What to Eat?

I recently posted a picture on my Facebook page of my meal prep for the week & immediately inquiring minds wanted to know just what I plan for food and how a typical day looks for me.  First off, I’m a creature of habit and I can pretty much eat the same things everyday with the exception of dinner and even then I just rotate through the usuals.

Now being that this is a healthy lifestyle blog, I try to keep all of my food healthy and I design it based on what works for me and my goals.  What works for me, may not work for you but you are welcome to use some of the recipes I have found.

I eat 5 times per day & this is pretty much what it looks like:

Meal #1 (pre-workout):  Egg white omelette with onions and green pepper along with a side of roasted sweet potatoes

Meal #2 (post-workout):  Isagenix IsaLean Pro protein shake with added ground flax, Just Great Stuff powdered peanut butter & Nativa raw cacao powder

Meal #3 (lunch): Mixed organic greens salad with broccoli slaw & 1 serving of balsamic vinaigrette dressing plus a lean meat (see Tomatillo Chicken below).

Meal #4 (PM snack):  Almond Protein Muffin (recipe below)

Meal #5 (dinner):  6 oz of lean protein (chicken, steak, or ground turkey) and half a plate full of non-starchy veggies

Sometimes I swap out frozen veggies for the salad at lunch and my PM snack will vary.  I found the muffin recipe from a site I subscribe to so I thought I would try it out this week.  Usually I’m munching on a serving of unsalted mixed nuts.

On the dinner menu this week:

Sunday – Chicken Pizzaioli (Busy Girl Healthy Life Cookbook)

Monday – Italian Marinated Chicken (Busy Girl Healthy Life Cookbook)

Tuesday – Taco Salad (made with ground turkey)

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Salsa

Wednesday – Cilantro Lime Marinated Steak

  • Marinade:
    • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 cup fresh lime juice
    • 3 Tbsp minced cilantro
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 3/4 tsp ground sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Marinade overnight for best results and grill to desired doneness.  Best to choose a lean cut of beef.

Thursday – Leftover Night

Friday – OPEN – we grocery shop on Friday, so this day is usually planned later in the week

I hope this gives you some ideas of how simple meal planning can be.  Don’t over complicate it!  All you need is some lean meat, a good marinade and some nice veggies and voila you have dinner!

As for lunches, my staple is Tomatillo Shredded Chicken which is just 2.5 lbs chicken breast and 1 jar of Sprouts Tomatillo Salsa.  Cook in the crockpot for 7-8 hours on low and you have a week’s worth of lunches for yourself.

And as for the muffin recipe:

Almond Maple Muffins

  • 4 cups almond meal
  • 2 scoops whey protein powder (unflavored or vanilla) – I used vanilla (IsaPro)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup xylitol or 4 Tbsp coconut nectar sweetener – I used the coconut sweetener which I found at Sprouts.
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp maple extract – I used almond extract because I couldn’t find a natural maple extract.  You could also use vanilla.

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine in a large bowl.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper cupcake holders and fill just about to the top with the mixture.  Bake at 300 for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Immediately remove from pan and let cool.

Feel free to ask any questions.  I love to share my ideas with others so they can also start their healthy lifestyle!

Advertisements

Cancer and the Benefits of Fitness

I’m so excited to have a guest post for you today!  Recently, I was contacted by Melanie, a fellow blogger, about sharing a post on my blog.  After reading her work, I knew it was something my reader’s could gain from.  I hope you enjoy!

But first, a little bit about Melanie…:)

Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness.  To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.

