Healthy eating

10 Tips For Creating Meals In Under 10 Minutes

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1. Start the Sunday Night Ritual: Integrate an hour on Sundays to plan and prepare meals. Get your family involved in a fun way to help you prepare the meals for the week. Give everyone (kids and husbands) an appropriate job. For example: Husband BBQ’s chicken breast and kids can wash the vegetables and fruit, and separate into baggies. Put on music, funny aprons, etc.

2. Boil a dozen eggs at a time and refrigerate. Hard-boiled eggs will last at least five days in the fridge, and are a great, compact snack.

3. Cook eight chicken breasts at a time. Grill, BBQ, bake or broil with your favorite seasonings. Great for slicing over salad, or even having half of one as a snack. Keep 3–4 in the fridge, and individually freeze the rest. Take out a frozen breast the night before.

4. Chop up vegetables and store in individual containers. Chop up whatever vegetables you like to eat raw. A good tip for making them last is to wrap them in a coffee filter. The filter will absorb any excess water, so they will last longer.

5. Wash entire heads of lettuce and chop for salads. Store lettuce in an appropriate container. If it is already chopped up, it is very easy to make a salad in the morning.

6. Make a vegetable soup. Make your favorite soup recipes and make enough soup for a week. Store 2–3 servings in the fridge. Put the rest in individual containers and store in the freezer.

7.  Cook a huge amount of vegetable stir-fry. Throw a bunch of vegetables into a wok and stir-fry with unlimited condiments of your choice. Store in the fridge in individual containers, so they are ready to grab. Add a chicken breast to it. This way, dinner is almost ready without having to cook when you get home from work.

8. Pick 1–3 recipes and cook ahead of time. Using the recipes provided, cook and freeze. Take out the meal in the morning, so it will be defrosted by dinnertime. Add a side of stir-fry or salad.

9. Portion out nuts/seeds. Buy your favorite nuts/seeds in bulk and store in containers in the fridge. Portion out your weekly serving amounts into snack bags. This makes it really handy to grab and go.

10. Eat the same lunches and snacks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and then switch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Planning to eat the same things on alternate days cuts down on the need to plan, grocery shop and prepare ahead of time. This way, you always know what you are having and can use the leftovers for lunches.

Don’t Get Beat Twice

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Sticking with my football theme this week, I want to share with the concept of getting beat twice. Sometimes in football you will see a team lose a big game one week and then come back the next week and get beat by an inferior team. That is letting one team beat you twice.

The team gets so caught up in the disappointing loss, they don’t put in the necessary work all week at practice. They don’t play with the same fire and enthusiasm they normally do. They are letting one letdown lead to more letdowns.

That happened to me recently too. I had a disappointing experience in one area and it affected my performance in another area. My focus was still on the negative things that went wrong and it caused more negative things to happen. Not good.

I see the same thing happening with clients with their fitness and nutrition. They will miss the first few days of class for the week and then decide to skip the whole week. Or have one bad day of eating and just decide to totally give up on their eating plan.

Hey, I get it! I’m obviously in the same boat. Most of these posts I am talking to myself too, so let’s all take the advice that football coaches offer. That loss is over, learn from your mistakes, and move on because there is nothing we can do about that loss now.

You missed a few days or weeks of working out? The best thing you can do about that is to start working out today. Really went off the rails on your nutrition game this week? Start back with one healthy meal today.

Don’t get caught up in the past, figure out why the slip happened, take steps to avoid it happening again, and keep your eyes fixed on the future. Don’t look behind you, you aren’t headed that way.

Can you smell what the Crock Pot is cooking?

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Crockpots are one of the best inventions ever. I like to start things off with controversial statements like that.

It’s so easy! You can set-it-and-forget-it, and somehow whatever you end up with always tastes amazing. Just try not to follow my set-it-and-forget-to-plug-it-in method.

It is football season at our house. My son plays and I coach his team, so we don’t get home until 830 at night. Not really time to cook dinner, eat, and shower for the early risers under our roof. So football season is also Crock Pot season.

Last year my wife did one of the greatest things ever. She went to a Wild Tree party where they made a bunch of Crock Pot meals and then froze them. We lived off those things for the whole season, it was glorious.

