A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 3

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 3

I have been planning and prepping my meals for the week ahead for over 19 years. It has been the one constant in my life, next to loving husband and my eyelash curler (read here about how much I love my eyelash curler).

You need to start planning and prepping, too, especially if you are serious about:

  • Eating healthier
  • Eating in more than eating out
  • Controlling your waistline
  • Feeling nourished with the foods that you eat

Cause life it ain’t gonna hand you good food through the week. You gotta plan it, prep it and then grab it for yourself.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

Notes about last week’s meals

  • Read Week 2 food menu here.
  • Last week didn’t quite go according to plan. When I realized on Sunday that I had a lot of yogurt leftover from my Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal I decided to scrap the Herb Frittata with Goat’s Cheese for breakfast and move it to lunch with a BAS (big ass salad). For breakfast I ate the rest of the yogurt with berries and Weeds & Seeds until the yogurt ran out.
  • You see I hate throwing away food. So, I am very fluid with my meal planning to adjust for times like these.
  • The Herb Frittata with Goat’s Cheese, with the adjustments I stated in my blog last week, was amazing! I ended up using fresh dill and chives, and what a treat. This recipe is a keeper and if you are looking for a high-protein, low carb meal this is it!
  • The Crockpot Split Pea and Ham soup was awesome too. Even loving husband enjoyed it. It was so easy to prep, and instead of bacon I cut up two thick slices of deli ham. I also had more than enough to freeze for a future meal. I love it when a recipe works out like that. 🙂
  • The White Bean Chicken Chili was good too. Mine wasn’t as thick as she said it would get and I used 3 cans of white beans, not 2.

TRAIN TIP: Did you see the workout I released on Tuesday? If you own a stability ball and are looking to work the glutes and target the abs you’ve got to check it out!

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

BREAKFAST

  • This week I am amping up my protein in the AM with this Blueberry Lemon Quinoa hot cereal. Looks great, however if you decide to make it as well be sure to read the reviews (the first one) as the recipe developer added some additional tips to the recipe.
  • Subs I will be making: I will not be adding the maple syrup and, instead, will sub in some stevia.
  • Reading this made me so THANKFUL that I froze 3 boxes of blueberries from the summer. Love those blueberries!

Blueberry Lemon Quinoa - Allrecipes.com
Blueberry Lemon Quinoa – Allrecipes.com

LUNCH

  • Since I did not get a chance to make last week’s lunch choice, Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoe Chicken & Quinoa Soup, I am going to make it this week.
  • It just looks too good, and it is too easy to prep, to pass up.
  • I will accompany this soup with a BAS (big ass salad), which I will prep at the same time as the soup.
  • For your BAS to last a whole week I suggest using hearty veggies like peppers, cut up red/purple cabbage, snap peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and cherry tomatoes (not cut). I always make my salads on Saturday or Sunday and they last me till Thursday/Friday.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.<<<

DINNER

Sunday

  • We went for a HUGE hike yesterday. It is one of our faves, but it’s work (it’s a 5 hour hike, 3 hours straight up). So, to con/convince/coerce loving husband to do this hike with me I promised him spaghetti tonight.
  • He absolutely LOVES spaghetti, so I will make him a big plate and instead of pasta for me I will roast a cauliflower and some broccoli and put my meat sauce on those.
  • It grosses loving husband right out, but I absolutely LOVE this combo. It fills me up, tastes awesome and does not leave me feeling all yucky and bloated – like pasta would afterwards.
  • I have been doing this trick for a long time now. Try it, next you are having pasta.

