn't lying.  Week 2 was when I realized I wasn't just making a physical shift, but a mental/emotional one.  I'm talking crying through workouts, overcoming cravings, and just believing in myself enough to stick to the plan and not cheat. cheat. cheat.  I won't lie.  I thought about it.

Week 3, on the other hand, was by far the toughest meal plan, the most demanding workouts, but I feel amazing.  Nothing could hold me down!  Seriously, I didn't struggle to eat all the food like I did in weeks 1 and 2.  I wasn't dragging midway through the week from exhaustion.  There was a sense of clarity and focus that I haven't experienced in a long time.  And I'm not just talking about my workouts.  It's like everything in life is coming together...or something.

This week makes me realize how GOOD it feels to take care of yourself.  I know we all know it feels good to take care of yourself, but this is like legit - GOOD.  Like mind, body, and spirit in sync.

Sunday was a rest day before starting week 3 and Chris does provide a mobility workout option for that day to keep it active.  Rather than doing that, I decided to pack up the kids while my hubby was out of town and head to the zoo.  It was a good feeling to be able to get around the park by myself without being winded.  We even jumped on the carousel together which is something I probably wouldn't have been comfortable doing by myself just 3-4 weeks ago.

Like I said before, this week was full of wins and good feels and it made it super easy to say no to cake at a graduation party for our neighbor's daughter and make sure I was eating all the protein in my meal plan (I struggle with meat).

I even got back into the majority of my closet.  The morning I tried on these pants I truly didn't expect them to fit, but the size 4s slid right up with no problem.  I was ecstatic because these are some of my favorites.

The workouts this week got amped up to 45 minutes each which was nerve-racking considering I have a pretty short time frame in the mornings before work.  I was able to do it no problem and I enjoy the workouts so much that it didn't bother me to set the alarm 10 minutes earlier.

I started Round Two yesterday and I'm going for abs this round!

What do you think of my results so far?
I'll share more details about my overall results later this week!  All I have to say is: this program is for EVERYBODY!  If you're interested in joining me as soon as it's released complete this form so that I can keep you posted on all the news and share some insider tips now.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Shift Shop Meal Plan Recipe: Banana Berry Muffins

I started to struggle in the middle of week 2 with the amount of protein on this meal plan.  Mainly due to the fact that I am not a huge fan of meat in general and most of the foods are very savory and high in protein.

The first 2 weeks I would bring egg cups to school for my morning snack and they were delicious!  By week 3, I needed something different and I had found this recipe for 3 ingredient muffins and adapted it to fit within the meal plan for The Shift Shop.  I looked forward to these and they didn't disappoint!  They were the touch of sweetness I needed in my day and helped me to get in another protein (week 3 requires 5/day for my plan).

I will definitely keep these on my meal plan rotation and maybe even add some chocolate chips when I'm no longer in The Shift Shop test group.

If you make them the way I've shared 3 muffins is 1 red, 1 purple when using the portion control containers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Book Review: Daring Greatly

I've been making a point to read more - since getting my certification in nutrition and wellness I actually have time to read things by choice rather than studying and reading my texts.

The first book I picked up was Uninvited by Lysa Terkurst; loved it.  I learned a lot about myself in that book and even sent out a few text messages to old friends who I think I had pulled away from simply because of my own perception of being uninvited.  It was a real eye opener.

Then when someone saw me reading that they suggested Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  I could hardly put this book down.  It resonated with me on a very personal level which is one of my favorite things about books.

This is the book that made me realize I have struggled with shame my whole life simply because I'm a perfectionist.  I didn't even think of myself as a perfectionist, but the truth it I found my self-worth growing up in the things I achieved and earned.  So, when I don't achieve or earn, I feel unworthy or shameful.  This explains SO much, you guys!  I wish I had read this book as a junior in high school; it would have possibly prevented me from making some of mistakes I made as a young adult.

Ho hum....isn't that the way life goes?

What I really want to share about this book is the last chapter.  It's all about parenting and how to live "wholeheartedly" and how to raise "wholehearted" children.  I really took away that we don't have to look perfect in our children's eyes.  In fact, by trying to be perfect, we are doing a disservice to them.  They need to see that we are just as vulnerable as they are and that we are imperfect; we certainly don't want them to think the rules don't apply to us.

My favorite parts are the manifestos she includes; particularly the one on parenting:

I'll stop preaching and just say: you need to read it.