Hey Hey! It’s FriYAY and I’m excited to share with you this yummy weeknight vegetable side to use with basically anything all week long. So when I started to come up with my meal prep and veggie ideas last week, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. So I just walked around the produce section at Trader Joe’s until I found something remotely appealing to me. Sometimes that’s how I shop, FYI. Not all the time because I do go into the store with some kind of game plan, but I took the opportunity for the veggies to find me, so to speak, lol.
Broccoli spoke to me that day! It was also a good price, which helped. Then I remembered that I had a red onion I could put with it and saw the colors of the two of them together and knew that was it. I’m all about throwing whatever into a bowl and calling it a meal anyways, so I figured roasting could work the same way. I ended up roasting the two together with olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper and called it a day!
Best vegetable side in a while if you ask me! Super easy too since the oven did all the work for me. I just cut up the onion and broccoli then lined the baking sheet with foil and took care of the cleanup too. Ultimate WIN. The whole process took me about twenty minutes with prep and clean-up. If you ask me, THATS how you meal prep. Or as I like to call it, minimal meal-prep. 😉
Since this is pretty versatile, I found myself throwing this onto a salad or having as a side. You can also eat this warm or at room temperature. Anything goes with this if you ask me!
Roasted Broccoli & Red Onions with Garlic and Thyme
1 head broccoli
1 medium red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sprinkle of thyme (fresh or dried)
Sprinkle of garlic powder (or fresh)
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil. Chop broccoli into pieces leaving it in bite size chunks. Cut red onion into chunks. Spread onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over veggies and toss to combine. Shake thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and toss again. Put into oven for 15 minutes until broccoli and onions are slightly browned. Enjoy warm or at room temperature! (Note: coconut oil would be a good option too!)
Happy Friday!! Fridays have seemed like a good day to post new material so I’m getting excited about making this a more regular thing. With school, I’m able to post about once a week, if you haven’t already noticed. I’m excited to keep cranking out new posts despite the fact that school is in now happening.
Anyways, to the blog topic: Strength training! To be honest, not my favorite thing. Just like I mentioned last week recovery isn’t my favorite thing. I’ve been very real the past few posts, but its a good thing at times because no one is perfect! 😉 I really enjoy leg day, practicing my pull-ups, and bootcamp classes but nothing makes me happy as running. However, running doesn’t enhance my entire fitness. It’s cardio, comes with different benefits, and is only one part of my program.
Strength on the other hand, complements the cardio. You build specific muscles, prevent injury, and improve bone health to name a few benefits. Yes, cardio does some of that too, but strength is specific to weight bearing. Weight bearing or resistance training meaning anywhere from bodyweight, to resistance bands, dumbbells, etc. If you haven’t check it out, be sure to look at my Why Women Should Pump Ironpost to get a good idea on key reasons to starting lifting!
“I know how great strength training is, but I don’t have time for a full hour of it!” –>I’ve heard a million times. No one says you have to do a full hour to get benefits! Recently I’ve changed some goals to where I switched over to doing 30-40 min workouts using smaller muscle groups that take less time. Think shoulders, arms, calves, etc. I’ve done the opposite too using big muscle groups like legs and back to hit a lot in a short amount of time to get more bang for my buck. I still enjoy a good leg day so I’ll keep one of my strength workouts closer to an hour because leg days are favorite–no other reason.
Still feeling unsure of how to tackle a short workout and getting similar benefits? View my tips below to see how to build a effective 30-40 workout!
Pick a muscle group: Upper body, Lower body, Core. Keep it simple!
Set an end time: How long do you plan on working out for? Need to be done by a certain time? Estimate a half hour to forty minutes from the current time and make an effort to get the workout done! Knowing you have a deadline makes you prioritize what needs to get done, from your rest between sets to how you order your exercises.
What’s available equipment-wise: In a hotel room, park, or stadium? Use the benches, stairs, or field to get a kick-ass cardio/hiit style workout in! If small weights are available add squats, overhead press, or bicep curls to the mix. The more options you have, the more complicated the workout becomes. Don’t overcomplicate anything though, use it to be creative and challenge yourself! Bonus points if you have it all set up ready to use instead of taking what you need as you go! Those extra steps back and forth add up to wasted time.
