Tag Archives: healthy-eating

Getting Back Your Fitness Groove…Post-Vacation.

26 Jun

Well folks, after a lovely week in Hilton Head, South Carolina, it’s back to reality for me!  And I must say, it’s been a bit of a strugglebus.  Not so much in terms of getting back to my job and routine, but just getting back to focusing – I feel like I’m in a daze!  It’s amazing what a little bit of extreme R&R can do.

The week was filled with a little bit of this:

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Ahhh the sweet ocean.

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I swear we aren’t naked.

A little bit more of this…

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Oh lounging by the pool, you are amazing.

And maybe a little too much of this…

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Frosty Frog’s famous daiquiris!

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These are not the same cups as the above photo. Oops.

Yeah…

All in all, it was a fabulous trip full of family (19 of us!), food (some heavenly stuff), and relaxation (by the pool or ocean, um amazing).  Hilton Head is a long standing family tradition; Adam’s family has done it for over 30 years, so it’s something everyone really looks forward to.  During the trip I managed to get in a couple runs and even started group Jillian Michaels morning exercise.

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Group exercise in the living room!

We did the tape 4 times!  Yeah, I’m impressed too.  Unfortunately as you all know, fitness is not the cornerstone of healthy living…it’s more about the food.  All our activity didn’t quite make up for our indulgences, but hey – isn’t that what vacation is for?  I will say, I was sort of excited to return to the somewhat straight and narrow – my body truly has become accustomed to a healthier diet!  Not only accustomed, but dare I say craves it?  Win, I say.

As I’ve rudely and abruptly gotten back into the swing of things, I’ve been mentally keeping track of what has helped most.

Tips for returning to a healthy lifestyle (post-vacation sloth):

  1. Visualize it.  Often if I think about what my workout will be Monday morning, picture it in my head, plan on it, think about it, plan, plan, and just get it so stuck in my head that it’s happening.  And you know what?  I will be okay with it!  Usually if I let myself not plan on it, it’s much harder to talk myself into it when the alarm is going off.
  2. Unpack/Settle in.  Nothing is a better excuse (for me) to not work out than “my house is a mess, I have no clothes, and I haven’t even unpacked my bag!” – Nevermind that I’ve been back 3 days and the bag is still just sitting there.  I will somehow find a way to make that a valid excuse (trust me, it has worked marvelously in the past).  Remove the barrier to working out and just unpack already.  After this trip I unpacked as soon as I could and it was an amazing call.  Trust me, you’ll feel so much better.  I did!
  3. Plan food. Take extra care over the first few days to just get back to eating healthy.  The main reason?  Brain training. I want my brain to associate delicious treats and frozen drinks as a treat.  I mean, that’s what they are, right?  I’m a huge fan of everything in moderation (thanks Mom – the phrase has stuck with me!) and vacation is a perfect time to indulge in some not-so-usual treats.  But… I want to be upfront with myself that I’m no longer on vacation and it’s back to the usual.  I don’t want to let my vacation eating habits linger on for days or weeks or months.  Honestly I feel better when I eat well, and being a bit strict for the first couple days has allowed me to quickly regain those benefits!
  4. Don’t beat yourself up.  Yes, it’s important to get back at the routine and start filling your body with healthy yummy things.  But… it won’t help anyone to beat yourself up about it.  I’ve been focusing a lot on the reasons I want to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the first place.  That often is helpful in getting me back to better habits without making me feel like dirt.
  5. Just do it.  Visualization and planning will only get you so far when it comes to working out and eating well, at some point you just have to do it.  Get up and keep on keeping on.  The past few days I haven’t focused on quality workouts (yeah I’ll admit it!), more just getting up and getting in my exercise.  I’ve definitely noticed labored, slower runs, and less than stellar JM video performances, but again just glad I’m getting out there!

