Tips To Beat Sugar Addiction

Sugar Addiction Tips Are you one of those people who crave sugar? I used to be a total sugar junkie!  I would always reach for something sweet in the late afternoon as a pick me up or after dinner as my dessert. It was starting to get a bit out of control!  So I decided to limit my sugar intake to see how I felt.  I did not realize how much better I felt when I didn’t have as much sugar in my diet.   Don’t get me wrong I still love dessert and dark chocolate (72% or higher), but now I am able to control those cravings and manage them better.  Having dessert or a sweet treat is fine in moderation, however I find that if I eat too much sugar my body starts to crave it and then I just keep wanting more.

Did you know that women should only consume 25 grams of added sugar a day and men no more than 38 grams.  That is a low number.  Only 6 teaspoons a day!  

A lot of my friends, family and gym goers ask me about controlling sugar cravings. I thought I would share a few ways to ditch the sugar addiction to feel and look your best.  

Eat Real Food

Cut out the processed foods.  Most of them have added sugar which is not needed.  Be aware of hidden sugar in yogurt, sauces, salad dressings and some breads.  

 Find A Swap

I love RX bars!  They are my current favorite bar.  These taste like dessert to me.  Or try banana “ice cream.”  Simply freeze a frozen banana in chunks throw it into the food processor or high powered blender add a splash of milk and process.  I like to add a little PB2, natural peanut butter or some chocolate protein powder  as well.  

Get the sugar out of the house!

If I have the stuff in my house I am more tempted to eat it, my hubby will eat it and so will my kiddos.  I cannot keep the stuff around.  It is too tempting.  Keep the temptation away. 

Ditch the artificial sweeteners

Consuming large amounts of artificial sweeteners (including stevia) can make your crave sugar.  There have also been studies showing increased weight gain with artificial sweeteners a well.  If you can’t totally get rid of them choose stevia or monk fruit and limit the amounts you consume.  

 Add more healthy fats and protein

Not only are these healthy they will also help you feel more satisfied.  I always have almonds on hand for my afternoon cravings.  Sometimes I pair them with an orange or an apple and it always leaves me satisfied.  

Drink tea after dinner

 I like to drink tea in the evening while watching TV or when I feel that craving kick in.  I like to drink Tulsi Tea (it helps for sleep), Licorice tea, or any tea that I have on hand.  I stick to decaf in the evening.  

Brush your teeth

If you crave sweets after dinner and want to try to avoid reaching into that candy dish.  Brush your teeth or chew gum.  For me this always works because I don’t want to brush my teeth again and the sweets won’t taste the same after toothpaste.  

Fresh Fruit  

Choose fresh fruit instead of candy.  Not only will it curb those sugar cravings it is full of vitamins, minerals, water and fiber too.  

Try Magnesium

If you crave chocolate (like I do) it could mean you are deficient in Magnesium Benefitsmagnesium.  Try to add magnesium rich foods like leafy greens, beans and nuts into your diet.  Or consult with your doctor about a magnesium supplement.  I take magnesium every night and it helps me sleep!  Check out these additional benefits of magnesium in this post

 

I hope these simple tips help you conquer that sweet tooth.  I have to remind myself how I feel after eating too much sugar and how hard it is to get off the stuff.  When I am not eating sugar I feel more energized, sleep much better, my skin looks so much better and I just feel better in general.  Believe me it is tough to kick it at first, but sooooo worth it!  I hope  you all have an amazing week!  

Skinny Apple Pie Spiced Quinoa and Oat Granola

Apple Pie Spiced GranolaI love granola!  Sometimes I get a bit lazy and end up buying it in the bulk section at our co-op, but it is so much cheaper to make it on your own. Plus it is also super easy!   I thought I would share this yummy granola recipe I threw together.  It is yummy by itself or to top a smoothie bowl or yogurt.  

I kept Apple Pie Quinoa Oat Granolathis granola on the lighter side by using only 1 tablespoon of oil  and my mother-in -law’s homemade apple butter. Sometimes granola can be high fat due to the amount of nuts and oils that are added.  This recipe can easily be changed to your personal tastes as well.  A serving is 1/4 cup. 

