Planning for the Week Ahead!

Hi there! How was everyone’s weekend? We had a nice weekend with a good mixture of relaxation and fun! We got our engagement pictures taken on Saturday…the weather did not cooperate with us so I am very curious to see how they turn out.

I can’t believe it is Monday already! I’m off on Mondays now though, so it kind of feels like an extra day of the weekend for me. I like to use Mondays to get on track for the week. Meal planning is completely necessary for me if we want to eat healthy, home cooked meals all week. Here is the plan for our dinner meals this week!

MONDAY:
Southwestern Stuffed Peppers–I found this recipe on Pinterest and love it!!

peppers

TUESDAY:
Crock Pot Stew–I’m still looking for the perfect stew recipe :) I found a few but will keep you posted on what recipe I decide.

crock pot

WEDNESDAY:
Leftover Stew–Love leftovers!

THURSDAY:
Tuna Melt Paninis: We got a panini press for Christmas. I made eggplant Parmesan paninis last week, and they were great! We will have a basic salad with our sandwiches. Easy!!

FRIDAY:
No plans yet. We usually grab something for dinner or go out to dinner on Friday nights.

Moving right along to my week of workouts! I am really trying to focus on maximizing my workouts. I am also making working out a top priority! My goal is at least 5 workouts per week, but 6 would be even better :)

MONDAY:
Body Pump and Zumba

TUESDAY:
Oula or Zumba

www.oulafitness.com
http://www.oulafitness.com

WEDNESDAY:
Body Pump–long video

THURSDAY:
Oula or cardio at the gym

FRIDAY:
Rest Day

SATURDAY:
Oula at 9:00 AM

SUNDAY:
Body Pump and a walk (if the weather cooperates)

body pump

I’m hoping that sharing these workouts with all of you will help me stay on track too! What tricks do you guys have for staying on track with workouts and healthy eating?

Have a great week!!

Montana-style running

Exciting Year Ahead!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday :) I love the holidays, but it feels good to get back into a routine too!

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The new year has everyone talking about resolutions. I prefer to make goals rather than resolutions. Resolutions sometimes make people focus on the negative things from the year before. Goals give us the chance to challenge ourselves in a positive way!

Here are a few of my goals for 2014. I like to make goals throughout the year too!

1. Focus on healthy living. This includes eating whole foods as often as possible. It also includes fitting in physical activity at least 5 days per week! My goal is to focus on healthy living in order to feel my best at my wedding in August.

2. Fit in time for relaxation. Wedding planning can be stressful! My goal is to squeeze in relaxation whenever possible. This can include anything from a mini vacation to a hot bath before bed!

3. Run a half marathon!! This is something that needs to be crossed off my bucket list. I have done color runs, dirty dashes, 5ks, 10ks but never a half marathon. I hope to have this off the list by 2015!

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4. Obtain a group fitness instructor certificate. I have been looking into this for a long time, and it’s time to just do it!! Why not squeeze something else into this crazy year :)

Well, those are a few of my thoughts for 2014. As I mentiond, this will be a crazy year! By this time next year I will be married!! CRAZY!! I also get to stand by one of my best friends’ side when she gets married. And, we have another wedding of a close friend one month before ours. Exciting times!!

What are your thoughts on resoutions?? Any exciting goals for the new year??

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Adding Healthy to Your Holiday Season

Hello there! Happy holidays! If you celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m sure you are feeling some holiday cheer (and maybe a little holiday stress as well). This time of year can be so busy! It is really important to enjoy every minute of the holiday season. But, it is equally as important to focus on yourself and your health. There are hundreds of “tips and tricks” to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle during the holiday season. This post is going to provide some practical ideas that I use to stay on track during the holidays. Image1. Fit in exercise whenever/wherever you can! I have read several articles that encourage people to continue their regular exercise schedule during the holiday season. Although I think this is a great, lofty goal, it might not be the most practical. If your Ugly Sweater Christmas Party falls on the same day/time as your usual weekly spinning class…I highly recommend attending the party! These fun holiday activities only happen once every year, so enjoy the time with friends and family. My recommendation and my personal goal during busy holiday weeks is to squeeze in exercise whenever possible. Maybe you can arrange a morning hike/walk/jog with some of the people attending your holiday party later in the day. That way you will enjoy your party even more knowing that you were able to fit a workout in that day too! If you can do 10 minutes of uninterrupted exercise, it counts towards the weekly goal of 150 minutes recommended by the CDC for healthy adults.