So far the transition back to reality has worked out well and I even managed to pack myself a stellar lunch/snack bag for work this morning.  Yeah I was so proud I took a picture to send Adam.  I’m doing it, I’m really packing my own healthy stuff and doing it!  Cue groans from those of you that have no sympathy for me losing my little chef :)

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I’m not typically a “show-your-fooder” – but I mean come on. This lunch is perfection! Fruit, veggies, yogurt, protein bar, chicken, oatmeal, and Shakeology. Amazing. Feel free to pat me on the back.

Though I have to admit I’ve had a couple flashes of returning to my old extremely lazy food prep days.

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Dang he caught me! And that non-English jargon is just Kelly-speak for excitement.

The ramen story: I love ramen (well cup noodle to be exact) because it’s fast, easy, and delicious.  Yeah and with a million grams of sodium my body loves it too (not).  Adam is always annoyed when I eat ramen because sometimes I won’t even cook it – yikes, I know.  I got rid of all my ramen during a food drive conveniently during P90X, but as a joke Adam’s parents got me more for my birthday (much to Adam’s dismay). I’ve been holding onto that ramen for a special occasion (when Adam won’t know I’m eating it).  Last night we had a dinner skype date and I opted for whole wheat spaghetti instead – yeah I’m making strides.  :)

Here’s to hoping my post-vacation tips will encourage me to continue to have a successful week!  It’s good to be back!

-Kelly

How do you cope with reality life after vacation?  What tips can you share on not being lazy and eating real meals?

Guest Post: Lyndsay’s Top 6 Tricks to Jump Start a Better You!

18 Jun

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!  Especially happy for me off in vacation-land :)  I’m having an awesome time with Adam and his family, lounging, tanning (with sunscreen), and surprisingly getting a little fitness in too (think group fitness videos – it has been hilarious)!  I’ll be back to the real world soon enough, but until then I wanted to share an inspiring guest post from my real-life friend Lyndsay!  I stumbled upon her blog a few weeks ago (I didn’t even know she was a blogger!) and fell in love with it.  Check her out at alltheshinythingsblog. Enjoy her healthy-living tips and inspiring journey to a healthier state 0f being!

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Say hi to Lyndsay! Man alive – even her pictures are fabulous!

hello readers of races, reps, & ramblings! i write to you today over from my little world at alltheshinythingsblog!

kelly was kind enough to share her space for a day so i could share with you a little about my own weight loss journey over the last year, which has really ramped up over the last 6 months or so. i hit my first major milestone a couple weeks ago, 50 lbs down! my weight loss journey has been mainly motivated by a desire to ramp up my health & avoid the long term consequences of obesity {a word i don’t like to throw around lightly. but i was, by definition, obese. that still hurts to admit}. i was first inspired to share my journey by my own readers, who have been so overwhelmingly supportive of this journey. and i received such a positive response to my tips & tricks for my own weight loss, kelly thought it might be something her audience would like as well!

so here they are…

my top 6 tips&tricks to jump start a better you!

1. start slowly, but strictly. i downloaded the my fitness pal app, and it was a lifesaver. i didn’t know what i was doing when i started–things i thought were lowfat/lowcal still ended up being 600+ calorie meals. i set my goals, pretty aggressively, and limited myself to 1200 calories a day. the app is great because you can add in various workouts, which alter your calorie limits to include them. and it has a really useful database with most foods, or you can add your own. it also lets you track your progress, and i still enter my weight in there, to keep me honest and on a steady downward trend. i think this helped me lose my first 10 lbs or so, and quickly. its a great place to start.

2. cut down your portion size substantially. i wasted some food when i first started, and it was a price worth paying. i know people say “with all the hunger in the world, how can you WASTE FOOD??” actually, the question should be–“how is you eating more of whats on your plate going to solve any of the world hunger problems?” answer: its not. so stop kidding yourself. for me, if i ordered a sandwich or a salad or whatever when i was out and there was no one to share with, i ate half and took half home. immediately. asked for the box before i even started eating. and if it wasn’t reasonable to take home? i threw half away. cue the gasps. but let me ask you this: is your future diabetes/cardiac problems/high blood pressure/etc worth the maybe $5 you threw away? absolutely not. its a very small price to pay for health. for me it was worth it. {note: i’ve gotten much better as i’ve gone along about learning how to get smaller portions, so i now rarely waste food. but if that’s what it takes when you’re starting, do it!}

