Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

My mom has the most beautiful garden. Her and my stepdad have taken care of their garden for many years now and I always look forward to when the butternut squash is ready. This is unfortunately the last year I’ll be getting her batch of squash since they’re moving so I gladly took the 8 big pieces she gave me. Butternut squash mac and cheese has been on my radar for awhile now, so when my husband was gone for the night I decided to make it for me and the boys.

I start by peeling and dicing the squash into small cubes. Layering them on a sheet pan with a little oil and salt for about 40 minutes in the oven is a great way to roast them. I try to flip them around about halfway through so they’ll cook evenly. While the squash roasted I sautéed some sweet onions in butter and let them cook on low to get some flavor.

I’ve been eyeing this banza pasta for awhile now on the inter-webs so when I went to Whole Foods I was sure to snag it up. It’s made from chickpeas, has 25g protein per serving with 13g fiber. Can’t beat that. And it really tastes like regular pasta!

Look at the creaminess of that squash mixture!! I do admit, the sauce to pasta ratio was a little heavy on the squash. For me it was fine because I love squash, but some may like it with a little less. After the squash was roasted I let it cool for a few minutes. Into my ninja blender I put the sautéed onions, milk, pasta broth, and squash to blend. I added the mixed cheese after it was all blended so it would melt into the mixture. Feel free to add more cheese than I put to get more cheesy and less squashy.

The kids ate it!! Which I of course was thrilled with. I was really not sure if they would approve of this dish or not but was pleasantly surprised. Travis liked mixing his with peas and I had mine with a big salad. It was good as leftovers the next day with some chicken sausage added to it. Give it a try for a new baked mac and cheese recipe!

   

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (2-3 cups diced)
  • 1 box bans pasta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup broth from pasta water
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Peel and dice butternut squash into small cubes. Bake on baking sheet for 40 minutes or until pierced with fork easily.
  3. Cook pasta according to package and reserve 1/4-1/2 cup water.
  4. Sautee onions and garlic in melted butter for 15 minutes. Be sure to move onions around to not burn them.
  5. After squash is cooked, take 2-3 cups of diced squash and put into blender. Add onion mixture, broth, milk and combine. Add more broth is mixture is too thick.
  6. Mix in cheese to squash mixture until melted.
  7. Combine sauce over pasta and enjoy.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/butternut-squash-mac-cheese/

Continue Reading

Protein Mug Cake

I love a good protein mug cake at night once in awhile after I’ve had a tough training day or am looking for a healthy treat. Sometimes you just need a baked good once in awhile, am I right? I’m a sucker for muffins and cakes so I love having this as dessert when I’m trying to keep it healthier. Protein before bed helps continuously fuel my muscles while I’m recovering during sleep. The picture below is what the cake looks like once it comes out of the microwave (super appealing, I know).

If you under cook the cake a little it leaves a gooey center when you break into it. HELLOO it’s amazing. Honestly the taste can take some getting used to (seriously it’s not your moms homemade cake) but it’s a great, healthy substitute. Top it with peanut butter or Halo Top ice cream and now we’re talking. Typically, I will cook it in 30 second intervals. Microwaves can all be different so I’d start on the shorter side. 30 seconds gives me time to check on it and see if it’s started to rise into a cake shape or if it still needs time. Usually 1 minute is enough in my microwave.

You can really use any flavor of protein to make these cakes. At night I usually like a little chocolate so I’d prefer that, but you can use vanilla, cinnamon- the possibilities are really endless. Cinnamon roll, strawberry shortcake, peanut butter cup, cookie dough- YUM! The base recipe would be the same regardless of flavor, which is posted below. I would recommend either a whey, casein or a blend. Whey is a fast digesting protein, casein is slow (meaning it takes longer to digest through your body) and a blend will be in between.