Image2. Bring a healthy, delicious dish to pot luck style parties. This one is pretty straight-forward. Not only will you have something to eat that you know is healthy and delicious, but you will also encourage others to enjoy healthy, wholesome foods.

3. Start a healthy competition with a friend or family member. Challenge each other to stay on track during this busy time of year. One idea would be to purchase FitBits or pedometers and make a daily step goal and compare each week. It is always helpful to have someone else with similar goals to increase accountability and success!

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Source: http://www.geekinsider.com

4. Enjoy every moment with friends and family!!! Don’t let healthy eating and fitting in physical activity add additional stress. Everything in moderation :)

Do you have any other good strategies to stay on track with healthy living when life gets crazy?!

Sunday Meal Planning

Hi there! It’s Sunday again, which means it’s time to plan for another week. But first it’s time for a delicious and healthy Sunday breakfast…after Starbucks! :)

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I’m not a huge fan of big breakfasts…I am usually more of an oatmeal or smoothie fan. But every now and then I like to mix it up a bit. This morning I actually had oatmeal with peanut butter and honey as an early breakfast and saved the bigger breakfast for late morning. We had whole wheat pancakes, scrambled eggs and fruit. Adding whole grains, fresh fruit and protein to your breakfast is a great way to keep it healthy!

Okay, now that I’m full let’s talk about meals for this week. I will be out of town for a work training on Wednesday and Thursday night so I will be planning meals for Monday and Tuesday for both of us and just Dylan for those two nights.

I found my recipes on skinnytaste.com this week. I love this website…it’s very organized and has very unique recipes.

Monday
Shrimp Fajitas–I love fajitas so I am excited for this meal!

Tuesday
Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken–We will probably have this over brown rice.

Wednesday
Leftovers!! I’m hoping there will be leftover chicken :)

Thursday
BLT sandwiches with tomato basil soup–this will be Dylan’s meal while I’m gone.

Friday
Nothing planned yet…likely go out for dinner or appetizers

No meals planned for the weekend either…I never know our plans!

What’s your “go to” breakfast meal? What about your favorite splurge breakfast meal?

Sunday Thoughts

Happy Sunday!! I hope everyone had a great weekend. This was the first weekend of hunting season…so I have been home alone:) I had a very relaxing, productive weekend. Anyone else have significant others that are die hard hunters? I am quite content staying in my warm house instead :)

Here are some random Sunday thoughts. (I am also writing some “normal” posts today to share in the next few weeks!! Finally!)

1. Working full time and commuting to work each day takes a huge chunk of time! Haha I was a student for too long and got wayyyy too used to a flexible schedule. I think it should be a rule that everyone works from about 9:00 to 3:00 and the rest of the time is playtime :) I am very lucky that I love my job though!!

2. Wedding planning is a lot of fun (and a little overwhelming)! I have had three different dreams about my wedding planning not being done in time! I ended up buying my wedding dress at Kmart in one of the dreams. I am taking these dreams as a serious hint to get my butt in gear and plan!

3. I miss dressing up for Halloween! We didn’t have any dress up parties this year…I will have to change that next year! We are having an ugly sweater party in December which will make up for it!

4. I have been back on track with healthy eating and meal planning! Fall seems to be a lot less crazy than summer. So our routine is back in place!

Okay, that’s all the randomness I have to share for now! Stay tuned for some meal planning and nutrition related posts this week.