3. take your own food with you. after i started tracking calorie counts in my fitness pal, i was amazed that there really aren’t any healthy takeout options—i know kelly&adam noticed this when they were on the p90x meal plans. maybe there are a few low-cal {and high sodium} soups at various places, but in general, all meals are 600+ calories. and it sucks, right? so i started making my lunches at home and was able to keep my meals closer to 300 for a meal plus a couple 100 cal snacks throughout the day. in the end i consumed the same, but i ended up saving money and strung them out over the day so i was never hungry. i still do this all the time, and i always always always have a luna bar or a banana in my bag in case there is nothing healthy around.

4. later in this process, i started having some stomach issues and discovered i was lactose insensitive/intolerant {not allergic}. so i cut out dairy to feel better. and let me tell you–the weight FELL. OFF. i was amazed at how much of my diet had consisted of dairy–cheese was a staple for me. cubes, sticks, slices were my favorite snack. i added to every salad, sandwich, eggs, you name it. i ate tons of things with butter in them. my only redeeming grace was that i consumed skim milk {drop in the bucket, no pun intended.} so when i cut it out, the first 3-4 weeks were really hard. my food tasted so bland, and i felt like there was nothing in my house i could eat. but then, my taste buds readjusted. my pantry became filled with things that were friendly to my stomach and my waist line. and i honestly–HONESTLY–do not miss it. i thought i would never enjoy eating again. i was wrong. so if you’re desperate for a quick trick: cut out dairy for a while. it will help you. {ps. make sure you’re still getting appropriate nutrients. i felt very comfortable calculating my own and replaced things with soy/almond milk and tofu as appropriate. if not, make sure you see a dietitian/physician before making any drastic changes.}

5. don’t eat late. along with my lactose issues, i was having problems if i ate much food in the evening. i couldn’t sleep and i felt awful. so now i pretty much stop eating sometime between 4-6pm. if i get hungry after that i allow myself to still drink anything i like–i find dark chocolate almond milk is usually my go to choice, since it has enough substance to quench hunger, but doesn’t hang around long enough to hurt me. many of us consume 1/3-1/2 of our calories after 5pm–we go out to dinner, have a drink, have a bedtime snack, etc. they add up really quickly. if i removed those hazards as an option, i found i stuck to my diet so much better. also, knowing that i would stop eating early in the day made my early day choices better–i made sure i ate a well balanced breakfast and a nutritious lunch, because they were my primary meals of sustenance. it worked for me.

6. most importantly: don’t freak out when you have a bad day. in the beginning, i would get so discouraged when my weight would creep back up a pound or two or even five sometimes. but that’s the way it goes. no one is perfect. {well, some super fitness people are, and kudos to them. i’m not one. i’m super normal.} but then the next day i would get back at it, and not try to balance my bad day by starving myself, although sometimes i would eat a little less the days following until i was back on track. now i have a pretty good cadence going where about 4-5 days of the week i’m pretty good, and i always have a few days of the weeks where i eat something bad. the last two days i haven’t been able to get enough chocolate. but today i’m okay. and i guess i’ve learned to give in when i need to for the sake of the long game.

you’ll notice i don’t have any points in here about working out. why? well, to be honest, i didn’t change my fitness regimen much at first. now i run a little more, i do some fitness dvds now and then. to this point, i was enough above a healthy weight that diet changes were enough to get me here. but i’ve noticed its slowed a lot the last month, and i know whats coming: the last 25 are going to be pure sweat. i’ve been reading a lot about kelly’s experiences with p90x and getting the bug to maybe sign up for another 10k {i ran one with my dad a couple thanksgivings ago & it was SO FUN}.

i hope some of these tips help you if you’re struggling or just looking for a way to be a little healthier. i used to read all these blog posts about successful weight loss stories and wonder if i’d ever get there—and i did. and you will too!

