Saturday, October 31, 2015

Catching up: Whole30 + Carb Cycling

Hello cupcakes,

It's time to catch everyone up on my first week of Whole30 plus Carb Cycling. So far, I love this combination together. I am feeling great and I can notice my stomach getting flatter. The only thing I am really missing is gum and baking. If anyone knows me personally, they know I always have gum with me and chew gum throughout the day. I also love baking! I love making healthy treats and baking for other people. I know that 30 days will be over before I know it though. It's crazy to think Week 1 is almost over already. I want to share some pictures from this past week with you.

This is one of my meals from Day 4 (low carb day): 4 oz. chicken breast, 4 oz. sweet potato, 2 tsp coconut oil, and 1 c unsweetened almond milk. Can you tell yellow is my favorite color! 
Here is a picture of me at the beginning of Day 3 (Day 2 was high carb day). This was taken when I woke up in the morning. I like to measure my progress by progress pictures of my stomach in the mornings. Your stomach naturally expands some throughout the day due to food intake and water intake. 
I have been using Sweet Sweat on my stomach as well during some of my workouts (especially back, leg, and cardio days). I like how much this makes me sweat! * Don't forget to drink more water to make up for all the sweat during workouts*
Here was another day of using Sweet Sweat. 
I had to snap a picture for you guys on Leg Day! My hamstrings are so sore today. 
Here was a meal from Day 5: 4 oz chicken breast, 1 T homemade almond butter, celery, and kale. I topped it with Frank's Red Hot Sauce. 
This is a picture from a meal today. It was one whole egg, 3/4 c egg whites, avocado, and jicama. I also used Frank's Red Hot Sauce on my eggs. I love spicy food! If you have not tried the combination of avocado and eggs... YOU must try it. It's one of my favorites. 
I am working on putting together a blog post about my meal prep. I plan on posting it tomorrow, so stay tuned. I will be talking about my meal plan, meal prep, etc. 

I hope you all are enjoying your Halloween Saturday!

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Favorites

Good morning cupcakes!

Here are the link ups for my post: Momfessionals , A Little Bit of Everything , Grace and Love , A. Liz Adventures ,  & September F A R M . If you get a chance, check out their blogs!

Today for my Friday Favorites, I want to share my top 5 favorite posts, so just click on the links to read more!

#1 How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

#2 Healthy Food & Charlotte Adventures

#3 Hiking in North Carolina

#4 Food Ideas

#5 Christmas Present Ideas

#6 Paleo Pumpkin Cookies with Homemade Pumpkin Cashew Butter

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I will be doing a blog post this weekend about grocery shopping and meal prep for week 2 of Whole30 & Carb Cycling.

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Christmas Wish List

Good morning cupcakes!

Here is a list of awesome Christmas ideas for those people who are in to fitness and nutrition. I seriously love fitness clothes and I could wear them every day! I think they also help keep me motivated. I will add links under each item! 
LIVE FIT Zip Up (different colors available)

LIVE FIT Socks (different colors available)

LIVE FIT Baseball Raglan (different colors available)
Coffee Chocolate RX Bar (there are other flavor options)

*This company is not selling products as of today, but they are launching Nov 2015*

Paleonola (different flavors available)
Anti-Grain Foods (different "flour" varieties available)
Go Raw Products (different varieties available)
Almond Butter 3 pack (Barney Butter)

Hopefully this either #1 helps you make your own Christmas Wish List or #2 Give your ideas for friends or family!

Let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to comment and let me know what's on your Christmas Wish List!

Later Taters

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Meal Plan

Hello cupcakes!

I know that meal planning can be a little intimidating and confusing. So, I am going to explain how I meal plan currently and also how I meal plan when I am not on the Whole30 or Carb Cycling. I suggest having lots of tupperware if you are going to meal prep!

First, here are some of my meals today from high carb day:
4 oz chicken breast, jicama, and a banana
4 oz chicken & 4 oz sweet potato
And I took this awesome photo this morning at my apartment gym. I love when I have the whole gym to myself. I love working out in the mornings right when I wake up. It sets my mood for the whole day. 

