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How To Eat Healthy In Disneyland

I married into a Disney-loving family.  My husband has amazing childhood memories of his trips to Disneyland. It is inevitable that our children will have them too, as it is near and dear to his heart. As an adult, I get the attraction. There is something indescribable about seeing the amazement and wonder on your children’s faces when they lock eyes with their favorite Disney character. Or when the Electric Light Parade passes by and they can’t contain their excitement. Someday, that innocence will fade, so I am with him. Let’s enjoy that magical moment while it lasts.

Disney Bender

In 2015, almost 18.5 million people visited Disneyland in Anaheim. For the average Disney goer, trips to Disneyland mean a 3-day binge on corn dogs, pretzels, and Mickey shaped ice cream treats. But that binge just leaves you feeling YUCK. That is a whole lotta corn dogs!

Disney Does Most Things Right

You can’t dispute Disney does everything right. Well, mostly.

The one thing they could improve on is food selection. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve made major strides. Like anything though, you can’t be a victim of choice. Instead, you have to be a victim of your own success and plan for your adventure to the Happiest Place on Earth.

When I began my healthy journey and lifestyle years ago, we had a Disney trip planned. I’ll admit I was terrified of how I could manage my healthy choices and also so excited to put my hard work and food awareness to the test. I’d already managed to make Disney food happen gluten-free, now I was determined to make it happen within the framework of my goals.

The take home from this post is food awareness.  This post will help you navigate Disneyland with heightened food awareness and a greater sense of success having “survived” and still maintained your nutritional goals.

How to Eat Healthy In Disneyland With These 7 Simple Steps

Eat Breakfast Outside The Park

I think this one is a necessity on so many levels. Depending on the season, the park opens somewhere between 8 and 10 am. Who wants to spend their first hour at the park, when things are less busy, eating?Not us!  That is our time to get on as many rides as possible before the crowd arrives.

Eat breakfast at the hotel if offered. Many hotels near Disney recognize this need and offer great buffet or made-to-order options. We love staying at the Embassy Suites at Hilton, Anaheim South because of their made-to-order omelet options, fresh fruit, and a host of other selections to start the day. Not to mention it is fun, budget-friendly, and well located. Don’t be afraid to ask for things that meet your needs like egg whites. They may not advertise their availability but often have them standing by.

If your hotel doesn’t offer breakfast, then prepare a simple meal in your hotel room of oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, and fresh fruit. I have vivid memories as a child of my mom bringing in an electric skillet to prepare some amazing hotel room breakfasts that saved money and were healthier for us.

Bring In Your Food

Disneyland’s food policy permits you to enjoy your own food in the picnic areas just outside the gates. However, one look around you can see hundreds of people enjoying snacks they packed in to save money, time and health. I’ve never been asked to take my food elsewhere. They do permit you to bring in food if you have a specific dietary need or allergy which is really the grey area that allows almost everyone to bring in what they like.

My suggestion is pack food that will help you maintain a lean intake as you are likely to eat more fat in your meals out when needed. Also, pack things that are protein packed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my family goes, I pack lunch meat, hard boiled eggs, fruit, fruit and veggie squeeze pouches, and usually some type of bar as a snack. Check out my vacation travel post (you can download the ebook here) for a long list of snack ideas that will work perfectly for Disneyland.

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Find the Hidden Snack Places

Disney has improved their snack options. Path side vendors have carts filled with fresh fruits, some veggies, and even some not so sugary laden snacks.

But protein-packed snacks are still hard to come by, as is the case during most travel. My favorite go-to protein snack is Bengal Barbecue in Adventure land in Disneyland. They have some awesome chicken, beef, and even bacon wrapped asparagus skewers. A simple, and cost-effective, way to snack on something to keep that protein up, keep you full (but not stuffed) while walking, and curb the cravings for sugar and unhealthy treats.

 

 

 

Since I was a child, pickles have been my jam!  I once ate an entire jar in one sitting. Then, I puked them up all night on the bathroom floor. Lesson learned — eat pickles in moderation.

But a gigantic pickle from the Main Street General Store or another vendor is another great option to fill you up without breaking the healthy eating train. I love volume food!

Choose Your Dessert Wisely

Yep — how could I not mention dessert? A sweet treat in Disneyland is almost a requirement, right?

Two words — Dole Whip. The Dole Whip is a must in the Disney Parks, (located at the Tiki Hut in Adventureland) especially in the late afternoon when the weather heats up. It is a non-dairy soft serve yogurt indulgence and brings back so much nostalgia.

It’s not a horrible choice to cure that Disney sweet tooth for sure. A local yogurt shop even carries the “Dole Whip” flavor which brings back Disney memories when you can’t be at the happiest place on earth.

Bring Your Own Water Bottle

One reason many people feel exhausted after a day of Disney is not always screaming children and over stimulation. It is often dehydration. It is easy to move through the day with a “do everything” attitude that you forget to drink your usual water intake. Take advantage of Disney’s newer water refill stations and bring your own water bottle to refill all day for FREE. Not too many things are free at Disneyland so drink as much as you can. It makes that pricey ticket more worth it (lol).

