08.09.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Easy Week Night Chicken Verde Tacos

The early evenings are, hands down, one of the more chaotic times of the day for us. It’s always been, and continues to be, little miss’ witching hour… we’re tired from the long day…. and likely, ready for some dinner. That being said, I’ve started to master the art of meals in under 25 minutes… because, who has time to slave in the kitchen with a hangry family, and a toddler hanging on the leg? Yeah, I didn’t think so….

Yet, at the same time, I’ve never wanted to sacrifice in the nutrition and taste department. Quick and nutritious don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and this meal proves it. I make the chicken in the crock pot (but, if you forget and are scrambling at the last minute you can use a pressure cooker and it will cook in 8 minutes…I own this one and use it as a crock-pot too) and it’s ready when we get home. Then, I just sauté some bell peppers, whip up some guacamole (actually, TJ does this step, he makes it the best), and sometimes cook some Mexican cauliflower rice… all of that takes, from start to finish, 20 minutes.

You can enjoy this meal several different ways… use all the ingredients to create a tasty salad (my favorite with the left overs), with corn tortillas for tacos, in a bowl (use cauliflower rice, bell peppers, black beans, avocado, salsa, and chicken), or with butter lettuce cups as I’ve been doing lately. Either way, the chicken is delish…. and approved by all in the family!

Shredded Salsa Verde Tacos

4 large chicken breasts
1 4 oz can of diced green chili peppers
1 can salsa verde (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)
1 cup diced onions
2 minced garlic cloves
Salt + Pepper to taste

Directions: Place all of the above ingredients in a crock pot and place on low for 4 hours (this all depends on your crock-pot. I’ve found this is the best amount of time, using mine, that doesn’t dry out my chicken.). Once done, remove chicken, shred, and then add in all the juices.

Taco Ingredients: 

Butter lettuce cups (these are the perfect size and maintain their shape really well)
Black Beans
Avocado (or, if you’re like us, guacamole)
Mango Salsa (I purchased mine from a local market, but Trader Joe’s has a pineapple salsa that I think would be similar)
Micro greens (another delicious and nutritious topping)

Directions: Assemble tacos as you wish. Then, enjoy every single bite.

(I’ve also shared a few favorite workout looks at the end of this post)

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 (Leggings, Tank, Sports Bra, Tote)

(Sweatshirt, Sneakers, Shorts)

(Tank)

(Tank, Capris, Sports Bra)

08.02.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 5 Ways I Detox Post Vacation

So, I know I’ve talked about vacation indulging for the past two days…. and I promise this post will be the last of it! Over the years though, I’ve come to realize that letting yourself vacate life for a little while, is easier when I have a plan in place to get back on track when I return. It allows me to fully embrace the vacation experience and to not have any guilt about doing so. Life is meant to be lived, so living it in balance is key…. big weekends here and there and getting back on track when you get back is what I’m all about. That being said, I have a few ways that I detox from a major vacation binge…. and I’m not just talking about food-wise. After a long vacation or weekend, I find my skin looks a little dull, I’m fatigued, and feeling the bloat. Given that it’s a full body detox, I use five different strategies to get my body, and mind, back on track…. and I thought I’d share them with you today.
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1. Clean Eating: This is one of the most obvious ways to get back on track from a bloat standpoint. I typically immediately return to eating lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains (but typically reserve them for the daytime, as I like to have my metabolism churning while I sleep….). One of my favorite tiny tricks includes using butter lettuce in place of taco shells and buns. I’ve been doing it this week and have been feeling great! I also return to drinking kombucha. On vacation, I attempt to find it, but it’s not always available. I’ve found that it helps my digestion, and gut,  get back to where it needs to be.

2. Drink Water: It seems counterintuitive, but increasing water intake actually works to decrease bloat (and prevents constipation…. and, if we’re being honest, sometimes those weekend aren’t the best on the gut and stomach…..). So, I try to make sure that I get half my body weight in ounces of water daily. It seems to help speed along the process.

