Healthier Beef and Broccoli

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I LOVE all types of Asian foods–takeout, sushi, egg rolls, pad Thai: it’s all amazing to me!  When I saw this recipe for a healthy version of beef and broccoli, I was PUMPED.  I’m always looking for healthier versions of unhealthy foods I love.

Right off the bat, I knew this recipe would be really simple to modify if I wanted to.  I’m honestly not the biggest fan of cooked broccoli and my boys don’t love it either, so I knew that if I were going to make this and have a shot at it being successful with the whole family that I needed to substitute a different veggie.  I opted for coleslaw mix and it worked really well!  I used 4 cups of slaw mix and since cabbage cooks down and shrinks, it didn’t make 4 full servings like the recipe says.  Next time I’ll add in some more slaw mix so there are 4 full servings after cooking.

Another really simple modification you can make is the protein: not everyone loves steak (I’m usually one of them!).  It can be really chewy and dry if you overcook it, especially when cut into pieces.  You can make this with chicken, shrimp, ground turkey, or any other protein you like.  As long as you’ve got the sauce, it will be good!

You can also add some brown rice to add a little more volume to your meal or to add some carbs if you wanted to eat this as a lunch.  Carbs are your friend for lunch to give you energy to get through the rest of the day!

Enjoy!

Healthier Beef and Broccoli (from Ilana Muhlstein)

¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

6 Tbsp. water, divided use

2 Tbsp. corn starch, divided use

1 Tbsp. raw honey

1 lb. raw top sirloin beef, trimmed of fat and sliced into ½-inch thick pieces

1 tsp. coconut oil

4 cups broccoli florets

2 medium bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger

 

Combine soy sauce, 4 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. corn starch, and honey in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.

Combine remaining 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a large bowl; mix well. Add beef. Toss gently to coat.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. 

Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer pink. Remove from skillet, keep warm.

Add broccoli, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Place broccoli mixture in beef bowl.

Add soy sauce mixture to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 30 seconds, or until thickened.

Return beef and broccoli mixture to skillet; cook, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well mixed and heated through.  Serve immediately.

(Simple and Clean!) Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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When it’s cold outside and you’re 24 weeks pregnant, you want ALL the comfort foods!  Sometimes I give in to my cravings and have some not-healthy food, but I’m really working hard at staying healthy this pregnancy, so I need some healthy options at the ready.

Enter this soup.

It’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s filling, and it’s simple to make.  All good things for me right now!

The recipe calls for whole wheat pasta which is what I normally get, but I had a coupon for a different type of pasta that you see in the picture.  Whole wheat or gluten free are my top choices, but any pasta you like will do.  I also left out the cilantro because I didn’t want to buy a whole bunch just for this soup, but I love cilantro so I’m sure it’s a great addition!

For the chicken, I bought a family pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cooked them all in the crockpot on high for 4 hours with some olive oil and Trader Joe’s Garlic Salt Seasoning.  I just shredded up half of it for this recipe and half for another recipe, no measuring.

Enjoy!

(Simple and Clean!) Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (from Fixate)

2 tsp. olive oil

½ cup chopped onion (approx. ¾ medium)

2 cups sliced celery (approx. 5 medium stalks)

8 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1½ cups sliced carrots (approx. 2 medium)

1¼ cups dry whole wheat pasta

3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add broth, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots and pasta; boil, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Remove from heat.

Add chicken and cilantro; mix well.

This serves 8, with each serving being about 1.5 cups.  For my container peeps, each serving is 1 green, 1/2 red, and 1 yellow!

Enjoy!

Crunchy Veggie Hummus Wraps

 

Being pregnant means I am hungry ALL THE TIME.  And since I’m staying active and working out during my pregnancy, I’m pretty sure that makes me hungrier than usual!  I am all about quick and easy small meals that are healthy so I can keep from getting too hungry and hangry, and so eating smaller amounts at a time will help me not suffer from that dreaded pregnancy acid reflux.  It’s truly the worst.

This recipe has been my jam for the past couple of weeks!  It’s simple, fast, and full of healthy nutrients for me and the babe.  If you prep the veggies ahead of time and keep them sliced in the fridge for the week, it makes it very simple to make!

In the name of ease, I sliced a whole avocado, tossed it with the juice of half a lemon, and added parsley, salt, and pepper, and just kept it in the fridge for a couple of days before it got too browned.  The lemon juice helps it not brown, but it doesn’t completely prevent it.

For me as a pregnant person, this is a good snack by itself.  It doesn’t have much in the way of protein, so I wouldn’t count it as a full meal by itself.  I recommend adding some protein to this (or on the side) to make it more well-rounded as a meal!

You could also substitute different crunchy veggies if you wanted–sliced radishes would add a nice kick!