 

Disney Check Meals

Disney has done a great job of advertising the new “Mickey Check” program. My kids have come running to me to tell me all about Mickey’s desire for them to eat healthier after seeing television commercials. Well done Mickey, well done.

But what does this really mean?  Disney’s Mickey check seeks to help families find healthier options both inside and outside the Disneyland Parks and Resorts. To receive a Mickey Check, a meal or snack must meet certain nutritional standards.

Although the dietary guidelines don’t provide specific macronutrient information, they are a better selection for both kids and parents alike. You will find Mickey Check items in most sit-down restaurant selections within the park and lots of brands at home.

(Tired of sabotaging your healthy eating habits? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Plan Your Big Meal

If you are going to eat out at one of Disney’s restaurants for a nice dining experience during your time at the park, pick it wisely. Plan ahead and look at what each restaurant has to offer. Making a reservation will save you time and will guarantee you healthier options to support your goals. If you wait until your family is HANGRY you are likely to settle for something far less healthy and less filling in the heat of the (hangry) moment.

My favorite place to eat at the Disney Parks is just outside the Park at Tortilla Jo’s, a Mexican food restaurant. In fact, Mexican food is one of my regular go-tos because I can control the ingredients and navigate gluten free options more easily. They have amazing fajitas and other options for the entire family.  My kids love the balloon artist that can make the most amazing Disney balloon characters (seriously..they are talented.)

Overall, Disney is magic. And you don’t have to stop your healthy lifestyle to be there in the moment. While there is nothing wrong with treating yourself a little bit, these tips can help you eat healthier at Disneyland, while still being a part of the fun!

Do you have another tip I missed to eat healthy at Disneyland?  I’d love to hear it below.

Work Hard Be Kind,
AWalk

5 Tips To Make MyFitnessPal Easier To Use

If you ask me, or the millions of other nutrition coaches out there, the real difference in nutritional success is accountability. Writing down, documenting, and recording your intake leads to nutritional success. This is nothing new and I see it in my own clients often. MyFitnessPal has become one of the most popular, simple to use tools for increasing both nutrition and fitness accountability.

Many of my clients may be a great fit to use the MyFitnessPal app to help them gain greater food awareness. I love its ease of use, its flexibility, the huge food database, and the cost…FREE. It also allows you to opt for an upgraded option for $10 a month with access to more features. It syncs with some of the most popular fitness tracking devices such as the Fitbit that allow you to track your day-to-day fitness expenditure. Many of my clients love the convenience of having their food and fitness all come together through one simple tool.

(Want to learn how to stay on track with your health journey? Join my private Facebook community HERE.

After working with hundreds of clients, I’ve discovered that there are a few features of MyFitnessPal that many clients just don’t know about.  I know there have to be thousands of others out there missing out on these same awesome features that will make its use much more simple.  These features can offer some reprieve from the tediousness of tracking in the beginning and are guaranteed to make your tracking more efficient. Not to mention, you may become an MFP expert and share these tips with others.

5 MyFitnessPal Tips to Make It Easier To Use

1. Turn It Sideways

When new clients begin with me, one of the areas they tend to struggle with is learning how to balance their meals.  I provide them with some general healthy eating goals in the beginning in order to help give them some guidance and targets.

This helps to provide them with a greater sense of balance throughout the day so they aren’t left feeling glutinous before bed, with too much food left, or starving from not enough food. Balanced meals also help improve satiation and regulate hormones throughout the day.

While looking at your diary, a quick turning of the phone sideways allows you to get a great view of the meal breakdown. You can see how many grams of each nutrient you took in or have planned for in order to work towards meal balance.

 

To get the meal break down view below.

2. Tap The Top Toolbar

I’ve noticed that I was spending so much time clicking several buttons to go between my diary and my daily totals.  Then viola — I discovered the most simple of all hidden features: the top toolbar tap. This quick tip allows you to move back and forth between your diary and nutrients views with one quick tap.

Simply tap the toolbar on your running totals for the day and it will take you right to your macronutrient goal screen.

Boom…You are welcome!

3. Change Your Diary Headings

Many of my clients have performance goals so we spend time working on nutrient timing and pre and post-workout ratios.  This might be my favorite option in MFP because it allows you to really zone in on where you are budgeting which macros. By naming meals specific to your goals, lifestyle or habits, you can assess where you are spending your macro budget.

You can change your diary meal descriptions from a desktop ONLY by going into the settings option.

 

Select “Diary Settings”

From there you can rename each meal description to your liking.  I like to have my clients add pre-workout and post-workout to the already existent breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Ultimately, it is up to you to select meal names that make this lifestyle, not a “diet.”

4. Copy Meals

Using MyFitnessPal can be tedious at first. I totally get it.

But utilizing some of the features geared toward efficiency, you can easily eliminate some of the tediousness.  One of those features is the ability to copy meals.  I use this feature often in many situations.

For example, I always over prepare dinner. I like to make more than enough at dinner to create lunch for the next day for both my husband and I.  I call it “double prep.”