Make sure you build in a warm-up and cool-down before and after: This would ideally be included as part of your thirty to forty minutes of work. If you’ve been sitting for a bit, a longer warm-up might be necessary. If you’re like me and are always on the go teaching, training, running, etc. a few minutes might be enough. The key is to feel warm and ready to go. Not still stiff from sitting. Think five minutes of dynamic movement.
Best way to keep it at the thirty-forty minute mark–put it on your calendar!!! Book it like anything else in your life. I say time and time again that if you schedule your workout in a planner among your other commitments, you’re likely to stick with it. ‘Nuff said. 😉
-What’s your favorite muscle group to work?
-Tips that you find helpful to fitting in your workouts each week?
Happy Friday! Meal prep seems to be a common thread everyone seems to be battling with at one point or another. It also can be intimidating AF because where do you start?? I’ve had a few thoughts, which have turned into excuses:
I don’t meal prep AT ALL and I end up paying for my laziness by eating out and choosing less then healthy options
I’m not sure what I’m in the mood to cook
I’m not in the mood to prepare it
There’s other things I’d rather be doing and meal-prepping isn’t one of them
Have you had these thoughts? I have, but have limited them and have changed them for the better. Once I meal-prep, I can officially consider myself set up for success. I spend less money, feel the need to not waste food, and having it prepared for me gives me ZERO excuses for eating healthy. Three killer reasons why I make these reasons alone the reason I *try* and do this every week.
On the other hand, life happens and this doesn’t always get done. And guess what? Does the world end that I didn’t meal prep? NO! Does that mean I’m not gonna be set up for success and therefore fail with my meal choices? NO! It just means I have free reign…both good and bad 😛
So the question is, how do you fit it in?
I start by figuring out what I’m in the mood for that week. Sometimes I know instantly what I want. Other times I look through my Meals on The Run cookbook from Runner’s World, use Instagram for inspiration (check out #bgbcommunity on Instagram–you’ll be drooling over your phone in no time HA!), or tbh–the grocery store itself, although I try not to do that too often. I find flavors or ingredients that interest me or I look at factors of a recipe like time and servings to decide.
For me, I prep on Sundays. It’s a slower day for me usually so I grocery shop then come back and whip up whatever I’m making so its fresh and ready to use. I like one-pot meals a lot or one-bowl type dishes like salad since they’re both something you heat up or assemble in as little as a half hour and it’s ready to eat! I don’t have time to stand in front of a stove and cook fresh every. single. night. and I’m sure you don’t (or want to) either. So why make it tougher then it should be? Meal prep for the week ahead and you’ll have a fresh, healthy meal at your finger tips!
There are weeks I don’t have time to make a full blown meal with all the fixings on a Sunday, or I simply just don’t want to. But instead of not doing nothing at all, I pick one or two items that are quick cooking so I have at least some kind of snack, vegetable, or carb ready to be thrown in to something during the week. Recently, I love cooking hard-boiled eggs, which take about fifteen minutes, and sweet potatoes which take about twenty. Both go at the same time and you don’t really need to watch either too closely! Between the two, both are done in about an hour or less. Seriously, NO EXCUSES! And even though it isn’t “meal prep” it’s more like “meal prep-prep” it’s still setting you up for success in one form or another right? Isn’t that the whole point??
Another thing that doesn’t always come with the actual prep, but something to keep in mind, is how much food you’re really getting out of the food you’re making. I cook for me, so I pick dishes that have about four servings in them. That number works for me because I get bored of eating it as the week goes on–for real though and once I get bored of it, I tend to waste it which doesn’t do my wallet any good. Any dishes six to eight servings, I tend to not look too closely at just because it feeds too many for just me! Looking at how many you’re cooking for and who you’re cooking for (hungry husbands, a family, someone who always traveling/on-the-go) is one factor I feel is most important when it comes to meal prep.