We got started back on the Crock Pot train with a simple, but delicious one last night. Put lean ground beef in on low until the meat is browned. Then add a diced sweet potato and black beans. You stir garlic salt in, squeeze a lime on top, and then cook that on low for a few more hours. About 15 minutes total prep time.

What is your favorite Crock Pot meal? If you are looking for some new recipes, here is a great link to check out.

77 Crock Pot Meals

The web site Greatest gives you 77 different meals you can do in the Crock Pot. It covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, sauces, even vegetarian options. Pretty awesome.

Go forth and Crock Pot my friend.

Your Accountability Checklist

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I was at Camp Sumatanga last week supporting a friend on his Emmaus Walk. Very cool experience and I was very grateful for the opportunity to be there.

One of the musicians there was blind. It was amazing! He was playing guitar and singing all without the benefit of sight.

My mind tends to wander, so I started to think about some of the TV features I have seen with blind people. How they have everything in their home a certain way, so they freely navigate around without tripping.

They have a checklist of sorts in their head that helps put things on autopilot. This got me thinking that a similar thing would be helpful for people trying to eat healthy and exercise.

So I put together an example of a checklist you could use to improve your success rate with added accountability. My suggestion is to look at this example and make it fit your lifestyle.

Accountability checklist:

_______ workout clothes and shoes ready for the next day (always have workout clothes and shoes with you just in case)

_______ alarm set

_______ workout plan written down (if exercising on your own)

_______ change of clothes and toiletries packed (if showering/changing at work)

_______ quick breakfast planned for after workout

_______ healthy lunch packed or planned

_______ record all meals in food journal

_______ turn off electronics at 8pm

These are just a few things that can help you stay on track. Most days you might not be able to check every box and that’s ok. It’s striving to get better every day that is the main goal.

Take a look at that list, think about what you struggle with the most, and put together your own list. Having a plan will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. It is well worth a few minutes of your time to put one together.

Stop skipping breakfast!

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  Effects of skipping breakfast

A recent study published by the Huffington Post found that 31 million people skip breakfast every day. Every day! My biggest problem is holding myself to only one breakfast a day.

Another recent study found that HALF of breakfast skippers are overweight. Breakfast skippers have been shown to: -eat 40% more sweets -drink 55% more soft drinks -eat 45% fewer vegetables -eat 30% less fruit In my informal studies, I have found 4 common reasons people skip breakfast and a few ways to help combat them. 1. "I work and have kids, how do I find time to cook breakfast?"   Here are some quick, healthy breakfast ideas that take 5-10 minutes to make: -An apple, 1-2 ounces of cheese, and a handful of walnuts

-Green smoothie- Here are some recipes --> 5 Green Smoothie Recipes

-Plain Greek yogurt, mix in almond butter and fruit such as blueberries or strawberries

-Scrambling eggs really doesn't take that long. Heat up a non-stick pan with a little coconut oil (yep coconut oil, that’s a story for another day) over medium-high heat, when hot crack 2 eggs straight in the pan, scramble, and it only takes a few minutes. You can sauté some onions, peppers, and/or spinach to get some veggies in there. Or if you want a few options to try before an early morning workout, you can try these for some quick, light fuel.

-1 small banana

-Toasted English muffin spread with 2 tsp. strawberry jam

-1 cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt

-Half cup of oatmeal with protein powder or peanut butter

2. "I'm just not hungry in the morning."

There are several reasons why you might not hungry in the morning and that’s ok! You might need to experiment a little to find out what works best for you. This article does a good job talking about some of the reasons you aren’t hungry first thing in the morning --->Elite Daily

You can try starting your day by simply drinking some water or doing some light exercise around the house. Many times this will be enough of a signal to your body that you are ready for some fuel.  Or if you are a morning exerciser you can wait until after your workout to eat. If you STILL don’t feel hungry, it’s fine! Don’t force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry, but make sure you have healthy food planned out for the rest of the day for when the hunger does hit.

3. "I don't like to eat breakfast in the morning because I eat too much in the evening and I am trying to save calories." It is not as simple as just burning off the calories you put in, about 75% of the calories your body uses come from your metabolism. Going too long in between meals for days, months, and even years messes up your internal system that tells you when to say when. One of the biggest steps you can make is when you begin to start eating out of necessity and not out of habit.