3. Sleep: One of the best ways to get myself feeling back on track is to make sure that I get enough sleep. Sometimes it’s easier said than done with a toddler though. When I’m trying to slip back into my routine, I try to go to bed about 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (so, 9 or 9:30pm). After a few days of doing so, I find I’m increasingly clear minded, my skin looks more refreshed, and I’m in a better mood (anyone else get irritable when they’re tired??). I’ve also found that using a little bit of lavender oil on my wrists, and temples of my head, helps to ensure a restful night sleep.

4. Skincare: While I never neglect my skin while I’m away, sometimes different climates, time changes, and eating habits naturally impact it’s health. Most often, I experience dry skin when on vacation. So, when I return, I am sure to use this moisturizer, algae mask, exfoliating mask, body salt, and body oil. When combined with the above, I find that my skin starts to look better after a couple of days.

5. Workouts: I typically try not to neglect this component when on vacation, but 90% of the time it’s not as intense as when I am at home. For me, personally, I increase my cardio, HIIT, and do a good leg strength training workout in the days immediately following. I read somewhere that working out the legs is one of the best ways to increase metabolism, so I’ve always followed that regiment. This is one of the HIIT workouts that I did this week (so.good.), and this is a great workout for the booty and legs.

That’s it! I’m three days in to vacation detoxing from last weekend and I’m already starting to feel better. Just have to work on the sleeping…..
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(Outfit Details || Jacket | Leggings (my favorite and so soft) | Sports Bra (c/o) | Slides | Tote (c/o))

07.12.2017

Wellness Wednesday || A Refreshing + Hydrating Berry Smoothie

For the past few weeks, we’ve been experiencing quite the heat wave and I’ve found myself reaching for hydrating snacks… lots of fruits, veggies, and water. So, after seeing the gals at Tone It Up post a delicious looking smoothie, I decided to make a few tweaks to the original recipe and came up with my own. It’s typically my afternoon snack since it has the fats and proteins I need to get me to dinner (if I don’t get the right balance, I’m in a complete brain fog until dinner time) and it keeps me feeling hydrated and refreshed.

If you’re looking for a smoothie bowl for breakfast, this one is can easily fit that bill. Simply top it with your favorite granola (mine is Purely Elizabeth’s Chocolate Probiotic granola), some chia seeds, and frozen blueberries and you’re ready to go! Also, on a side note, I’ve finally discovered the secret to thick smoothie bowls and drinks. Frozen, frozen, frozen. The more frozen items you put in, the thicker it will be!

Hydrating Blueberry Smoothie

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower (you can find this at Sprout’s or Trader Joe’s)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 small scoop almond butter (I’ve been loving this one)
Cinnamon (I am generous here)
1 cup of Coconut Water (I start with a cup and typically end up adding more in 1/4 cup increments…. I like my smoothies thick, so I don’t add too much liquid in the beginning)
1/2 cup spinach

Toss all ingredients in a blender and mix. I start with 1 cup of coconut water but typically have to add more in order for it to blend. If you want your smoothie more of a juice consistency, add a lot of coconut water. If you like it thicker, as I have it here, I recommend adding the coconut water in 1/4 cup increments as you’re blending. Sip, enjoy, and feel refreshed.
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(Outfit Details || Leggings (c/o)  | Tank (c/o) | Sports Bra | Slides | Vitamix)

07.07.2017

Wellness Series || Meal Prep For 5 Days + Favorite Workout Pieces

As promised, today I am sharing how my meal prepping and grocery list, that I shared last week, ended up coming together. It ended up being a relatively busy week, so I was relieved that I had done some minimal prep work on Sunday evening, as it provided me with easy to go options for my protein and healthy carbs. You can find how I incorporated all the items below, along with some of my favorite workout pieces below.