Crunchy Veggie Hummus Wraps (adapted from Beachbody)

1 multigrain tortilla wrap (I use the Flat Out brand)

2 tbsp hummus in the flavor of your choice

1/3 cup sliced red pepper

1/3 cup shredded carrot

1/3 cup sliced cucumber (sliced into matchstick pieces, not rounds for easier folding)

1/4 avocado, sliced

1 tbsp lemon juice

Parsley to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Slice the avocado and toss with the lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Lay wrap flat on prep surface/plate.  Spread hummus evenly on wrap.

On one half of the wrap, place cucumber slices, then layer with carrots and red pepper slices.  Top with avocado slices.

Fold wrap over to be either taco style or burrito style, whatever’s your jam.

Enjoy!

 

For my container people, I am not 100% certain about the wrap, but I counted this as one green, one blue, and 1 yellow.

Homemade Black Bean Soup

It’s still almost 90 degrees right now, but I’ve got fall on my mind!  I’m hot all the time (thanks, pregnancy), so I am dreaming about cooler temperatures.  I remember with my first pregnancy that I didn’t even need to wear a jacket outside during the winter–I was so comfortable!  Sweating it out during the summer is not my jam.

With fall on my mind, I’ve been craving cool weather comfort foods, especially soups.  I’ve been looking for some soups I can make that are going to be filling, give me some veggies, and have nutrition that I need for my growing human, and this black bean soup takes the cake!

Beans especially are a pregnancy staple for me because of the fiber.  I had some awful digestion/constipation issues with my first pregnancy that were the WORST, so anything I can do this time to avoid that is something I’m going to try!  Even if you’re not pregnant, beans are a great source of fiber and protein!  I paired this with some cottage cheese for extra protein.

This was much easier to make than I had imagined, and it is very flavorful for being so simple.  The only tweak I’ll make the next time I make a batch is to add some spice–some red pepper flakes, chili powder, or even some hot sauce would put this over the top.  I recommend adding some spice in from the get-go, but if you’re not into spicy foods, make it as written first.  You can always add some heat in later!

One quick tip–if you use an immersion blender to puree the soup, make sure you get the onion and pepper!  Those veggies sunk to the bottom of my pot and I didn’t realize that my immersion blender wasn’t picking them up.  It was fine and tasted great, but wasn’t the consistency I was looking for.

This is going to be a winter staple for me during this pregnancy and beyond!  I topped mine with cilantro and some cheddar cheese, but you could do some plain greek yogurt or sour cream as well.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Black Bean Soup (from Fixate)

2 tsp. olive oil

½ cup chopped bell pepper (approx. 2⁄3 medium)

½ cup chopped onion (approx. 2⁄3 medium)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups canned black beans, drained, rinsed

½ tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. ground smoked paprika

¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

2 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth

2 tsp. cornstarch (preferably GMO-free) + 2 tsp. water (combine to make a slurry)

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish; optional)

 

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add beans, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Add cornstarch mixture. Bring to a gentle boil; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

Add vinegar. Puree using an immersion blender until you reach desired consistency.

Divide evenly between four serving bowls. Top each with ½ tsp. cilantro and cheese or sour cream, whatever floats your boat!

For my container people, 1 cup of this soup equals 1/2 green, 1 yellow, and 1/2 a tsp.  Makes about 4 servings.

Pregnancy = A Long Hiatus + My Healthy Pregnancy Plan

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Well, after a loooong break from blogging, I’m feeling ready to get back into it!

I’m officially in my second trimester now, which means that I’m feeling mostly like myself again, other than needing to pee about every 10 seconds and bumping my growing belly into people on accident.  #oops

The first trimester was a whole new experience for me.  This is my second pregnancy, so while you’d think I’d know exactly what to expect, I really don’t!  Not only has it been 5 YEARS since I was last pregnant, but this pregnancy has been completely different than my first time around.  5 years ago, I didn’t have any kids at home and didn’t work from home at all, and I spent all of my first trimester at home alone on summer break from my teaching job.  It was AMAZING.  This time, I am home full time with my 4 year old and my work-from-home jobs.  I was lucky to not be super sick, but the tiredness was beyond anything I remember from the first time around.  I mean, SO TIRED.  Like, I need to lay down all freaking day and sleep for a million hours tired.  Luckily, that has passed and I’m feeling much better.  I’ve also been getting really dizzy, which I didn’t have at all with my first pregnancy, and while it’s getting better, it’s really forced me to change my normal routine even more than the fatigue.

I wasn’t able to work out at all during my first tri because the dizziness was so severe–and I really miss it!!!  I gave myself a complete “health pass” for my first tri because I really just needed to survive.  I couldn’t deal with the mental energy to meal plan and meal prep like I normally do, so I just gave myself a pass.  Now that I’m in my second tri, I am getting back into my prenatal workouts and eating healthy.

