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Thursday, January 3, 2019

5 Super Simple Meal Prep Tips

Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes, meal prep

Meal Prep....something many of us WANT to do, but can never seem to get their sh** together enough to actually DO IT! I know, because that was totally me! Meal prepping might also seem overwhelming when you see pretty pictures like this:
Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes, meal prep

Sure it LOOKS pretty...but it might also look pretty overwhelming to you, too! Listen, meal prepping DOES NOT have to be difficult, time consuming....or PRETTY! You just have to get it done! Here are my 5 tips to a simple, healthy meal prep:

  1. Keep it SIMPLE: By SIMPLE I mean you don't have to prep the 7 day week! Start with breakfast, lunch and one or two snack per each weekday. These overnight oats are a PERFECT meal-prep breakfast and HERE are some easy snack ideas
  2. Don't be afraid to repeat: Trying to make 5 different meals everyday is overwhelming, not to mention it's not very cost effective. I usually do 2 different breakfasts, 2 different lunches, and 2 snacks. I repeat each on a M, W, F and T/Th schedule so I don't get tooo bored! :)
  3. Take shortcuts: Items like frozen fruit, rotisserie chicken, microwave brown rice or quinoa and pre made chicken burgers are perfect examples of taking some help from the grocery store so you aren't spending hours slaving over the stove! Stores are now also selling great frozen items such a zucchini noodles and riced cauliflower! If you want a super easy no-cook meal prep, check out THIS ONE.
  4. Mini Prep: If a full meal prep is too much for you, start with little things that will make life easier during the week. Cutting fruit, boiling eggs, chopping up veggies or portioning out nuts and dried fruit are all great little things that can be done to ensure you always have a healthy snack on hand.
  5. Get fun containers: Maybe it's a mental thing, but having great containers can make you feel like a meal prep ninja! I like these one-compartment containers from Amazon or if you want to get fancy, get the ones with the compartments like THESE. Large mason jars like THESE can be found cheap at the dollar store or Michaels and make great jars for salads. Need some mason jar salad ideas?? Check out these!
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Meal prepping can seem intimidating at first, but if you just keep it simple YOU CAN DO IT!! Setting aside as little as 20 minutes on a Sunday can help tremendously throughout the week and help keep you on track with your health and fitness goals!

Quick and Easy Meal Prep for Breakfast + Lunch + Snacks!

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Ready for a SUPER quick and easy meal prep?! No joke, it took me longer to find all the lids to these containers than it did it prep my breakfast, lunch and snacks for the work week!!

Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes, meal prep

This prep could NOT get an easier:
  1. Breakfasts: Breakfast for me is always either Chocolate protein shake with either a banana or pineapple. I get my daily dose of superfoods and it's done in 2 minutes flat! If you aren't a shake person, try making these overnight oats!
  2. Snack 1: Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt and Frozen Berries. The frozen berries end up "melting" into the yogurt and it's soooo yummy! Fresh berries work too, obviously :)
  3. Snack 3: Veggies and Dressing. I like to cut up fresh veggies and portion them out for the week. I did celery and carrots this week with Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch. I like to portion out dressing for the week so it's just grab and go!
  4. Lunches: Chicken Burgers with Simple Citrus Slaw. I love these Don Lee Chicken Burgers from Costco but any  lean, no antibiotic chicken burger will do! I just throw a frozen burger onto the slaw and I'm good to go! Here is the Simple Citrus Slaw Recipe--so easy!!

Simple Citrus Slaw
Ingredients
  • For the slaw:
  • 1 cup pre shredded carrots
  • 2 cups cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the carrots and cole slaw to a large bowl.
  2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over veggies.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

There you have it! Breakfast, lunch and snacks for the week!!

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The Secret to Staying Motivated With Your Health & Fitness

Motivation motivation tips staying healthy tips for staying motivated
Over two years ago I started my health and fitness journey. Was I motivated??! Heck yes I was..at least I thought I was!! After 3 kids I had finally invested in myself! I bought cute workout clothes, a nice water bottle, set my alarm to wake up early....it was AWESOME...for about 3 weeks. I lost 10 lbs and tons of inches but my DRIVE to keep going fizzled out.