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Lyndsay before beginning her healthy-living journey.

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Here you can see her progression.

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BOOM! Here she is now. Pretty fabulous I’d say.

Hope you enjoyed Lyndsay’s story – it was pretty amazing to get to see it happen in real life!  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

-Kelly

P90X: Overcoming Nutritional Speed Bumps

15 Apr

Note: This post was written earlier today before the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  I’m deeply and incredibly saddened by the event – it’s unbelievable.  I decided to post this anyways to show the incredible importance of  this race to Marathoners – it is any (and every?) marathoners’ goal to one day race Boston.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and all the families affected.  

Happy Monday!  And most importantly – Happy Boston Marathon!  Though I sadly didn’t run it this morning, I did spectate for a bit (via my computer).  Mark my words: someday I will be there!  Yes, I do realize my Marathon PR is 4:11:59 (I need a 3:35:00 – for you non-marathoners, that’s a pretty insane difference).  Yes, I realize I haven’t run a marathon since returning to running from my ankle cast (in 2009).  Yes, I realize I need to have my average pace somewhere in the 7:45-8 min/mile for 26 miles (right now I’m about 9 min/mile).  But – someday it will happen!  I might have to wait until I’m 50 or 60, but I’m very patient :) The time will pass anyways so I might as well have a goal.

Instead of spending my weekend in Boston, I had a great trip to Atlanta for bridesmaid dress shopping.  It was a wonderful time, and we successfully found a dress!  I also had a fantastic little foray into non-P90X eating.  Yep, it happened.  I really did a poor job of following the nutrition guide this weekend.   I have experienced little cheats while on P90X, but this weekend wasn’t the greatest.  I enjoyed a delicious pizza feast at Fellini’s (if you’re ever in ATL – it’s divine!) and just had to help out with cupcake testing for my brother’s upcoming nuptials.  I also let myself enjoy some Easter candy (when I say some – I mean quite a bit more than I should’ve… candy is my Achilles heel).  Instead of just having a little bit of these treats,  I went overboard and had a ‘sugar hangover’ yesterday and a little bit this morning.  It’s incredible how much my eating affects me now that I’m on a stricter nutrition plan.

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We said yes to the dress…at a different store.

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Talk about legitimate thin-crust Italian pizza!

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Post-dress hunting celebration.

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Sampling wedding cake cupcakes!

Yesterday as I traveled back home I was pretty disappointed in myself.  I really worked on encouraging positive thoughts about the weekend and my eating.  As a type A (and I guess just a woman) – I tend to beat myself up.  I think it’s pretty common, but I’ve also found that when I really beat myself up, I’m more likely to continue the behavior that I beat myself up about in the first place!  It’s a vicious cycle.  On the way home I instead tried to focus on the upcoming week and how I would get back on track.  I also thought a lot about where I started and how far I have come – and that it’s okay to splurge a little sometimes.  What I did wasn’t bad or terrible. It’s not something I want to do often, but beating myself up about this weekend would not bring about anything positive.   When I started P90X I did it for two main reasons:

  1. Ego: I wanted to lose weight.  I had gained a couple extra pounds and hey, it would be nice to be on the skinnier side!
  2. Health: I truly wanted to start living and breathing a healthy lifestyle.  Not just a fad diet or short program.

I focused on reason number 2 to encourage myself about my ‘failure’ of a weekend. The reality is that healthy eating is now a part of my life – it’s a habit.  And it’s a habit I want to continue for the rest of my life.  When you start throwing around phrases like “rest of your life,” it takes on a different meaning than just 90 days of a “diet.” Just like everything else in my life, I should expect to make mistakes or have road bumps.  It’s what you do after the mistake or road bump that makes all the difference.  I want to get up, dust myself off, and continue eating healthily and get right back on my healthy-living bike.  Right away- there’s no point in waiting!  When I was younger and the focus was “I want to be skinny,” I’d try diets. If I ate something unhealthy in the morning, I’d throw my whole day away and start the next morning.  It’s this type of behavior I want to get away from.  It’s great to have treats and enjoy food (and life!), I just need to move on quickly from my mistake and not let it drag everything down.  I’ve chosen to view this weekend as simply a small speed bump on my road to healthy eating.  It’s not something that is going to derail me.  It’s not something that will stop me.  And it’s certainly not something worth any energy fretting or worrying about.