My first pregnancy was extremely unhealthy–think no working out at all and eating multiple milkshakes per week–and not only did I gain an unhealthy amount of weight, but I also just felt terrible the whole time.  During this pregnancy, I am so thankful and excited that I have gained the resources and skills over the past 3 years to know exactly how to have a healthy pregnancy, and I plan on doing just that!

So, my plan is to focus on my choices and my behaviors; I want to focus on how I feel rather than what I way.  If I’m staying active, eating healthy, and feeling good, I’m not going to worry about what the scale says.  If I’m feeling bad and making poor choices, I’ll know that I need to adjust–not because of what the scale says, but because of how I feel.

I will say that one pleasant surprise so far this pregnancy is that my depression and anxiety haven’t been as severe as I had feared.  The hormonal shift of pregnancy the first time around was very difficult on my mental health, although I didn’t realize that’s what was happening at the time.  This time around has been much better so far, thanks to the winning combination of a different pregnancy, regular therapy, and medication.  #winning

I’m excited to share this journey with you and continue to share my favorite recipes and health tips!

Mexico 2018, aka My Earned Vacation

I posted a few weeks ago about my trip to Mexico and how it even came about, and I wanted to share some overall thoughts and pictures from our trip.

It was SO MUCH FUN.  We really needed that time away to just be together for a couple of days and it was a blast!  We enjoyed the food, the gorgeous ocean views, a couples massage, an excursion to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins, and just hanging out with absolutely nothing on the agenda.  And, of course, some awesome live workouts with my favorite trainers! 😉

Robbie actually came to one of the live workouts with me which was a lot of fun.  He is very competitive, so I knew that even if he struggled through the workout that he wouldn’t let me last longer.  We were both struggling!

It was really so awesome to be on this trip with so many other coaches, knowing that we had all worked to help people change their lives to earn this trip.  I loved having Robbie be able to experience this company and what we do for people–and what they have done for us!  He has always been supportive of my business, but it’s different when you can experience it for yourself.

My favorite parts of the trip, besides just being there, was finding one of my FAVORITE trainers at the pool and him letting me take a picture with him.  So cool!!!! I fangirled hardcore and definitely was a weirdo.  The other favorite part was having Robbie tell me that he was thankful for me earning the trip for us and that next time we would have more people from our team there.  OUR team.  Love that!

I’ll be working hard to change even more lives this year to earn a spot on the 2020 trip–will you be there with me?  Fill out the “Join My Team” application link above and let’s work together to change lives!

My 80 Day Obsession Results!

I might be a little tardy to the party with sharing my overall results, but I am still THRILLED with this program and what it has done for me!

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When I started this program back in January 2018, I was stuck at an unhealthy weight and in unhealthy habits.  I knew the steps I needed to take to get out of my rut, but I was really struggling with actually making it happen.  This program is exactly what I needed!  The challenge of both the longer, more intense workouts PLUS the different meal plan was perfect for me.  I needed the variety of having a different workout every day.  I needed the challenge of new and different equipment.  I needed the structure of a meal plan that is so laid out that it took out a lot of the guesswork I normally have to do.

Even though I was afraid of this program, I knew that the results would be incredible if I only just stuck with it.  So that’s what I did!  It definitely wasn’t easy–during the 13 weeks I completed this program, I had 6 family birthdays, multiple holidays, a ton of family get-togethers, several church events, and countless times that I ate out with my family.  It would have been so easy to have some sweet tea, or to order something I knew wasn’t on my plan, or to allow myself a treat 6 weeks in.  But I was committed to doing the program full out–exactly as it was written.  And I did it!

This program wasn’t really about weight loss for me, although I needed that and I feel awesome.  It was really about finding my confidence again, finding my discipline again, and proving to myself that I could do hard things.  That I am capable of amazing results.  That I could prove myself wrong and show just how strong I really am.  And that is exactly what happened!

I have really been working hard at sticking to this way of living since finishing the program.  It means a lot to me to have completed it successfully, but I am determined to not have that healthy way of life be something that I did for three months in 2018–this is who I want to be, and I’m working every day at making good choices and figuring out how to make this my lifestyle without being 100% rigid on my eating all the time.  I haven’t eaten perfectly since finishing the program, but I have been eating mindfully and sticking to my workouts.  There have been days where I have eaten way too much white bread or sugar, and the next day I’ve really focused on my nutrition instead of letting it all go by the wayside.  I want to not just maintain the results I’ve gotten, but get even more results–I want to keep getting fitter and stronger and more confident!  Honestly, I know that if I can do this program full out for 13 weeks, I can do pretty much anything.

I’m 11 days into my second round of this program–join me!  Comment below or email me to chat about snagging a spot in my next group and getting some awesome results of your own.  If I can do it, why not you?

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