Why did I lose motivation?? Well, I really never HAD motivation to begin with! What I had was EXCITEMENT! Lots of people confuse motivation with excitement, which is one of the reasons so many people drop off the earth in March at the gym!! LOL! So how to we KEEP MOTIVATION?? Here are my tips..


Tip #1: Declare + Surround Yourself with Supporters
If you want to stay motivated with your health and fitness, you need accountability. The first way to start this is to DECLARE to the world that you are starting your journey and that you intend to keep it up! The simple action of putting yourself out there can help you stay motivated because you know others are watching!!
Another thing to do is surround yourself with people who will SUPPORT YOU...Starting with the people in your own home. Getting your significant other on board is HUGE. Setting guidelines such as, "I am making a healthy lifestyle change. I'd like it if we could limit our eating out to once a week." The people around you LOVE you, they WANT to support you--but you need to be clear on your expectations.
At work, make a declaration as well!!! Let people see your healthy lunch when they are grabbing the doughnuts. Let them ask you about what you're doing! Let them cheer you on! Or just let them watch you :) Knowing you are being watched is, oddly, fantastic motivation :)

Tip #2: A Simple Mindset Shift
This one is easy, but hurts a little. Every time you "don't feel like it"--whether it be working out of eating healthy or planning your meals, etc....replace those words: "I don't feel like it" with "I am not COMMITTED to living a healthy lifestyle." Those words I AM NOT COMMITTED hits at the heart...far more than "I don't feel like it." You WANT to be committed. You don't want to FAIL! When you tell yourself you are not committed, it's like giving  into failure. Try it :)

Tip #3: Attach Feelings and Find Your WHY
Living a healthy lifestyle goes far beyond fitting into a pair of jeans or losing 20 lbs. While those things are all GREAT goals, they a very surface-level. Chances are, when you reach your goal, you'll quit...and at some point have to restart. To combat this, you need to think about your FEELINGS more than specific, external goals. Ask yourself questions like:
  • How do I want to FEEL throughout my life? Do I want to feel lethargic? Energetic? Confident? Envision how you WANT to FEEL as you go through life on this health and fitness journey.ENVISION yourself with your children years from now..your grandchildren. What do you see?
  • How do I FEEL when I look in the mirror?? NOT externally, but are you comfortable with who you see?? Are you confident? Comfortable in your own skin?
  • How do you want your family to FEEL about you?
Question like these touch you straight at the HEART and can push you through even the toughest days. I call this your WHY. Dig deep and find your WHY and you'll always have built in motivation.


Here is my why...this is why I have been able to stick to working out and living healthy (in moderation!) for over two years:

I have seen too many people close to me suffer so many ailments because they are not living an active, healthy lifestyle. The ailments are physical ...like high blood pressure and heart disease and require a boat load of medication. But I've also seen non-physical ailments such as depression, lack of confidence and lack of self worth. All are mentally and physically devastating and have shown me how sedentary living truly affects body, mind AND spirit.

I don't want to live this way. I don't want my family to live this way. THIS is what helps me push through on the days "I don't wanna!"

I hope this has helped!

3 Weeks of Easy + Healthy Weeknight Dinners



Back to school time!!! Although it's great to get the kiddos back to school and get back into a routine, I sometimes miss the relaxed "lack of routine" of the summer. Back to school seems to just hit with a vengeance! Paper to sign! Lunches to pack! Practices! Homework! Oh my!!  Dinner and healthy eating can often be tough when life gets busy but I have you covered with my 10 Easy + Healthy Weeknight Meals for Back to School!

Dinner during the week can be a struggle with kid’s activities and practices! When life gets crazy, I always try to keep things simple. I've divided these meals into 3 categories that work well for Back to School craziness:
  • Sheet Pan Dinners: There's nothing easier than putting everything onto a baking sheet and let the oven do the work! These meals can be prepped a couple of days in advance, too and just heated up as you need them.
  • Portable: For meals on the go!
  • Crockpot: Who doesn't love throwing everything in a crockpot and having a delicious hot meal when you get home??!
  • Leftovers: These meals are make great leftovers.
  • Just Simple: These meals can be made in about 20 minutes or less.