My Meal Planning Currently:

Currently, I am planning my meals based on Whole30 rules and Carb Cycling. Carb cycling in a nut shell is eating higher carbs/lower fat on the days you lift bigger muscle groups and lower carb/higher fat on the other days. This helps just start your metabolism and burns body fat. I figured out my calorie needs based on some articles I read on For example: Building Muscle and Burning FatLearn How You Can Carb CycleCalorie Calculator. Each person is going to have a different goal and different body, so I suggest not using my calorie/macro counts (adapt it to fit your own needs/goals).

Here is my meal plan for next week (I will be cutting 100 calories each week to help me reach my goals- sorry the second picture is kind of blurry):

Basically, I start with my macros at the top of an excel sheet. Then I start listing foods I would like to eat. I look the foods and servings up using: Calorie King . I also use the auto sum button on excel to give me my totals of the three columns. At the bottom of the sheet, I list my meals according to the foods I just calculated the macros for. I am currently using a scale to measure all of my food out after I prep it. This is only temporary and I will not be doing this much longer than my Whole30. After I make my excel sheet, I make my grocery list. Here is my grocery list for this weekend:
I like to try to keep my meal plan about the same because then I can just make minor adjustments to it for the following week. So, the week after this meal plan, I will drop 100 calories each day and I may get bored with certain foods, so I can switch those up as long as they tend to match up with my macros. Hopefully that makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions. 

Now... How I meal prep when I am not following a plan or tracking my macros:

I really love baking and cooking, so my meals are more adventurous. First, I start off by determining my meals or what foods I would like to eat during the week. I usually plan for 3 meals plus snacks. So breakfast is usually eggs or healthy pancakes or waffles. Lunch and dinner tend to vary based on what I want to make that week. Here is how I plan my meals

Breakfast: Healthy banana waffles
Lunch: Paleo chili
Dinner: Stuffed Peppers
Snacks: bananas, apples, hard boiled eggs, almonds, etc.
Treat: Raw Brownies

Then based on my meal plan, I will make a grocery list! It's pretty easy doing it this way and way less stressful. I only track my macros and calories when I have a goal in mind. My goal in mind right now is my surgery in December. I want to be in my best shape because I will be on crutches for 5-6 weeks with no weight on my foot. Then I will be in a boot for 5-6 weeks with physical therapy. 

I hope to share some progress photos with you all at the end of my Whole30!

Later Taters 

"It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away." 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Whole30 Round 2 plus Meal Prep

Good afternoon cupcakes!

Today is my first day of my second whole round of Whole30 (I did a Whole30 back at the beginning of summer and I did two rounds of about 7 days between then and now). This past weekend I meal prepped for Monday -Friday. If you want the rules to Whole30 or tips, check out this blog post: What to Expect on the Whole30 & Whole30 Rules

First a little recap from the weekend. This weekend I stayed at my apartment and had absolutely no plans for once in my life. It felt so great to relax, but I did not do as much school work as  I probably should have done... It's catching up to me today. 

Anyways, Saturday night my roommate, her visitors from Wisconsin, and I watched Hocus Pocus. Such a classic fall time movie and it brings back memories from my childhood! My breakfast Sunday was egg whites with Frank's Red Hot Sauce and an apple with Youfresh Naturals White Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter. 

My dinner Sunday, while watching football, was chicken breast, zucchini, sweet potato, and YouFresh Naturals Cookies and Scream Pumpkin Coconut Cashew Butter. 
Saturday I decided to go grocery shopping at Meijer. Here is a picture of most of my groceries before meal prepping. Below will be my complete grocery list.
Grocery List: 
- 2 big packages of chicken (5-6lb pkg. each)
-3 cartons of egg whites (large ones)
-2 jugs of unsweetened almond milk
-raw almonds (12 oz bag)
-2 bananas
-2 apples
-2 plantains
- 2 jicama
-2 bunches of kale
-4 lemons
-1 bulb garlic
-Frank's Red Hot Sauce
-2 avocaods
-1 pkg. celery
-lots of zucchini- I think I have like 8-10 
-5-6 sweet potatoes
Other things I already have:
-Pink Himalayan salt 
-coconut oil

Now I will walk you through my meal prep:

Sweet Potatoes:
I like to cook my sweet potatoes in the microwave because it takes way less time than the oven. Here I have six sweet potatoes that I washed and poked with a knife to prevent them from exploding. I placed them in the microwave for 10-15 minutes or until they are soft.  
I also fried some plantains. I took two plantains and sliced them up. I heated a skillet and added coconut oil to the skillet. Once hot, add the plantains and sprinkle with Himalayan salt. Fry up until golden brown. 