 

 

Skinny Apple Pie Spiced Quinoa Oat Granola
Serves 12
A light and healthy granola.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. ¾ Cup Quinoa Flakes
  2. 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  3. ¼ Cup Ground Flax Seeds
  4. ¼ Cup Sunflower Seeds (or other seed of choice)
  5. ¼ Cup Walnuts (pecans or almonds would be great)
  6. ½ Cup Raisins
  7. ¼ Cup Apple Butter or Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  8. ¼ Cup Agave or Real Maple Syrup
  9. 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  12. ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
  13. Dash of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine oats, quinoa flakes, flax, nuts, seeds and raisins in a large bowls.  Set aside.  Combine apple butter, agave, coconut oil, vanilla until well mixed.  Add in spices and salt.  Drizzle over oat mixture and mix well.  Spread evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.  Toss and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until nicely toasted.  Cool and store in a sealable container.
Notes
  1. This recipe can easily be modified to your personal tastes.  I have made it with pecans and dried cranberries and it tastes great too.  This recipe is not overly sweet so if you like a sweeter granola feel free to add more agave or maple syrup to taste.
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My kids love to eat this granola alone, but it can be served with milk as well.  I hope you enjoy.  Have a great week!

Color War Party

Active Family Fun:  Color War Birthday Party

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend.  It has been a bit busy the past few weekends.  Both my daughters have Birthdays within 5 days of each other.  The month of April is party central at my house.  This year my youngest daughter wanted to do a color war themed party.  It turned out to be a huge success!  She said it was the best party she has ever had.  I thought I would share the details since I had a lot of parents asking me about it.  

First I like to keep my parties simple especially since I have two that I have to plan within 5 days!  Most of the kids at this party are on my daughters basketball and volleyball team so I try to keep my parties active and moving!  It also helped that my hubby could pull out his old PE teacher skills to help plan it. 

So here is how the party went:

Kids arrived and I just let them hang out and have fun.  Fortunately we had good weather except for some winds so they could play basketball and just run around before everyone arrived.  

Sidewalk Chalk Pictionary  

Before the party we asked the Birthday girl some “how well do you know me” questions and had her write them down on colored construction paper.  Then we basically played Pictionary in the driveway in teams using her answers.  It was super fun.  I have to confess, my hubby came up with this one.  Nice job!  Kids loved it.

Hair Spraying Stations

Another idea from the hubby!  We allowed the girls that wanted to spray their hair colorful get some temporary hair color spray in their hair before the color war.  That was a hit.  I suggest having an adult spray the hair.  

Cake and Gifts

I decided to do the cake and gifts first since I knew we were going to be very colorful at the end of the party and I wanted to avoid kids getting color powder on the furniture and carpet.  As an added bonus they burned off all the sugar too by doing the cake first. 

Color War

After the cake and gifts we headed down to the park in our subdivision.  I would suggest a large open area for this part of the party.  I split up the Holi Colors into individual cups in order to avoid kids throwing all the powder at once.  It also required them to come back to the table when they ran out to get more.  This helped the color powder last longer.  I had my mom and hubby helping refill the color powder so I could partake in the festivities.  Basically we just let the kids run wild and throw color on each other.  Almost like tag with colors.  It was a lot of fun.  We did give them the basic rules of not throwing it in each others faces.  The only issue we faced was it was pretty windy so the color did blow in the wind.  Had it not been windy it would have landed on them nicely and they would have been even more colorful.  I did run out of color so I would suggest getting two packages to have even more fun and more color!  I had 10 younger girls, 4 older girls and myself so we could have used 2 packs.  The color came out of our hair and off of our faces really easily and I also noticed that it faded out of clothes pretty fast.  We did ask all partygoers to wear old white clothing just in case.  This is the powder I used.  It was vibrant and worked awesome!