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

 

Monday

  • I am going out on a limb with Monday’s meatless recipe, and if you are unaware of how picky loving husband is you can read his massive list of what he won’t eat here.
  • Monday night we are going to have Crockpot Vegan Chili by Holy Cow Vegan Recipes.
  • What sold me is she writes vegan recipes that even kids like, and since I described loving husband’s tastebuds to those of a 10-year old boy last week I thought “perfect!”.
  • Her chili asks for mushrooms, which I love and he hates, so I will keep them whole so he has an easy time picking them out.
  • The recipe also calls for diced tomatoes, which he will not eat, so I will buy crushed tomatoes and use those instead. He loves tomatoe sauce, he just can’t see any semblance of a tomatoe in his meal or he will not eat it.
  • Accompanying the vegan chili will be some of the BAS I prepped for the week.
  • So, a meal I will love and loving husband will not.

Crockpot Vegan Chili - Holy Cow Vegan Recipes
Crockpot Vegan Chili – Holy Cow Vegan Recipes

Tuesday

  • Loving husband has volleyball tonight and by the time I finish work and my workout I won’t be done till 6:30. So, an easy meal is required.
  • Kale salad with grilled salmon.
  • I will buy the store-bought, bagged kale salad with the cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Loving husband will eat this one (much to my surprise), so that’s the only one I buy.
  • For the salmon, I am addicted to this salmon rub that I buy locally at Coastal Olive Oil. It is the BOMB!! You have to try it.

TRAINER TIP: After you are done sitting and reading this ol’ blog try this 20-minute hamstring stretch and hip opener workout. Your low back, hips, glutes and hamstrings will thank you for it.

Wednesday

  • I teach until 7:10pm on Wednesday nights so we usually have left-overs, or I prep a slow cooker meal in the AM.
  • Since Monday we already did a crockpot recipe I will pull the healthy version of Pork Fried Rice that I have in the freezer (note: I also added an egg and a half cup of egg whites while stir frying).
  • Accompanying that will be the BAS prepped on Sunday.

Download your FREE weekly meal planner here.

Thursday

  • Trying some turkey cups tonight, Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups, from Bev Cooks. And, I am making loving husband eat them with lettuce cups too, should be interesting.
  • Accompanying the meal will be broccoli-slaw (that awesome bagged and chopped broccoli and cabbage that kinda looks like coleslaw). Yes, loving husband eats this. Surprises the hell out of me, but I do not dare say a word.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups - Bev Cooks
Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups – Bev Cooks

 

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

Friday

  • Since Saturday is Halloween we will probably go out tonight. Our fave thing to do is dinner and a movie. Both loving husband and I are movie addicts – so if you ever need a recommendation just email me.

TRAINER TIP: While I love movie theatre popcorn just as much as the next person (I get mine with extra butter and layered so that every handful is a greasy, cardiac-induced hangover), I don’t eat it all the time. Once in a while I go for it, but 75% of the time I don’t. Why? Well, you would be shocked to read how many calories a small popcorn is, and how two quarter pounders with cheese from MacDonald’s would be a better choice than a large popcorn. Read more here, it will shock you!

Saturday

  • Happy Halloween! Alright, that was said a bit sarcastically. I, personally, think Halloween is one of the most dumbest-ass “holidays” ever, but I get it. Some people love it. I am not one of those people so I apologize for raining on the parade of all those Halloween-er’s.
  • We do not give out candy on Halloween (surprise, surprise). In fact we keep the lights out – all night. I have given out candy once in my adult life and ended up with half a bowl of chocolate by night’s end. The following week loving husband and I promptly ate it. Neither one of us needs candy, and he definitely does not need any more sugar in his life (he’s sweet enough). So, I don’t buy candy, so then there is no candy leftover and no chance of eating it. Problem solved.
  • As for the kids, sorry tykes. But, we don’t have any children ourselves out there trick or treating on other people’s homes so I don’t feel the need to reciprocate by handing out sugar to the neighbourhood’s children.
  • I also hate getting dressed up, it’s kinda ridiculous I think.
  • And I can’t stand fire crackers. I don’t like loud noises and fire crackers scare Bella. So, tonight we will stay home and chill with baby-Bell and order in take out. And that’s Halloween at our house.

>>> Download your FREE weekly meal planner here. <<<

 

Bella & I - out for a fall stroll.
Bella & I – out for a fall stroll.

