Monday, July 3, 2017

3 Day Cleanse

So I decided to challenge myself and do my very first cleanse. I have always wanted to try one out, but a lot of the ones I saw were mainly liquids only and that is not for me. I love food and I need to EAT not just drink or it wouldn't work for me and in all honesty it's not healthy.

The one I chose to do is mainly a raw diet, plant based, no dairy, no meat, no bread, NO COFFEE. I was inspired by a friend and kind of winged it and went with what I wanted to challenge myself with and what I could handle at the same time.

Not having coffee originally I thought was going to be my biggest challenge, but as much as I missed it, it wasn't the hardest part. (or the taste at least) After all I didn't drink coffee for my whole pregnancy with my son. For me the hardest was feeling really tired, which I guess could be connected to the coffee. Day 1 was a breeze for the most part because I was so excited about starting the cleanse, had everything prepped and a plan in place. When nighttime hit Day 1 I noticed I was slightly weak so I made sure I grabbed some nuts and grapes. At this time I didn't think I was consuming enough calories, but the snacks helped and I made sure to add more calories to Day 2. To make matters worse BAM I got my period which partly explained how I was feeling too. I went to bed at 9pm and got a little over 8 hours of sleep, plenty you would think right? Nope.

Day 2 I woke up to losing 2 pounds within 24 hours, I was happy! I also felt like I haven't slept in days haha. I had my more energized moments, playing with my son, walking around Target, prepping dinner...but the down times I felt like a zombie. Staring at the computer screen at work was rough. At any moment I thought I would fall asleep. Day 2 I knew I needed more food of substance and protein so that's why I packed a good portion of quinoa with my lunch.

Day 3 I woke up losing about 3 more pounds. This is really working I thought. I was super motivated to finish this personal challenge.

Day 4 - In a total of 3 days I lost a total of 6.8 pounds! It was so worth it, not extremely hard and I felt great after. This was such an accomplishment for me and showing myself that I do have will power that sometimes I think I lack. After this cleanse I felt like I was on top of the world. I got a well deserved large coffee in the morning haha.

I would 100% do this again and WILL be.


My Food Plan

Day 1:

Breakfast - Banana Smoothie w/ unsweetened Almond Milk
Snack - Grapes
Lunch - Salad w/ mixed lettuce, baby spinach, raw cashews, quinoa, tomatoes, avocado
Snack - Apple
Dinner - Lettuce boat tacos w/ mushrooms, zucchini, red peppers
Snack - Unsalted Peanuts
Snack - Grapes
Water Intake - 60oz lemon water, 32oz regular water

Day 2:

Breakfast - Banana Smoothie w/ unsweetened Almond Milk
Snack - Grapes
Snack - Raw cashews
Lunch - Quinoa, baby spinach, mixed veggies, avocado, splash of avocado oil
Dinner - Zucchini noodles w/avocado sauce & a side of roasted veggies (brussel sprouts, sweet potato)
Snack - Strawberries
Water Intake - 30oz lemon water, 64oz regular water

Day 3:

Breakfast - Banana Smoothie w/ unsweetened Almond Milk
Snack - Grapes
Lunch - Quinoa & roasted veggies (brussel sprouts & sweet potato)
Snack - Raw cashews
Snack - Strawberries
Dinner - Avocado & tomato mash, corn on the cob & a baked potato w/ a splash of avocado oil & a little garlic
Water Intake - 90oz lemon water


 


 
 
Positive vibes,
 
Jenn

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Easiest Mac & Cheese Ever!

So my toddler asked for mac & cheese tonight and we didn't have any in the cabinet. Panic set in and I was waiting for a meltdown to begin. I quickly started a pot of water and figured I would wing it.

I am shocked at how good this came out! Here is what I did...