 

Games & More

I like to keep my parties active and kids moving.  So we set up a game of capture the flag.  This was another hit!  The kids were having a blast.  Even the teenagers were having fun.  We played this for about 45 minutes and everyone seemed to be having a great time.  After that we only had about 30 minutes left of the party so we let the kids just play at the park.  There is a play set, basketball hoop and large open areas.  We were going to set up a volleyball net as well but it was too windy. 

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The Aftermath

Clean up was super easy.  The color powder came off of faces, hands and out of hair.  It washes out nicely.  If you are having your party at a location not at your house I would suggest bringing wipes or wet rags to wash off hands.  Also if you are worried about it getting in the kids eyes pick up some cheap sunglasses or goggles and have the kiddos wear them.  We did not have an issue with this at all and it was windy.  

If you have active kiddos like I do this is an awesome party idea.  My 9 year old daughter loved it and even her teenage sister and friends said it was super fun.  We are planning to do this again this summer with my older daughters youth group.  

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.  Have an amazing week.  

 

Cruise Recap:  Food, Fitness and Fun!

Cruise Tips Hi guys, I hope you all had an awesome Spring Break.  I am so lucky as a teacher I get a week off for Spring Break.  This year we decided to take a cruise.  The hubby and I had only been on one cruise before about 15 years ago, so I was ready for the adventure. A lot of people have been asking how it was and if we would go again, so I thought I would share a little post vacay recap and some helpful tips if you think you may want to plan a cruise.   

We chose Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Sea.  It is a new ship that has only been cruising for about a year.  The ship is HUGE!  I cannot even begin to describe it.  It had water slides, regular slides, zip lines, a rock wall, pools, bars, ice skating and so much more!  We didn’t even have time to do everything.  

Plan Ahead

My first tip is to plan in advance.  We booked our cruise about a year in advance.  This gave us plenty of time to save money for our excursions and to plan the activities we wanted to do.  Plus this ship books up fast.  We also had time to research each port and plan our excursions.  One suggestions I would make is to explore the ship more on the first day.  We jam packed our first day and I think we should have explored more.  Also if you have an opportunity to talk to people as they are getting off the ship do it.  While we were waiting to board I talked to a few ladies who were coming off the ship and they gave me a lot of good suggestions and tips.  Also make your show reservations early because they do book up pretty fast.  

What To Wear

Formal Night

I totally over packed like I always do!  I like to have a lot of options for what to wear.  On this cruise we had 2 formal nights and the rest were casual.  It was fun to get dressed up and fancy for the formal nights.  Most people were dressed in something you would wear for a wedding, but I did see some people in elegant evening gowns and tuxedos.  I stuck to simple dresses.  The one thing that was hard was dressing my girls for these formal nights.  We don’t have a lot of formal events we go  to and my older daughter hates wearing dresses so that was difficult.  For the formal nights she chose to wear a simple black dress and changed up her jewelry and shoes each night.  No one ever questioned what we were wearing in the dining room on any night.  For the rest of the cruise we were in our bathing suits, shorts and tank tops, sun dresses and cover ups.  I did pack workout clothing for each day and I ended up running out of shorts to wear.  I also packed a small amount of laundry detergent so I ended up hand washing my shorts in the sink.  

Silk Dining Room
Jogging Track

Workouts
Yes you can workout on a cruise!  I worked out probably 5 out of the 7 days, plus before we left we made a pact that we would never take the elevator.  We climbed a lot of stairs.  We only took the elevator 2-3 times.  On average we walked about 6-9 miles a day between walking the ship and taking the stairs.  As for workouts I pretty much did simple quick workouts because I didn’t want to spend all morning in the gym.  Our ship had a running track and some classes.  Most of the classes like the spinning, yoga and TRX you had to pay extra and I didn’t want to pay.  Most of my workouts were about 30-40 minutes.  Here is a glimpse of what I  did:

  • Day 1:  Off
  • Day 2:  2.5 Mile Run Intervals (around the outdoor track) and weights
  • Day 3:  2 Mile Run with Body Weight Strength Training (on the track)
  • Day 4:  Bike 15 Minutes and I took an Ab Class
  • Day 5:  Run 2 Miles and I took a Stretch Class
  • Day 6:  Off
  • Day  7:  Run 3 Miles and Upper Body Weights

The gym was pretty nice and not super packed, but I was up really early like usual.  It was well equipped and I really liked the jogging track.  You got to see the sunrise as you jogged if you timed it just right.  The only complaint I had about the gym was that it smelled like cigarette smoke.  It was right above the casino and boy could you smell it.  That was not the greatest.  