 While it was a short week over here, little miss started teething again towards the end, so I am welcoming the weekend with open arms (as I always do). TJ is actually away at a bachelor party for his best friend from college, so my sister, Harper, and I are headed to Palm Springs for one last ladies “fling before the ring….” since she ties the knot next Saturday (I seriously can’t believe it’s already here!). We’re planning on hanging by the pool all day and sipping a little rosé once she goes down for the night. I hope you all have a great weekend!!

** As a disclaimer, this nutrition plan is not meant to aid in weight loss. It’s merely anecdotal, based on my personal experience. 

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Monday: 

Breakfast: Egg Scramble (featured above)- two eggs + 1/2 cup egg whites, scrambled. Top with 1/4 avocado, micro greens, and pico de gallo. 1/2 cup raspberries
Snack: Small Perfect Bar + Healthade Kombucha
Lunch: Trader Joe’s Super Salad (we were heading to the beach, so this was a quick option) topped with 4 oz of grilled chicken and a lemon/olive oil dressing.
Snack: Blueberry smoothie (sharing recipe next week)
Dinner: 6 oz grilled salmon (marinated with lemon, pepper, and dill), grilled asparagus, over 1/4 cup quinoa and roasted tomatoes.

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Protein Waffles
Snack: 1 hard boiled egg + Healthade Kombucha
Lunch: 1 can of safe catch tuna (mixed with lemon, pepper, and a little bit of salt) over 1/2 cup of quinoa, 1 chopped cucumber, 1/2 avocado, with micro greens. Be sure to use a little bit of olive oil and lemon drizzled over the quinoa.
Snack: Chocolate Rx Bar
Dinner: Veggie Bowl- start with a base of spinach then add 1/2 cup of lentils (I get mine from Trader Joe’s), marinated cherry tomatoes and cucumber (just spray this avocado oil on it and add a little pepper and salt), avocado, 1 Hilary Eats Well veggie burger, or 5-6 of her mini bites. Dressing: olive oil and lemon.
Dessert: 1 small perfect bar

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Same as Monday
Snack: Energy Bites (2)
Lunch: Chicken Salad- 4 oz of the grilled chicken, bed of spinach + romaine, 1/4 cup shelled edamame, shredded carrots, 2 tbsp dried cranberries, 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup quinoa. Mixed with a homemade dijon dressing (dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, agave, salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano).
Snack: Sliced bell peppers + cucumber with 1/2 mashed avocado and salsa…. used the veggies to dip in the guac and salsa
Dinner: Turkey Burgers (grilled on Sunday) over a bed of spiralized zucchini (sautéed in some ghee, garlic, and garlic powder… extra garlicky over here!) , with 1 cup of this lentil pasta, and some roasted asparagus.
Dessert: 1 small perfect bar

Thursday: 

Breakfast: Protein Pancakes
Snack: 1 hard boiled egg
Lunch: Turkey Burger salad (first photo in post)- bed of mixed spinach and romaine, tossed with diced zucchini, 1/4 cup edamame, 1/4 cup quinoa, and the same dressing from yesterday’s lunch
Snack: Blueberry Smoothie
Dinner: Spicy Shrimp Tacos (seen above)- marinate your tacos in some lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sauté them in a pan. Place inside a corn tortilla, and top with micro greens, mango salsa, guacamole, and sautéed onions. Serve with a side of sautéed bell peppers.

Friday: 

Breakfast: Egg Scramble + 1/2 cup raspberries
Snack: 1 small perfect bar
Lunch: Sautéed Mexican style cauliflower rice (see similar recipe here) mixed with 4 oz of chicken.
Snack: Blueberry Smoothie
Dinner: Poké bowl takeout
Dessert: some popcorn and 2 glasses of rosé

(Top, Shorts, Bag c/o)

(Tank, Sports Bra, Capris)

(Hoodie, Tank, Track Shorts (on sale for $12.99))

(Zip-Up (on sale))

(Tee, Leggings)

(Leggings, TJ’s shorts, TJ’s top, Stroller)

(tee (similar), leggings)

06.28.2017

Wellness Wednesday || My Weekly Grocery List + Meal Prep Tips

(Outfit Details || Top | Shorts | Diaper/Gym Bag (c/o))

Sometimes I feel as if life has been wild lately… and with little miss napping once a day, getting healthy meals ready has become more difficult than it used to be. I’ve never been a huge fan of rigid meal planning. I know it works for some people, but I like to listen to my body on a daily basis…. see what it’s hungry for and not have a set meal every day for lunch…. and the same snack everyday. Over the years, I’ve changed how I meal plan, and as of recently, seem to have settled into a healthy routine that appears to be working for our family (I shared this last year).