Looking for some tough love training? I’ve got small group classes, one-on-one appointments, and online personal training. In other words – everything you need to get started! Check out my website here.

For more healthy living tips, recipes and workouts please subscribe above to this blog

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

If you are really interested in getting started on your own weight loss and fitness journey, shoot me an email!

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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 2

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 2

Well, this new blog, A Trainer’s Weekly Menu, that I have added seems to be a bit of a hit! Thanks or being so supportive. I appreciate it and want to give back and make sure that you set yourself up for success.

Click the link below and download my weekly meal planner. That, as well as valuable food prepping tips, will be emailed right to you. How cool is that???

Download your free Weekly Meal Planner here.

Notes about last week’s meals

  • I loved the Southwest Kale Power Salad  from Cookie + Kate and it will definitely be a regular thing on my weekly lunch rotation (lunch only though, cause loving husband WOULD never eat any of that)
  • My sister from another mister does have my favourite twice-baked sweet potatoe/yam recipe up on her blog. Check out Risse’s blog and awesome recipe here.
  • Wednesday night leftover night never happened because loving husband pulled a 12 hour day and didn’t get home until 9pm. So, I had the tuna salad from the night before and the leftovers were pushed to Thursday and Thursday’s salmon dinner was pushed to Friday. So, we never had a chance to try Two Peas and their Pod Grilled Steak Fajitas, but I will definitely try it in the future. We only eat red meat, at max, once a week and loving husband MUST eat salmon once a week. That’s our deal, much to his chagrin.
  • And, after 6 days of my Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats (recipe coming) you would think that I would be pumkin-ed out. But, I ain’t. In fact I really wanted to make it again for this week’s breakfasts, but alas common sense kicked in.

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Oct 18- 24, 2015

BREAKFAST

Herby Frittata with Vegetable & Goat's Cheese - Cooking Light
Herby Frittata with Vegetable & Goat’s Cheese – Cooking Light

  • 1/4 C mixed nuts and herb frittata with vegetables and goat’s cheese.
  • I am a huge fan of mixed nuts as a breakfast side dish and as a snack. I find by adding more healthy fats to my diet it helps me feel fuller, for longer, and therefore keeps my waistline in check.
  • I will be changing the frittata recipe somewhat. First, I will use 6 eggs and a cup of egg whites. Second, I will put it all it in a casserole dish and bake it for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. And, third, I will probably use dried dill. I love fresh herbs, but I find I throw away more than I use. (Yes, I know about the ice cube tray trick – freeze your fresh herbs in an ice cube tray – but I never seem to get to that.)
  • With these changes to the frittata recipe I will have 6 servings. So, one prep day and I am golden until next weekend for breakfast :).

LUNCH

  • I found this recipe on a new food blog that I am following, Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoe Chicken & Quinoa Soup.
  • How brilliant is that? A slow cooker meal (so nice and easy to prepare), with all my favourite foods.
  • I am on the fence, though, about whether or not I will add the chicken. I usually don’t eat meat during the day. I just never really have the appetite for it. So, if I decide to go sans chicken I will add some more black beans, or quinoa to the recipe to amp up the protein.
  • For dessert, cause lately I have been craving something sweet after lunch, I will buy a big ass bag of grapes. I love grapes when my sweet tooth (teeth!) kick in. They always squash the craving and fill me up. Now, I have been seeing (on my Instagram account) cotton candy grapes and they are apparently awesome. I haven’t seen them make an appearance locally, though. How about you? Have you heard/tried them? Let me know below in the comment section. I’m curious about them.

Sweet Potatoe Chicken Quinoa Soup - Chelsea's Messy Apron
Sweet Potatoe Chicken Quinoa Soup – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Download your free Weekly Meal Planner here.