My little guy happened to be wearing his muscle shirt when I was testing the recipe and he had a few bites himself. He enjoyed it with the peanut butter but my 5 year old wasn’t much of a fan. It can have a somewhat “spongy” texture to it, but I find having it with a little peanut butter or Halo Top ice cream really helps. I find that having the right flavored protein powder really helps with this (my favorite is chocolate peanut butter). I feel like I need to repeat myself that THIS IS A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE! 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Protein Mug Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 serving size protein powder (typically 1-2 scoops)
  • 2 tblsp egg whites
  • 2 tblsp almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix protein powder and baking powder in bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, mix egg whites, milk and vanilla.
  3. Pour egg mixture into protein powder and mix until combined. Add extra milk if needed to make a sticky, thick dough.
  4. Microwave in 30 second intervals for 1-1:30 minutes.
  5. Top with peanut butter or Halo Top ice cream.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/protein-mug-cake/

Continue Reading

Summer Superfood Salad

Summer is right around the corner and I’ve been craving a fresh salad. I recently put together this salad using ingredients I happened to have in my fridge and pantry. Lately I’ve been buying spinach for my greens so I switched it up and went with kale. I used to just use kale in my smoothies until I learned how to “massage” the kale to have it in a salad. It makes it way easier to chew since it softens it up. What a game changer. So much better!

Why is this a “superfood” salad? Let’s discuss real quick. Kale has tons of vitamins, antioxidants, omega 3’s and actually has more calcium per calorie than dairy foods. It’s easy to add to smoothies as well as salads. Now that I’ve been trying to limit dairy, that gives me more reason to eat the kale.

Quinoa is an excellent form of protein which contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein source. It also has iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Quinoa takes less time to cook than rice and has a subtle light flavor.

I consider myself lucky if there are any blueberries left in my fridge for me to eat. My kids looove all kinds of berries so it’s not often that I’m left with any. So when there are some, I like to use them wisely. In this salad is one of those times. Blueberries have plenty of vitamins and minerals and contain antioxidants which are good for fighting disease and supporting the nervous system.

If you’re not eating avocado-why? It’s one of the best healthy fats out there helping support heart health and lower cholesterol. It contains many vitamins, minerals and fiber and helps keep you satiated after a meal. It has a great creaminess to it so I often don’t even use salad dressing when I have avocado. Adding a little sea salt helps bring out the flavor.

Walnuts are rich in folate and contain a good amount of omega 3’s for a healthy fat option. I love the crunch the walnuts give in salads and use them often. Goat cheese is so creamy and goes amazing in not only salads but egg bakes as well. Beets finish off this salad powerhouse with a good source of calcium, magnesium and vitamins C and A.

SO MUCH GOOD STUFF IN THIS SALAD! MAKE IT! The recipe below can be made for 2 people (or just you- I won’t judge. I ate it all myself too). If you’re making it for a crowd simply double the recipe!

Summer Superfood Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups kale (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cooked beets
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Remove kale from stems, wash and chop into bite sized pieces. Add olive oil and massage kale until tender.
  2. Add cooked quinoa, blueberries, beets and combine.
  3. Top with goat cheese, walnuts, avocado and salt. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/summer-superfood-salad/

Continue Reading

Strawberry Protein Bars

I don’t make protein bars often but these have been so easy to make and I feel a lot better giving them to my husband knowing what’s in them. He takes a bar with him every day to work so I know having protein, healthy fat and carbs will help keep him full while he’s working. We have so much protein powder at our house so I figured I’d use that to get the extra protein in these bars. He has strawberry powder and I found some freeze dried strawberries that I thought would go perfect in the bars- and they DO!

What I love most about these protein bars is there is no refined sugars, I add healthy fats with flax seeds and almonds, and the mix is pretty versatile. This is what the mixture looks like before I add the strawberries and press into the parchment paper to freeze. It isn’t totally stuck together which is fine because they will stick together after pressed and frozen. I like having protein bars for an easy and healthy snack to grab from the fridge or freezer when I’m in a rush.

I mixed a few strawberries into the mixture before I dumped it onto the parchment paper. Then I added some extras to the top. These strawberries are very similar to the Special K cereal. They give the bar a nice crunch and add to the strawberry taste from the protein powder. Feel free to use any flavored protein powder for these bars, I used strawberries and cream.

I’m able to get about 8 decent size bars from this recipe. After cutting the bars when they get out of the freezer, I place them in small ziplock bags. Some go into the fridge and some go into the freezer.