I start by going grocery shopping for the week ahead sometime during the weekend. I typically carve out time on Sunday…. or, if we’re super busy that weekend I use Instacart (this is seriously amazing….). I buy all the groceries that I have listed below:

Grocery List

Vegetables:
Spinach
Kale
Shredded Carrots
Bell Peppers (6-8, mixed red, orange, yellow)
Zucchini (4-7)
Cucumbers (3)
Riced Cauliflower (Trader Joe’s)
Diced Onions
Red Onion
Asparagus
Mushrooms (sliced from Trader’s)
Organic Micro Greens (Trader’s)
Brussel Sprouts (pre-sliced, not every week)
Lemons
Limes
Green Beans (microwavable kind from Trader’s)
Jicama (sliced, from Trader Joe’s)
Mixed Greens Salad Mix
Romaine Lettuce Leaves
Frozen Riced Cauliflower (for smoothies)
Sweet Potatoes (3-4)

Fruit:
Raspberries
Blueberries (fresh + frozen)
Strawberries
Cantaloupe (pre-sliced from Trader’s)
Pineapple (pre-sliced)
Watermelon (pre-sliced)
Tomatoes (mini cherry)
Avocados (5)
Bananas (5-7)
Grapefruit

Grains: 
Quinoa (often it’s the frozen packages from Trader Joe’s)
Rolled Oats (Trader Joe’- this isn’t every week, usually every other)
Purely Elizabeth Granola (love the probiotic chocolate)
Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Burger + Veggie Bites

Dairy:
Siggi’s Yogurt (for Harper + TJ)
Kite Hill Yogurt (for me… not every week)
Organic Valley Whole Milk (for Harper)
Organic Valley String Cheese (Harper)

Protein:
3lbs Organic Chicken Breasts
2-3lbs Organic Ground Turkey
Shrimp (frozen from Trader Joe’s)
Salmon (2 6oz pieces)
Vital Farms Brown Eggs (2 dozen)
Organic Valley Egg Whites (2 cartons)
Lentils (microwaveable from Trader Joe’s)
Chickpeas
Shelled Edamame (found at Trader Joe’s)
Pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds (when necessary)
When craving will buy some type of red meat (organic, grass fed)

Beverages:
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Coconut Water
Chamelon Cold Brew (TJ)
Healthade Kombucha
La Croix Sparkling Water

Condiments (when necessary, not weekly)
Olive Oil
Chosen Foods Avocado Spray 
Vega Vanilla Protein 
Wild Friends Almond Butter 
Salsa (verde, red from Trader’s)
Pico De Gallo
Mustard (honey and dijon for dressings)
Organic Tamari Sauce
Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Frozen Garlic

Bars:
Perfect Bars (5-6)
R(x) Bars (5-6)
Larabar Bites

And then, I follow these seven meal prep tips for the week ahead……..

Meal Prep Tips

1. We bbq on Sunday evenings, which makes pre-preparing chicken and turkey burgers for the week easy. Once the chicken is cooked, I slice it so I can easily toss it in salads for the week ahead.

2. I buy as many items as I can pre-chopped. Yes, I realize that this is sometimes more expensive. Yet, if there is one thing that I remember from my Economics AP course in high school, it’s opportunity cost. For me, the time I save in buying items pre-chopped is invaluable time spent with TJ and Harper on the weekend….. it’s a fair trade in my book. If you have the time to do this, I recommend cutting and chopping all your vegetables ahead of time. That way, you can simply toss them in a baggie, container, or salad.