This is the coconut oil I use. Tip: don't cook or bake with olive oil. It actually doesn't hold up well to high temperatures. I always cook with coconut oil for this reason. All the benefits of olive oil disappear when you use them for cooking or baking at higher temperatures. 
Here is the salt I use. This salt is not processed as much as table salt. I use this stuff to flavor up many dishes.
Homemade Almond Butter
This stuff is seriously so easy to make if you have a food processor. Simply roast your almonds on a baking sheet at 275 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until they are fragrant and start to turn a little brown. Don't burn the almonds unless you like stuff to taste burnt. Let the almonds cool to room temperature and then add them to the food processor. Blend the almonds until smooth. It will take a while until it totally gets smooth, but have patience and I promise you it will get there. You will not need to add anything else to make it smooth. When in doubt, keep blending. I think it probably takes 6-10 minutes for it to be thin and smooth. I add some Himalayan salt at the end.
Chicken Breasts
If you have a slow cooker, it will be your best friend for meal prep. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and cover with water. Add whatever Whole30 approved seasonings you would like such as: chili powder, cumin, Himalayan salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. Place the slow cooker on low and cook for 8-12 hours. Your chicken will be so juicy and delicious. 

Egg Whites:
I like to microwave my egg whites in a ceramic dish or mug. I placed 1 cup of egg whites in a ceramic bowl and microwaved for 1 minute. Take the bowl out and stir then cook for another minute. If the eggs are not done, keep cooking in 30 second intervals until done. Tip: you may want to grease the bowl with something before cooking or you will most likely struggle cleaning the bowl later... coconut oil?!

Wash and cut the zucchini into rounds. Place parchment paper or aluminum foil on a baking sheet and add the sliced zucchini. Crush garlic and sprinkle on top with Himalayan salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. 

Oven roasted kale is my favorite. First I take out all the stems. Cover the baking sheet with 1-2 tsp of coconut oil. Add the kale pieces to the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for 5-10 minutes or until the kale is crispy but not brown. Keep a close eye on it because it will burn fast and easily. I usually stir about half way through cooking. 

Peel the jicama and then slice into pieces. Add to a pan and cover with a lid (you can add garlic or other seasonings if you wish & coconut oil) cook until the jicama starts to brown or until it is your desired done-ness. 

That is a wrap on how to bake/cook everything for my meal prep. I have my meal plans created in an excel sheet. If you are wondering... I am doing carb cycling while following the Whole30. I have high carb days on my leg and back days and lower carb/higher fat on all the other days. Here is a picture of my complete prepped meals. I measured everything out using a food scale.

How delicious do all these meals look? Each column is a days worth of meals. If you guys are interested I can share my complete excel meal prep sheet, but keep in mind they are personalized for me and based on my body/ goals. Therefore, other people's daily food intake may be different. 

Here are my meals from today so far (meals 1-4 out of 6)

Meal 1: Oven roasted kale, 1 c. egg whites, and Frank's Red Hot Sauce. 
Meal 2: 4 oz chicken breast, 4 oz sweet potato, 2 tsp coconut oil, and Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Meal 3: 4 oz chicken breast, 100 g. avocado, and oven roasted zucchini
Meal 4: 4 oz chicken breast, 1 T homemade almond butter, and a few slices of zucchini
Meal 5 (not pictured): 4 oz chicken breast, celery, and 2 T homemade almond butter
Meal 6 (not pictured): 1 c unsweetened almond milk & 1 c egg whites

I hope you all are having a fantastic Monday and remember: "It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away."

P.S. today was shoulder/abs day at the gym!

Later Taters
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