DINNER

Sunday

  • We are hoping to hike on Sunday (if the weather cooperates), so if we do I will use a Slow Cooker Beef Roast and Veggies meal that I have in the freezer, ready to go (the recipe in the link uses only carrots, I also added a parsnip, potatoe and a sweet potaote).
  • If we don’t hike, then I will make a double batch of Skillet Enchilada Bake (loving husband requested this), and freeze one batch for future use.

Monday

  • Meatless Monday is a hard one in my house. Loving husband, in case you didn’t know, has the tastebuds of a 10-year old boy. He will not eat:
    • Quinoa
    • Tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, most squashes, sweet potatoes (he will eat the odd chunk in a stew, but not a whole one), avocado
    • Black beans, white beans, etc (he will only eat canned beans in tomatoe sauce. However, I do make him eat the others when I add them to a dish. There’s only so much patience I have.)
    • Yogurt & sour cream
    • Salsa – he puts ketchup on his tacos
    • Healthy peanut butter (he will only eat Skippy)
    • Any nut butter
    • Almond milk
    • Berries, pineapple, any citrus fruit
    • Cheese (I can get away with cheese in some dishes, but I always use half of what any recipe calls for)
    • Seafood (he will only eat fish & chips, haha…go figure, and the mandatory salmon I bake every week)
    • Now you know the pain I go through, each and every week, when it comes to meal planning 🙂
  • This meatless Monday we will have the twice-baked potaote again (me sweet potatoe, get the recipe here) and I will bake them with my prep later today so we just have to re-heat the day of.
  • Kale salad, this is my fave and loving husband will eat it to.

Tuesday

Crockpot Split Pea Soup - Family Fresh Meals
Crockpot Split Pea Soup – Family Fresh Meals

Wednesday

  • Leftovers from last night for Larry, a protein bar for me 🙂 I am teaching until 7:10pm and then I am off for a presentation right after. There will be no time for me to eat and I do not want a meal at 9pm at night. So, I will munch on a bar while travelling to the event I am presenting at and then have a mug of Natural Calm when I get home.
  • Natural Calm is awesome. It restores a healthy magnesium level and balances out your calcium intake—the result of which is a natural stress relief. After a speaking event I always find that I am really wound up, so this will help calm me down, fill my belly a little (I won’t lie, I will be going to bed hungry though) and help me fall asleep.

Thursday

  • White Chicken Chili – Once Upon a Chef
  • Recipe adaptations: I will NOT be using a jalapeño or the poblano peppers. Both loving husband and I do not like spicy. We find we are spicy enough.
  • Spinach Salad prepped from Tuesday night

White Chicken Chili - Once Upon a Chef
White Chicken Chili – Once Upon a Chef

Friday

  • Salmon Casear Salad
  • Instead of croutons I use pumpkin seeds – surprisingly loving husband does not complain about this and eats them.
  • I do not make my own dressing, though. I have tried in the past only to have loving husband not like it and barely eat any our supper (he never complains, he just doesn’t eat it). This, in turn, leaves me wanting to stab his eyeballs out with a dull spoon. So, to save our marriage (and keep me out of jail for attempted manslaughter) I use this store bought dressing that we both approve of.

Renee's Half the Fat Caesar Dressing
Renee’s Half the Fat Caesar Dressing

Saturday

  • Eat out or take out 🙂
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies. I am a cookie fiend! I love cookies and will either bake some, or pick one up at our local coffee shop in Beach Grove where they sell Fieldstone Cookies.
  • Fieldstone’s is a bakery in South Surrey (near Crescent Beach) that makes the BEST baked goods, including cookies, in the world. If you are local go check them out. They are awesome.

Don’t forget to click on the link below to download your free Weekly Menu Planner, and share below what you will be prepping for the week ahead.

Download your free Weekly Meal Planner here.

 Looking for some tough love training? I’ve got small group classes, one-on-one appointments, and online personal training. In other words – everything you need to get started! Check out my website here.

For more healthy living tips, recipes and workouts please subscribe above to this blog

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

If you are really interested in getting started on your own weight loss and fitness journey, shoot me an email!

Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking on the box above. I’ve got lots of awesome workouts, exclusive content, and exciting offers available to subscribers only!

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What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week #1

Week 1

I thought I would try something new. Something to help you out if you are struggling with weight loss, or weight maintenance.

Each week I will be releasing my meal prep guide for the week ahead, including links to the recipes that I plan to use that week (where available).

For decades I have meal planned and prepped every Sunday, and I also coach my clients to do the same. When we are prepared, in the kitchen, we make healthier choices. It’s that simple.

You see, once our week starts the busy-ness and craziness takes over, and if we haven’t set ourselves up with some planning and prepping come 6′ o’clock we will be forced to follow our stomaches instead of our hearts.

And our stomaches, sadly, can get us into trouble (ie. take-out versus garlic chicken kale sauté).

I also love prepping on a Sunday because then I really only have one big mess to clean up, once a week.

In addition, it forces me (and it will force you too) to eat the healthy foods that I bought on Saturday and Sunday at the grocery store – because I have a recipe and a home for them.

What I’m Eating This Week – October 12 – 18, 2015

BREAKFAST

Monday & Tuesday Breakfast

  • Greek yogurt mixed with blueberries (I froze a bunch of boxes from the summer), mixed with Weeds & Seeds Cereal (freaking love this stuff, and locally you can buy it at Meridian Meats.)
  • I prep this the night before by simply mixing in a cup of frozen blueberries in a 3/4 C 0% Greek yogurt with 2Tbsp of Weeds & Seeds Cereal. Cover and put in the fridge. Yes, that was a cup of blueberries. I love blueberries. Don’t judge.

Wednesday – Sunday Breakfast

  • This morning I made a big batch of Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats and will bowl and re-heat through the week.
  • I also like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top of my pumpkin oatmeal. This makes it creamier and ups my protein.
  • Click here for the recipe.

Slow-Cooker-Pumpkin-Spice-Oatmeal

LUNCH

  • Southwest Kale Power Salad – Cookie + Kate
  • I eat the same thing lunch every week Monday – Thursday (Friday’s are my meeting days with peers, business contacts or my business coach, so I usually eat out) and prep it on Saturday or Sunday so it is ready to go for the week.

DINNER

Monday

  • Since this is the Thanksgiving long weekend for us Canadians, and loving husband and I will be eating pizza and pumpkin pie tonight (yup, that’s how we celebrate. – that and sitting on our butts all night and binge-watching StrikeBack. Addicted to that series.), I have a light, meat-free, low sodium dinner planned for us for Monday.
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes for me, baked potatoe for loving husband (he won’t eat sweet potatoes, sigh), and a kale salad.
  • Recipe for my Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoe is an old Go Fit Gals recipe that my sister from another mister developed, Risse. So, I suggest that you go bug her nicely (click here to find her), and let her know that you would love to see the Twice Baked Sweet Potatoe recipe re-released. Tell her PJ sent ya.

Tuesday

  • Larry has volleyball Tuesday nights so it’s usually an easy grab and go meal.
  • This week he’s making dinner and will be making his favourite (and only) dish, Tuna Salad.
  • All you do is:
    • Mix 6 cans of tuna, 6 chopped hard boiled eggs with some mayo and relish. He LOVES this and eats tuna fish sandwiches, non-stop, for days whenever he makes this. I enjoy mine on Wasa Crisp bread and will have some of the leftover kale salad from the night before. He will have potatoe chips, sigh.

Wednesday

  • I work late on Wednesday nights, so Wednesday’s are all about whatever I have prepped either on the weekend, or made double batches of in the past and froze.
  • This week it’s Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken, that I found in the freezer. I totally forgot that I had this prepped, so how excited was I to learn that I had one less meal to prepare today? Very. Excited.

Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken - Skinnytaste
Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken – Skinnytaste

Thursday

  • Baked salmon, with lemon juice and dill, accompanied with baked sweet potatoes (for me) and baby potatoes (for loving husband) and baked green beans. Wow, that’s a lot of “baked”, isn’t it? Haha.
  • Baked green beans is my newest obsession. They are so easy! Simply toss green beans with some olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degree. Yup, they are that easy.
  • Green beans are also one of the few green vegetables loving (picky) husband will eat.

Friday

Grilled Steak Fajitas - Two Peas and their Pod
Grilled Steak Fajitas – Two Peas and their Pod

Saturday

  • Date night! Out for dinner.

Sunday

  • Sunday’s I leave loosey-goosey. You see if it’s not raining (and I can convince loving husband), we go hiking. This means that I need to get a slow cooker meal going because we won’t get home till late.
  • However, if we don’t go hiking then I check the food blogs on the ol’ web and pick a recipe and double batch it so I have a meal in the freezer for the future.
  • Yes, I double batch new recipes. I know this is risky, since I don’t even know if the recipe is good, but I love trying new recipes and I have really had only one dud in all the years that I have been doing this.

 

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PJ ox

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

I love oatmeal. I have been known to eat for breakfast (not unusual, I know), for lunch and again for dinner (now getting weird).

While some people order eggs benny while brunching with friends at a restaurant, I will ask for a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal, brown sugar on the side please.

Why am I Team Oatmeal?

Well, first off let’s start with the fibre content. One bowl has about 4 grams per serving, and we should be aiming for 25-30 grams a day.

It is a slow-releasing complex carbohydrate, leaving you fuller for longer – and with the fuel to take you through your morning and last you until lunch.

Oatmeal contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, thiamine, folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.

A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will also help re-stabilize your blood-sugar levels, giving you the energy needed to tackle your busy mornings and help you manage your weight.

Not all oatmeals are created equal, though. The pre-packaged, instant oatmeal packets are filled with sugar and unnecessary chemicals and additives that we just don’t need first thing in the morning.

Don’t be fooled, even the weight-controlled instant oatmeal isn’t that healthy for you.

If time and convenience are the reasons you reach for those handy little packets in the early hours, then allow me to show you how you can make a healthier, cleaner version in just under five minutes – using ingredients that you most likely already have in the cupboard!

best-oatmeal-recipes-Fitness-with-PJ

Steel-Cut Oatmeal Base

I, personally, prefer steel-cut oats because they have a higher protein and fibre count than rolled and quick cooking oats. This recipe I make on a Sunday and it provides me with 4 servings of oatmeal which I then refrigerate and re-heat during the busy work week.

Recipe #1 – the base

1 cup steel-cut oats (I love “Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats”)
3-1/2 cups water
dash of unrefined sea salt

Bring water and sea salt to a boil, add oats and gently boil on low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the burner and add the following:

3 tbsp ground flax seed (or you can use bee pollen, salba seed, chia seed, hemp protein)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-1 tbsp tbsp cinnamon (adjust according to your taste)

Mix the above in with the oatmeal and let it sit until thick and then place in a container and put in the fridge.

This will keep for up to 5-6 days. In the mornings simply spoon a serving into a microwaveable dish (remember, your container is now holding four servings, so simply cut the oatmeal in fours so that you get the appropriate serving amount) and microwave for 1:00.

Add milk, or almond milk until your oatmeal is at the consistency that you like and then put it back in the microwave for another minute. From there you can add any of the following to make your oatmeal even healthier AND tastier:

