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My #1 Tip For Avoiding the 5-10 lbs. Weight Gain Over The Holidays

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My #1 Tip For Avoiding the 5-10 lbs. Weight Gain Over The Holidays

Have you ever been guilty of gaining between 5-10 lbs. over the holidays?! Maybe you chose to relax and eat whatever you wanted, or maybe you even tried to be conscious of what you were eating and it still happened to you! 

Did you know that most people gain the most of their weight between the Thanksgiving to Christmas time? And it is not actually because of Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day themselves, it is actually all the days in between! There are so many extra parties with friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. that help add the extra pounds. 

I WANT THIS YEAR TO BE DIFFERENT FOR YOU!

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What to Eat After a Workout for Runners

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What to Eat After a Workout for Runners

Do you know what do eat after a workout?

The nutrients you consume after a hard workout are vital for your your recovery. And, it is important that you get these nutrients in within a certain time post-workout.

There are two windows of recovery following a hard workout. The goal with eating in these two windows is to help give your body the right combination of nutrients at the right time without overeating. Eating the right foods after a workout will decrease inflammation, increase muscle glycogen stores, and rebuild damaged muscle tissue. This will in turn decrease muscle soreness and increases your ability to run faster and stronger for your next workout.

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Healthy Desserts for Runners: Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownies

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Healthy Desserts for Runners: Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownies

Though I love to eat whole, healthy food, I cannot deny that I have a HUGE sweet tooth!

I know it can be tough to stay on point with nutrition, especially during the summer with vacations and barbecues.

I also know that you want to eat healthy, but also want a balanced approach where you can still enjoy simple, quick treats and not feel bad about it.

 

Silver Fern Brand products help solve these frustrations for busy women and runners like you.

I am excited to show you how our family has started using the Silver Fern products, and the problems they have helped solve for us. Check out this healthy dessert and see how simple it can be to make healthy, delicious treats for your family!

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Healthy Recipes For Runners

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Healthy Recipes For Runners

Our focus today is on budget friendly, healthy recipes for runners. 

Two years ago I began experiencing intense stomach pain, spending too many days doubled-over with no relief.

Thanks to the same virtual connection I can make with you here, I found through research available online I have a gluten allergy and immediately cut all gluten out of my diet.

Thankfully this alteration has eliminated all of my stomach issues! Here are two gluten free, healthy recipes for runners that will leave you fueled for your runs!

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How to Save Money on Groceries

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How to Save Money on Groceries

What do you think of when you hear the words "goal setting"? I think of reaching BIG accomplishments one small step at a time! I was once told that racers should set 3 goals for every race that will set them up for success when they cross the finish line. On any other blog I would tell you to use this goal method for your races, but today I want apply it to how you can save money on groceries!! 

How To Save Money On Groceries

How To Save Money On Groceries

Using this approach to goal setting, Step 1 begins with setting a "good" goal. This goal will leave you happy at the end of the day, but allows additional room for improvement. My "good" goal for saving money on groceries was to purchase healthier foods for my family. This was a great goal to start out with for the health and betterment of my family. However, our budget took a huge hit initially and I knew I could, and needed to, improve on how I could save money on groceries!! 

This leads into the the second goal, your "better" goal. Your "good" goal should act as a stepping stone, using your areas that need improvement as motivation to keep moving forward. Your "better" goal will leave you more satisfied as you make intentional choices, but often may require a couple additional tweaks. For our family, this "better" goal was to bring our grocery bills back under our food budget while getting more food and better quality foods at the same time! 

It has taken me 4 months of trying various tips and different grocery stores to achieve this "better" goal. But I stuck with it and finally found a method that works for our family. Patience and determination are key!

Once your "better" goal becomes part of the routine, your attention can begin to shift towards an "excellent" goal! This is like crossing the finish line and setting a new personal record that months before you would have thought completely impossible, and that's part of the point behind using goals as stepping stones. If you were to start out with this goal right away, fatigue and frustration will often take over and prevent any real habits from forming. But by taking it one step at a time, you can make what seems impossible, possible. In the grocery store, our "excellent goal" is to not just buy healthy food on our current budget, but it is to actually lower our grocery budget $100. Even this goal won't materialize on it's own, I want to focus on saving $50 in the first month before taking things up a notch. Thankfully, the lessons and habits I've built over the past several months help make this goal seem attainable, when only 5 months ago I would have laughed off the thought of something like this ever happening!!