Sheet Pan Dinners
  1. Chicken Fajitas: Just use a store bought low sodium taco seasoning to simplify this more!
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2. BBQ Smoked Sausage and Veggies:  Keep it healthier and use turkey or chicken sausage.
Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes 
Source: Meatloaf and Melodrama

3. Pesto Chicken: Just use a good store bought pesto--my fave is Kirkland brand from Costco!
Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes 
Source: Cooking Classy

Portable Dinners

1. Cobb Salad Wraps: Wraps are GREAT for wrapping up and eating on the go. Customize this cobb salad wrap with whatever you favorite wrap ingredients are!
Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes 
Source: Living Well Kitchen

2. Quesadillas: This is my family's favorite portable meal. I make up a bunch, fill it with their favorite "fillings" (deli meat, favorite cheeses, chicken, etc.) wrap them up in foil, pack some fruit and it's dinner on the go! This is also a great use for leftover chicken or taco meat.

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Source: Written Reality

3. Pasta: A thermos is great for keeping pasta hot for an easy on the go meal! Use your favorite pasta recipe or try this one pot fave of mine: One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta.

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Source: Chew Out Loud

Crockpot

1.Seasoned Chicken and Potatoes: This is one of my family's favorite crockpot recipes and it's SUPER simple! The cooking time is not long, so if you will be gone most of the time, set your crockpot's timer, if possible.
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Source: The Magical Slow Cooker

2. Taco Soup: I love this "dump and go" recipe! Feel free to substitute lean ground beef or turkey, but brown it in a skillet first.

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Source: Kristine's Kitchen

3. Lasagna Soup: Italian chicken sausage works great but you can use ground beef or turkey too. The leftovers make a perfect lunch.

Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes 
Source: The Little Kitchen

Leftovers

1. Turkey Meatloaf: I think the leftovers are better than freshly-cooked! Ha!! Great on a sandwich too for a portable meal!

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2. Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes: Whip up a double batch and have an easy and portable meal for the next day, too!
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Photo Credit: Dinner Then Dessert

3. Lemon Broccoli Pasta Skillet: The kids pick out the broccoli and love this pasta and I am 100% fine with that! Serve it with a salad and/or bread the first night and the next night, heat it up a bit and put it in a Thermos for another easy on the go meal.

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Just Simple
1.Breakfast for dinner:  This is my son’s ALL TIME favorite meal. I love it because you can customize it for everyone’s preferences. You can check out how we do ours in THIS POST.
breakfast for dinner easy meal ideas kid favorite meals

2. 3 Ingredient Salsa Chicken: This counts in the Super Simple, Crockpot AND Leftovers category! Doesn't get much easier than this! Here's the "recipe"--
Put four chicken breasts in your crockpot with one container fresh salsa (from the deli) and a half a packet of low sodium taco seasoning. Cook on low 4-5 hours until chicken shreds easily. Serve in tortillas with lettuce, sour cream, avocado and whatever other taco toppings you love!
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Photo Source: Gimme Some Oven

3. White Chicken Chili: I LOVE how this recipe uses store bought rotisserie chicken and store bought salsa verde!
Easy healthy dinners, family friendly meals, easy week night dinners, healthy family friendly meals, back to school dinners, 30 minute meals, Clean eating, easy clean eating recipes

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Greek Turkey Burgers

Greek Turkey Burgers, Healthy Turkey Burgers, Easy Turkey Burgers

I LOVE me a good burger, let me tell you! These Greek Turkey Burgers are a lighter version is perfect for summer. I serve it up piled high with my delicious Tzatziki Sauce and a simple Cucumber and Tomato Salad. Serve it on a toasted bun, on lettuce leaves or just plain like mine!
This recipe serves 4-5 and is delicious the next day as well.