-- Cook pasta on the stove. I used elbows that were leftover in a baggie because it's all we had and it was perfect for it.
-- Add some butter (regular, sunflower, coconut, etc.) and a little cream or milk (whole, almond, etc.). Whatever you prefer and have on had.
-- Mix in parmesan cheese and a little shredded cheddar until fully melted. Add more liquid as needed.

SO easy, way more flavor then boxed and without those extra unneeded preservatives. Obviously powdered cheese can't be healthy for you, that's a no brainer.

The amount of time it took to make this was the same as microwaving an easy mac and letting it sit and cool so why not do this?! This isn't something I would do when making mac & cheese for the family or a party, etc. but it's definitely a great alternative when in a bind or when only cooking for the kids.

Next time your toddler wants mac & cheese, remember this!

 
Positive vibes,
 
Jenn

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cutting Out Dairy

Being a mom of a preemie is a unique experience. From day one life has been slightly different than that of my mom friends. My son was 2 pounds 10 oz and exactly 10 weeks early. He stayed in the NICU for 6 weeks and it was so hard to leave him every day. You think you have a baby and get to go home with them and start this new journey as a little family. Our fate wasn't that, but that's okay, our journey was special. I am so grateful for the amazing hands on nurses, the doctors that made sure he had the best life possible, my family and friends for being their for me and mostly for my son and he was healthy, he just needed to grow. I made it my mission to make sure regardless of him being premature that he wasn't delayed in any way. I worked with him and still do every day to make sure he is always learning and growing. As a preemie mom, growing is something you always strive for and worry about whether it's their size or growing your childs mind.

My son has struggled with very bad allergies and some childhood asthma, has had two surgeries before the age of 3 and we were told he may need a third. I really did not want that to happen so I researched and explored different things to see if they could help and THEY DID!

He has had the tubes put in his ears like so many other toddlers as well as a hernia surgery in his groan. The one tube moved in his ear after almost a year and wasn't working anymore. It was still stuck in his ear and we brought him to the doctor and as suspected he had an ear infection. As soon as the one tube wasn't working, EAR INFECTION. Seeing this and knowing what I knew I immediately thought he would need a new tube put in. We treated the ear infection and made an ENT appointment with his previous surgeon. At the appointment he told my husband he had a lot of fluid in his ear but no infection. He removed the tube that was in the wrong place and told him to come back in 8 weeks. At that time I had it in my head, he had to get surgery AGAIN. I was so upset.

But after the research I did and the advice I received, things got better. I believe removing the tube had a good part of it as well. We think maybe since it was in the wrong place, but didn't fall out yet that it was preventing the flow of the fluids and it was making it build up. Along with that being removed, we stopped ALL dairy milk. Started him on coconut milk since he's had that before and then changed to unsweetened almond milk. The transition went good and we had no issues. He still eats dairy like cheese and yogurt but when it comes to milk, NO cows milk.

You hear about how dairy can affect congestion and mucus etc., well he is proof that is TRUE. With having no cows milk along with putting an essential oil mixture on his feet twice a day he is doing much better. His coughing, asthma issues and nasal congestion has decreased drastically. I am so happy we tried these two remedies and we will continue to do them in order to prevent things going back to the way they were. My son was sick all the time. Granted germs and other things have been factors since he does go to daycare, but this has limited those circumstances in a big way and for that I am grateful. He will get sick again of course but if by doing these two small things limits that even the littiest bit I am all for it! Anything to help my "baby".

We go for his follow up appointment in two weeks and I am very hopeful that he won't need surgery again. Fingers crossed!


Positive vibes,

Jenn

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

Sometimes you get to a point where you've gained too much weight or got too out of shape that you think you could never turn it all around. I've been there. A million times. It's OK. You CAN still lose the weight and get back in shape. 

I was at that point. Even my mental health was getting to a very unhealthy point. But then on Monday I started a new challenge group and workout program. After even the first workout I felt better and knew I was on the right path again. The endorphins kicked in, depression left my head and I felt better about myself. 