3. Pre-prep any meals you know you might want ahead of time so you can grab and go. I often make egg muffins as an easy grab and go option, and sometimes I’ll whip up a batch of  chia seed pudding on Sunday evenings. It’s a quick breakfast choice, and both don’t take long to make.

4. Roast items ahead of time. I roast my chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts ahead of time. That way, I can simply re-heat when I’m ready for them.

5. I always look at the week ahead on Sunday evening and try to have a general idea of what each day will look like. If one day is busier than another, or if I’ll be out all day with little miss, then I make sure to write in my to do list, for the day before, to pre-prepare lunch and snacks.

6. I know that I like to have a few afternoon smoothies a week, so I put all the ingredients for a single serving in one bag and freeze them. That way I can just toss them in the blender when I’m ready…. or if I’m heading to a friend’s or my parent’s house, I can just grab and go.

7. I make hard boiled eggs in advance and store them in the refrigerator. A great grab and go option for salads or a snack.
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That’s it! I’m sure over time, as schedules change, it will need to be shifted. Yet, right now, this helps us all eat clean, nutritious, and filling meals. For next week, I plan on sharing what a week’s worth of eats looks like using this plan and grocery list. Stay tuned.

06.07.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Refreshing Summer Cocktail + Tips For Imbibing Without The Bulge

About a month after I graduated college, my pants started to fit a little looser. I told myself that it was likely because I was incorporating more strength training into my routine… you know, gaining lean muscle. Ha. Now that I’m being honest with myself, it’s because I wasn’t at “Wednesday You Call Its,” The Pennant for pretty much anything on Thursdays… and I’m drawing a blank on Friday nights. Those cranberry vodkas, Micheloba Ultras (they’re only Ultra when you have one or two…), and jug wine evenings (not by myself….) didn’t help those jeans fit any looser…..

It’s been eleven years since my lifestyle looked even remotely similar to that (thank GOD), but, don’t get me wrong, I love a good cocktail now and again on the weekends. Now, I enjoy sipping my drink slowly, and savoring the conversation while doing so. That being said, I’ve come to perfect the way I take many of my cocktails, preferring them to be lower on the sugar scale and high in taste. I also prefer them to be a little on the lighter side (I really don’t need cocktails to be the reason for my pants fitting any tighter these days….)…..

All that being said, I’ve come up with a few tricks for imbibing without the bulge, and created a cocktail around these tips as well…. it’s pretty much my new favorite…. perfect after a day spent at the pool!

1. Clear Liquor: Pretty simple, stick with clear liquors, they have a lower calorie count. There are plenty to choose from, and you most definitely won’t be short changed in this arena…. vodka, tequila, gin…. just to name a few.

2. Low Cal Mixers: I hesitate to put “low cal” in there, because that isn’t a green light to use that artificial sweetener stuff. No, no…. My two favorite mixers are Zevia sodas + La Croix sparkling waters. Both are free from artificial sweeteners, but zero calories. Both of these were stocked at my sister’s Bachelorette party.

3. Use Fruit: One of the best ways to add a ton of flavor, without processed sugar and calories, is by using real fruit juice. As in, I stuck my grapefruit in a lemon juicer and collected the juice myself. It’s also amazing what these natural flavors will do!….muddling berries is also a great option.

4. On The Rocks Please: On the rocks is always a nice, light, and refreshing option…. and by on the rocks I mean my favorite blanco tequila with the juice of three limes and salt around the rim. Crisp, clean, refreshing, and light.

