Saturday, April 30, 2016

Meal Prep Saturday

You've probably heard of meal prep. It's where you meal plan your week by writing a schedule for all your meals, and then prep what foods can be made ahead of time. Since I am a stay at home mom, I don't do as much meal prep as other people do. Sometimes, not always, I enjoy making dinner. I also feel too overwhelmed if I have too much to do at one specific time. My meal prep makes things easier for me throughout the week, and ultimately saves me some time.

I've decided to start sharing my meal plan with whoever wants it, so that I can A) be more accountable. If it's out in the open, I can't be lazy. I've got to get it made. I've got to follow through. B) help anyone who's starting out and might feel a little lost with what to do on this program or eating healthier in general. and C) hopefully show that this is doable and you can still enjoy food while eating healthy.

When I don't meal prep, I usually waste a lot of time trying to figure out what in the world I'm going to make and eat. We end up eating out more than we should. I don't always eat as good as I should. I am not as excited about food, at least not healthy food. We also have wasted food when I haven't meal planned and prepped.

When I do meal prep, I'm able to save time, money, and the resources. Planning out the meals and looking on Pinterest for recipes gets me excited to cook. I look forward to the week ahead instead of dreading all the hard work I'm about to do. Things run smoother, and I am happier.

With all that said, here is my meal plan for this coming week. (I am going off the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan. I am in the lowest bracket. Any extra food that was prepped is for my husband who is on the highest plan).
I know it looks like I only have veggies once-twice a day, I usually have 2 servings at dinner. Some days may vary, and I might add some veggies in with my lunch and wrap the tuna salad in lettuce, or add a veggie for a snack. I also don't usually eat the same thing every day, but I'm getting strict, and boring helps me stay on track! 


As I've mentioned above, I don't meal prep EVERYTHING. This week, I washed, dried, portioned out, and bagged raspberries.

These are the amazing portion control containers that come with most of the Beachbody workout and meal plan programs.
I have found that snack sized baggies are super useful! 
Washed and cut romaine and peppers and stored them in mason jars (I have found that the mason jars keep produce fresh much longer than everything else. I am in need of more jars, otherwise I would store everything else this way as well. Except the portions that are grab and go.)

I firmly believe that we enjoy food a lot more if it looks pretty :)
And finally, hard boiled eggs. I get as many eggs into a large pot as I can, fill the pan with water until the eggs are covered, and then place on the stove. Once the water is boiling, lower the heat from High until medium low heat, and cover. I let them boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat, drain, and let cool. I personally like to peel off the shells and store in a gallon sized zip lock bag.

I usually prep at least a few more things each week, but this week I decided to do things fairly simple. I also need to make my overnight oats, but all of my mason jars, aside from these three used already, do not have lids. Walmart run! 

As I make my meals, I'll add in the recipes!
Cheddar and Broccoli Stuffed Chicken
Crockpot Chicken Burrito Bowls

Friday, April 29, 2016


I've hit another low recently. A little while ago, I took my pill late, like maybe by an hour?, and that caused me to slip on some of the progress I had made. But it gave me a chance to learn a few things.

Depression is something I've been born with. I used to feel so scared with what could go on in my mind and my behavior. I HATED feeling different than my peers. I hated being sad. I hated feeling lonely. But now, I accept it as a gift. Because I struggle, I can understand others who struggle with depression and mental illness. Those who haven't struggled don't always understand how we can be feeling.

First, when we have depression, we have to ACCEPT it. I have tried to get by on my own. But I need medication.

Second, we need to find a combination that works for us. We can't just rely on medication, and expect it to make our lives perfect. Sadly, it doesn't work that way. We still need to put in some work. For me personally, I need to exercise every day (I choose to skip Sunday for religious reasons), eat healthy and avoid gluten, and spend a lot of time going outside and leaving the house. I need a schedule, which I absolutely hate. Whatever your combination, learn it, and stick to it.

Be honest. If you are struggling, tell someone. Don't keep it inside. I wish to add even when you aren't struggling be honest and share that you do struggle, but sadly we feel the need to keep it inside so others don't know. If we were more honest, and it became less of a taboo subject, maybe a difference could be made.

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding mental illness. There shouldn't be. If someone is sick, they get help. If you had a heart disease, you would take your pills. See the doctor. No one would judge you for that. Our brains are the most important organs. We need to care for them.

There are days I wake up and don't want to do anything but stay in bed and watch Greys Anatomy and eat junk food. There are days that the sound of my beautiful children's voices irritate me, and my husbands face make me ANGRY. There are days I cry and cry for no reason. There are times my house gets unbelievably messy and I get so overwhelmed. There are days I hate everyone and would like to be alone.

Depression sucks. Depression is scary. Depression is real.