To think something so little as a 30 minute workout can completely change how you feel and alter the chemicals in your brain to feel happiness again is truly amazing. 

Yes, the workout is hard. Yes, you will struggle. Yes, you will curse out the trainer on the tv. Yes, you will drip sweat all over including on your toddler under your feet. And YES, you will be sore the next day and days to follow. 

But also, YES it will all be worth it and YES you WILL feel good in the end. I realized no matter how hard or how much weight I put on, getting back on track is one step and day at a time. You have to start somewhere. 

Also, YES you will mess up, have a bad cheat meal or day. It's reality and human nature. But don't let that mess up your week or your mind set. Have it end then and there and move on to healthier decisions. 

Think ahead, to the next workout or next healthy meal and how you will feel after. I actually love feeling sore. It shows I did something. I did something that is good for my body and what I did is working. 

Chug that water, press play and change you! You won't be sorry. 

One day at a time, one healthy choice at a time. That's enough.

I received this email over the weekend from Beachbody about my weekly workouts I did. I REALLY needed this!




Positive vibes,
Jenn

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Meal Delivery Services

So I know these meal deliveries companies have been around for awhile. Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Purple Carrot, etc. but we never tried them before. They are a bit pricey and out of our weekly budget for the regular price of the service, but with coupons they are very affordable. I always seem to see $30 off coupons, but after doing some googling I was able to find $40 off coupons. By using this coupon, 3 meals for 2 people each is only $20. This is so much cheaper than if all the supplies were purchased at a grocery store. The regular price is completely worth it also for the convenience and quality of food, but it's just not something we can afford. Finding a way around paying full price has been great because we are really enjoying the meals.
 
We have tried one week of Hello Fresh and one week of Blue Apron so far and are pleasantly surprised with the meals. My husband also loves cooking the meals and learning new recipes we can use in the future and small things you wouldn't think to do or mix together but works and tastes delicious. Plus it's a win win for me because I don't have to cook. Another plus is having my husband see that healthier options can taste good too and to broaden the types of food he eats. Who knew he liked radishes and cabbage?! :)
 
The meals only take about 30 minutes with prep and cooking which is not bad at all. They are full of flavor, there's a good variety of meals to choose from each week and are good portions. Portion size is one thing my husband was worried about. When we received the first box and saw all the supplies it didn't seem like enough for us, but once the meals were cooked and plated it was plenty. The only downfall is there isn't enough for leftovers for lunch the next day. We like leftovers but at the same time they seem to go to waste a lot too.
 
I have heard Hello Fresh is better than Blue Apron but from our experience they are equally as good.  We are excited to try more companies and more meals. Here are a few of our meals we've made so far, we as in my husband haha:
 
 
If anyone is thinking about trying one of these services I highly recommend it. If you need help finding a coupon to use let me know!

Postive vibes,
Jenn

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Two Ingredient Pancakes

The recipe calls for:

1 banana, mashed
2 eggs, beaten

-- Mix the ingredients together.
-- Spray the pan with coconut oil.
-- Add the pancake batter to the pan and cook until browned.
-- Top with desired toppings. 😋

Friday, April 7, 2017

Light is the New Black

Starbucks is so much more than coffee. It's a special world. A different vibe. I look around and see all these unique human beings as they read, write, talk and create. It's really a special thing and a warm place to be especially when sitting on their patio, taking in all the sunshine. Light, it's the new black after all. More of that below. ;-)

It's been a very rainy gloomy week, BUT on Wednesday it was beautiful out so I went to Starbucks on my lunch break to read a new book I just started. I got a peppermint mocha. It's not just a holiday drink, it's a feel good drink. For me anyways...cheers!


The new book I started is called Light is the New Black. I am not even half way in, but it's already been a life changing book for me. I know this will be one I go to from time to time to read certain pages or chapters depending on what's going on in my life at the time. I highly recommend it and that is saying a lot from someone who isn't a big reader. I am ready to shine my light in this world.