The Importance of Exercise While Fighting Cancer

Everybody knows that physical activity is important and can bring numerous health benefits to an individual. However, those who are fighting cancer often have to deal with the side effects of treatment, which can decrease energy levels and make it more difficult to exercise. Even if someone is undergoing cancer treatment, there are several types of exercises that can be done depending on how far along one is in the recovery process. Here are some of them:

Light Exercise: Walking

Walking is a great light exercise for those who are undergoing aggressive cancer treatments. The main advantage of walking is that it can be done slowly depending on how much activity the patient can handle. Walking ideal for patients undergoing treatment for mesothelioma, where impaired lung function may prohibit more strenuous levels of exercise. For some, even walking a very short distance, such as going to their mailbox, would be an excellent way to start. Once the patient builds up more strength, walking distances can be increased. Some of the benefits of walking include reducing fatigue associated with cancer treatments, increasing endurance, helping maintain bone density and building confidence.

Moderate Exercise: Yoga

Yoga is a moderate exercise that is becoming more and more common in cancer centers. Many cancer centers have acknowledged the benefits of yoga and offer yoga programs for cancer patients in the treatment and recovery stages. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between stress levels and cancer. Therefore, taking action to reduce stress can help those who are currently fighting cancer and yoga offers a series of exercises that can achieve this. It is a philosophy that encourages the creation of an internal environment in which natural vitality and health are promoted. There are various different yoga exercises can be easily done by patients who are suffering from the effects of cancer and its treatment. Some of the reported benefits of yoga include: lower stress levels, better flexibility, reduction of pain and a decrease in fatigue levels.

Advanced Exercise: Weight Training

Many types of cancers can affect muscle tissue. For those in the later stages of recovery, using weight training can help regain up strength. A patient that is just starting out can begin slowly and progressively increase the intensity of the exercises. Those who have a gym membership will find that using weight machines can be a great way to work out as they’re fighting cancer, especially if they’re affected by a cancer that can cause a large decrease of muscle mass. The benefits of weight training include better muscle strength, a stronger cardiovascular system and increased energy levels. Weight training has shown to be very beneficial and promising for women recovering from breast cancer treatment. Prostate cancer, cancers of the stomach and gut, and head and neck cancers can all lead to a significant decrease in muscle mass. It is imperative to continually build strength and strengthen muscle in order to battle cancer.

While physical activity alone is not a cure for cancer, it can provide numerous health benefits to patients that are currently fighting the disease, regardless of the current stage of recovery. Those who wish to start an exercise regimen as they recover from cancer should consult with their physician for exercise recommendations and advice. 

Thank you Melanie for sharing your knowledge with Never a Perfect Time readers!  I truly believe in the power of fitness and its benefits to our bodies.

I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

Seriously, I don’t know how time keeps slipping away from me!  I think I have too many things going on at once. 🙂  I’m in the process of getting my logo and website going for my new business as a personal trainer, studying for my certification, helping others with their fitness goals, trying to blog, being a wife, mommy, employee, etc all at the same time!  Whew, I’m exhausted just looking at that list!  So today I’m just sharing my thoughts through a fellow blogger so my mind doesn’t completely turn to mush.
I found this blog post from a fellow Isagenix user, Abby Huot.  She puts into words exactly how I feel as well.  While I’m just a product user myself and don’t make any money at it right now, I do get lots of questions about it.  Thank you Abby!  This is something that has made all the difference in the world to me and my results.
Why I Use Isagenix
I get emails a few times a week inquiring why I use Isagenix products.

I’m writing this to answer that question. And no, this genuinely is not a sales pitch. This is just the truth from my own experiences.

I was approached with Isagenix products in 2011. I, like many of you, was incredibly skeptical. I thought it was a pyramid scheme. I thought it just seemed like stupid overpriced crap. At the time, I was very content with the products I was buying online or at Vitamin Shoppe. I just didn’t think it mattered and it was just another Amway scheme.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I was fairly snippy with the girl who talked to me about it. She was genuinely excited but my skepticism was so high that it didn’t matter.

She approached me about it or talked about it a few times in front of me. At the time, my then-boyfriend was looking for a natural product that didn’t have artificial sweeteners of any kind. She talked to him and he ordered the Athlete’s Pak (it had shakes, bars, energy supps, etc).

A gigantic box arrived at our apartment a week later. We both tried a shake and were surprised by, 1. The taste.  2. How filling they are.