These are my top tips for moving past nutritional speed bumps:

  • Think about why you started your journey.  Often this reenergizes me and renews my focus.  Today I felt very empowered while packing my breakfast and lunch knowing that I wanted to continue to fuel my body with nutrients and  the right stuff.
  • Remember how far you’ve come!  I thought about my inches and pounds lost – but more important how fit and healthy I feel now!  I want to continue to feel this way and eating is a huge component.  All the strides I’ve made encourage me to feel proud overall, even if I didn’t have the proudest moments this weekend.
  • Fall back on your habits.  This morning it was very easy to fall right back into eating well because of the habits I have formed.  Thanks to our chopping parties and healthy food in the fridge I could jump back on the healthy bus without a lot of stress or effort.  It was second-nature.
  • Drink lots of water and put a strong focus on getting back on track.  Today I have more water than usual allotted on my post-it note.  Additionally I’m choosing very nutrient dense choices.  For example both whole-wheat bagels and sweet potatoes are on the P90X guide, but sweet potatoes aren’t processed and will end up making me feel better.  I’ll likely keep this intense focus up for 2 or 3 days just so I feel back on track.
  • Remember that one bad meal or one bad weekend of eating doesn’t ruin your plans for a healthy life.  This is but a blip on the radar.  Putting it in that perspective was helpful.  My goal after P90X is the 90% rule.  90% of the time I want to eat very healthfully – but life happens and I want to feel free to enjoy treats on special occasions.  This weekend was my 10%!
  • Get motivated!  Instead of focusing on what a bad job I did – I focused on how great I could become.  I thought a lot about my upcoming goals nutritionally and from a fitness perspective and I felt a lot better about my choices this weekend.
  • Be positive.  Letting me beat myself up would’ve probably led to more stress-induced bad eating-choices.  Instead I accepted my choices and felt good and positive about the future.  Filling my head with positive thoughts went a long way!

Today I’m feeling much better and reenergized about my healthy lifestyle.  All this positive self-talk worked itself into a great 3 mile run at lunch today with an 8:14 pace (or it could’ve been thoughts of Boston)!  I’m back on track and feeling good. I found these two graphics on Pinterest and they sum up my attitude today!  Except maybe replace fat/skinny with unhealthy/healthy.  I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other on my quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Happy Monday!

-Kelly

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How do you overcome speed bumps nutritionally?  What do you do to get motivated again after falling off the healthy bus?

P90X Nutrition: Chopping Parties!

10 Apr

One of the biggest success factors with completing the P90X nutrition guide (or really any form of healthy eating) is planning ahead. Adam and I have found this vital in our P90X journey, and I highly, highly doubt we would’ve been as successful if we didn’t figure out our food ahead of time.  Prior to starting P90X I had attempted to plan ahead with healthy food.  This translated to plenty of 100 calorie packs, plenty of fruit (and some vegetables), and trying to keep my fridge stocked.  A couple things I noticed when using this version of planning (i.e. going to the grocery store enough to have a decently stocked fridge):

  •  I ate way too much processed food.  Sure I had some fresh stuff in my fridge, but that ‘fresh stuff’ required so much effort.  Sometimes when I get home from work I just want to turn my brain off and would often choose cheese and crackers over washing and cutting some fresh veggies.  And by sometimes picking the effortless option, I mean every single time I would pick it.
  • I had no idea how much I was eating.  Sure I was choosing to eat grapes, strawberries, or low fat cheese…but just how much?  Absolutely no clue.  Not exactly a balanced diet if you have no idea how much of things you’re eating.  Since getting a food scale, I’ve been amazed at actual serving sizes!
  • A lot of food went to waste.  “Oh a big bag of spinach – that will be perfect this week!”  The amount of times I thought this and then threw said bag of spinach in the trash after not eating it was numerous.  It’s amazing how easy it is for things to get trapped behind other things in the fridge.  Sometimes you just forget what you have.  Before planning and portioning my food I wasted so much.  Not okay.