 

Strawberry Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup protein powder
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3 tblsp flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the oats and protein until fine. Add dates, flax seeds and almonds and continue blending until finely chopped.
  2. Add honey and nut butter to bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Carefully mix in freeze dried strawberries.
  4. Place parchment paper in 8x8 baking dish. Put mixture onto parchment paper and press down firmly.
  5. Add extra strawberries on top if desired and freeze for 30 minutes.
  6. Once bars are hard, remove from dish and cut into 8 pieces. Place in bags to store in fridge or freezer.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/strawberry-protein-bars/

Continue Reading

Protein Oatmeal

You can’t really beat a good bowl of creamy oatmeal in the morning. I love having a nutrient filled bowl of oats to get me fueled for the day, but also need protein to satisfy me for a few hours. Here is where the egg whites come in. Oatmeal has a good source of carbohydrates to give me energy and a decent amount of fiber but I know protein is what I need to feel full longer. Cooking the egg whites into the oats is easy (stir consistently due to sticking) and can hardly be tasted depending on your toppings.

I’ve been getting weirder with my oatmeal lately and have started adding veggies to it. I know, WTF am I thinking? But I like to get them in where I can and if I can’t really taste them I call it a win. The basis of how I cook oatmeal is the same whether I add shredded zucchini or frozen chopped cauliflower. The toppings are where I like to switch it up depending on what I have/am in the mood for. I find the toppings help mask the veggies and eggs a bit too. Especially granola.

This bowl above is made with the same egg white base and water but includes some shredded zucchini with the water drained. I shred the zucchini into a paper towel then ring it out to get the extra water out. The zucchini goes into the oats so they cook at the same time. I topped it with purely elizabeth chocolate sea salt granola, flax seeds, banana and white chocolate peanut butter. The salt from the granola tastes soo good with the oats and peanut butter.

This bowl above has shredded, frozen cauliflower cooked into the oats and egg whites with water. I topped it with plain greek yogurt, flax seeds, purely elizabeth granola again and strawberries. It was more of a creamy texture than the peanut butter but I like this just as much. The yogurt with strawberries are a great combination together and gives it a nice creamy texture.

Sometimes you just don’t want to bother with the veggies. I get it- it’s kinda weird at first to get used to them. This bowl doesn’t have any veggies. But I still added the egg whites. I used plain greek yogurt for some extra protein and purely elizabeth blueberry hemp granola, chia seeds, frozen blueberries and bananas.

I love to eat oats before going to the gym to give me the energy I need to feel good and push through a tough workout. Protein in my meals is just as important so I like to use real food sources when I can (instead of protein powder, since I have them during/after my workout). Give these oats a try for a healthy fueled breakfast!

Protein Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3-6 tblsp egg whites
  • 1/3 cup water (2/3 if using 3 tblsp egg whites)
  • Toppings
  • 1tblsp peanut butter or plain greek yogurt
  • mixed berries/banana
  • 1/4 granola

Instructions

  1. Spray pot with coconut/olive oil to avoid sticking.
  2. Add oatmeal, egg whites and water to pan.
  3. Constantly stir over medium/medium-low heat.
  4. Once oats are cooked and become fluffy, remove from heat. Add toppings and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/protein-oatmeal/

Continue Reading

Crockpot Chicken in 3 Easy Meals

Crockpot salsa chicken is one of the easiest things I do when it comes to meal prepping. It’s literally 2 ingredients and can be used for the week (depending on how much chicken you use and your family size). Lucky for me- my family doesn’t LOVE to have leftovers all the time. But I have no problem thinking of new meals to eat the leftovers for lunch or a quick dinner. So I created this post to show you how I use the chicken in 3 different meals.

It kind of goes without saying but I feel I need to explain how I make the crockpot salsa chicken. So I make sure to defrost the chicken in the fridge or a few hours on the counter in the morning. I use 1.5-2.5lbs of chicken. Put it in the crockpot and pour a jar of salsa over it on low heat 4-6 hours. Yes .. that’s literally it. Moving on.

 

First up was over a salad. I chopped up some romaine lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes and avocado for the salad. Top it with the chicken and add a little bolthouse farm salsa avocado yogurt and it’s done. Lots of flavor in this easy lunch.

Next was a taco for dinner. I bought these veggie wraps to switch it up and I like them so far. I have the chicken, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, and plain greek yogurt for the taco. Add some broccoli for a side and we’re good.