Food

I realize that a lot of people go on cruises for the food.  I would say that I am not that type of a person. I don’t really care about eating a ton of food and drinking a lot of alcohol.  We opted to not purchase a drink package  and brought our own wine on the ship.  You could  bring 2 bottles per stateroom.  We took our wine to dinner with us on the formal nights.  The food in the dining room was excellent.  There were plenty of options and they did have vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free  selections available.  I really enjoyed the dining room.  There were a lot of other places to grab quick bites to eat like pizza places, sandwich shops and snack bars.  For the most part we ate our lunches and breakfast at the Solarium Bistro  which was always less crowded and had a lot of healthy options.  The main buffet had a lot of options but I really did not like it.  It was super crowded and to me it seemed like a food frenzy.  Not only were the plates heaped with food but a lot of it was left behind.   The first time we went to the buffet I had to tell my daughters to take one serving because you could always go back for more.  It is very easy to overeat at a buffet.  We only went there twice and it was not my favorite place.  I did my best to eat healthy during the day and at dinner enjoyed wine, appetizers and dessert.  

Tips:  

Here are a few bonus tips that I feel were helpful and some things I would do differently as well.  

  • Book your excursion with the cruise line.  They did a great job of getting us on and off the ship in a timely manner and all of our excursions were amazing.  We especially loved the Jamaica River Float and Zip Line excursion with Chukka.  The people were amazing!
  • Pack a cheap floating mat, I wished I had one on our beach day in Haiti.  They charged $18 to rent one.  No thanks!
  • Pack clothespins to hang up all your wet clothes in the bathroom because there are not a lot of towel racks and they can help hang up clothes too.  
  • Pack a water bottle.  I filled my water bottle on the ship most of the time and did not have to purchase water.  I only had to buy bottled water 2-3 times mostly off the ship.
  • Pack a highlighter.  If you are a planner like me you will need this.  They give you a ship itinerary for each day and I liked to highlight the activities I wanted to do.  
  • Pack small bills.  I had to change out my money a few times and this took some time so I would pack 5’s and 1’s.
  • Pack your own wine to save money.  Our ship allowed us to pack it and did not even charge a corkage fee.  We also bought another bottle of wine on the last cruising day when it was 60% off.  
  • Pack bug spray.  Our cruise line notified us that we would be traveling in areas with the Zika virus so we brought bug spray.  In Jamaica we got a ton of bug bites even with the bug spray.  
  • You won’t need a power strip.  We had plenty of plug ins and we didn’t even use the power strip we brought.
  • We packed walkie talkies but did not even use them.  
  • Pack sticky notes to leave notes for your family, stateroom attendant or reminders to yourself.  
  • I thought I wanted a balcony in our room, but it was pretty spendy so we opted not to get one.  I am glad.  We were rarely in our room.  We maybe spent 2 hours of the 7 days in our room besides sleeping and getting ready.  
  • The kids area was great.  My younger daughter loved it.  My older daughter didn’t really love the teen area.  There were a lot of teen activities but they were not very well planned out.  She missed the meet and greet night so that was tough.  Be sure your teen hits the meet and greet I am sure it will help  them meet new people.  
  • There were not a lot of dairy free options at the buffet or coffee places.  I even asked and they said no at the coffee shop.  This was a bit annoying.  At the buffet the waitress said they could get me some soy milk.  
  • If you can use the spa do it.  I purchased a simple thermal suite package where I could use the infrared sauna and the steam room as well as relax on a hot stone loungers.  Plus I had access to the locker room and showers.  I pretty much used it every day and it helped to shower in there rather than my room.  I felt it was worth it.
  • Take the stairs everywhere!  Not only will you rack up some miles and get a good leg workout but you will also save a lot of time.  The elevators were packed!

