On the Offense with Food Prep

How hard is it for you to make good food decisions when you’re already hungry? For me, nearly impossible. I get hungry (or hangry if we’re being honest), and all I can think of are unhealthy foods – imagine milkshakes, French fries, chocolate…the list goes on.

But how easy would it be to choose something healthy and nourishing to your body if it were already prepared for you and waiting in your fridge or pantry?

Well friends, I can tell you from recent personal experience what a game-changer food prepping has been for our family. We went on the offense in our meal prep game soon after our second son was born. Now as a family of four, our attention is even more focused on the kiddos and we have less bandwidth during the week to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. So, we decided a change was in order.

Our approach has been multi-pronged, and it looks something like this:

  • Twice weekly trips to Trader Joe’s to purchase supplies for 3-4 days’ worth of meals and snacks
  • Planning out all of our meals ahead of time and writing out a shopping list, which is in a shared note that both my husband and I can access on our iPhones (we usually end up with him doing the first food run, and our boys and I doing the other later in the week)
  • Then we spend Sundays and either Wednesday or Thursday nights prepping. Here’s what a recent shopping/meal list looked like.

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with berries and nuts
  • English muffins with peanut butter and a side of fruit

Lunch

  • Martha Stewart’s Bean Salad
  • Salads with chopped veggies and Trader Joe’s fresh dressings
  • Steam broccoli and string beans
  • Leftovers from the three below dinners

Dinner

  • Cookie and Kate’s Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
  • Cookie and Kate’s Lentil Soup with fresh sourdough bread
  • Veganomicon’s “Mac and Cheese”

Snacks

  • Dried mango slices
  • Trail mix
  • Bananas, blackberries, blueberries
  • Various cheeses and crackers

One thing that radically changed the game for us was purchasing glass food storage containers. Now I can see inside everything in our refrigerator and no longer forget what’s in there and only realize I wanted to eat it after it’s already gone bad. I also appreciate that the glass container doubles as the bowl I eat my meal out of, so there’s less clean up! We ordered a variety of sizes, but I’m really loving this Bento Box inspired design for lunches especially.

Food prepping is still a work in progress, and we’re certainly learning as we go, but I can confidently say that I’ve never eaten this healthy, consistently, in my entire life. It feels empowering to know that what I’m putting into my body is blessing me and fueling me, rather than making me feel good in the moment but ultimately leaving me feeling sluggish.

Are you ready to give food prepping a go? What else can I share about our experience that could help you on your journey?

Resources

Containers: Bento Boxes| Assorted Sizes | 5 Pack of 30 Oz Containers

Meals: Cookie & Kate Recipes for Enchiladas & Lentil Soup | Cookie & Kate Cookbook | Veganomicon Cookbook | Martha Stewart’s Bean Salad

Finding Joy in Movement

Growing up, I was taught that exercise is something you do to look thin in order to impress other people. Mainly men.

Woah. Kind of heavy for a young girl, but that was my reality, and I wonder if it was for you to (although I hope not).

I’m grateful though that at the age of 12, with a special needs brother and two very young sisters at home, I found running as a way to get out of the house, organize my thoughts, and find some peace and quiet.

My first run, I still remember, was in my Adidas Sambas. People. These are not running shoes. I would figure all of that out years later and after devouring many issues of Runners World, but at the time these shoes held the keys to freedom, potential blisters be damned.

So with my sneaks laced, I’d hit the streets of our neighborhood. Little did I know that I was about to learn one of the biggest and most important lessons of my young life.

Month after month. Year after year. I kept running. I loved feeling the seasons change. The smell of fresh spring blossoms. The crunch of fall leaves on the pavement. Even the overpowering aroma of the neighbors’ repaving their driveways. I savored all of those things because it meant I was outside, experiencing them first-hand in my body. Sweating and breathing and moving.

And a funny thing started to happen.

I had muscles where I had previously been weak. I could breathe deeper and easier. In time I could run to the top of the highest hill without stopping and actually cried when I did it.

Not only did my physical body get stronger, but my mental toughness did as well. And then. One day. I realized that I was running for me. For the joy of movement. For the strength it gave me which lead to empowerment. To reaching for bigger goals. Bolder dreams.

No longer was I running to be “skinny” for some future person to deign to love, but I was running to be strong. To push harder. To see how much farther I could go. I was running because I loved myself most of all.

To this day, I still run. It’s shorter distances now that we’re in the season of life with two kids under two, but even during a one mile run I celebrate the opportunity to move my body with joy. Not ever as punishment or as a means to the end of pleasing someone else.

Because this body. This home I inhabit. It’s all mine. And I move it for me.

Why partner with a health coach?

Have you ever thought about making your health and wellness a priority?

