Banana Oatmeal Cookies

If you know me at all, you know I love sweets.  I’m all about simple recipes for sweet treats that I can enjoy and not feel guilty about.  When I saw these Banana Oatmeal Cookies, I knew they would be perfect for the freezer in prepping for our girl to arrive.  They are sweet, they are carbs to help boost milk supply for me, and I don’t feel bad about indulging because I know exactly what’s in them.

This is an adapted recipe–the original calls for raisins (which, I mean, if you could have chocolate chips instead of raisins, that’s always a good call) and walnuts, which my kiddo is allergic to.  So I’ve changed just a couple of things to make these safe for him and more likely that he’ll eat them too!

Enjoy!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Fixate)

1 cup dry old-fashioned rolled oats, gluten-free

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Lightly coat large baking sheet with spray. Set aside.

Combine oats, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Add bananas and chocolate chips; mix well.

Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet to form 16 cookies; flatten cookies with a spatula. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until firm.

**For my container friends, 1 cookie is 1 yellow and works as a refeed option for 80 Day Obsession!

Keeping It Simple

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you probably see me posting the same meals over and over again.

I tend to eat the same meals when I find something I like. I make my shake the same way almost every day.  I buy the same foods at the grocery week after week.  I saute some spinach to put over toast for breakfast and eat some yogurt or some cottage cheese with it.  For some people, it seems boring to eat the same things all the time, but for me, it’s a necessity!

Whether you’re 34 weeks pregnant like me, or just someone who’s busy and doesn’t want to spend a lot of time each week and each day figuring out what to eat, keeping it simple helps SO MUCH.

Here’s how I try to simplify eating healthy:

  • I create different meal options for me to choose from throughout my day.  I make sure each meal has a serving of protein, veggies, and carbs.  I spread out fruit throughout the day, and add in healthy fats as well.  I use my container system and current weight to figure out how many servings of each type of food I need, especially to ensure I’m eating enough during pregnancy and nursing.
  • For example, this is a sample of the types of meals I’ve created in the past to choose from:
    • Spinach sauteed in coconut oil on Ezekiel toast, and Greek yogurt with fresh berries
    • My daily shake with banana, PB2, coconut flakes, flax milk, baby spinach, water, and ice
    • Baby carrots with hummus, a pear, and Ezekiel toast with coconut oil
    • A dinner option, like my family’s favorite sloppy joes

When I find simple meals that I like and taste good, I stick with it like white on rice.  Especially preparing to have my second kiddo and become a momma to a newborn and a 5 year old, I need to not think much about what I’m eating.  I also need to make sure I’ve got healthy meal options so I’m not eating Lucky Charms and Oreos all day long.  It keeps me sane, it keeps me healthy, and it helps me continue to feel awesome even as I’m gaining weight and getting bigger the closer I get to delivery!

If you are someone who needs to mix it up more with your food but still wants to keep it simple, you can approach your planning a couple of different ways.  You can either create all new menus each week, or you can plan for a certain menu Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Sunday and another menu Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.  It will probably take some trial and error for you to figure out what kind of planning system works for you, and to find meals that you really enjoy!

Be sure to search through my site to find different recipe options–there are lots of meals on here to choose from and experiment with!

Pregnancy: 2nd Trimester Update

It’s been a while since I’ve done a pregnancy update–aka I haven’t done one since I announced I was pregnant on the blog at the end of my first trimester.  Ha!

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2nd trimester was much better than the 1st tri.  My dizziness went away completely by the time I hit 20 weeks, and by 23ish weeks my fatigue was a lot better, too.  I was able to pick up my workouts again and stay active, which has been so nice.  I need that movement for my sanity!  We found out we are having a little girl, which is very exciting.  I’m still dealing with all the pregnancy yuck of hormones, an achy back, and general fatigue, but I’m feeling much better compared to my first trimester AND to how I felt when I was pregnant with Liam.

Utilizing my resources this time around with my workouts, trying to eat healthy, going to therapy, and staying on my medicine (with my doctor’s approval) has made a huge difference for me. I’ve been drinking my Shakeology every day since I started my second trimester and got over all the nausea I was having, and it has been helping my pregnancy digestion issues, my energy, and getting good nutrition in.  Such a lifesaver!  I vividly remember how depressed and insane I felt during my pregnancy 5 years ago and I am very thankful to not be feeling that way right now!