Here is a link to a video of the author and a look into what this book is all about.

https://youtu.be/X7GVU-S7LgM


Postive vibes,
Jenn

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Baked Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a high protein and fiber food that is healthy while also filling at the same time. Great for vegans and vegetarians or just not huge meat eaters like myself. They are easy to incorporate into your meals, like in different salads and casseroles. These baked chickpeas are great just on their own as a snack too.
 
Yesterday I baked some in the oven with paprika, garlic powders and parsley sprinkled on them. Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes. Simple, easy, quick and something different than I normally eat.
 
 
I decided to put them into a whole wheat pita and added some lettuce, tomato and greek yogurt sauce. I had the yogurt sauce leftover from falafel I made a week or so ago. I love using what I have on hand instead of food going to waste, saves money and cleans out the fridge/cabinets at the same time.
 
This really was so simple yet satifiying. I had one for dinner last night with a lettuce wedge salad and brought another one for lunch today to work. A can of chickpeas is really cheap too so a bargain meal as well.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Pretzel Snack Recipe

I have a new show obsession, THE KITCHEN on the Food Network. I love the cast, the recipes, the vibe of the set, the DIY stuff, etc. Cooking shows aren't something I normally watch, but I DVR this one it's THAT good. The cast is funny, clever and smart. The recipes are all delicious with healthy options and products that are a little out of the ordinary which is cool. The DIY projects are usually always recycling something and having a new use for it which I absolutely LOVE. I have made DIY cleaner made from fruit that I use for our kitchen counters and just this last episode they did some very interesting things with old cans that I have to try.
 
Also on the most recent episode they made two versions of pretzels snacks, one sweet and one savory. After seeing how good they looked I had to try them so I whipped them up quickly yesterday.
 
The jar on the left is chocolate syrup (I use the 5 simple ingredients one made by Hershey's since it doesn't have all the additives in it and preservatives) and blended unsalted peanuts. I realized after blending I could've just used my PB2 and the other option is instead of blending to just smash some up so it's more chunky. You simply coat the the pretzels with the syrup and then coat that with the nuts.
 
The jar on the right is a balsamic glaze coating the pretzels with parmesan cheese, italian spices and garlic powder.
 
Both are really good! Next time I think I would coat them both more and add more toppings.
 


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Product of the Week

These are like a treat, but healthy! I really was surprised how much I liked them because they are "crunchy" and not chewy which I usually prefer. But they aren't really that hard compared to other granola bars I have had that aren't chewy.

The serving size is two bar for only 180 calories, 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Perfect snack or an addition to a breakfast or lunch. It is a good option for someone craving chocolate too!

Check them out!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Squat Challenge

Sometimes you fall off the wagon and sometimes you fall WAY off. I don’t recognize myself lately and it’s not a good feeling. I needed to do something about it and waiting for “the new year” wasn’t going to work for me.

Trust me when I say that my last post “Feel Good Food” is a real thing and I need to keep reminding myself of that. What you put into your body really does change you in one way or another.

Yesterday I started a one week challenge with five other ladies doing squats. You have to start somewhere and this is where I am starting to get back on track. It helps to have other motivating you too. Additional to that I am really concentrating on water intake this week in order to get rid of bloat, to feel more awake and energized and to keep me full so I don’t over eat. I kept it pretty light yesterday with food for the first day and was really hungry at night so made some healthy quinoa porridge to fill me up. I also did some grocery shopping for the week to make better decisions.


Squat Challenge Day 1:
 
Ø  12:30am – 25 squats

Ø  6:30am – 25 squats

Ø  10:30am – 25 squats

Total: 75 squats

 
My goal for the 7 days is to complete 1,000 squats! It’s a good goal and doable if I push myself. I wasn’t feeling too great last night so I didn’t do any so that is why yesterday’s number is lower than I wanted. But today, I will do better.

Whose's with me?
 