Solution: Chopping Parties

Adam and I have combatted a lot of these problems with what we have lovingly coined “Chopping Parties.”  Essentially these ‘parties’ consist of washing, portioning, planning, and yes, chopping, all of our fruit, veggies, nuts, cheese, and some meats.  Typically these chopping parties take place either the day we make a big grocery run or the day after, depending on our schedules.  Taking the time on a Saturday or Sunday (or sometimes Monday) to put all of our food into serving sizes means that the rest of the week is just grab and go.  Yes – it’s pretty much that simple.  I can’t tell you how much this has made my life easier.  Now that I have chopping parties I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to my old ways (at least I hope I don’t)!

Before we started portioning everything the idea of packing my lunch every day seemed crazy.  Sure I could throw something together most days, but having a nutritionally sound lunch daily packed by moi?  Turns out it wasn’t as hard as I imagined.  Planning ahead has greatly reduced our stress with following the nutrition guide and increased our success of sticking with it.

The Steps and Tips to a Successful Chopping Party!

  1. Take inventory and make a list.
    • Go through the fridge, pantry, and freezer to see what you already have and what you need.  If you’re just starting out on the road to healthy eating with P90X, consult the nutrition guide.  There’s a great list of food per phase that’s an awesome starting point.  It is crucial to have a plan before going into the grocery store.  This habit alone has really changed the way I look at grocery shopping and the time spent there.  Now it isn’t a place to look (okay meander) for food I might want, it is a place to get things I know I need.  Big difference.  Here’s a typical list for us:

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      Typical list – split between Costco and grocery

  2. Go to the store!
    • With the list in hand, we head to the store to start collecting and crossing things off.  Since starting P90X we actually joined Costco, so our trips involve picking up big items in bulk (fruit, meat, nuts, veggies) and right afterwards running to a smaller grocery store for things we don’t need 20 lbs of at a time. For us, Costco has been a big time saver.  We typically go twice a month and the grocery store once a week.  When we first started shopping this way our runs took a bit of time, but now that this is our new normal, we split up and can get through things very quickly.
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      My new favorite wonderland!

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      Cart full of healthy goodness.

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      Adam loves Costco!

  3. Plan the chopping party.
    • Whenever possible we like to have a chopping party right after we shop.  The main reason is to get it out of the way and done.  Another reason is that it ensures all 20lbs of fresh foods get into more air tight containers sooner.  We’ve bought fruit before and had it go bad in just a day or two due to exposure to air.  Putting things in tupperware really seems to increase the longevity of our food.  This past weekend, we chopped the day after shopping and it worked out just great.  It’s really important to pick a specific time the party will happen because it’s soooo easy to say “I already have the food – we can chop later” and pretty soon food starts going bad, and you’re not eating it.  You might think the hard part is over once you’re done shopping, but it’s crucial to remember that portioning/chopping is where the money is at!  Must chop after shopping!
  4. Gather the tools.
    • Before we begin chopping we collect the following:
      • Everything we want to chop or portion.  The fruit from the shelf, nuts from the pantry, turkey slices from the deli drawer in the fridge.
      • Food scale.  This little guy was a game changer and a big part of our chopping parties.  See more thoughts on food scales here.
      • Knives, cutting boards, bowls
      • Tupperware, ziploc baggies, containers
      • Computer with TV episode ready to play

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        All the tools and supplies ready.

  5. Push play and get chopping!
    • Adam and I use our chopping parties as a way to catch up on TV episodes.  We don’t watch much TV (I don’t have cable), so we turn chopping parties into something fun for us.  While we slice and dice we relax and watch TV.  The whole process is oddly calming.  Sometimes we’ve used the parties as a chance to chat and catch up if we’ve had a busy week and we’ve even had to do parties alone (gasp!).  I’ve always used solo chop parties to either watch TV or zone out and listen to music.  Sometimes it is nice to be alone with your thoughts.