It’s funny looking back now, because I know so much more about the products than when I started.

I noticed I was able to feel full a long time on the shakes. I also noticed that I felt better with their energy supplement (Want More Energy?) than I did on 5 hour energy. I was gradually less dependent on coffee to wake up. What was most surprising: my sugar cravings plummeted and I actually started to have cravings for the shakes! That has never happened to me before and I’ve been using supplements since sometime circa 2006. We were hooked.

As a result, I ended up walking away from my sponsorship in 2012. The people at the supplement company were fabulous and sweet. The products were fine, they just weren’t the same as Isa. And deep down, I felt like I was lying to people. It bothered me a lot morally. I finally called them in tears and talked to them about it, thanked them for their help and support, and stepped down as a sponsored athlete from their business. It was a hard decision but the right thing for me to do.

What makes their shakes so different than anything else I’ve found:

  • Made from the milk of grass-fed, hormone-free cows in New Zealand
  • Undenatured whey (meaning it’s cooked at a low temp so it retains its probiotic value and digestive enzymes. Many companies super-heat wheys and they lose these contents)
  • Soy-free (soy upsets my stomach)
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Loaded with good vitamins and minerals that have made my hair and nails noticeably stronger.
  • Filling
  • Curbs sugar cravings
  • I love the vanilla almost more than I do the chocolate. I normally DETEST vanilla shakes. This is the only one I’ve ever liked.
  • 1 canister of shakes knocks out 14 meals worth of cooking for me over the course of a week. I’m on the go a lot, especially when I’m doing a show prep and working full time. I don’t have to carry 90 containers of tupperware with me anymore. And if I accidentally leave my food at home before work, I don’t have to scavenge the skyways downtown for food that isn’t a million dollars and pray it’s clean. They break down to about $2.78 per shake (meal) and I literally cannot get the amount of nutrition anywhere for that price anywhere downtown to save my life.  Gone are the days of scampering down to Au Bon Pain to get 3 hardboiled eggs for $2.99 a pop if I accidentally left my food at home.

What makes their other products so different than anything else I’ve found:

  • Ionix Supreme (admittedly, the flavor takes some getting used to!) manages my stress, boosts my immune system, and is the only product I’ve found that I feel a physical difference if I don’t take it. Ever have a day where you can’t get your head to focus on anything? Ionix actually helps me with that. Especially on days where I need to train but I can’t get my brain to wake up. 2oz of that and I’m good to go.
  • Their multivitamin, like Ionix, is the only multivitamin I’ve used where I physically tell a difference if I do or do not take it.
  • Their cleanse (you can get the cleanse itself or a full system if you want one) is a berry blend that works to cleanse on the cellular level instead of being a colon cleanse. I’ll do one cleanse day a week and I feel my body “reset” so to speak, especially if I’ve been naughty on a weekend. I know numerous people who have done their 30 day cleansing systems and dropped 2 pants sizes and 15-20 lbs. It’s really quite amazing.

And using Isa truthfully has brought out my best physique in terms of being competition-ready. And hands-down, that was the best I’ve ever felt on a show prep.

People ask me if I make a lot of money doing Isa/do you have to sell. No, you absolutely do not need to sell. In fact, something like 84% of people who use Isa are users ONLY– no sales.

Truthfully, I don’t do the business side very aggressively. I generally get $200-500 extra a month from Isa sales, but that’s enough to boost me and keep me with a little bit of a cushion. I personally know people who have hit the sales side hard and I’ve seen them quit their full time jobs in the last 1-2 years. It’s sort of like “what you put in it is what you get back.”  Isa is a super easy business to do if you want to do it, especially if you genuinely in-your-heart believe in the products as much as I do. It’s really not even a sale. They try it, it rules, and that’s about as hard as it gets.

Another common question: is it a pyramid scheme? Absolutely not. I’m not an idiot, nor am I a skeeze. Give me a little credit, guys.
So that, kids, is why I use Isagenix. I 100% stand behind it. I love how I feel, I love the convenience, and it helps bring out my best. Simply put: It’s easy and it gels perfectly with my lifestyle.