Now that I have shared with you the 3 goal approach, you may be asking, "but HOW do I actually save the money? What are good tips, tweaks, and methods to saving money on groceries?!" Don't worry, I will share my tips with you, but before I do I want you to pull out a pen and paper and write down some GOOD, BETTER, & EXCELLENT GOALS as it pertains to your grocery list! This may involve focusing on the results that come from eating certain foods (like making more meals at home, instead of eating out regularly) or trying to cut down on the overall cost of a trip to your local grocer.

Got them written out?! Good! Now lets go over simple changes to make to accomplish your goals! 

In order for us to do from our "good" goal to our "better" goal, I had to make 2 changes:

CHANGE #1: I went from buying all my food at 1 grocery store, to buying from multiple places. (I promise it is not as overwhelming a it sounds and I will explain below!)

CHANGE #2: Buying in bulk as much as I can, and ONLY where it is appropriate! 

Bear with me here, as it takes me about the same time it does to explain these changes as it does to actually go to the grocery store!! (but I promise, it will be worth it!)

I start online (yep, from my home!) by purchasing high quality meat in bulk from an online market called Zaycon Fresh. They have the BEST chicken at the best price!! They also sell beef, turkey, pork, and fish at wholesale prices!! We have only tried the chicken and I will not buy chicken any where else now. It has almost no fat, stays juicy when we grill or bake it, and it is a great price! You have to buy in bulk with minimum order of 40lbs. But when its $1.89/lb thats only $75.60!! This much chicken will last our family about 6 months!!! If you do not have a deep freezer it might be worth purchasing and splitting with a friend or family member! Click HERE to check it out! 

How To Save Money On Groceries

How To Save Money On Groceries

Once I actually hit the road, I head to Costco (raise your hand if you like free samples!!!) I only go here 1 time at the beginning of each month to restock my bulk items. Buying in bulk is fabulous because the price per can or oz or bag is usually cheaper, and they have LOTS of organic options ... BUT... when you buy LOTS of things in bulk it can also add up quickly so purchase with discipline (this is something I did not have the first time I ventured into this store). I try to stick to household items (I have been using the same bottle of dish soap for 6 months!!), canned good, frozen foods, nuts, and baked goods. Occasionally I buy the produce but we normally can not finish the bulk produce before it goes bad :( 

Then one time per week I go to Aldi and Kroger, IN THAT ORDER! Aldi is where I purchase 90% of my produce and specialty meats each week. Even with coupons at other grocery stores, Aldi still beats their prices!!! Our Aldi was just remodeled and they also really improved their produce, specifically organic and gluten free sections. On a few occasions, I have gotten a "bad apple" but they have a no-questions-asked-cash-back return policy! 

Kroger is always my last stop with only a few items on the list which makes it a quick one even with the kids! They always have that one fancy ingredient I wanted that Aldi did not have or I did not want in bulk from Costco. They are a pretty reliable last stop :) 

How To Save Money On Groceries

How To Save Money On Groceries

While going to multiple places may sound really overwhelming or too time consuming, I promise you its not. After the birth of our second child, I did not think going to 2 grocery stores a week would ever happen, but now we all look forward to it! It is worth it to keep my grocery bill down and the kids love the free stickers, balloons, or treats!

Starting next month I am going to start chasing down my EXCELLENT goal as I implement 2 easy money saving tips. First, let me share with you what I have been doing wrong, and how I will make changes to save even MORE money on groceries!!

WRONG: I have been making my weekly menu and grocery list THEN looked to see which of these items are on sale at the store. I have not been maximizing the items that are on sale!!

CORRECTION: I am going to start making my menu and list AFTER I check my cupboards and look at grocery store ads to see what items are on sale! This will make the majority of my list heading into the week on sale, rather than just some of it. 

WRONG: I currently am going weekly to Aldi and Kroger, which means 4 times per month in each store. With every trip, there is the temptation to put extra items in my cart. I have a bad habit of justifying buying extra produce or other sale items that I did not know were on sale.

CORRECTION: I am going to start only going to the grocery store 3 times per month. This means I will plan for 10 days at a time. Cutting down on the times I am at the grocery store, will also cut down on extra items (and even temptations) that somehow get put into our cart ;)

{All in all, if my grocery list is BASED ON sale items I should not have any surprises at the store so I will not want to put extra produce or other sale items in my cart. This is a small change that will lead to big savings!}

Learning how to save money on groceries takes practice, patience, and effort just like training for a race. If you want to change your spending, you have to train yourself to spend differently and better. With enough training and practice, running fast and saving money can both become second nature! 
Thanks for taking the time to read my list of tips and tricks to save money, I hope they work for you like they have for me! If you want 2 FREE healthy lunch/dinner recipes, from ingredients you probably already have in your fridge, please put your name and e-mail below and they will be sent directly to your inbox!! 
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Carb Cycling Meal Plan

Eating clean and healthy is not hard and I DO NOT miss out on any foods category. In fact, the foods I have replaced, I do not miss at all! Eating clean is just about knowing what is in your foods and how it effects your body. I will show you some of my meals on a "regular calorie/low carb" day and give you more FREE food swaps if you leave your name and e-mail!!

