Every Tuesday I'm Going to Bring You a New Macro-Centered, Healthy, & Tasty Recipe!
If any of you have been seeing my Snapchat or Instagram posts lately you can tell I'm obsessed with cooking healthy, balanced, and macro specific meals! If you're not following me, you should! ;) Links below.
I've finally mastered my Maple Brussels,Chickpeas & Walnuts recipe and it is so freaking tasty! I look forward to it every time I'm going to have it, even if I'm reheating it the next day. It's a perfect meal prep option because it's still just as good after being zapped in a microwave. I hope you enjoy it just much as I do!
Ingredients 3 cup brussel sprouts 1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 tsp salt 5 oz. chickpeas 1/4 cup walnuts 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add the brussel sprouts, olive oil and salt. 2. Sauté for the next 5 minutes, stirring frequently (I like to cover it off and on a few times for a steaming effect, but it's up to you). 3. Add the chickpeas, walnuts, and maple syrup and stir the mixture. Sauté for one more minute. 4. Pair with 2-3 oz. of a protein of your choice and enjoy! :)
Macros per serving (recipe yields 4 servings): 32g carbohydrates, 11g fat, 10g protein - 243 calories
*This recipe was inspired by the Maple Brussel Sprouts recipe by Tone It Up. Amounts of ingredients were changed to meet my specific macro goals.
I'd like to introduce to you my very first Motivation Monday!
Let's be real here, Mondays can be a drag! So I want to start the week out right, sending out positive vibes.
I have been allllllllll about self-care and self-love lately! It's important to feel good in your own skin. Internally and externally. As of the new year, I've really put myself and my soul first. And it's been amazing! I wanted to share the 7 things I've been doing religiously in hopes that it will inspire you to try some of them out to help you find your own inner happiness. However, I fully believe in implementing things one by one when attempting behavior change. So let's keep it simple and start with the first two things.
1. Workout Regularly I knowwwww, you hear this all of the time. But you can't fight the facts! Working out regularly helps you become more fit, sleep better, improves your overall health and can seriously benefit anyone with overwhelming stress and/or anxiety. So why aren't you working out again?! Exactly. The number one reason most don't is due to the lack of time, but let me tell you this, YOU NEED TO MAKE THE TIME. Put yourself first, no excuses! Everyone is busy, we've all got a million things going on, there's never a "right time" to start - you just need to do it. Expert Tip: I strength train 5 days per week and do cardio on 3 of those days. My weeks are pretty crazy so I've scheduled my rest days on Mondays and Fridays to give myself some relief during the week. Also, when I get home from work I don't even allow myself to sit down. I go straight to my closet, change into my gym clothes and head right back out the door. Don't sit down to rest or you'll never make it to the gym! Zumba classes, trail runs, yoga classes, and strength training are my faves (stay tuned for my Fitness Friday posts to get all of the inside details on my workouts), but at the end of the day what works for me may not work for you - so find workouts that you love and make it work!
2. Get Enough Sleep Lately I've made it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep EVERY night. Let me give you an insider tip, this doesn't just happen, you need to make a conscious effort every single day to achieve this goal. Set a time that you can start winding down nightly and stick to it. Cut off your screen time, light a candle or soak in some relaxing essential oils (I am obsessed with eucalyptus and lavender oils) and get your butt in bed! Looking for a natural sleep aid through food? Magnesium consumption in the evening is known to give you a better nights sleep, so eat those dark leafy greens with dinner on the reg (spinach, mixed greens, arugula, kale, collard greens, cabbage and broccoli - just to name a few). Also, melatonin is the hormone that regulates our sleep, therefore consumption of foods that naturally contain this hormone can be beneficial to help you fall asleep (tart cherries or cherry juice, tomatoes, orange bell pepper, walnuts and almonds).