   

The last meal I made was quesadillas. I added some chopped peppers, mixed cheese and a sprinkle of chili powder to a whole wheat tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and cook it on both sides until the cheese is melted. Quesadillas are a simple dinner meal and most kids enjoy them. I dip mine in plain greek yogurt with some chips, tomatoes and broccoli on the side for a balanced meal.

If you’re looking for an easy meal that doesn’t require much effort and can be used throughout the week, crockpot chicken is for you. You may not get as many meals out of it as I did due to feeding other people in your family, but if you add more chicken to the crockpot this will help. You can also use these ideas with your favorite BBQ or buffalo sauce. I hope you find this post helpful in prepping some healthy meals for the week!

Continue Reading

Pesto Avocado Sauce over Spaghetti Squash with Salmon

 

I love using spaghetti squash in recipes instead of pasta to keep it light and I’ve recently found a new love for avocado with salmon. Seriously- it’s amazing. My kids and husband like salmon thankfully so since it’s one of the only seafoods we like, I try to make it once a week. Usually I bake or grill the salmon with just sea salt, but my stepmom always cooked it with pesto. I love how pesto tastes, but I don’t have time to make it. Insert a Trader Joes find of Dorot frozen pesto. My co-worker Sandra told me about this frozen wonder so I decided to give it a shot and I love it. (I think other grocery stores have it also.)

I’ve made mango avocado salsa for salmon before and loved that. I’ve also sauteed the frozen pesto with olive oil for a traditional pesto sauce and loved that. So I decided to try out mixing the pesto with avocado for the best of both worlds. IT WAS BOMB! Pesto avocado sauce for the win.

As my spaghetti squash was baking in the oven I put together the pesto avocado sauce. It was super easy with my ninja blender. Add all the ingredients, blend, done.

I popped the salmon in the oven for the last 8 minutes that the squash was cooking. Careful not to overcook the salmon because nobody likes overcooked fish (unless it’s sushi-duh). Once the salmon and squash were cooked, I forked out the squash into a big bowl and mixed in the delicious sauce.

My husband and kids wouldn’t come close to this pesto avocado sauce so they get plain (Whatever). The pesto gives it a little kick which I love but the kids don’t as much. I couldn’t reel them in with the whole “green sauce” thing. So they all got plain which was fine. Can’t win em all. Maybe I’ll use the leftovers with eggs tomorrow. MMMmm.

Spaghetti Squash Salmon with Pesto Avocado Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 1/2 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 cubes dorot frozen pesto
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 salmon portions

Instructions

  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise and place face down on baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.
  2. Bake spaghetti squash at 400 for 20-25 minutes depending on size of squash. Once you can easily pierce the squash with a fork it is done.
  3. While squash is baking, mix avocado, olive oil, garlic, pesto and sea salt in blender until smooth.
  4. Season salmon with salt and pepper and bake at 400 for 8 minutes or until easily flaked with a fork.
  5. Using a fork, scrap the spaghetti squash into a bowl.
  6. Mix avocado sauce with spaghetti squash.
  7. Top with salmon.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/pesto-avocado-sauce-spaghetti-squash-salmon/

 

Continue Reading

How to Efficiently Meal Prep in 6 Steps

Meal prep can really help you when it comes to being successful with living a healthy life. It can be challenging coming home after a busy day at work, having a fun day with kids or when life just gets busy to make dinner. Coming up with ideas or making sure you have the ingredients to create a healthy meal can be tough, especially when it’s time to eat. Getting food on the go isn’t always the healthiest option either. Meal prep doesn’t have to happen on Sunday or Monday- it can happen any day of the week that’s convenient for you. Most people like to start Sunday or Monday because it sets their week up for success. However, you have to do what works for you. It also doesn’t have to be 2-3 hours long. Even if you just cut up some extra fruit, cook extra veggies, or make enough leftovers from dinner- I would consider that a success in meal prep. Anything you can do to make meals quicker. These are my 5 steps to making meal prep easier.