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Workout Programs for Women & Carb Cycling Results

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Workout Programs for Women & Carb Cycling Results

Workout Programs For Women & Carb Cycling Results

Workout Programs For Women & Carb Cycling Results

I am type A. I love being organized and having a plan. Just to give you an idea, at the beginning of each week I write down a general plan of each day of the week. It is a flexible plan, but a plan none the less. This is how I work best to get things accomplished. Without a plan, I get lazy, and my guess... is that maybe, just maybe, you might too.

The same can be said about my workouts. Without a plan, I find myself going to the gym to maybe do this or maybe to that, then I get tired and go home. Really it becomes half a work out. In order to try something different, about 7 months ago, Jasmin wrote me my first workout program. This was 1 month post baby and I knew I was starting over from scratch and needed to slowly work my way back into running and strength training. 

The first few months into the program were great! I lost the baby weight (plus some) and saw improvements in my mile times. But around month 4 I hit a plateau. Jasmin and I worked together to figure out a new plan of attack and she also introduced me to something called carb cycling.

This methodology behind how much I eat and when I eat it is based on my workout for that day and has been fabulous for my body.

I wish I had a before picture to show you the full change from my carb cycling results, but I failed to take one so you will have to take my word for it! However, I can show where I am currently at today 8 months post 2nd baby!! (see picture below) I have a goal to one day see my abs, but for now I am very happy, thankful, and love the body God has given me. I am staying at my goal weight while getting leaner, faster, and stronger! Plus I have enough energy throughout the day, which is a big deal since I am constantly chasing 2 little people every second of every day!

Workout Programs For Women & Carb Cycling Results

Workout Programs For Women & Carb Cycling Results


During the carb cycling process, my eyes have been opened to so much more about food. I had thought of myself as a healthy eater, and it is true I was eating good things for me, but I was not putting the nutrition into my body at the right times or in the proper amounts. Carb cycling helps by making my body work more efficiently to produce better outputs! 

Through this process of training hard and fueling my body more efficiently, I have recognized how important a workout plan can be (especially from someone who ACTUALLY knows what they are doing) and how being aware of what I put into my body makes a BIG DIFFERENCE!!! 

But me recognizing these things is only half the story... the rest of the story is sharing the mistakes I was making with you! I want to share 4 bad habits with you. Why? Good question... First, by "naming and claiming them", it will help keep me accountable during the daily grind. Secondly, awareness is the key to change... so if you're reading this, and nodding along in agreement, let me encourage you by saying that you're not alone.

Workout Programs For Women & Carb Cycling Results

Workout Programs For Women & Carb Cycling Results

I am an emotional eater. Yikes. This may be my worst enemy. After a long and stressful day I turn to a big fat bowl of chocolate peanut butter ice cream to take away the stress. Not only does this usually (okay, always) push me over my caloric need, the worst part is that I usually feel even worse after I gobble it down. I am learning to relax at the end of the day with a hot cup of camomile tea. 

I eat when I am bored. My husband travels often for work and at the end of the day, after I put the kids to bed, I get the munchies. But it is not like I am actually hungry, there is just nothing better to do. I am now trying to replace this boredom with tea and a book, or by just going to bed.

I finish my children's plates. Why do I do this? I am too frugal to throw their last bite away and too lazy to put it in a container. So I make the sacrifice for them, or so I tell myself it is a sacrifice. I now put it in a container and have them finish it the next day. 

I love licking the spatula (and my fingers) when I bake. You may not know this yet about me, but I love baking! Ooey gooey chocolaty desserts scream my name, and making them with my daughter is so fun. But with that comes eating as we bake and of course eating right when it comes out of the oven! This one I am keeping in moderation. I may not need to lick my fingers AND the spatula, but I will enjoy life WITH my children :) 

Sometimes all of those bad habits come out all in the same day, and while eating the last bite of my kids plate 1 time won't make me gain 5 lbs, after the third meal of the day and two snacks each little bite starts to add up against me. 