I genuinely hope that some of you implement these behavior changes and tips. Please comment below on what you're wanting to try or what you did try and how it went. I love to hear from you guys! Enjoy your Monday, you're amazing. :)
Hey y'all! Who says you can't have pancakes when you're leaning out?! Definitely not me! As many of you know, I'm leaning out during the month of January - follow my journey on Instagram and look out for my upcoming blog summarizing my entire journey (shameless plug)! Anyway, these protein pancakes save lives, or at least mine every week when I'm rushing to work and need a quick breakfast. Every Sunday I make a batch of 12 protein pancakes, eat 2 and then freeze the other 10 to reheat during the week for breakfast. Not only are they super tasty, they fit perfectly into my macros. :) It's a win-win. You NEED to get in on this goodness!
3/4 cup whole wheat flour ~ 3 servings of vanilla protein powder (about 55g protein) 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese 1 1/2 cup egg whites (egg beaters or a similar brand) 1/4 cup 2% milk 1/4 cup coconut oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract Maple syrup
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for one minute. Scrape the sides of the blender with a spoon and stir into the mixture. Blend for one more minute. 2. Spray a saute pan with coconut cooking spray and place over medium heat. 3. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out each pancake and pour into the pan, wait for the edges to start bubbling and flip to cook the other side. 4. Top each pancake with 1 tsp. of maple syrup. 5. Enjoy! :)
Macros per pancake: 9g carbohydrates, 5g fat, 11g protein - 125 calories Macros per tsp of maple syrup: 4g carbohydrates, 0g fat, 0g protein - 17 calories If you decide to freeze the pancakes to reheat for later, freeze them in a large freezer Ziploc bag and reheat in the microwave for a minute on each side.
*This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Carolyn Fetters of Balanced Habits, altered to fit my specific macros and preferred ingredients.
This time of year is nutritionally tough for everyone, so I wanted to share my survival tips so that you can avoid overeating during the holidays! You're welcome ;)
1. Have a game plan! Before you attend any holiday party, decide beforehand what you are going to eat or drink and stick to it! By doing this you will avoid eating excessively and mindlessly. If you are unsure of what food will be served at an event, follow rule number 2. 2. Bring your own healthy dish Whether you prepare your favorite healthy recipe or bring a fresh vegetable tray, bring a healthy option so that you have at least one safe selection to consume. 3. Don’t starve yourself all day in preparation This is a common mistake that most people make on the day of attending a holiday party. When you eat minimal amounts before an event two things happen; your body starts to think it’s in survival mode and will store most of the food at your next meal as fat and second you are likely to overeat due to excessive hunger. Eat regularly throughout the day as you normally would to avoid these situations. 4. Portion size is KEY If you decide to indulge in your favorite holiday dish, don’t lose grasp of what an actual portion size of this food item looks like. You can look up the nutrition facts for this specific item to know how much you can consume or use the “cut in half” restaurant rule and eat half of the portion that they are serving. Just be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. 5. Hydration Drink plenty of water before and during a holiday event. Often times individuals confuse dehydration for hunger, if you know that not much time has gone by since your last meal but you feel hungry, drink a glass of water and revaluate how your body feels. Water provides a feeling a fullness and will prevent you from overeating. 6. Listen to your hunger to fullness cues It’s important to understand the cues of your hunger to fullness levels. Two things: understand what hunger feels like versus eating for the sake of eating and understand what being full feels like versus eating so much that you can’t move. This is not only important during the holidays, this should be something you apply to your life every day. 7. Don’t forget: alcohol = carbohydrates Any excessive macronutrient consumption turns into fat on our bodies, this includes carbohydrates. If you plan to drink at your holiday event, make sure to include alcohol in your game plan! Expert advice: eat first, wait two hours and then have some drinks, just trust me. 8. Keep it social We attend holiday parties to interact and re-connect with co-workers, friends, and family. If the dessert table keeps calling your name, keep it social and distract yourself by engaging in conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a while. 9. Exercise If you absolutely fall off the wagon at a holiday event, fasted cardio (for 45-60 minutes) the morning after will utilize the newly stored fat as an energy source for your workout. 10. Ditch the guilt! At the end of the day, holidays are meant to be enjoyed so don’t overly beat yourself up if you don’t follow your game plan. Try and limit indulgence to one meal versus an entire day or weekend.