5. Water: Always good to have on hand, and always good to sip in between beverages. At least that’s my rule…..

Lighter Paloma 

1.5 oz tequila blanco
1/2 oz of agave nectar
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
La Croix Lemon Sparkling Water or Zevia Lemon Lime Soda
Salt

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker… and, well, shake. Using the leftover grapefruit, rub it around the rim of your cocktail glass and then dip the rim in sea salt. Fill the glass with ice, pour in cocktail mixture, then top off with your preferred sparkling beverage (La Croix or Zevia). Garnish with something pretty…. just for fun! Sip and enjoy!
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(Post Details || Cover-up | Hat | Bathing Suit | Gold Rimmed Glass | Cocktail Shaker)

05.24.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Protein Waffles + Some Favorite Workout Gear

Ever since I can remember, waffles have been a staple in my home. Growing up they were a weekend treat, topped with ice cream… always a brunch favorite… and I even requested my dad make them for my bridesmaids and me as we got ready on my wedding day. Obviously, I wanted this to be a tradition for Harper too. Yet, I found myself wanting this savory treat more than just on the weekends… so, I set out to make an everyday version that would be nutritious and keep me (and my family) full throughout the morning.

In my recent quest to intake more protein, I decided to incorporate it into my childhood favorite. I opted for the vanilla coconut flavor from Vital Proteins (you can read all about collagen peptides in this post, along with a few other recipes) as I’ve been loving the taste it adds to pancakes and my morning oatmeal. I then added in some flaxseed…. as I’ve become interested in their health benefits…. among them: improved digestion, balanced hormones, healthier hair and skin, reducing sugar cravings (me, me, me), and antioxidants… to name a few. With those two ingredients, I figured it was bound to be a winning creation…..

I threw in a few other ingredients, turned on the waffle maker, tossed on a few toppings, and gave them a taste. It was better than I expected. Yet, just to be certain it wasn’t my own bias, Harper concurred (she ate them before her blueberries + raspberries… which she never does….) and TJ pretty much begged for seconds. I guess they were a hit. I also made an extra batch for these photos, and was able to store them in the refrigerator and re-heat them in the morning for a quick breakfast… and they were just as good.

Vanilla Protein Waffles:
(makes 4 small waffles)

1/2 banana (mashed)
1 scoop vital proteins vanilla coconut collagen peptides powder
1 egg
1/8 cup oat flour
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
cinnamon
1 tsp almond milk if batter is too thick
Nutritional Facts (approximately): 267 calories | 32g protein | 12.5g fat | 7g sugar (all from banana) 

Directions:

Mash banana in a bowl, then combine with the egg. Next, mix in the remaining ingredients (except almond milk) until well combined. If batter is too thick add in a tsp of almond milk. Then pour into your heated waffle maker. I topped mine with drizzled peanut butter, honey, and some raspberries (which were not accounted for in the nutritional facts above). You can top with whatever you’d like!

And since I’ve been loving my workouts as of late, I’ve been investing in some great workout gear. Some of my recent favorites are below…..

(tank | leggings)

(tee (sized up one, small) | leggings)

(leggings | tank | carrier)

(sweatshirt | sneakers)

(legging/crop duo | wrap)

(leggings | vest | tote)

(crop (wearing size 2, could have worn a 4) | sports bra)

05.10.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Protein Smoothie, Benefits Of Protein

Over the past several weeks, I’ve chatted a lot about my experience with Tone It Up… and when we were in Cabo, I actually started to notice some decent definition in my arms (!!). While I credit this to my incorporation of strength training in my workout regime, I also believe it has everything to do with my increased intake of protein as well. After I complete my morning workouts, I try to consume a decent amount of protein for breakfast….

You see, for me, when I eat a breakfast that is protein dense, I find that I stay full longer, and have more energy throughout the morning (and let me tell you, chasing after little miss requires all the energy I have…. she’s non-stop…). Yet, I also like to moderate my intake of meat….. and by that, I mean not having it with every meal of the day. So, I started researching ways that I could get my protein intake without the need to eat meat all day (that tends to bother my digestive system…. TMI???). I came across the benefits of incorporating plant based proteins in my morning smoothies…. or even mixed in with an açai bowl or oatmeal. I was sold, and decided to start using OLLY Super Foods Smoothie powder. Each smoothie made with the powder, gives me a full serving of super veggies + fruit, a rainbow of nutrient-rich super foods, along with phytonutrients which are plant compounds with antioxidant activity to help protect the body from free radicals. All the blends (there are several different options….) are plant protein based and provide 5 grams of fiber. With a busy schedule, tossing it in a smoothie is the easiest way to ensure everyone in the family is getting the nutrients they need (and little miss loves hers too….).