Ingredients
For Burgers:
1lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
For Cucumber Tomato Salad Tzatziki Sauce click HERE

Instructions
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. With your hands, mix together until everything is well mixed.
3. Form into (5) 5-inch burgers and place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
4. Broil for 5-7 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
5. Top with Tzatziki Sauce and serve with Cucumber Tomato Salad!

Greek Turkey Burgers, Easy turkey Burgers


Think You Can't Cook? Try These 3 Simple, Healthy Recipes!!

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Hey Foodies!
So you might be really good at EATING and LOVING food, but how are you at cooking it?? Or maybe you just feel too tired and busy to make a healthy meal for your family every night.
Listen, I used to be a disaster in the kitchen!! And I never, ever have any extra "time" on my hands! But I've learned over the years that cooking a heathy meal doesn't have to be scary or time consuming! Just focus on:
  • Keeping things SIMPLE
  • Having a rough "dinner plan" for each day of the week. Get my weeknight meal plans HERE.
  • Focus on using REAL food vs. packaged and processed foods. Think chicken on the grill and veggies vs. Lean Cuisine :)
Here are THREE simple, healthy recipes you can make that your family will love...and they require VERY little (if any) actual "cooking."

1. 3 Ingredient Salsa Chicken: Easiest recipe on the planet and everyone in the house is happy! Put four chicken breasts in your crockpot with one container fresh salsa (from the deli) and a half a packet of low sodium taco seasoning. Cook on low 4-5 hours until chicken shreds easily. Serve in tortillas with lettuce, sour cream, avocado and whatever other taco toppings you love!

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2. Sheet Pan Dinner: I LOVE sheet pan dinners because they leave VERY little to clean up and everything is done right on one pan. Mix and match your veggies and protein--i love Trader Joe's Chicken Sausage. If you want to make things even easier, nix all the seasonings and toss everything with a little store bought Pesto. This is my FAVE!

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3. Breakfast for Dinner: This is a family FAVE of ours! You can do it however your family likes, but this is what's usually on our menu:
  • Scrambled eggs with red pepper and cheese
  • Pancakes: We LOVE these whole grain protein cakes!
  • Turkey Sausage
  • A big fruit salad with mixed berries
Breakfast for dinner easy dinner easy healthy dinner

Check out this video and see how I used to be a disaster in the kitchen and how I turned it around!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-DNFv3y53k

10 Easy Snacks That Will Keep Your Kids FULL!

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"I want a snack, I want a snack, I want a snack!!!!" Have you seen that video from a few years ago that went viral?? Or maybe it sounds like kids in YOUR house??! With my kids home for the summer, I know those are some of the most frequently spoken words in our house!! Today I have a tip for you that might help with this along with 10 easy snacks that will keep your kids FULL!


Here are my 10 easy snacks that include 2 or more of the essential "groups" that will keep kids full:
  1. Protein
  2. Fiber
  3. Healthy Fat
1.Whole grain waffle (fiber) + nut butter (healthy fat, protein) + berries (fiber)
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2. Hummus (protein/healthy fat) + whole grain crackers (fiber
3. Greek yogurt tube (protein/healthy fat) + granola bar (fiber)
4. Cheese stick (health fat/protein) + low sodium ham or turkey slices (protein) + apple slices (fiber)

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5. Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites (protein/healthy fat) + strawberries (fiber)

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Energy Bites easy snacks

6. Low sugar whole grain cereal (fiber) + milk (healthy fat/protein) + berries (fiber)
7. Whole grain Goldfish crackers (fiber) + small whole milk yogurt (protein/healthy fat)
8. Beef or turkey jerky (protein) +  fruit (fiber)
9. Granola bar (fiber), 1/2 cup milk (protein)

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10. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread (protein/healthy fat/fiber) + 1/2 cup milk (protein)

Happy Snacking!!! :)

5 Super Simple Meal Prep Tips

Meal Prep....something many of us WANT to do, but can never seem to get their sh** together enough to actually DO IT! I know, because tha...