Have an awesome week.  If you have any tips you would like to share please leave them in the comments.  It’s nice to gather tips from all you fellow cruisers out there. 

Christmas Wrap Up and Killer  Workout

Hi guys,  I hope you all had a great Christmas and are gearing up to ring in the New Year.  I have a feeling 2017 is going to ROCK!  Our Christmas was great.

Here is a brief recap!  We always go out to breakfast on Christmas Eve.  This year my daughter Chloe wanted us all to wear ugly Christmas sweaters so we picked out a few and got all dressed up.  Before breakfast we met up with my friend Holly and got some yummy treats.  I swear she makes the best cookies.  I would post a picture but we ate them so fast!  I cannot stay out of them.  After breakfast the girls played in the snow a bit and then we headed out to church.  After church we came home and had a yummy Italian Soup.  My friend Amy gave me the recipe and it is really good. I will have to post the recipe soon, it is a keeper!  We spent Christmas morning at home eating a yummy breakfast of my mom’s homemade huckleberry scones and a egg bake.  Then we just relaxed in our jammies until dinner and lounged around after dinner with full tummies watching movies.  It was a great Christmas as always.  

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After Christmas and a weekend of indulging in cookies, wine and rich foods I was ready to get back on track.  I cleaned up my eating and kicked my workouts up a notch.  I am currently trying out the new Cyclebar class which is kicking my butt.  Why is cycling so hard?  For 2017 my goal is to try a variety of new workouts and add more yoga and meditation into my routine. 

To end off the year in my bootcamp class I put together this Best of 2016 HIIT workout.  It was a tough one.  I was drenched when I was done!  I love that feeling!

HIIT Workout
Total Body HIIT workout

TOTAL BODY HIIT WORKOUT

For this workout you will need a set of dumbbells, a mat, towel, gliding disk/paper plates and water.  This workout can easily be done at the gym or at home.  

Warm Up (perform each exercise listed for 30 seconds each) or bike, jog or elliptical for 3-5 minutes until warm. 

  • Jog In Place
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Butt Kickers
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Alternating Front Lunges (no weight)
  • Walkouts
  • Arm Circles

Perform  Each Exercise for 30 seconds each.  Complete 2-3 rounds before moving on to the next round.  

Round 1

  • Box Jumps (on high bench or box)
  • Box/Bench Straddle Hops (on bench or box hop feet out wide and jump up onto the center of the box)
  • 1 Tricep Push Up 1 Bench Hop (on short end of a bench do a tricep push up then hop your feet outside of your hands)
  • Weighted Bulgarian Split Squat (1 side at a time)

Round 2

  • Bench Hop Overs (with hands on bench or box donkey kick side to side)
  • Single Leg Knee Up (1 leg up on bench, propel knee up into the chest ) Repeat on both sides. 
  • Bench Press
  • V Sit In and Out Abs (sitting on the bench)

Round 3

  • Toe  Taps (tap toes right and left on bench)
  • 1 Burpee 1 Jump Up or Double Butt Kicker
  • Mt. Climbers with Hands on Bench
  • Bicep Curls

Round 4 (you will need paper plates, gliding discs or towels for each foot)

  • Side To Side Bench Squats (holding 1 weight chest level)
  • Paper Plate Mt. Climbers (in plank position place a plate on each foot and do a mountain climber
  • 1 Push Up 1 Plank Jack with Paper Plates on each foot
  • In and Outs (with plates on each foot pull both knees into the chest and back out into plank)
  • 1 Crunch 1 Hamstring Plate Slides (Lie down with knees bent and the plates under the feet. Lift the hips off the floor into a bridge position and, holding this position, press into the floor and slide the feet out in front of you. Contract the hamstring and continue pressing into the floor as you slide the feet back to starting position.)