But it can also be managed, and then we can find joy again in our lives. I have been blessed with some really great moments and times in my life where I haven't felt much depression. That is what I work towards. To be able to feel those happy times. Sometimes, the work doesn't feel worth it and I'd like to just hole up on my couch with my Grey's Anatomy and comfy clothes. But the good times are always worth it. We just have to get there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cheese stuffed Meatloaf Balls

I think I've bragged too much about how awesome my kids have been about eating what I put on their plate, which is generally pretty healthy stuff. I forgot to knock on wood. Lately they've been avoiding and refusing to eat anything green or resembles a vegetable. But I'm not going to give up. I've started hiding vegetables in things you wouldn't believe. A friend sells freeze dried food, and I've started buying spinach and grinding it into powder and putting it in everything. Seriously, everything. It's gotten a little crazy.

I found this googling picky eater recipes, and it didn't disappoint. My daughter even helped me with the veggies, and she still ate it and definitely approved! It's jam packed with veggies!! I'm going to have to make this at least once a week. The challenge will be eating only 3 :)

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf Balls
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup quick oats
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I forgot to add this and it still tasted good!)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
Black pepper and sea salt to taste
12 small cubes of mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons raw honey
1 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray muffin tin with extra virgin olive oil. Pulse shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, celery, onions, and garlic in a food processor ( I have a manual I need a nice one!!)

until finely chopped. 
In a mixing bowl, mix turkey, egg, oats, Worcestershire sauce, veggie blend, and seasonings.
 I used my hands and mixed until everything was well incorporated. 

I grabbed handfuls of the turkey mix and a cube of cheese and formed the turkey around the cheese until it resembled a ball, and placed in the muffin tins.

A tip I learned with baking cupcakes, if you have any empty muffin tin spaces, add water to the empty spaces to evenly disperse the heat and avoid burning.
In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingridents together and use a spoon to lightly cover the meatloaf balls. I used about 1/2 of the sauce, and once they were out of the oven, I added a little more sauce.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

3 balls equal a serving, and count as 1 red, 1 blue, 1/2 green, and 1/4 yellow. 

I served these with cauliflower rice and some grapes (my kids' favorite). 

If you liked this recipe and could benefit from a 5 Day free clean eating group, add me on Facebook to find out when my next free group will be!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Free Workouts

For those times you're stuck at home and can't make it to the gym or don't have a gym membership!

4 Layer Zucchini Lasagna

Last Thursday I started another round of Hammer and Chisel (a 60 day Beachbody lifting program) and so Wednesday I had a "cheat" but not really a cheat day. Meaning, I had all things that sounded delicious but made them healthier. I don't know about you, but the day before I start a new program I go nuts. I eat all the things I know I shouldn't because I know I won't let myself for however many days the program is. I have "cheats" here and there, but I try to be as good as I can so I can see the best results. This time was different though. I didn't want to wake up sick to my stomach. I didn't want to lose control. I wanted to wake up energized and feeling great for my first day. Especially since I love this program. So Tuesday night, I made a list of foods that I wanted to have on Wednesday, and found healthier versions I could make. I had chocolate chip pancakes (kodiak cakes of course) for breakfast. I had a really yummy salad a friend made with ALL the dressing, avocado and cheese (extra fat) for lunch, dinner was this amazing lasagna, and then I had apple nachos for dessert. It was all so good. 

I didn't want to overdo it, and I didn't! I felt energized and ready to go Thursday morning. I still felt like I got to indulge, but didn't end up sick. And I didn't have extra weight to lose! ;)

Everyone enjoyed the dinner, including my kids. They've never been great at eating zucchini lasagna because they could tell it was zucchini. They'd eat a few bites and like it but then realize it wasn't actual noodles or see the green, and refuse to eat anymore. This time, I sliced the noodles EXTRA thin with a nice little Velata veggie peeling tool I got from a friend, and the kids didn't even notice. Plus, it helped me add more layers, which is ALWAYS a good thing. That meant more meat, more sauce, more cheese, and more cottage cheese-of course you could always use ricotta. 
Paper thin slices :)
It was soo good, I had three servings. Since it was my "cheat" day, I didn't feel guilty AT ALL!

4 Layer Zucchini Lasagna
2-3 zucchini sliced into thin strips
1 jar sugar free tomato sauce (I use the Kirkland kind)
1 pound ground turkey
2 cups cottage or ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded 
1-2 cups Parmesan cheese 
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 onion
ground pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Saute onion in olive oil in large skillet over medium-medium high heat. Add turkey and brown. Mix in seasonings. Add remaining sauce. In a 9x13, place a few spoon fulls of sauce. Lay a single layer of zucchini strips across the bottom of the pan. Add a few more spoonfuls of sauce/turkey mix to cover "noodles". Add a layer of cottage/ricotta cheese, lightly spread with spoon into sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over top. Add another single layer of zucchini. Repeat layer order until you've completed 4 layers. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 

Now try not eating 3 servings ;) 

This counts as a green container, red container, and a blue container. Makes 12 servings.

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