4. "I don't like breakfast foods" Who told you that you had to eat breakfast food at breakfast? They're not the boss of you! I am! Whoops, ignore that. Don't feel obligated to eat breakfast foods just because The Man told you to. Eat whatever your stomach can handle in the morning.

 

Lessons from a crepe myrtle (weird, but worth the read)

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All fun and games until they are viciously attacking your sidewalk

It's been a life long dream of mine to write a fitness post crepe myrtles. Today that dream comes true.

 

There is a crepe myrtle in my backyard that has been plaguing me. It looks awesome, but it drops its petals on my sidewalk, they stick to the bottom of my shoe, and then I track them into my gym.

 

So I started off solving this problem by continually sweeping out my gym. Take that myrtle! As you can guess, that didn’t really solve the problem. I was sweeping those petals out every day.

 

So I really got smart and swept the sidewalk where the petals were sticking to shoes. Listen I didn’t graduate high school with a 2.3 GPA by being a dummy. But guess what? The petals just kept acomin down and that became my new daily sweeping chore.

 

But if I really wanted to solve the problem, I should the sweet spot where all this is coming from right? By trimming up the branches that hang over the sidewalk I could prevent all this from happening.

 

There is one caveat for that though. It is not my crepe myrtle. I can trim the ones that I can get to, but there are some that I can’t. I will just have to make it work.

 

I am a little slow in learning this stuff, but I see the same thing with people with their nutrition and exercise habits. People that try to exercise like crazy to overcome a poor diet.

 

Then they switch to strict nutrition habits, but then the exercise habit starts to fall off. It becomes too much to handle.

 

So how do you get to the sweet spot of exercise and nutrition? By changing your mindset.

 

Don’t try to outexercise a bad diet. That is impossible.

 

Don’t put yourself on some crazy, restrictive diet that makes you miserable. The sort term results you get are not worth it because it is not sustainable and you will gain all the weight back.

 

The sweet spot is found where you find some form of movement that you enjoy and you can stick to. Then you find a way of eating that nourishes your body, makes you feel good, and actually tastes good! When you add consistent, effective exercise to consistent, effective nutrition you start seeing tremendous results. And these are long term changes that will stick around.

 

Then there is the things that are out of your control, like rogue crepe myrtles, thyroid issues, or genetics. If you can’t control it and nothing you can do will change it, then it is time to let that go. You just do the best you can with what you got.

  Don’t get down on yourself and don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Just do your best and keep your focus on what you have the power to change.

Skin in the game

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Are you familiar with the term “having skin in the game”? Most sources credit Warren Buffett for making it popular. He was talking about investing his own money into the first fund he started.

It basically means you are invested and committed to the process.  Because, let’s be honest, when something is free we do not place the same value on it as we do on the things that we pay for.

It is why I can’t go to buffets. Because I WILL get my money’s worth. No way would I eat that much if I went over to someone’s house for dinner.

That is why I put a price on the 28 Day Vegetable Challenge. Nothing crazy, just $15, but enough that the people participating in the challenge will take it seriously and really commit to it.

Committing to consistency is the main thing I am looking for. Consistently is the key whether you are eating vegetables, exercising, or any number of things you might want to improve.

28 days, 28 different vegetables and how to prepare them, why you should eat that particular one, how to prepare them, store them, and a daily recipe for each vegetable. The goal is to make it fun, add the accountability, and get you at least one new vegetable that you will eat on a consistent basis.

The challenge starts on Wednesday, June 28th. I would love for you to be a part of it. You can reserve your spot below:

 

28 Day Vegetable Challenge 

“You should eat more vegetable.” -Captain Obvious

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How many times have you heard someone say you should eat more vegetables? How many times have you read it from me? Guilty.

 

Vegetables are awesome for you! But a lot of us do not like them, so we avoid them. There are lots of grownups out there that that flat out refuse to even try vegetables. They were probably scarred by a well meaning parent making them clean their plate.

Some people can't wait to grow up so they can leave all the lights on in the house, open the doors to air condition the world, run with scissors, keep the fridge door open for hours at a time, and never touch a vegetable again.

I'm making it my mission to reach the unvegetabled.