  • Recipe #2 Apple Walnut Oatmeal
    • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 diced apple (it’s even better if you microwave the chopped apple in some cinnamon and stevia for 1-2 minutes to soften it)
    • sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top
  • Recipe #3 Banana Bread Oatmeal
    • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • 2 chopped dates, or 1 tbsp raisins
    • half of a banana, sliced on top
  • Recipe #4 Blueberry Strawberry Oatmeal Dream
    • 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries & 1/2 c sliced strawberries
    • Slivered almonds on top (if you have time, toasted almonds is really good in this)
  • Recipe #5 Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp dried cherries
    • 1 tbsp sugar-free cherry jam
  • Recipe #6 Cranberry Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp dried or fresh cranberries
    • 1 tbsp walnut pieces
    • a drizzle of honey on the top
    • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • Recipe #7 Super Duper Oatmeal
    • 1/2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 single serving, sugar-free apple sauce container
    • A sprinkle of cinnamon on top
  • Recipe #8 Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
    • a dash of nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or if you have it in the cupboard, 3 tbsp canned pumpkin pie filling
    • 1 tbsp sliced almond (if you have time, toast the almonds – yummy!)
  • Recipe #9 Yogurt Oatmeal (boost the protein and calcium of your oatmeal with these additions)
    • add a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • Recipe #10 Peachy Keen Oatmeal 
    • add some sliced peaches (drained) and sprinkle the top with a bit of nutmeg

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
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PJ ox

Healthy Lunches for You and Your Loved Ones

Healthy Lunches for You and Your Loved Ones

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Whether you have kids that have just headed back to school or you are tired of eating out at the office, brown bagging it is not only cost-effective, it is also a way to control your calories (if you’re trying to lose weight), eat healthier and take charge of what your kids eat during the day.

Healthy Lunches for the whole family

4 Tips to Healthier Lunches for the Whole Family

1) Include more whole foods and less processed foods. Choose lunch items that are high in fibre and nutrients, and low in sodium and sugar.

Take, for example, deli meats. Most deli meats are pumped full of sodium and nitrates. While sodium nitrite does help prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism in humans, it is also used alone or in conjunction as a colour fixative in cured meat and poultry products (bologna, hot dogs, bacon).

During the cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in meat to form carcinogenic compounds.

It is also suspected that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.

Research in Sweden found that Swedes who ate on average three ounces of processed meat each day had a 15 percent greater chance of developing stomach cancer than those who consumed two ounces or less.

Opt instead for nitrate-free deli meats (ask your deli counter person to point out which brands are nitrate-free AND low in sodium), or better yet, roast a whole chicken or roast beef on Sunday and use that meat throughout the week for sandwiches, wraps and to toss into salads.

2) Be creative.  Your kids will appreciate it if you think outside the brown-bag for their lunches, and if you’re packing for yourself, so will you.

I mean, do you really want another boring old sandwich to look forward to at lunch?

Instead, why don’t you try a fruit and cheese plate, or a pita pocket stuffed with falafel balls and some hummus? Or, how about using last night’s pasta and pack a cold pasta salad with chopped chicken.

Then there’s always bean and cheese tortillas, sushi, homemade soup (or try a low-sodium brand such as “Amy’s”, “Imagine” or “Wolfgang Puck”), or my favourite quick lunch meal of almond butter, topped with no-sugar added jam on Squirrelly bread with some raisins sprinkled on top.

3) Plan ahead. Use Sunday to plan your meals for the week and shop and buy all the groceries that you need so that you have everything on hand when you need them.

I plan all our lunches and dinners on the weekend and prepare as much as I can to give me a head start for the week. For instance, plan to make a stir-fry on Monday night and then use the leftovers in a wrap the next day.

Or, make a large salad that will carry you for the week and just add different toppings and dressings throughout the week to give you a variety of different tastes.

4) Don’t actually use a brown bag.  I know I keep referencing a brown bag, but they rip easily and won’t keep your hot foods warm and your cold foods cool.

Invest in a lunch box with insulation and with different compartments so that foods and beverages can be kept separately.

Also, purchase some small plastic containers (avoiding containers with the numbers 3 or 7 on the bottom – these have been proven to leach chemicals into our foods – yuck!), or glass containers to store each item and a freezer pack to keep the cold foods cold. This will keep your foods both fresh AND safe for lunchtime consumption.