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      I love chopping parties!

  6. Measure, chop, and weigh.
    • The whole point of the party is to end up with individualized portions of food to facilitate easy grab and go lunch/dinner making.  I use a nutrition database online to look up calories/grams to make sure my servings are correct.  These are the typical things we create:
      • 1 serving size of raw carrots/sweet peas mix (50 calories worth – around 150 g)
      • 1 serving size of berries (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries etc).  I normally have different mixes pre-made for variety – straw/blue or just black alone etc. (100 calories worth – each berry is different..somewhere between 150-300 g)
      • 1 serving size of turkey or chicken.  Sandwich making is super easy now.  We use the Boar’s Head blazing buffalo chicken from the deli and it’s amazing! (100 calories worth – around 3 oz.)
      • 1 serving size of raw almonds (100 calories worth – around 16-17 almonds)
      • 1 serving size of peppers (50 calories worth – a whole pepper!)
      • 1 serving size of arugula or spinach (just dump it out and instant salad!)
      • 1 serving size of sliced cheese (depends on the cheese – but 120 calories worth)
  7. Put everything away and marvel at your masterpiece.  After we’re done chopping we usually feel really accomplished, but also thrilled we don’t have to do much meal prep the rest of the week.  It’s a very liberating feeling.  It also takes my fridge from this:
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    Before: lots of food but not easy to grab and go.

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    After: organized and ready for the week!

To Sum it Up

Chopping parties take time, effort, and planning – no denying that.  But front loading the work involved with healthy eating means that we have to be intense about it for just a couple hours a week.  It makes it so easy to say yes to that healthy dinner of a turkey sandwich and fruit instead of my easy white-cheddar-cheese-it-dinners (yes, those used to happen…regularly).

Happy chopping!

-Kelly

How do you plan for healthy eating?  How do you save yourself time while managing a balanced diet?

Recipes: Best Asparagus Ever!

20 Mar

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I’m not a big foodie… maybe someday!  I’ve always wished I had the patience and dedication to become a great chef.  I think I still have time, right?   Truthfully, I’m really lazy when it comes to cooking.  I’d rather eat cheese and crackers than a proper dinner.  Yeah, it’s a challenge.  I’m still working on being a better eater!

This recipe is a winner in all aspects: healthy, fast, and delicious!  Adam and I make this at least once a week (okay- usually Adam does it).  When we first found the recipe, we made it 2 or 3 times that week!  So it’s definitely recipe true love.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh asparagus 
    • We use bulk fresh asparagus or the smaller bunches at Marsh/Kroger.
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • It’s worth it to buy the block of parmesan and grate it.
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Yeah – seriously… that’s it!

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the asparagus into smaller pieces.  These pieces can be anywhere from 1.5-2 inches to 3-4 inches.  We’ve made the recipe with all sizes of asparagus pieces – even full…so the size is up to your creative discretion.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix asparagus and about 1 tablespoon olive oil (this depends on the amount of asparagus you have).  Essentially you need just enough to lightly coat the asparagus.  A little olive oil goes a long way!
  4. Add a couple shakes of salt and pepper.  You really don’t need much – just a bit for taste.  The first time we made it we used wayyy too much salt, so keep in mind that only a little is needed.
  5. Mix together to coat evenly.
  6. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and bake for 12 minutes.
  7. Grate parmesan cheese onto asparagus and return to oven for 1 minute.  Again, just a little bit of cheese.  When we do this step it isn’t even enough to count as one portion of dairy.  Maybe around .5 to 1 oz of cheese.
  8. Enjoy!

Even someone pretty inept in the kitchen like me can do it!  :)  Also, originally the recipe called for cauliflower, but we substituted asparagus.  You can try this with many different veggies.  (Note: we did it with broccoli, and it wasn’t too great.)

Give it a try and enjoy – I guarantee you will be glad you did!

Happy eating!

-Kelly