Now the type of person you’re feeding is another whole topic in itself since you want to please whoever you’re feeding too. Getting the kids, husband, whoever involved will make meal-prep an easier thing to tackle. If it just you, like it is just me, make whatever you want!! #perksoflivingalone
The funnest part of the whole meal-prep idea is the CLEAN UP! lol…just kidding. It’s my least favorite part of the whole thing to be real, but it’s gotta happen. You can make it easier by using foil or parchment paper to make clean-up easy too. Here’s a tip: DON’T use Parchment paper to broil hahaha. I made that mistake and I created a small fire in my kitchen one night making mini english muffin pizzas. All is good!! I put it out but instead of Parchment paper, use foil instead *face palm*–no flames to worry about with that. Anyways, clean-up is cut in half and makes the whole meal-prep process that much smoother.
Hoping this post leaves you feeling more inspired to try meal-prepping! Taking it step by step and not feeling intimidated is key. See it as a learning experience! Either you’ll enjoy learning to cook new things or you won’t…and in the latter case you know you at least made an attempt!
Good Luck and Happy Meal-Prepping!
-What are you favorite go to snacks or dishes to meal-prep?
-What is one thing you want to work on or try with meal-prepping?
-Any fails with meal-prep or kitchen disasters? LOL
Hellooooo!! Monday Motivation time. Been trying to get more ideas for topics, and this one came to mind! How many times does it seem like you’ve yo-yoed back and forth with a fitness routine or healthy habits? This time of year is notorious for that. Instead of setting the scale back ten pounds, use this time to figure out why you keep restarting. Below are some factors that may help you figure out why!
Not sure what you like/don’t like when it comes to exercise
Possible ideas: group fitness cardio/strength training classes, working out alone vs. a group/dependable workout buddy, mind-body workouts (yoga, barre, pilates), recreation (biking, running, swimming), social ties (running/biking club), willing to invest in a personal trainer? (see personal training tab for more info ;)), etc.
Take into your account your personality, interests, schedule etc.
Its okay to NOT like something!
Make a note of what you like and don’t like…e.g. like spin, but not a fan of the class time or instructor? try another!
Possible ideas: outside at a local park, big box gym vs. private boutique style gym, female based gym (curves), travel time (close vs. further away), corporate fitness gym. Deciding on location can be a make-it or break-it factor since it is a reflection of how often you will go.
Emotions (this may take more thought)
Possible ideas: underlying cause to feeling a certain way towards exercise, nervous, intimidated, open to new things, enthusiastic to making a change etc. If you struggle with investing in a gym because you feel intimidated/excited for change, ask yourself WHY do you feel intimidated/excited for change.
Possible ideas: Exercise doesn’t have to be costly!! Gaining happiness and starting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t require hefty price tag, however it may mean a small investment to jump start your routine. Buying workout clothes from Target is more affordable then Nike, running/walking in your neighborhood doesn’t require a gym membership, and healthy recipes can be found on the internet (particularly on pinterest!).
Sometimes a big culprit is not exercise but food. Yo-yoing because you feel confused over calories, what a fat or carb is, what is good for building muscle, etc. is something that is immensely helpful in achieving our goals. Checking out resourceful sites such as acefitness.org on nutrition basics can make a difference. If its a combination, looking into Weight Watchers or Beachbody can help with both exercise and nutrition! If you are serious about investing your time in to eating well, utilizing a nutritionist or RD is the ultimate way to go!
Being on the go, eating out a lot, food choices (e.g alcohol consumption, minimal fruits/veggies), vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, allergies, picky vs. non-picky eater etc. The little things you might not think of play a role too!
Even if you don’t make the effort now to do this, setting yourself up for success in the new year will still help you in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to jot down thoughts in a notebook, bounce ideas of others, do some research on a topic, heck! try on different styles of workout clothes to see what stuff/brands you like and don’t like! What works for you may not work for someone else, so there is NO RUSH! Exercising and healthy living isn’t going anywhere so focus on you and do it right. Don’t be afraid to DIG DEEP and be HONEST with yourself! You know you the best! 😉
Hello!! So the weekend is winding down, and I figured we all could use more #MondayMotivation! In my previous #MondayMotivation post I wrote about tips to help get your Monday (and rest of the week) moving in the right direction. This time, I writing on specifically how to get your workouts moving in the right direction (lol) around a busy schedule…that again all comes with PLANNING.