While I’ve been incorporating it in various ways, the most recent concoction I created when we returned from Cabo is this Beet Smoothie…. it was thick, delicious, and nutritious. I also started giving Harper a chocolate peanut-butter banana smoothie (using OLLY Kid’s Smoothie) when we’re on the go in the afternoons. It’s been replacing the typical snack of her favorite crackers. She loves it, and I know she’s getting a snack that will give her energy and fuel until dinner.  It’s a win-win for the both of us…..

Annnnd, if you’re still not sold on the benefits of incorporating protein into your daily diet, I thought I’d share a few of the reasons I do:

1. Protein is an important macronutrient that is required for proper cell functioning. Proper cell functioning is always good….
2. Since protein isn’t stored in the body, it has to be consumed daily in order to replenish the body’s supply. When the body has a sufficient amount of protein, cells and tissues can build and repair (which is why it’s so important to consume after a workout).  It’s recommended that women consume between 15-23 grams of protein, post-workout, to achieve all the benefits (which is what I’ve been trying to do recently….).
3. Protein metabolizes in the body slower than carbohydrates and fat, which makes it an effective way to control appetite. Having protein in the morning is an excellent way to help with appetite control throughout the rest of the day.
4. Plant protein is a good alternative to “animal” proteins because it is considered “clean:” free of hormones and antibiotics.

Now, onto the recipes….

Beet Smoothie: 

10 oz coconut water
2 scoops OLLY Superfoods Smoothie
1 cup of frozen riced cauliflower
1 cooked beet
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
dash of cinnamon
1 cup of ice

Toss in blender. If this is for breakfast, I like tossing on a little bit of granola.

Little Miss’ Smoothie: 

10 oz coconut water
2 scoops OLLY Kid’s Smoothie
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower
1 tbsp almond butter
handful of spinach

Toss in blender.

What are some of your tips for adding more protein to your diet? Have you tried OLLY Smoothies before?

Thank you to OLLY  for sponsoring this post and allowing me to create delicious and healthy recipes. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

05.03.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 5 Days Worth Of Eats

To say I’ve been indulging would likely be an understatement at this point. Multiple times a day we’ve ordered chips and guac, several margaritas… a few Corona Lights here and there… oh, and a decadent Italian dinner last night to cap off the trip. Yep… pants are fitting a little tighter as we speak. Yet, it’s ok. It’s life. It’s fun. I always know that when I come back, I load up on lots of water, hit the gym, and move to a clean diet… filled with veggies, fruits, proteins, and good for me carbs (oh, and my body is craving a kombucha….). So, as we prepare to head home today, here’s five days worth of what I ate last week… which will be similar to what I’ll be returning to on Thursday…..

And, because a little extra motivation is always needed… in the form of a few new workout pieces…. I snagged this oversized logo tee and leggings combo to get me through a Saturday morning spin class…. I’ve also been keeping up with the Tone It Up daily workouts while we’ve been here and have been doing them in these blush shorts + knot front tank combo… perfect for warm weather!
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Monday: 

Breakfast: 1 piece of toast, topped with 1/4 smashed avocado, 1 oz of lox, sliced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, + sprouts
Snack: Hard boiled egg + Kombucha 
Lunch: Super Spinach Salad (from Trader Joe’s, not with their dressing though) topped with 4 oz grilled chicken breast (from night before), and a homemade olive oil + lemon dressing.
Snack: RX Blueberry Bar
Dinner: Shrimp Stir fry 

Tuesday: 