Enjoy your Sunday!!

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Starting September

There is something so refreshing about the start of a new month! And in this case a new season. Although I am sad to see summer come to an end (especially because I live in MT and winters are longgggggg), I am excited about fall and the next few months too!

I think of a new month as a fresh start and a time to improve areas in my life that have fallen off track! Here are a few things that I will be working on this month!

1) Step Up My Workouts
Since I moved back to MT, my workouts have not been as intense as they used to be. I have still been exercising, but my daily workouts have changed from spinning and strength classes to evening walks. I have still been doing some classes but not like I used to. I miss my old workout habits and am going to try to revert back!!!

2) Be Less Rushed
I feel like I am constantly in a hurry! This is mostly because I overbook myself. I have a difficult time saying no to things! I am going to prioritize things and avoid over booking!! I think this will be a difficult goal! But it will be so nice to feel less rushed everyday!

3) Clean Eating
This one is pretty self explanatory! I want to eat clean, whole foods as much as possible!!

What are your goals for this new month??

Do you like fall better than summer??

Weekly Meal Planning–Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  We were all over the place this weekend.  It feels so good to have today to catch up on everything before going back to work tomorrow!  One of the things on my “to-do” list is meal planning!  

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Here is the plan for this week: 

Monday: Salsa Chicken Casserole (Pinterest inspired recipe)

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Stuffed Bell Peppers (Another Pinterest inspired recipe)

Thursday: Homemade pizza on the BBQ with spinach salad–I have never done this before, but it looks delicious!!

Friday: Leftover pizza! (I’m hopeful we will have extra)

This week is a pretty simple week of recipes.  Although leftovers can be a little boring, it is so nice to come home and know that dinner is ready to go!  With just two of us in the house, it’s hard not to waste food if we don’t eat leftovers.  

What does your meal plan look like this week?  Do you like leftovers??  Anyone have any ideas for cooking for two??  

 

Life Lately!

Alright, I’m sure most of you thought I was gone for good!!  I have no idea where this summer went!!!  I’m sure many of you feel the same way!  But, I’m BACK!!  And, I wanted to fill you in on a few reasons why this summer has flown by!!

 

REASON #1:  We bought a house!  I love our house so much but man a new house takes a lot of time at first!  The house we bought was built in 1975 and was not updated much since that time.  So, we did quite a bit of updating work on the house before moving in and continue to make updates and improvements all the time.  It’s so nice to have your own place where you don’t have to ask anyone if you want to paint the walls pink…yep, I actually did that in our whole living room!  But not to worry it was an accident and got repainted :)

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REASON #2  I have been working a lot more!  My job is still not officially full time, but I have been working ~35+ hours per week.  My commute to work is only 30 minutes but by the time I get home, eat dinner and exercise, it’s time to go to bed.  I am so happy that I am working more hours.  I love my job and am gaining a ton of experience in so many areas of nutrition and dietetics!!

REASON #3  I got ENGAGED!!  This just happened last month…almost exactly one month ago.  We have done lots of celebrating, and the month has flown by!  We picked a wedding venue yesterday…the date is August 23, 2014!  I am excited to share some wedding planning on the blog too!  

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Okay, now you guys are caught up!  I am so impressed by bloggers that have completely crazy lives and are still able to blog consistently!  So, I am using them as my motivation to get back on track.  Life happens, but I love blogging and sharing information about my passion for nutrition and healthy living!  So I am going to make the time :)  

Does anyone have any recommendations/requests for posts or topics?  Has your summer flown by??  

Tuesday Tidbits

Hi everyone! Once again, I kind of disappeared for a short time. SORRY! I have the day off of work and am finally getting caught up on some much needed blogging.

I thought it would be fun to discuss some nutrition tidbits with you today. As a registered dietitian, I am a complete nerd when it comes to nutrition facts and research. And, I love sharing nutrition information with anyone that will listen!
Nutrition research, like other medical research fields, changes all the time. It’s so fascinating how much new information comes out every day. I think it will be fun to share some “new” (at least new to me) facts and information every Tuesday. Please feel free to start discussions in the comment section if you know more about the topic discussed or have questions 

Okay, let the nutrition nerdiness begin!!