1.Plan- Have a list of things you want to make for the week. I suggest looking at things you and your family eat a lot of. Also, picking a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner to make. Or chose the meal that you have the most trouble with. Make 3 dinners if you often have a protein shake and eat out for lunch. Make lunches if you plan to make a crockpot dinner. Whatever meals you choose to eat, figure out what you need to start first. If you’re baking sweet potatoes- do those first and then starting boiling eggs. Chop veggies while sautéing ground turkey. Use your time efficiently and multi-task without getting overwhelmed. Don’t get distracted and set timers where needed!

2.Don’t go overboard- Keep things as simple as possible. Now is not the time to try out the newest Rachel Ray recipe you found on food network. Make the things you know how to make so you can easily/quickly put them together. You’ll also be multi-tasking, so even more reason to know what you’re doing. I’d suggest keeping your list of things to make to a few things and adding to it if you have more time at the end.

3. Cook Protein- Having protein ready to add to salads or a dinner can be very helpful when looking to create a healthy meal. I like to do either a taco flavored ground turkey, salsa chicken, meatballs, bbq chicken, tuna, chickpeas, etc. Cooking protein ahead of time can really save you when you’re in a pinch. Breakfast protein options also make for a good grab and go meal. Protein waffles, hard boiled eggs, overnight oatmeal or a frittata are all convenient to take in the morning.

Roasted Chickpeas, tuna, kodiak cake waffles, ground turkey

4. Mix it up- Don’t prep the same thing every week. Everyone will get bored. Changing the proteins for dinner and snack options are ways I add variety to the week. I also am not a fan of making 5 of the same salads so I’ll switch up the veggies I put into them. If you don’t mind eating the same thing- by all means do it. Many people have success with this. If you make the same salad then think about switching the protein you top it with.

Tossed Salad with greens, Spinach salad with chickpeas

5. Prep healthy snacks- This is mostly for kids but everyone can benefit from this. If your kid doesn’t ask for snacks all day long then I envy you. I’m exhausted by the amount of snacks I have. But buying bulk and prepping portions makes lunches easier to put together. I don’t love the plastic bag situation but it really makes it convenient and easy. Having snacks in the fridge (typically cut up veggies) and in the pantry (popcorn, pretzels, trail mix, protein bars) are all essential to have for options.

popcorn, peppers, cucumber/tomatoes, pretzels

6. Cook in bulk- This goes for things like protein, vegetables and whole grains. Grilling a few pieces of chicken at once, making turkey burgers and putting together a few cans of tuna in a bowl are ways to save time. Roasting or steaming vegetables make it easy to complete a meal. Boiling rice, quinoa or

I hope these tips help you become more efficient in food prepping. What are some strategies you use? I’d love to hear new tips!

Continue Reading

All Things Almond

I’ve been wanting to make almond milk for awhile now so I finally went for it. That and the fact that I realized I didn’t have milk for my morning coffee. So I knew something needed to be done to avert a crisis. Everyone talks about how easy it is and well- it is easy. I would recommend something good to strain the milk with though because even the cheese cloth I got still leaves a few residues. I don’t mind the added texture though.

Travis saw me soaking the almonds the night before and after telling him how it turns into milk, he wanted to be sure to help when it came time to in the morning. He liked pushing the button for the blender and watching the almonds turn into a white milk. 

He didn’t drink it which is fine with me because I used it for my coffee and with some other baking I did. How cute are these milk bottles? I saved them a few years ago after a camping trip we took up Maine. The farm had lots of farmish stuff for sale including their homemade strawberry and blueberry milk. I knew the bottles would come in handy one day.

After making my homemade almond milk I had a lot of this leftover pulp. I hated to see it go to waste so I made them into energy bites. My kids love dried fruit so I like adding some fat and carbs to help keep them full a little bit more. They’re also easy to take in the car or for school lunches.

Homemade Almond Milk & Energy Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: 2-4 pitted dates for sweetness
  • For the Energy Bites
  • 1 cup almond pulp
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup teddies smooth peanut butter
  • 1tblsp flax seed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dried mixed berries (cranberries, blueberries, cherries)

Instructions

  1. Soak almonds in 2 cups water overnight on counter.
  2. Rinse almonds, put in blender with 4 cups fresh filtered water.
  3. Add vanilla, cinnamon and dates to blender.
  4. Strain over cheese cloth into a bowl/mason jar. I recommend having a strainer underneath the cheese cloth as well to catch any extra residue.
  5. Store in refrigerator.
  6. For the Energy Bites
  7. Simply mix all ingredients together and form small balls. Store in refrigerator.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://fueledupforlife.com/all-things-almond/

I made everything in the morning without much effort. It’s always nice to have some homemade milk once in awhile and an easy, healthy snack for me and the kids. What are some of your favorite things to make with almonds? Let me know!