I know, I know, it's an awkward topic to discuss BUT an absolutely necessary topic to discuss! As a Registered Dietitian at a gastroenterology practice, I have the regular pleasure of discussing bowel movements, so there's no shame on my end. ;) It's healthy to talk about them and how else would you know if what you're experiencing is abnormal if you have no one to share it with? Exactly, so let's talk about the basics!
There are three ways to understand an individual's immediate nutrition status: 1. Bowel movements (which is why this is an important conversation) 2. Urine 3. Blood
What's regular? The truth is there is no regular, everyone is different, but having a bowel movement every 1-3 days is the closest to "regular" that I can comfortably state. On the other hand, not having a bowel movement for more than 3 days is qualified as constipation. Before you reach for a laxative or a stool softener, consider a natural way first. The best way to ease your constipation through consumption is to increase your fiber and water intake. Increasing your fiber intake without adequate amounts of water will just cause gas and abdominal cramping, so do yourself and everyone around you a favor and drink that water! If that doesn't help your situation, try taking digestive enzymes before each meal to aid in digestion and see if that helps to pass any bowels. If there is still no relief, I recommend trying a tea that contains senna (Smooth Moves is a good brand), which acts as a natural laxative, just note that after you drink the tea a bowel can occur 6-12 hours later - plan accordingly. If none of the options above work for you, then you can try a laxative or stool softener, just don't make it a long term solution for your constipation. Make sure to drink plenty of water after taking a laxative to avoid dehydration.
Not only is frequency important, but shape and color are just as important. An ideal bowel movement is brown in color, smooth and banana shaped. If your bowel movements don't look like this, refer to the chart below and read the recommendations below the description of your shape and color. I use this chart regularly because it's a lighthearted way to discuss bowel movements and gives great insight. Give it a look!
Lastly, if you're experiencing abdominal cramping and/or diarrhea symptoms for an extended period of time (weeks to months), go see your Doctor and a Registered Dietitian. Often times this can be a reflection of infection in the body or if experienced more long term - IBS or IBD. If you have been diagnosed with IBS or IBD, seeing an RD that specializes in gastroenterology is essential to achieving regular bowel movements again - often times medication does not solve all of your problems.
I recently started reading a book called The Diarrhea Dietitian by Niki Strealy, RD and it's an incredible tool for anyone who's experiencing these types of symptoms. Of course, I will always recommend seeing a physician and an RD first, but if your access to either of those resources is limited, this book offers some amazing insight on what and why you are experiencing what you are. Check it out!
Once again, these are just the basics, but I hope this helps give you more insight on your body and as always if you have any further questions or concerns don't hesitate to reach out!
When your entire world starts to change, it can seem impossible to make healthy decisions, I know because I've recently been there. In the last two months I've survived a job transition, financial distress due to the transition, the breakup of a 2 year relationship, and alllll of the added stress/exhaustion of starting a new position. It was A LOT.
I'm not sharing this for pity, I'm sharing my experience because we all go through those times. And the greatest question of all time: how do you get through all of it? Even better, how do you stay true to your nutrition goals in the midst of emotionally, physically, and financially exhausting times?
Let's be REAL here, I found myself in a few too many drive-thru's, having way too many drinks out with my friends, skipping my gym sessions and not making productive decisions. I'm only a human being and we all cope differently.
But, it was only a matter of time before I started playing Katy Perry's "Rise" song every morning, getting my butt back in the gym, and tackling each work day to get back to where I need to be. So, how do you save yourself? Here's what I found worked for me and I wanted to share.
Accept That You're a Human Being and Give Yourself a Break Allow yourself the time to grieve, be sad, cry, or just take it easy - whatever you need to do. You need that time. Be kind to yourself. But give this time a deadline. Once that deadline arrives, you need to commit to start placing that energy in a more positive direction. And even if that's not really how you feel, fake it until you make it. Block out those negative thoughts.