Cool Down and Stretch (3-5 Minutes)

Don’t forget there is still time to sign up to join me in my new fitness challenge starting January 9th.  Email me for more details at 4livingthewrightway@gmail.com

Have a great weekend and Happy New Year!!!!!

 

Be Your Own Role Model

Just popping in quick to share some inspirational words with you to help you start off your week.  My long run this weekend was a 10 mile run with an awesome friend.  When you run for an hour plus you get a chance to catch up, chat and get some awesome advice.  I always say running with friends is like a therapy session.  My friend Wendy gave me some really great advice that she heard from another friend.  This rocked my world.  BE YOUR OWN ROLE MODEL!  I love this statement.  Often times we are looking at other people as role models when we only see their best and we are looking at our worst.Be your own role model

Stop worrying about what other people think!  This is hard right?  So often we worry about what other people think about our parenting, finances, body, clothing, the cars we drive and our marriages.  Believe me, I do this A LOT!!!!  We need to stop!  

I want to encourage you for the rest of the month and the month of October to focus on being your own role model.  Pick an area of your life that you feel you want to work on the most and take action.  Take the time that you are spending to compare yourself with others and invest the time in YOU.  You are worth it.   I am going to be totally honest and real here with you guys.  I need to stop comparing my body to other fitness professionals!  I have a strong body and I can run 10 miles!!!!  Why do I feel the need to compare myself to others?

If you want to make a change in your life you are the only one who can do it.  What do you plan to focus on?  How are you going to take action?  Leave it in the comments so I can help you be accountable.  

Post Workout/Sports Snacks plus WOD

Hi Guys.  School is officially off to a great start and sports are in full swing.  I don’t know about you guys but when I pick up my girls from sports practice the first thing out of their mouth is “I’m Kids Sports Snack Ideas starving”.  I learned a great tip from Leslie Bonci while attending the Idaho Sports Nutrition Symposium a few weeks ago. Bring a snack in the car to your kiddos so they can eat it on the way home.  Then you won’t feel like you have to rush to get dinner on the table.  Brilliant!  For those of you without kids or are in college sports these are also great post workout/sports snack options too.  Here are a few of our family’s favorite combos.  They provide both carbs and protein so you can refuel post workout and are portable.

Post Workout and Sports Practice Snack Ideas  

  • String Cheese and Sliced Apples
  • 8 Ounces of Chocolate Milk
  • Beef Jerky and a Piece of Fruit
  • Kind Bar or Protein Bar (made with natural ingredients)
  • No Bake Energy Bites and Fruit
  • Pretzels and String Cheese
  • Trail Mix (I like to make my own with dried fruit, nuts, and pretzel pieces)
  • Protein Shake (I keep protein powder in my bag in a shaker bottle just in case I need it)
  • Apple Peanut Butter Rings (kinda messy but worth it)
  • Nut Butter and Banana Slices on a Rice Cake

Give these a try.  It’s important to get in your post workout recovery nutrition in within 30-45 minute to refuel the body, repair muscle tissue and keep you from being ravenous when you get home.  Don’t forget to drink water or a sports drink if you have been working out for more than an hour and are a heavy sweater.

Now that you have a snack idea why not give one of them a try after today’s Workout of the Day

The Dirty Thirty Boot Camp Workout  

This is one of my favorite workouts to do in my class.  It is a great total body workout and can be done at the gym or at home.  All you need is a set of weights and a mat and your are ready to get sweaty!  

Warm Up:  3-5 minutes of dynamic exercises

Complete the following exercises for 30 seconds each.  Try to complete as many rounds as possible within 30 minutes.  

  • BurpeesDirty 30 Boot Camp Workout
  • Bicep Curls
  • Squat Jumps
  • Weighted Squats
  • Alternating Weighted Back Lunges
  • Lunge Hops  
  • Push Ups
  • Squat Jacks or Regular Jumping Jacks
  • Bent Over Rows
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank (hold in extended arm planks)
  • Rest for 30 Seconds to 1 Minute and Repeat for 30 minutes

I hope you guys have a great weekend.  If you have any great post-workout kid friendly snack ideas please share them in the comments!