A great way to do that is by partnering with a health coach! Now I know that you can learn almost anything online between Google and YouTube, but let’s chat for a moment about why having a coach will make you more successful than if you tried to go at it alone.

Guidance – As a coach, I listen to my clients’ goals and aspirations and guide them towards sustainable lifestyle changes that will lead to greater health over time. By taking a long-term approach, clients change their daily habits and routines, and that is everything (remember, we are what we repeatedly do!). I want to set you up for success not only while we’re working together but for your life long after. Teach a man to fish, I say!

Accountability – In addition to being your greatest cheerleader, as your health coach, I’ll also keep you accountable to your goals and give you a nudge when you need it most. I also find that clients are more likely to complete their self-assigned “homework” between sessions because they want to show up to each of our sessions with an accomplishment to share. How cool is that?!

Financial Commitment –Ever wonder why you haven’t already implemented changes to your routine? Often times it takes “feeling” the financial investment to stay motivated because you’re spending your hard-earned money and you want to make every penny count.

Interested in taking your health and wellness further? I’d love to connect for a complimentary health session to see if partnering together is right for us!

Resources: Complimentary Health History Session | Six Month Coaching Program

Imperfect Action

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to do something imperfectly? I was listening to Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast this week, and during the episode she said, “So many women think they have to get it perfect right out of the gate,” and this gave me pause because, well, she’s right! Now Rachel was referring to the world of business in this example, but the same is true in other areas of life as well.

Are you establishing a workout routine? Trying to eat healthier foods? Reaching for a big, audacious goal?

Well, friends, I’m here to remind you that you don’t have to be perfect. In fact, it’s never going to be perfect. You’re going to have setbacks, you’re going to have to overcome the habit of doing what is easy because if you want to grow you have to dance along the edge of your comfort zone – and sometimes even jump off the deep end.

There’s a post-it on my computer monitor that reads, “Done is better than perfect,” and I need reminding of that every time I sit down to write. Because a perfect blog post that lives in my mind will never reach you. But an imperfect message that’s written while the kids nap and the dog barks in the background, just might remind you that imperfect action beats perfect inaction every. single. time.

Read that again.

Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every single time!

So, what is something you can do today, right now even, to bring you one step closer to reaching your goals? I don’t care what it is, so long as it propels you forward. Go for a walk. Better yet, walk your dog so she stops barking. Eat something green. Make a smoothie. Drink water. Then drink some more. Log off of your electronics an hour before bed. Establish a bedtime routine. Get good sleep. Wake up and set your intentions for the day. Move your body with joy instead of as punishment. Make someone smile. Spread some joy. Rinse and repeat.

Because if you don’t take action now, when you feel the desire in your heart, when will you? Get up. Move your body. And make it happen, friends!

Resources: Rise Podcast Episode 109 | Imperfect Action Quote attributed to President Truman

A Flawed Plan

Have you ever read, listened to, or watched something that made you totally fired up and ready to reach for big goals?!

I had that experience recently after listening to Rachel Hollis’ Rise Podcast. Rachel’s a leader in business and personal development (and a hero of mine, for sure!). In this episode, she and Ed Mylett discuss all the things, but there was one thing he said in particular that really hit home for me. Are you ready for this truth bomb?

“A flawed plan executed with ferocity and certainty is far greater than the perfect plan executed too late and with timidity.”

Boom.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often found myself with paralysis of the analysis. I can research something like nobody’s business, but when it’s time to take action I find myself waiting for the “perfect” moment.

Well, friends, I’m here to tell you that the ideal time is now. Stop waiting. Stop perfecting. Stop worrying about what other people might think and just do the darn thing. Do it scared. And keep doing it. Over. And over. And over again. Because eventually, it will no longer intimidate you and instead you’ll have all of your past experiences informing you that, in fact, you CAN do it.

I’ve recently experienced this with running. I’m just getting back into it after growing back-to-back baby boys, and almost every day I run one mile. Yes, one! Because each day it gets a little easier. Each day I get a little strong. And if there’s a time when I think I can’t squeeze it in, or I don’t feel like doing it, I know that it literally takes 12 minutes or less to run one mile. I can give myself the gift of 12 minutes. And I keep doing it. Again, and again. Because it makes me feel strong, and I show up as my best self for those I love when I make my own fitness a priority.

What I love most about Ed’s nugget of wisdom is this. It applies to any area where you’re seeking growth or change. To relationships, finances, health (or running!), and the list goes on. So call your shot, as Rachel would say. Know your goals and strive towards them with ferocity and certainty. You might fail, but fail forward, learn from your mistakes and most importantly keep going.

Over. And over. And over again. Because that’s how you change your health. That’s how you change your life. You are what you repeatedly do. So be intentional, and not to sound like a Nike ad, but just do it!

Resources: Rise Podcast Episode 102 | @EdMylett