Be Active You know what is the best way to expend depressive and anxious energy? Being active. Go for a run, hike a beautiful trail, ride your bike, go swimming, or lift some weights. Just get out there and start MOVING. I promise you will start to notice a difference in your moods. Expert hint: go to your iTunes and create a killer playlist to fuel those workouts! ;)
Focus on What You CAN Control When going through transitional times, the most difficult aspect to accept are all of the things changing that you have zero control of. And, if you're anything like me - I'm a type A control freak, nothing ruffles my feathers more than losing control of my life, finances, and emotions. So how do you not fall into a downward spiral? Focus on what you can control.
Things in Your Control: - Yourself and your responses - Your nutrition - Whether you workout or not - The cleanliness of your living area - The people you surround yourself with - Loving yourself - Your happiness - The effort and energy you give to things - What you prioritize ...and the list goes on. That's a list of so many key factors of life, so start celebrating your control!
Get Your Nutrition Back on Track While drive-thru's are severely convenient, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. When you're not eating well, you're not feeling well. It's that simple. Eating out all of the time also gets expensive! So, grab your reusable grocery bags and head to the store to fill our fridge with lots of healthy options for the week. Meal prep your lunches for the work week to save money and so you're not tempted with those treats your co-worker brought. STICK TO YOUR GOALS. You are worth it.
At the end of the day, only you can save yourself! Give yourself a hug, be good to yourself and put yourself first. Not in a selfish way but in a self-respecting way.
So if you're curious about how much you should consume or just simply want to learn more about protein, check it out! The podcast has some really interesting sports-related topics that I think you would really enjoy, especially if you are active and want to stay that way even into your later years. You can listen to it here or you can download it here through iTunes (make sure that if you're going to download it that you're in wifi range).
Take a listen, share with a friend dealing with an issue like the ones we are talking about and please review the podcast with any thoughts or questions! We get into some really cool rehab and treatment methods you can try today.
Lastly, I highly recommend subscribing to his podcast, he has some awesome topics with amazing guests. Who wouldn't want free advice from experts in their field?!
Can we have a real moment for a second? Change is hard. It can be frustrating and even deflating. BUT it's the only way to achieve your goals and most of the time you will be grateful for the battle in the long run. So often I speak with clients about the behavior change they are trying to create and I have to remind them of these 5 necessary steps to reach their goals!
Change one thing at a time. Don’t try to tackle everything at once, you’ll just overwhelm yourself and achieve nothing. Create a list of goals (i.e. increase water consumption, lose 5 pounds, meal prep weekly, etc.) and focus on one thing at a time. Even if your one goal is a small change, recognize that small things add up and eventually become something that you can be proud of.
Create behavior change, not a fast outcome. Make your one goal that you’re trying to tackle a HABIT, not the result of altering your actions for a short period of time that you quickly throw to the waste side once you’re over it. This new goal has to become the new norm and the new you. How do you make this happen? Commitment. Commitment to yourself, commitment to your health, and commitment to becoming the best version of yourself. Stick to it, do it every day and make it a part of YOU.
Your environment is EVERYTHING. If your goal is to lose 5 pounds, make sure that you clean out your refrigerator and pantry of all nonhealthy items and replace them with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low fat dairy and nuts. If your goal is to not eat out every day for lunch, quit eating with the group of people that always eats out and go sit with the co-workers that bring their lunch every day. Or if those co-workers don’t exist, go find a nice spot outside and get some solidarity along with some sun during your lunch. Surround yourself with positivity and an environment that sets you up for success.
If you fall off track, jump right back on. This is the hardest part for most people, how do you recover after letting yourself go for a weekend, a week, or a month? There’s no magical answer. You need to recognize that you’re human, let go of the guilt and you get right back on track! Remind yourself why you decided to start your journey towards meeting this goal and find your original motivation all over again. True behavior change takes months to achieve and that includes all the highs and lows. Keep your head in the game, you can do it!
Repeat steps 1 – 4. Use this strategy for each goal on your list. You will be so proud of the results!
Be nice to yourself and BELIEVE in the power you hold!