• What is green coffee extract??

Have any of you heard of this as a weight loss strategy? It seems to be a new craze in the weight loss world of nutrition. One of my friends called me a few weeks ago to ask if I would recommend trying this supplement for weight loss.

green coffee

Green coffee extract is a supplement made from green unroasted coffee beans. You can find it in capsule form or a powder form that can be added to food/beverages. It contains naturally occurring caffeine and chlorogenic acid (which is an antioxidant). The chlorogenic acid is thought to be the key ingredient in this supplement. Studies have shown that chlorogenic acid inhibits fat accumulation and reduce weight in animals and humans. Green coffee extract is also thought to reduce postprandial glucose concentrations (glucose in your blood after you eat).

SO…my initial reaction to all the research about green coffee extract is…there is NO magic pill for weight loss!!! Much more research needs to be done to determine the safety and efficacy of this supplement. It is also necessary to determine dosing and the best formulary. Another thing to think about is the negative effects of high intakes of caffeine. A high intake of caffeine can lead to headaches, gastric issues, and anxiety.

Although I find the research behind this supplement fascinating, I would still advise any patients, clients or friends to focus on a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating and exercise for healthy weight loss!

suchgoodexercise

• Avocados!!!
o Okay, now let’s focus on a SUPER FOOD! I absolutely love avocados. So, I’m going to share some basic tidbits with you!
o Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable.
o They are cholesterol and sodium free!!
o They have the highest protein content of any fruit.
o 1/5 of a medium avocado contains at least 20 vitamins and minerals!!
o To reduce oxidation (browning) of an already-sliced avocado, sprinkle lemon juice on the exposed flesh and refrigerate in a plastic bag.
o They are full of healthy fats!
o Avocados are a higher calorie food—so if you are counting calories remember to focus on portion sizes!

avocado
Here’s a guacamole recipe to try:

Ingredients:
• 6 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 medium tomato, chopped
• 2 green chiles, diced
• 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
• 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
• 1 tsp. seasoned salt
Instructions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, mash avocados, leaving some chunks.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
3. Enjoy with some whole wheat chips or pita bread! Also great with veggies!! 

How do you all feel about weight loss supplements?? What’s your favorite way to eat an avocado??

Weekly Meals

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all are having a great week so far! I will be writing the next post about my journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian this week. But, today I am going to share my meal plan for the week. It’s been awhile since I have shared my meals for the week. I’m happy that my life is a little less chaotic now so I have some more time to plan and cook delicious meals 
Here is the plan for the week (Monday already happened and was DELICIOUS!!)

MONDAY: Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas (http://www.preventionrd.com/buffalo-chicken-enchiladas/)
I found this recipe on Pinterest. The original source is listed above. You definitely need to try these ASAP! They are delicious and not very time consuming!

TUESDAY: Skinny Taco Stuffed Peppers (www.skinnymom.com)
This recipe looks nutritious, delicious and easy! PERFECT!

halved pepper on pan

WEDNESDAY: Leftovers
The easiest meal to plan is always leftovers! If there isn’t anything left from Tuesday, we will have salads with the leftover ground turkey from Tuesday.

(readyseteat.com)
(readyseteat.com)

THURSDAY: Shrimp Cocktail and Caesar Salads
Easy and light meal! Sometimes by Thursday night I am ready to eat a very light meal. Shrimp cocktail is also a great way to include some fish into the week.

FRIDAY: Date night—eat out!
We are trying to be really good about not eating out during the week. Fridays generally include a dinner out with a couple cocktails or eating at a friend’s house.

I have no food plans for the weekend yet. I will do a quick recap of these meals this weekend!
Are you trying any new recipes this week? If so, please share!!!