No More Excuses

No More Excuses

Life is full of excuses.

I have been MIA lately due to excuses. Life has become busy, but that’s just another excuse. I am working hard at getting my fitness career going but not dedicating enough time to the most important piece, my personal trainer certification.

I can find time to exercise, plan my food, spend time with the family, but I can’t seem to work in my study time. I have less than 5 months now to sit for the exam. It is GO time!

You will never reach your goals if you keep making excuses. There will always be something to distract you. There will always be something more important.

Start making SMART goals and don’t let the excuses get in the way.

Specific – clearly define your goal so anyone can understand what the intended outcome is
Measurable – establish a way to assess the progress (I want to lose 10 lbs in 2 months)
Attainable – make your goals challenging but not extreme
Realistic – your goal must represent what you are willing and able to work for
Timely – goals should have a specific date of completion, but not too distant in the future

Take time now to write down your goals. Post them where you will see them everyday.

What excuses are keeping you from reaching them?

There will never be a perfect time ;)…so take action now!

Keep the Faith & Trust the Process

Keep the Faith & Trust the Process

I was one of those people that looked in the mirror everyday mumbling to myself, “still no change.” Keyword here…”was.” You see, I am no longer that person.

This weekend hubby and I went out on a date and as always we walk around the mall after we eat dinner. I decided to stop in my favorite store, Buckle, because I wanted to see what new items they had in stock. The truth is, I was hoping to buy some of those new items.

As I was trying on shorts, which I always choose bermuda length, I decided to try on a pair of mid-thigh shorts. You see, I have always avoided mid-thigh shorts because of my ugly tree trunk looking legs. Well, that is how I felt about them.

I slipped on these mid-thigh shorts, walked out of the dressing room, took a peek in the mirror and almost cried. My once tree trunk looking thighs, now had a nice curve to them. The cottage cheese dimples that filled the back of my legs was gone. Even my hubby noticed that! He earned major points for that! I was also down 2 sizes from last year at this time. Score for me!

My point is this…keep going…keep pushing! The mirror doesn’t give you the full picture and while I’m at, neither does the scale. They both lie! Case in point, I did a Bod Pod test this last week and my body fat came in at 16.5%. I was ecstatic because my scale at home said it was 23.9%. See it’s a liar!

Trust the process…it will get you to your goals as long as you keep going!

It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Life Sentence!

I apologize for being MIA this week.  I have been really busy at work and at home.  It is that time of year when things just all happen at once (work projects, end of year school events, etc).  I can’t complain though because I also received a very nice gift from my hubby…a muscle car for this muscle gal! 🙂

Camaro

 

But this week I have also spent lots of time giving advice and suggestions to a number of people about food, exercise, etc.  I love it!  I love that those around me see me as someone who has the knowledge to help them with their goals.  I feel honored and humbled at the same time.  And while I haven’t perfected my lifestyle, I have come to the realization this week that it is just that…a lifestyle!  This is not a temporary period of time where I will eat healthy and exercise and then go back to my previous habits.  This is not a diet, nor is it a life sentence.

Everyday is a choice.  A choice to eat healthy or to eat garbage.  Some days I have to take it one meal at a time.  Other days, it is easier and I don’t crave anything that is bad for me.  But what I do know is that when I have a moment of temporary insanity and I indulge, I pick myself up, wipe my face off, make the next choice a good one and move on.  I can’t fix what I just did, but I can learn from it.  I don’t have any foods that are off limits.  I can’t think that way, otherwise, I want it all.  Try it!  Tell yourself you can’t eat something and see how your brain reacts.  You will discover that whatever that item is, you will want it more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life.

So don’t focus on the big picture, focus on all the small steps that will get you there!

Road to Success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday

How many steps will it take to reach your goal?

Do you have them laid out?

Are they posted somewhere so that you see them everyday?

Make today count and take one step towards your goal!