Month: January 2017

Clean Eating Groups

I am loving the January feeling of this January. Sometimes I get a little case of the post-Christmas blues. My parents leave for Florida right after Christmas and it will be months before I see them again. The festiveness of the season is over. The rushing around and busy-ness is behind us (and it’s a relief, but also a little sad). We’ll see family and friends less again….

But not this year. This year I am all-in to this January thing. Goal setting, vision boards, resolutions, oh my!

 

I am energized, still plugging away at goal setting. (Is it this hard for everyone?!) I made a Google calendar and generally mapped out my time so I feel more purposeful and with direction during each day. I joined a vision board group on Facebook. I started a new personal development book. The Beachbody Health Bet started this past Monday and I started a new workout program- Core de Force. I’m finishing up Body Beast, a program I’ve been wanting to do for ages and have absolutely loved. So I am all geared up. Plus, now I am running a clean eating group with my team. It starts Monday!

What is a clean eating group? you might be wondering. In general, our clean eating groups are private groups on Facebook. We provide some information on clean eating, as well as a meal plan for the week, complete with recipes and a grocery list. During the week, participants are asked to post what they’re eating. And we are all committed to eating clean for the course of the group, usually 5 or 7 days. Basically, no white flour, no white sugar, no processed foods, no alcohol. Hey, it’s only 5 days! Hopefully you’ll continue with clean eating when the group is over, but knowing that it’s only 5 days can make it easier to take this step. After the 5 days, you can decide how “strict” you’re going to be. If you really commit to the group, it can help keep you accountable. You are more likely to stick to the guidelines if you’re feeling committed to the group. What will keep you committed? Motivation, support, inspiration. Maybe even a little guilt! I’d feel guilty eating something that wasn’t allowed. I can do that for 5 days. It can be motivating and inspiring to see what everyone else is eating, too.

What can happen in just 5-7 days? You’d be amazed. Depending on your regular diet before the group started, you might detox. By the end of the group you’ll have reduced your cravings, probably lost some weight, learned a few things about clean eating. It can help you with brand new goals, or help you commit to goals from which you’ve strayed. It might even change your life. Clean eating has changed mine! You would be amazed at what a difference it makes. Clearer skin, more energy, better moods, clearer thinking. And the effects can spill over to people in your life, too!

What makes a clean eating group great? The best clean eating groups are the ones with the most participation. When you really post what you eat, you have a better chance of success with your own goals. It’s like keeping a food journal (shown in studies to be effective in losing weight) that other people can see. People who are like-minded and there to support you and cheer you on. There’s a cycle to it; you post and inspire someone and they post and inspire someone. When the group gets on a roll, it’s easier to stick to your goals and succeed.  Some people might feel uncomfortable posting at first. Maybe they’re shy, maybe they feel silly posting what they’re eating, maybe they’re intimidated by other people in the group who post gorgeous, exotic, super-healthy meals on fancy plates. If you can get past the initial discomfort, you’ll start to feel the camaraderie. I’ve come out of some groups feeling like I’d made some new friends. And it’s uplifting to see someone else doing well!

Why join a clean eating group? If you’re looking to learn more about clean eating or get some new ideas, a clean eating group would be a great place for you. It’s also a good way to lose to a few pounds, get back on track after a bad spell of eating (like after the holidays!), or kick some bad habits. Some people join just to learn what clean eating is, some want new recipes and food ideas, some want to stop drinking soda (for example) and need some support.

Why am I especially excited for this clean eating group? Because it’s January! There’s a feeling of freshness and renewal and energy. I’m also excited for the timing with my fitness goals. I really want to commit more stringently to the eating plan that comes with Core de Force. I was not so stringent with Body Beast, and it makes a big difference in your results. When I am part of a clean eating group, I always make better food choices and I always learn something. I also lose a pound or two or three! I feel like I’m feeling so energized and other people are, too; this group is bound to be great.

If you’d like to give it a try, comment here! Or visit me over on Facebook and send me a message. It’s not too late to join!

Autumn’s Italian Meatballs

Meatballs are a favorite around here because everyone heats them. Sigh….

They even eat them leftover for lunch! Is there anything better than that?

I usually just wing it with my meatballs- following a general formula of 1 cup breadcrumbs and 1 egg per 1 pound of meat. I might swap out some of the breadcrumbs for some grated parmesan. And they’re good. But I love Autumn Calabrese’s recipes from her cookbook, Fixate, so I thought I’d give this recipe a try. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, because they would be immediately suspicious. After dinner last night Rose asked me if I did something different because they were “really, really good.” Luke said he liked them a lot, too! And Frances, who usually just takes the leftover whole wheat pasta for lunch, asked for a meatball with her pasta. So I guess this is our new meatball recipe!