Breakfast: 1 egg + 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/2 avocado, 2 pieces nitrate free + organic bacon (featured above)
Snack: 1 Energy Ball + Kombucha
Lunch: Super Salad
Snack: Beauty Smoothie 
Dinner: 5 oz baked salmon (lemon juice, sea salt + dill), broiled asparagus (with a little olive oil + himalayan sea salt), 3/4 cup brown rice

Wednesday: 

Breakfast: 3/4 cup rolled oats + 1/2 cup blueberries
Snack: Hard boiled egg + Kombucha
Lunch: Open Faced Tuna Sandwich: 1 slice of bread, 1/2 smashed avocado, 1 can tuna (used salt, pepper, and lemon juice and a little of the smashed avocado to mix it) topped with diced tomatoes + sprouts
Snack: 1 Energy Ball + bowl of berries
Dinner: Mexican Bowl: Mexican rice (used riced cauliflower, 3/4 jar of red salsa, onions, and garlic… sautéed with 1 diced bell pepper and spinach) with 1 cup baked sweet potatoes, 1/2-3/4 cup ground turkey topped with salsa verde. You can also try this acorn squash Mexican bowl (very similar) (featured above). 

Thursday:

Breakfast: 3 protein pancakes topped with 1 tsp almond butter and 1/4 banana sliced.
Snack: hard boiled egg + Kombucha
Lunch: Same as Monday
Snack: RX Bar chocolate flavor
Dinner: Left overs from Wednesday 

Friday:

Breakfast: Veggie Scramble: 2 eggs + 1/4 cup egg whites mixed with mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes, with 1/2 cup sweet potatoes (left over from Wednesday dinner), topped with 1/4 smashed avocado + some salsa verde
Snack: bowl of berries + Kombucha
Lunch: Ate out- two shrimp tacos with side of brown rice
Snack: 100 calorie perfect bar
Dinner: Ate out…. bowl of lentil soup and split the steak kabobs with TJ (came with a side of cucumber + tomatoes).
** 2 glasses of rosé

04.26.2017

Wellness Wednesday || On The Go, No Bake Trail Mix Energy Balls

Every time I visit my favorite health spots (i.e. Pressed Juicery, Juice Served Here, Cafe Gratitude), I always leave with little extras…. a bottle of kombucha (that I already have at home…), a juice shot (as in, drink it like a shot….), and energy bites. By the time I end up leaving, I’ve likely spent double the amount I was planning (I’m sure these places are designed for people like me…. intrigued by all the things they didn’t know they needed….). Recently though, I’ve been trying to be better, and have started to dissect those little energy bite morsels I pick up each and every time… and at five dollars a bite (okay, maybe two bites….) I decided it was time I tried my own hand at them…..

So I set out on a mission this past week to do some experimenting. I was looking to make some energy bites that I could prepare ahead of time, store in a tuber ware, and pull out when we’re on the go, but needing a little snack. Something nutritious we would all love. After a little bit of taste testing, research, and trial + error, I came up with these trail mix flavored energy bites. They’re made with all natural ingredients, gluten free, no bake ready, and loaded with good stuff. Toss them in your morning parfait, on top of your oatmeal for an extra treat, solo before or after a workout… they’re tasty, filling, and easy. They come in around the 100 calorie mark (if you’re curious… but I don’t know the other nutritional values) and I usually have one as a morning snack while I sip my kombucha.

No Bake Trail Mix Energy Balls:

1 cup oats (I use the Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (you can add an extra 2 tbsp if you want it creamier) almond butter (or any nut butter)
1 tbsp cacao nibs (purchased at Sprouts)
2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)
1 tbsp honey

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together. Allow the mixture to chill for about an hour. Once chilled, use a small ice cream scooper to form the mixture into small balls. I was sure to pack the scoop before emptying it out onto the plate. Once all the balls are formed (I got about 15 out of my mixture), either enjoy immediately, or place in a tuber ware and store in the refrigerator. Hope you enjoy!

Just an FYI, the longer you leave them out, the crumblier they become… so I don’t recommend leaving them out for too long.
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