All that being said, I am making some changes during my third trimester.  I have been making much more of an effort to be healthy this pregnancy, but I didn’t eat as healthfully as I could have/should have during my 2nd trimester and gained more weight than I wanted to.  Now, I am a short lady with a tiny torso, so there’s not much room for baby girl to grow except OUT, and I held on to a TON of water when I was pregnant with Liam: I recognize that my body is probably just going to hold on to weight regardless of what I do.  But I also recognize that I could be doing a lot more to help slow that weight gain down.  I’m being more intentional about my food and focusing on veggies more and not eating fried things (sorry Joella’s and Chick-Fil-A–I still love you).  At the beginning of this trimester I had a goal of gaining 10 lbs during this 12 weeks, so we’ll see if my body cooperates with my efforts!

I’m still staying active–I’ve got some amazing 20 minute workouts lined up for the end of my trimester.  I’m planning on modifying all the things and just keeping it moving, taking rest days when I need to, as long as my doctor is still okay with it. I worked as a teacher up until the day I went into labor with my son, so I feel comfortable with continuing my workouts up until labor too!

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I’m excited to give you my final pregnancy update–because then I won’t be pregnant anymore and will have a new baby to share!

I’m also working on a pregnancy guide, so stay tuned for that!

Holiday Tips + How to Start 2019 Strong!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  It’s also super busy, kind of stressful, and full of tempting treats all around.

For some people, thinking about their health during this time of year seems weird, but for me it’s the time of year when I decided to get serious about my health 4 years ago.  It’s also the time of year that I gained the most weight during my pregnancy with Liam.  I didn’t feel good in my clothes, I felt like I needed to hide myself in family photos, and I had a hard time enjoying the holidays–even though it was my son’s first Christmas–because I was tired, uncomfortable, and self-conscious.

Maybe you are feeling the same way.  Here are a few tips to get through the holiday season without completely giving up on your health goals.

  • First, relax.  You are allowed to enjoy the holidays guilt-free.  Whatever you decide to do with your health and fitness, OWN IT.  Don’t wish you did something different.  Really be honest with yourself about what you want, and go for it!
  • Drink your water!  Stay away from sodas and cocktails as much as possible–save those for your parties.  Drink up with your water to stay hydrated and keep your body working the way it’s supposed to.
  • Eat healthfully throughout the week!  You don’t have to deprive yourself of your traditional holiday foods that you look forward to, but you also don’t have to eat crap all day every day.  Keep plenty of veggies handy, and make it a point to eat mostly veggies throughout your day.  Keep satisfied with lean proteins and be careful about what carbs you want to have so you don’t overdo it.
  • Stay moving!  Keep up with a fitness routine throughout the holidays.  If you’ll be traveling on Christmas Day, plan for that to be a rest day and schedule in your workouts for the rest of the week.  For me, working out on the holiday makes me feel more energized and less guilty about indulging!
  • Plan ahead.  Not just for your workouts, but for your food!  Do what you can to make sure you have a healthy options, whether that means grabbing some hummus and baby carrots at the store when you’re on the road, making a healthy option to take to your family gathering, or planning out what you’re going to indulge in beforehand so you feel prepared and confident in your choices.

And you need to plan ahead for 2019, too!  January 1st will be here before we know it, and whether or not you’re ready to tackle your health.  I’ve already got my plan of attack for 2019: obviously I’ll be finishing up my pregnancy and then taking a hiatus from fitness, but I already have a new program lined up to get me to delivery!  20 minutes a day and no equipment?  I think I can handle that!  Plus, that is very manageable for after the baby as well once I’m cleared to work out again.  I’ll also be following the same eating plan I’m currently doing–no measuring any portions to make sure I’m eating enough for baby now and for breastfeeding later, but focusing on the quality of nutrition that I’m eating to stay as healthy as possible.

If 20 minute workouts without any required equipment sounds up your alley, click this link and we can chat! I’m hosting a test group for this new program and I have room for 10 new clients–don’t miss out!

 

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!