I have only been aware of these bad habits because I started learning when to put the right food into my body (thanks to Jasmin) and logging the food I was eating (also encouragement from Jasmin). I now use the app MyFitnessPal to track my food input and exercise output. This app helps me keep track of my fats, protein, carbs, calories and much more which in turn helps me to refuel my body properly rather than guessing!

Don't guess at what you think you should be doing, find an expert. And don't guess about your food, KNOW about it! Be aware of your body and make it better because IT CAN BE DONE! 
If you are someone who has struggled losing weight or feel like you have hit a plateau, I would strongly encourage you to fill in your name below and talk with Jasmin about workout programs for women and carb cycling results to see how she can help you!
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Beach Body Shakeology Review

Beach Body Shakeology Review

Beach Body Shakeology Review

{I love Shakeology because I have seen results and love the benefits.} 

I started drinking Beach Body Shakeology for 2 reasons, its nutrition and its ability to fill me as a snack. About 7 months ago I wanted to start working out again, but not at the expense of loosing the ability to nursing our newborn baby. Beach Body Shakeology gave me the nutrition I needed but also my baby. (There is actually so much nutrition in each shake that together with my prenatal vitamin I began feeling nauseous. I decided to stick with the shake as I needed the extra benefits for post workout recovery.) The second benefit was that it actually was a filling snack. As a nursing and exercising mama, I ate A LOT of food. (to the point of being tired of eating yet my belly still was not satisfied). But Beach Body Shakeology shakes were just what I needed to fill me up. 

Fast forward to now and I have actually reaped more benefits in my body! 
  • I lost all my baby weight plus some by using it as a meal replacement, but did not sacrifice any nutrition.
  • I am training hard for a spring race and its a great recovery meal. I have dropped a full minute off my mile time, and I know this nutrition is helping to rebuild my muscles.
  • It does give me some energy back after an exhausting workout. After an exhausting workout it helps me to still keep up with my kids ... AFTER I drink it that is! 
  • I have been off prenatal vitamins for 7 months now, but my hair and nails are STILL STRONG! All you mama's, you know what I am talking about. Its all in the shake!
  • In the last few months I have started noticing it curb my cravings. I am a choco-holic, but I notice I do not desire it like I used to.
  • That being said, it did something to me mentally. When I know I am putting something good into my body, I want to keep doing it. It has helped me to eat better all throughout the day. 
  • This is also the first winter in a long time that I have not been sick! Not even a head cold. Nutrition matters. 
There are also extra benefits about Beach Body Shakeology Shakes itself that I must include. 
  • Its delicious. I have tried various other protein shakes that were chalky and gross. This shake when used with just water and ice is still pretty good. 
  • There are many flavors. I have only tried the chocolate and vanilla and LOVE both. 
  • There are SO MANY recipes to use it with. I have 3 favorite Beach Body Shakeology Shake recipes (see below for these) and also use the powder in lots of my baking!
  • My kids love it! I usually have to share some of my shakes, but I at least have the satisfaction of knowing its a healthy snack for their little bodies, and their tastebuds do not lose out! (I do give it to our 8 month old!)
The ONLY downside to Beach Body Shakeology is the price. Literally the ONLY downside. However I will ask you one question...

What is your body worth to you?

 

As promised, here are my three favorite Beach Body Shakeology Shake recipes. 

1. Chocolate Peanut Butter (or Vanilla Peanut Butter)

Beach Body Shakeology Review

Beach Body Shakeology Review

  • One scoop of Beach Body Shakeology Chocolate (or Beach Body Shakeology Vanilla)
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • half a banana (preferably frozen)
  • 1 cup of water or almond milk (or do 1/2 of each)
  • ice to desired consistency 

 

 

Beach Body Shakeology Review

Beach Body Shakeology Review

2. PB & J

  • One scoop of Beach Body Shakeology Vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup mixed frozen berries
  • 1 cup of water or almond milk (or do 1/2 of each)
  • ice to desired consistency 

3. Tropical

  • One scoop Beach Body Shakeology Vanilla
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen)
  • 1/2 cup pure pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ice to desired consistency '

 

I am offering a 10 Target or Starbucks Gift card to anyone who buys Shakeolgoy from me through March. Simply fill out this form and I will send the order and the gift card to you!

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Easy Quiche Recipes - Ham and Zucchini

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Easy Quiche Recipes - Ham and Zucchini

Who does not like a warm, healthy, and delicious breakfast already prepared in the morning?! This is one of my families easy quiche recipes that I hope your family will enjoy too! I make it on Sunday, and pop in the microwave for 45 seconds each morning of the week :)

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