Continue Reading

Top 10 Tips for Eating Healthy

These are my top 10 tips for eating healthy that have worked for me thus far. We all evolve and some things may or may not work for you depending on your stage of life. I’m sure in a few years my tips may change, but as of now raising a family- these are them!

Cook- Cooking is definitely a skill I’ve developed over time but I will be the first to tell you I’m not a crazy chef and some of the stuff I make isn’t always great. But that doesn’t matter to me for every meal. I find recipes and do my best with what I have. I know the simple ingredients I should keep on hand to throw together a meal if I need something in a pinch. Relying on packaged foods to give me the nutrients and energy my body needs just isn’t going to cut it. Learning to cook was one of the best things I’ve done (and continue doing!) to eat healthy.

Grocery shop weekly- This is due to my family eating so many fresh fruits and vegetables, so I need to shop more often to re-stock. I know what I need or should be looking for when I shop so I don’t spend more than 30 minutes in the store (unless I’m waiting for deli at Market Basket-right?)

Have easy snacks/meals ready- I’m talking granola bars, cheese sticks, yogurts, trail mix- anything you can grab with you if you know you’re going to be out for a couple hours. Better to be safe than sorry. I’d rather have a protein bar or some nuts instead of being hungry and having to stop somewhere for some not so healthy snacks. The same goes for if you don’t have dinner planned for the night. Taking out some frozen turkey/salmon burgers, meatballs to toss in a sauce and vegetables are great things to have for backup.

Plan dinner- I don’t necessarily know what I’m going to have every night, but I’ll take out some protein from the freezer (chicken, beef, pork, chicken sausage) to be sure it’s thawed out in time for me to cook. Then I plan what I’ll make either that night or in the morning.

Include vegetables in 3/4 of my meals- I’ve learned that I don’t like going long without having vegetables in my meals. I crave them. Or I crave junk and that’s a good sign that I probably need more vegetables. Adding some spinach to eggs or a smoothie is a simple one for me or I’ve been adding frozen cauliflower to a lot of my meals. Raw veggies are always a good side when I’m in a hurry.

Don’t buy tempting foods- I like ice cream, candy, chocolate, cookies- all the junk. Do I buy it? Not really. Why? Because if it’s easily accessible to me then I’ll eat it. It’s calling my name in the freezer and cabinets. If I really want a treat I’ll make it myself so I know it’s not processed junk or go out and get it with my family.

Eat a lot of protein- Everyone has heard you should be eating protein. Protein helps control body fat, repair and grow muscles, keep you full longer and promotes a healthy metabolism. Our body doesn’t produce or store protein and once the amount your body stores goes down, it needs to be replenished by food. Since lifting weights is essentially breaking down your muscles-it’s important to refuel them correctly with protein. So you’ll see almost all of my meals are focused around protein for these reasons.

Stay hydrated- I have 2 big nalgene bottles that I rotate between and always have them filled up with me throughout the day. I also like the polar seltzer waters and tea for a change during the day.

Eat breakfast- Making something to eat before I leave the house is basically a non-negotiable for me. I’m pretty hungry within an hour of waking up and know I’ll need something. Cooking some eggs or oatmeal doesn’t take much time and there are things I can do the night before to make this easier as well.

Have variety- A variety of protein, vegetables, carbs and fats ensure I’m getting nutrients from many sources. I like to be sure to eat some fish at least once a week, not too much sodium filled meats, ground turkey, pork and chicken to create variety in my meats. Different colored and cooked vegetables give my meals an assortment of vitamins as well. Some people like simplicity and that’s fine but sometimes having variety inspires me (& my kids).

What are some of your tips for eating healthy? I’d love to hear them to add to my list! Comment below and let me know!

Continue Reading