Introducing the 28 Day Vegetable Challenge. 28 vegetables over 28 days. Each one will list the health benefits, how to select the best ones at the store, how to store them when you get home, how to prepare them when you cook, and how to eventually eat them.  Then I threw in any notes I thought you might need, as well as a recipe for each vegetable.

Here is an example for the orange bell pepper:

 

Your goal every day is to get 5 servings of vegetables. And as you can see, I'm not asking you to eat a bunch of raw vegetables! These are delicious recipes that are not complicated. Even I can make them 🙂

 

And at the end of the challenge you can download the crime book with all of the recipes you have been trying throughout the challenge.

 

The 28 Day Vegetable Challenge will start on Wednesday, June 28th. You will get the accountability you need, the resources it takes, and the help you require to make you successful.

 

It is only $15 to participate in the challenge. About what you would pay for a recipe book alone. And if for any reason this challenge does not work for you, I will give you your money back. You reserve your spot at the Pay Now button below:

 

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You will feel better, look better and be healthier at the end of the four weeks. I guarantee it!

“Change your life in 8 minutes”

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Meal planning may seem monotonous (because it is), but the pay off is worth it. Think about what happens when you do not have anything planned a meal, time gets short, and you are hungry?

Fast food, pizza deliveries, microwave salt licks. (No Lean Cuisines are not good for you).

What if instead of spending 8 minutes a week looking into a fridge hoping healthy food would magically appear, you spent that time productively? Take some advice from dietitian Keri Glassman's article "Change Your Life in 8 Minutes".

Here is what she suggests doing with your 8 minutes:

-Write out your challenges for the week (birthday celebration, busy kid's schedule, girls' night out, etc.) and then write down a plan to overcome the challenges.

 

-Plan your dinners at home around your schedule for the week and then create a grocery list to go with them.

 

-Write a list for work snacks, and add them to your grocery list.

 

-Schedule exactly when you are going to go to the grocery store and then follow through.

 

I would add, you could spend your time ordering groceries on-line.

If you notice, not one of those is the actual food prep or cooking we all dread so much. This is formulating a food game plan for the week. It will save you time, money, and calories just by having some kind of plan.

If you do have time left in your 8 minutes, Glassman suggests you could:

  • Make a pitcher of iced lemon water to store in the fridge.

  • Chop the veggies you have around.

  • Mix a healthy salad dressing to keep in your fridge.

  • Portion out healthy snacks, like nuts, into little bags.

Nutrition is just like working out. When you have a game plan of what you are going to do, you get much quicker results without wasting your time. Make that plan today!

Next time you mess up…

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We are wrapping up our Lean and Clean Challenge this week and I wanted to share something with you. It is about how to keep perspective when you "mess up".

The object of the Lean and Clean Challenge was to eat whole, natural foods with no additives all day, every day. As you can imagine that is very hard, so people would sometimes find themselves feeling like a failure. That is not the case at all! It is about progress not perfection.

See if the Popped Tire Image can help you keep some perspective next time you aren't feeling so perfect.

 

Imagine you are riding down the road, you lose control of the car, hit a curb, and pop a tire. You get out, inspect the damage, and then pull out a knife and pop the remaining tires. I mean one got popped, why not pop the rest of them???

That sounds really silly doesn't it? But what about when you find yourself eating a fast food meal that was nowhere near your eating plan. Then you tell yourself you screwed that up, so what's the use? I might as well just eat terrible the rest of the day.

Don't slip into that mindset. If you have one bad meal, one bad day, one bad week even, it is not the end of the world. Assess why it happened (usually a like of time and/or planning), make a plan to prevent it in the future, and get on with your life. This does not mean beating up on yourself and feeling bad. It means you are human and still a work in progress like the rest of us.

This will be a life long journey where you will make tons of mistakes, that is a given. The important part is how you respond. Skip the pity party, have a planning party, and enjoy the "bad" foods that cause us to think we are messing up.

Just make sure those "bad" foods are something you truly enjoy, not just the "last person at the bar at last call" kind of foods that hang around until you have a weak moment. Food is meant to be enjoyed and healthy foods are not meant to be punishment.

Find the healthy balance that works for you and keep on keeping on.

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