 

Back To School Bowls

Bowl Recipes It’s official. I am back to school.  For those of you who don’t know besides teaching fitness classes I also teach theater and speech at a Junior High. This keeps me really busy.  Plus I have two daughters who are involved in a lot of sports and activities.  So sometimes I am throwing dinner together at the last minute like I did last night!  Here is a quick healthy meal option for those who are like me and scrambling to put a healthy and tasty dinner on the table for your family. 

Back To School Bowls

One of my plans with my prepped meal items was to make some bowls!  I love burrito bowls from one of those popular healthy fast food restaurants, but they are pricey!  What I loved about these bowls was that each person could customize their bowl just how they like it.  I had chicken, avocado, mango salsa, fresh tomatoes, homemade pickled jalapenos and brown rice tortilla chips.  My daughters each customized their bowls totally different but never complained because they got to make their own choices.  Bowls are so easy to make and there is not really a recipe you need to follow.  Just pick one item from the list below and you will have a custom built bowl loaded with power foods!  

Pick a Whole Grain

  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole Grain or Gluten Free Pasta
  • Bulgar
  • Black Bean Pasta (high in protein and lower carb)
  • Steel Cut Oats

Pick a Protein

  • Ground Beef
  • Shredded Roast
  • Diced or Canned Chicken
  • Diced Ham
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Tuna or Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Tofu

Add Some Veggie Power  Any diced veggies or frozen veggies will work and are convenient.  

  • Finely Chopped Broccoli or Cauliflower (the kids won’t even notice it)
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Mixed Roasted Veggies (get a bag and roast them in the oven in olive oil for 15-20 minutes until brown and crisp)
  • Bell Peppers
  • Salsas
  • Zucchini
  • Any leftover veggies you have in the fridge

Add Some Flavor

  • Salsa
  • Pesto
  • Honey Mustard
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (a soy sauce alternative I love)
  • Thai Chili Sauce
  • Salad Dressing (I make my own or buy Annie’s Brand)
  • Mrs. Dash Seasonings (garlic herb and southwest chipolte are my faves)

Bowl Recipes

There are endless possibilities to the bowls you can make.  You could make a breakfast bowl, a burrito bowl, an asian style bowl.  You could really get creative and if you have all of your food items prepped and ready, all you need to do is assemble, heat and eat! This will definitely be a back to school go-to dinner for me.  

I hope you all have a great weekend!  If you have any quick dinner ideas please comment I love to hear new ideas for those crazy nights! 

 

Sweet 16 Anniversary Date

Hi Guys!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend!  I got to celebrate my 16th wedding anniversary on Friday.  I cannot believe it has been 16 years.  We decided we wanted to do something different for our Anniversary so we gave the Penny Date a try.  PennyDateI found this on Pinterest and it was a lot of fun.  We ended up going in circles and around the block a few times.  Out of our 12 flips of the coin we only turned right twice, but we ended up with some good options.  It was a tough decision DK Donuts or Shige Sushi?  

We opted for the sushi.  It was kind of a hole in the wall place, but different and somewhere we had never been before.  It is a sushi boat place, so that was kinda cool.  We got to try a few rolls we wouldn’t normally pick.  We finished the night with a nice bottle of wine at home and watched the Olympics which I am currently addicted to. 

The Anniversary date continued into Saturday where we celebrated with our daughters.  I think it is great to celebrate with your kids as well.  It is important to include them because they are part of something special in our lives and we are modeling what a good marriage looks like.

My hubby can be pretty creative too.  Here is what he had planned for our sweet 16 anniversary.  He didn’t  use Pinterest either like me!  Well he doesn’t really use Pinterest to be fair!  

Our bike ride on the greenbelt was a lot of fun.  We ended up at River City coffee which is a local coffee, breakfast and pastry place.  I had a yummy pumpkin chai muffin and the girls had a strawberry cheesecake scone!  So good!!!!! 