Print Recipe
Autumn's Italian Meatballs
(from Fixate by Autumn Calabrese)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly coated with cooking spray
  3. Place bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl. Set aside; soak for 10 minutes
  4. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-low heat
  5. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent
  6. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute
  7. Combine onion mixture, turkey, eggs, parsley, cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and bread crumb mixture in a large bowl; mix well with clean hands or wooden spoon. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour
  8. With clean wet hands, form turkey mixture into approximately 42 1-inch meatballs; arrange onto prepared baking sheet
  9. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes, or until browned and cooked through
Recipe Notes

I tweaked the recipe just a little bit. I used two pounds of ground turkey and one pound of grass fed ground beef. I also omitted the onion because my bubble of meatball happiness might have burst if just one of my children found an onion.

Serve topped with tomato sauce. Autumn has a great sauce recipe, too! I'll share that soon. In the meantime, try making your own or use jarred sauce. Just check the ingredients; watch out for added sugar. Look for a brand that has just tomatoes and spices. Rao's is a great one, but a bit pricey.

Enjoy 🙂

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15 Minute Chicken & Veggies

This might be my new favorite recipe. It’s so easy, so fast, and so convenient. My sister-in-law recommended it and I’m so happy she shared it! She found it over at gimmedelicious.

What do I love so much? It’s totally healthy. You make it in one pan. There’s little prep. It cooks so fast. It’s delicious. It makes great leftovers.

This recipe is perfect for an evening where you have to pick up the kids somewhere or run an errand or something. I made it on a Tuesday when my kids had religion until 5:30. Pick-up at 5:30 throws a wrench into my dinner plans. With this recipe I got everything ready to go while they were at religion class and then threw the pan in the oven when we got home. It cooks in 15 minutes. If you have some quinoa ready ahead of time or throw a sweet potato in the microwave, you’ll have everything ready for a super healthy dinner.

I haven’t played around with it much, but I imagine you could change up the vegetables in the recipe and try different spices, too.

Pack up the leftovers for healthy lunches!

Print Recipe
15 Minute Chicken & Veggies
from http://gimmedelicious.com/2016/03/22/15-minute-healthy-roasted-chicken-and-veggies/
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F
  2. Place chopped chicken and veggies on roasting pan
  3. Add the olive oil and seasonings; toss to combine
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender
Recipe Notes

I found the chicken was cooked perfectly in the 15 minutes, but you may need to adjust time slightly.

Enjoy!!

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Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s been about a month since I posted 🙁

 

December kinda kicked my ass this year.

Kids home sick from school, a nasty case of strep throat, my mom’s birthday, and of course Christmas with all the fun things that come with it…going to see the Nutcracker, two Christmas concerts and a Christmas play, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas with family we don’t see on Christmas.

We also decided to take a little road trip to Arlington, VA to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and niece. We drove down on Wednesday (the drive was torture- 6 hours of volume and traffic) and just got home today. We went sightseeing in DC and spent a lot of quality time with them. It always amazes me how close my kids are with my Virginia family. They all enjoy each other so much. In between sightseeing and out-and-about stuff, there was painting and jewelry making, games, cooking, watching movies, walking the dog, going in the hot tub. It was a non-stop party. We even stayed up past midnight last night! Unfortunately, we also have two new cases of strep and some general colds and crustiness. Ugh. Who else but family would welcome a germy family of six for four days in December?

That was a ton of fun, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m just feeling like tomorrow might really be my January 1st. No workout today, no food shopping, no prepping for the week ahead. We picked up a pizza on the way home and I scratched out a meal plan somewhere in New Jersey. Luckily we made it home in about 4 hours, but we’re all still wiped out. We have enough milk to get through breakfast, so I’m just looking forward to a shower and pjs.

But I am so excited for the new year. And I don’t think I have ever been this excited for January. The fall is a busy time of year, and then from Thanksgiving to Christmas things just pick up speed. The week between Christmas and New Year’s feels like a limbo land. The bulk of the craziness is over but you can’t really settle back into routine. New Year’s Eve is coming, the kids are off from school, the house is still crazy from Christmas, there’s still more family stuff going on…I will be so happy to do a big, normal food shopping and settle in for a little winter downtime.

I’m also itching to get at some planning and organizing. I have a new planner and calendar I haven’t touched yet, and hope to sit down tomorrow to work on those. (I’m sure organized people have this done already!) I have been reading up on and practicing setting goals and that kind of stuff. I feel the excitement of a new year and a chance to refresh and recommit. In my wonderings I stumbled across the idea of a bullet journal. It sounds like something I need to explore….Have you ever heard of a bullet journal?

I’m also looking forward to settling down to my regular workouts and nutrition. Too many “treats” have me feeling pretty gross. Time to reboot!

I am a week behind in Body Beast. I was supposed to finish up on Saturday, the 7th, but being sick and the holidays and then being away have me off schedule. The timing had been perfect as I was going to start Core de Force on the 9th as my program for the Beachbody Health Bet. But, things aren’t always perfect and don’t always go as planned. I’ll have to overlap the two for a week or so. I am excited to complete Body Beast, and even more excited to get going with Core de Force! I think it will be a nice change. The Health Bet couldn’t come at a better time. I love the added accountability and motivation.

Are you hatching plans for 2017? Making resolutions? I’d love to hear some!