I use a running log aka workout planner to help me do just that. I didn’t start using a log/planner etc until a year or so ago. I found writing things down help lead me to see results and most importantly…made sure THEY GOT DONE! I started with just a plain journal…nothing fancy. From there, for christmas one year I got a running journal allowing more room to write down specifics such as distance, where/when, and comments about the workout. To this day I still use the same one!! Its different since its also a calendar but essentially the same format. I use The Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log 2015 Calendar by Marty Jeromeyou can find it easily anywhere! (Although I’m pretty sure my mom got it off Amazon :P). He writes cool tips, there’s a lot of room for comments/notes, a full size calendar for each month, as well as a motivational page each month with cool pics, etc. Props to my mom who found it and gave it to me!!
Anyways, my point here is that having a place to write your workouts down for the week is SUPER helpful in also committing to your fitness routine. Each weekend, mostly on Sundays, I take time to have my workout planner and daily schedule side by side to compare my availability, workouts, timing, etc among my busy life. *Notice there are TWO planners…workouts and daily life calendars are not together!* Thats what I call the SECRET! I personally like to keep them separate, but if you prefer one calendar and have everything on that, go for it! Its all about personal preference here!! What works for me might not work for you.
Benefits to Using a Workout Calendar
-Plan each day with what you plan to do and the timing of it makes a big difference in if you get it done or not.
-Track results more efficiently
-Its a HARD COPY so you can go back and see your progress easy!
-A visual way to see your training (more motivation!)
-Allows you to set up a timeline for success
-Serves as a reference for future goals
-Keeps you accountable!! (once you write it down, there’s no going back 😉
I originally started with using it to train for my first few half marathons but then I loved it so much I decided I wanted to use it for everyday workouts. To this day, I use it map out my miles for the week, make the time for other components of training (yoga, cross training, strength training), and rest to get me to COMMIT and follow-through!
Writing down the timing can seem tedious, but I find that generally putting down a time-frame can help with when its gonna happen. For example, if I have a busy morning that day, and I put “leg day—pm” on that day in my planner I know doing it anytime after lunch or before my commitment late afternoon/evening gets busy again. I pin-point a time because things change, but it helps keep it realistic for me. It all starts with a thought…writing it down actually makes it happen!!
You’re reading my first post on #mondaymotivation! YAY! I’m gonna keep this category pretty open, but overall its going to help jumpstart us in starting our weeks in the right direction!
1.) First things first, on Mondays I make sure I have all the FOOD I need for the week. This includes everyday essentials (milk, bread, meat, veggies) and extra ingredients used for recipes.
That includes buying it fresh, preparing it ahead of time, storing it, and portioning it out so its only handled ONCE…key word *once*. No one has time to stand around in the kitchen and prep once our schedules have started. Even a Monday is considered late in the game for me when it comes to prepping and preparing. However, sometimes other things take priority and its pushed towards the beginning week. I wash and cut my veggies and put them in ziplock bags for an easy/quick snack during the week. I cook hard-boiled eggs and peel them as well as microwave or boil edamame.
Some veggies that make for easy storage and prep include:
I make up to five baggies with about a full serving of veggies in each.
2.) I clean out various bags used throughout the week (e.g gym bags, purses, backpacks). I switch out my stuff pretty often because I do a variety of things and not one bag works for it all. Sometimes I pack for part of the day and include workout clothes, headphones, post-workout snack, etc. Other days I’m running errands and in between and seeing a personal training client in between so I’ll just take the essentials (wallet, phone, keys) and an extra snack or water bottle. Having it organized and put back in its place helps for organization the next day.
3.)Checking your planner or calendar more then once. Nothings worse then not knowing what to expect to start the week. Make sure you know whats going on generally each day and you’re not double-booking yourself (I’ve done this and feel AWFUL after). If its an event you can call/text/email to confirm go for it! I never hesitate to do this. Its important to know that you and the person you’re meeting with are on the same page.