It was an amazing weekend and I am so thankful that God gave me such an amazing husband and friend!marriage quote

 

 

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Back To School Quick Meal Planning Tips

meal prepNext week is officially the start of back to school for us teachers and coaches.  My daughter will be starting cross country as well so that means I will be her chauffeur to practices a few times a day.  Usually the beginning of the school year is nuts and I am running around like a crazy woman and can barely get dinner on the table.  Not this year!  I recently went to a sports nutrition symposium and got to hear some tips from an awesome co-worker Hilary Horton Brown RD.  She is the Director of Sports Nutrition for BSU and is also an amazing fitness instructor too!  She had some great ideas for quick meal planning that I am going to do this weekend and try to keep up during the school year!  First I have to hit the grocery store!  I thought I would share her tips with you and maybe inspire you to start meal planning as well.  

The main goal of meal planning is to prepare many meals and snacks all at once to have ready for the week or longer!  This will not only save you time and money but also avoid impulsive eating and calling for pizza delivery on those rushed nights.  Try to add as many veggies as you can into your meals to increase your fiber intake and boost antioxidants.  

Here is what I plan to do this weekend to kick off my back to school meal planning: 

  1. Cook 3-5 pounds of lean ground beef.  Season your meat as you would like and freeze if you don’t plan on using it within a few days.  
  • Add in some taco seasoning, a can of rinsed black beans, and veggies.  You can use this for burrito bowls, tacos, or taco salads.  
  • Use italian seasoning mix and make spaghetti.  Add some finely chopped zucchini or carrots to up the veggie intake.
  • Make sloppy joes.  Keep sandwich thins or whole grain buns in the freezer.  My favorite sloppy joes recipe is http://www.skinnytaste.com/skinny-sloppy-joes/
  1.  Bake a bag of chicken breasts or a whole chicken in the oven.   
  • Dice up portions of the chicken and freeze in freezer bags with a bit of chicken broth to add moisture.  Pull it out of the freezer and mix with veggies for a quick and easy stir fry or fajitas.
  • Marinate slices in your favorite dressing or sauce and freeze in the sauce.  Pull them out add a veggie and a sweet potato and you have a quick and easy meal.  My favorite dressing is a ginger sesame!  
  • Slices can be frozen plain and pulled out for easy lunches like salads, quesadillas or wraps.  Endless possibilities!  
  1.  Make a large pot of whole grain pasta or rice and use it throughout the week.  
  2.  Prepare your veggies for the week.
  • Clean, peel, and cut up veggies for the week for salads, stir frys or snacks.
  • Stock up on frozen veggies to add to soups or stews.
  • Make a large salad or mason jar salads for lunches or dinners for the week.  
  1.  Bulk cook your favorite meals
  • Make bulk batches of your family’s favorite meals like enchiladas, chili, lasagna or other faves and double or triple the recipe to freeze for later use.  
  1.  Break out the crock pot!  Or try an insta-pot.  My friend Ashley just got one of these and is raving about it!  I gotta get one!  
  • Layer chicken breasts in the crock pot with salsa or teriyaki sauce cook on low for 5-6 hours and when you get home shred and add to your veggies, pasta or rice.  
  • Cook an inexpensive roast with a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce or season with a chipotle seasoning blend and cook on low all day.  When you get home shred it and use it with your favorite sides.  I love to make this into street tacos! Save the rest for a later meal.  
  1.  Prepare your snacks.  
  • Portion out veggies and dip into container for the week.
  • Make some energy balls for the week.  Try my no-bake energy ball recipe
  • Make some chia puddings
  • Make individual bags of trail mix with dried fruit, dark chocolate, nuts and pretzels.  

I hope this helped you to get started with meal planning.  There are so many awesome recipes out there on the web for crock pot recipes and meal prep.  I encourage you all to give this a try especially for you busy moms out there who tend to feel like me at the start of the school year!  I am hoping to get some pictures of my meal prepping (it may be scary) and share with you the outcome next week.  Have a great weekend!