You know when you go out to eat at a sushi place or a teppanyaki restaurant they ALWAYS start you off with some edamame. And if you're like me, I can eat it for daysssss. One day I decided to see if I could do it on my own and it could NOT be easier to make. And it's super delish, healthy and cheap to make! So, as always, I wanted to share my edamame recipe I've been using lately. :)
Andrea's Salty & Spicy Edamame Recipe
Ingredients 1 bag of frozen edamame - 16 oz. 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil 2 garlic cloves - minced sea salt - to taste red pepper flake - to taste
Directions 1. Pour the bag of edamame into a saute pan, heat on high and place the lid on the top of pan. Defrost for about 6 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. 2. Once defrosted, pour out any excess water from the pan and add the olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, and red pepper flake. 3. Let the mixture saute for 2 minutes to combine flavors. 4. Pour the mixture into a dish, top it off with any extra seasonings that you find necessary (I like to add more salt and red peper flake, but it's up to you). 5. Enjoy!
Macros for 1 cup serving (this recipe makes 2.5 servings): 18 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fat (to lower the fat - omit the olive oil)
We all love going out for lunch because it's easy, convenient and a way to be social with co-workers out of the office. BUT, according to research conducted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 92% of meals served at restaurants, including fast food chains, contain excess calories. When you think about it, it’s a super simple concept to understand, restaurants are in the business of making food taste good and to give you lots of it. However, this concept is not friendly to our waist line or our long-term health. So, what can you do? Start brown bagging it! Here are my tips to help you start packing your lunch in a cost-friendly, less time-consuming, and healthy way.
Go to the grocery store with a game plan! Before you head to the grocery store, plan out your meals and snacks for the week. Make a grocery list that includes everything you need to execute your plan and stick to it. Don't just go in there and try to wing it because before you know it a Snickers bar, ice cream, and some new chips that looked good made it's way into your basket and now you're just purchasing more items than you should (and aren't the healthiest of choices). This way you will only buy what you need, what you will actually utilize that week and most importantly, items that fit into your health goals.
Designate a meal prep day. By preparing larger, healthy, family sized meal portions and splitting them up into individual sized meal portions, you will save yourself time and money during the week (not to mention the excess calories). It’s a lot easier to grab something that is already prepped than to cook each meal as they come. You're also likely to not follow your french fry craving on your way home if you know you already have something free and prepped wait for you at home. ;) So select a day that works for your schedule and prep as much as you can for the week. If prepping meals isn't your thing, buy items that are easy to grab on the go that still fit into your goals and stock your fridge with them. (i.e. yogurts, turkey jerky, 100 cal packs of nuts, dried fruit, easy to grab fruits and veggies, deli meat, etc.) In summary: just designate a food re-stocking day
Buy food items that are in season. This is essential to saving money on fruits and vegetables, because these items are less expensive when there are plentiful amounts. Have you ever gone to the grocery store and they want $4 for a mango?! This is what I'm talking about! Farmer’s Markets are a great option when trying to select in season produce or check your local grocery store’s advertisements, they often emphasize in season fruit and vegetables on the front page. Buy these items weekly to avoid them going bad and having to throw them away. My tip: if you're bad at eating your fresh fruits and veggies in a timely manner, buy frozen options! The nutrients will still be there and you can eat them at your own pace.
Prep your own healthy snacks! Have you ever noticed how most healthy snacks that are sold individually tend to cost more money? It's ridiculous! Exhibit A: a protein snack at Starbucks costing $8 but if you were to make it yourself it would be $2 or less... Insane! Don't waste your money like that! My theory: buy the large tub of Greek yogurt and hummus, hard boil your own eggs, cut up your own apple, slice up your own cheese, make your own trail mix or granola, and prep your own salad. Split them up into individual servings on your meal prep day and save yourself some time and money! As mentioned above: purchase fruit and vegetables in bulk that are easy to grab and go (i.e. bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, carrots, celery, cucumber) They are the best healthy snacks that need minimal to no prepping time.
I hope you all find these tips useful and start to implement them in your own life! Your wallet and body will thank you.