 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Feel Good Food

This is always something “people” say. People say a lot of things and you can’t always believe it all, but this you can. There have been times I totally blew that little saying “feel good food” off and thought it’s all BS. Then I would continue to eat whatever crappy food I was eating and the end result was not great.  Ding! Ding! Ding! There’s a reason why. Feel good food is a real thing. There’s so much truth in it. Eating that type of food DOES make you feel good, more energized, awake, less bloated and happier. I’ve experienced it a million times over. I eat bad food and feel depressed, fat and blah. I eat good food and feel good about myself and more alive.  I do more and accomplish more when I have whole grains, healthy fats and food in my body. When I eat bad I become lazy and sad.

Granted, I can treat myself to something “bad” and still feel good too, but it’s more so when the “bad” food consumes you and your entire day that you feel different.  One meal, one snack or something won’t make you feel crappy, it’s when over indulging happens and a whole day of bad choices go by. I personally like to enjoy food, good and bad but moderation is key.

Today I started my day with a big superfood, shakeology and packed a healthy protein filled lunch to fill me up until dinner tonight which is a healthy pizza option. Still gotta have my pizza! J Finding healthy alternatives to your favorite foods helps me a lot. I still have regular pizza on occasion of course but I like to have pizza quite often so having . A plan is good to have for the day or week because this will prevent eating out, bad choices and binge eating which we are all guilty of. Not everyone has time to work out or even cook so prep and a plan helps the week go more smooth.
 
 
Good vibes,
 
Jenn

Product of the Week

 
 
Hey everyone!  My beachbody friends on Facebook always talk about different extracts to add to their Shakeology like coconut, mint, almond, carmel.  Some of these are hard to find, but the Watkins line of extracts can be found at most Walmarts.  It is also sold on Amazon but it's about double the cost then Walmart which is about $3.00.  This is found in the baking aisle. Check it out when you are out and about next time.
 
I first added some to my coffee and loved it, now I also add it to my latte Shakeology. It would be a great addition to some homemade cookies instead of using vanilla too. I also heard the mint extract is great in chocolate shakes. I want to get the coconut one in the summer for that tropical feel to my drink.
 
Try it and enjoy!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quinoa Cakes

 
You know me and quinoa, I love it and it's a great source of protein and a healthy food that fills you up. I ate these for dinner last week and really enjoyed them.
 
The recipe calls for:
 
2 cups quinoa, cooked
2/3 cup fontina cheese, grated
3 tbs flour
1 egg
2 tbs olive oil
2-3 chives
salt & pepper to taste
 
-- Add the olive oil to a pan and heat on medium.
-- Mix the remaining ingredients. Form patties, I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
-- Add the patties to the heated pan. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes.
 
I made an aioli to dip them in which came out great and paired well with the patties. I used minced garlic, a little mayo (light if you have it), a couple drops of lemon juice and a chipotle spice we had on hand. You can use any spice you prefer and can also substitute a different cheese if you wanted.
 
 
Enjoy!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili

 
 
The recipe calls for:
 
3 sweet potatoes

4 cups chicken broth
1 lb ground meat
1 tbs olive oil
14 oz can diced tomatoes (drained)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
1 tbs garlic, chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprike
salt & pepper to taste

-- Chop and peel the potatoes. Microwave the potatoes with 1 tbs of water for 90 seconds.
-- Cook the ground meat in a pan.
-- Add all ingredients to the crock pot and stir. Cook for 3-4 hours on high.

The picture is showing without any toppings so you can see the main ingredients and what it looks like.  I will admit it doesn't look as good as it tastes, but when I added my toppings and mixed them all up it was the perfect combination.

The toppings I choose were cheddar cheese, cilantro, light sour cream and a few multi-gran quinoa chips broken into pieces. You can use any toppings you like, but the ones I picked really went well together. It is a spicy chili so the little bit of sour cream mixed in really was a good touch and the crunch of the chips added something special as well.

Enjoy!