5-Day Sample Menu of Lunches for the Whole Family

*All meals are less than 500 calories

Monday 3oz thinly sliced low-sodium nitrate-free turkey breast on 3 Wasa High-Fibre breads, a lg carrot stick & a ½ red bell pepper sliced & dipped in a ¼ c of hummus. ¾ c of 0% Vanilla Greek yogurt for dessert.
Tuesday Tuna salad sandwich: 3oz of tuna mixed with ½ c 0% fat Greek yogurt, (1) chopped hard boiled egg, 1 tbsp green relish, spread on a whole-wheat tortilla shell (such as “Weight Watcher’s” Whole Grain Wrap) and whatever veggies you want to add. 1 c blueberries for dessert. (if you prefer lower calories & 0 carbs wrap the tuna in butter lettuce instead of a wrap.
Wednesday 2c lentil soup (such as “Imagine” or “Amy’s” brand) & carrot & celery sticks & an apple dipped in 1tbsp of almond butter for dessert
Thursday Baked sweet potatoe with 0% Greek yogurt & a sprinkle of cinnamon & a side spinach salad. Chocolate Coconut “Lara” bar for dessert
Friday Pizza roll-ups: take 1-8” whole wheat tortilla shell, spread with 2 tbsp low sodium pizza sauce, 12 spinach leaves & 3 tbsp partly skin mozza cheese (note: you can also add veggies too). Roll & cut tortilla into 6 pieces. Caesar salad tossed in a home made dressing (I use 0% Greek yogurt for my Caesar dressing) & instead of croutons (which are filled with fat & preservatives) try roasted chickpeas, hemp hearts, or salad crunchies (a mixed nut blend you can buy at most grocery stores).

 

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How Bad Is Movie Popcorn?

How Bad Is Movie Popcorn?

How Bad is Movie Popcorn

Headed to go see one of the latest summer blockbusters? If so, stay away from the concession stand.

Not only are the “snacks” sold at the movie theatre unhealthy, some of them are the equal in calories of what a family of four should be eating for one meal and in fat for a whole day! And all at an 85% mark-up (mooneyland.time.com). Ouch.

how-bad-is-movie-popcorn

Here’s what you are getting yourself into if you order a movie’s most popular snack, popcorn:

Small Popcorn (9 cups)
480 calories
2 g of artery-clogging saturated fat
230 mg of sodium
134 minutes of walking to burn it off

Order the above with extra butter:

670 calories
15 g of saturated fat (3 grams over your recommended daily intake)
186 minutes of walking to burn it off

Regular Popcorn (14 cups)
780 calories
3 g of artery-clogging saturated fat
370 mg of sodium
217 minutes of walking to burn it off

Order the above with extra butter:

1,030 calories
20 g of saturated fat (almost a 100% over your recommended daily intake)
287 minutes of walking to burn it off

Large Popcorn (20 cups)
1,120 calories
5 g of artery-clogging saturated fat
530 mg of sodium (one-quarter of your recommended daily intake of sodium)
312 minutes of walking to burn it off

Order the above with extra butter:
1,440  calories (recommended daily caloric intake for a healthy female)
27 g of saturated fat (2.5 days of your recommended daily intake – in one sitting)
401 minutes of walking to burn it off

My suggestions:

  • Smuggle in your own snacks such as: Lara Bars, homemade trail mix, popcorn you made at home, fruit, water bottles. Preferably foods that you made, so not subbing in crap with more crap – you know what I mean?
  • Don’t buy the snacks. Just don’t buy the shit to begin with.
  • Drink herbal tea. Most of the time it’s boredom (and habit) that makes us snack when we watch a movie. So, replace that with a herbal tea. Sip away and walk out of the theatre less bloated than ever 🙂
  • Eat a balanced meal beforehand. Simple enough. Eliminate the need to snack by having a healthy meal before the movie. Go out for dinner, or have a nice meal at home beforehand.
  • If you crave something sweet, bring a dark chocolate bar with you. I get it, you like to munch while you watch.

 

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