The copy feature allows me to copy my dinner for tomorrow’s lunch. This saves me the time of having to enter each meal item again when I eat my leftovers for lunch. I love efficiency and planning ahead! Why reinvent the wheel? Copy and save yourself time and sanity.

I will walk you throw this step and many others in my FREE MFP Video tutorial HERE.

 

First, tap the small dots in the meal you wish to copy from.

 

Next, select the option “Copy From” or “Copy To.”

You will then select the meal you wish to copy to.

 

The copy feature also allows my husband to copy my meal into his diary. He can go into my diary and follow the same steps as above.  He can then adjust his portion sizes to fit his needs.  This is awesome if you are at a party or a friend who uses MFP has to input a recipe that you can copy into your own.  One note to remember is that you must be “friends” with the person you are copying from or to in order to access their meal diary.

Download my FREE video where I will show you how to setup MyFitnessPal for SUCCESS!

5. Create Recipes

Do you have a favorite morning coffee routine?  

A weekly go-to staple in your dinner rotation?  

MyFitnessPal allows you to create a recipe of your own so that you can enter it one time and utilize it over and over again.  This saves you time from entering each ingredient manually every time you enjoy it.

First, go to “Add Food”.

You will notice the recipe option on the far right.

Then select “Enter Ingredients Manually”

You will then type in your recipe information and the number of servings.

 

My example is a simple morning coffee combo that will serve 1.

I have a major morning coffee ritual.  I include several ingredients in my coffee including:

Coffee

1/4 Cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon pure Maple Syrup

1/3 teaspoon of Kerrygold Butter

1 Scoop Vital Proteins Collagen (this adds some protein and health benefits and is awesome).  You can read more about Vital Proteins here along with their awesome products.

Select “Add Ingredient”

 

You will then search for each ingredient that will be included in the recipe.  You will select each ingredient and confirm its nutritional validity. It will add that ingredient to the recipe along with the nutritional values.

 

Continue to add all ingredients and quantities for the recipe.

 

Once complete, you will be able to see all macronutrient values for the set serving size.

When the recipe is done you will be able to view the name, servings and all nutritional information to confirm its contents.

You will then notice it adds that recipe to your Recipe tab for future use.

You can also add recipes similarly from your desktop.

I hope these not-so-obvious MyFitnessPal tips help make your journaling experience even easier. You are already accomplishing the number one variable of nutritional success, accountability.

Using MyFitnessPal is an extremely valuable tool in food awareness but can be a bit overwhelming initially. Give yourself time to learn the technology and use these very simple MyFitnessPal tips to make your journey much more user-friendly.

Did I miss your favorite not-so-obvious feature on MFP?  Comment below and share!

Be sure to LISTEN to the Feel Amazing Naked Podcast HERE to get more content on your journey to be better.

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

This post may contain affiliate links to products I love, believe in and use every week.  By purchasing them through this link, I may receive a small commission.  I appreciate your support in continuing to support the addition of valuable content to my blog.

8 Tips To Help Hit Your Macros When Traveling

Spring is upon us and summer is right around the corner!

That means bring on the heat, no school schedules and vacation!!!  I have so many amazing memories from family trips when I was young and so many of them involved food.  As an adult, nothing is different…except that I am 35 now and still get just as giddy about traveling.  I no longer have the body nor the metabolism of a 16 year old.  So, I enjoy my food on vacation in a way that helps me stay on top of my nutrition game.

 

With so many of you heading out on trips for spring break and summer vacay, this blog post went to the top of my priority list.  Questions about how to eat healthy and stay on track during vacation is one of the top questions that I get from clients and followers.

I want you to know that you can travel, maintain your healthy lifestyle and fully enjoy vacation or or a work trip.

 

8 Tips To Help You Hit Your Macros When Traveling

1.Hit That Protein

The one macro nutrient I see most clients miss (myself included) while busy and traveling is protein.  Protein is key in fat loss (if that is your goal) and to maintain muscle growth and recovery.   You want to continue to support your hard work in both a resting and active metabolism by keeping protein up.

To help hit that protein here are some ideas:

Breakfast

Many hotels lack a great morning breakfast. It is usually a display of muffins, donuts, danishes that smell of sweet sugar and are fat ridden.  The one option they tend to have is egg.  I have a noticed a trend of hard boiled eggs.  In my opinion—even better.  On a recent trip I grabbed 4 HBE, scooped out 2 of the yolks (to save my fat options for a later meal) and easily hit roughly 20 grams of protein to start my morning.  If you plan to eat breakfast out, opt for an egg white omelet or ask for a ratio of yolks to whites that fit your goals.  For a side, ask for potatoes, fruit or a healthy carb that fits your craving.

Lunch

I am a fan of high quality lunch meat , rotisserie chicken or lean jerky.  They are easy to buy in measurable amounts and are easy to keep stored in a cooler or fridge. Tuna packs are also an easy and super high protein option.

Dinner

Dinner tends to be the meal I enjoy the most while on vacation.  It is the one meal I plan my day around.  Regardless, I opt for something that keeps protein up.  If I have tacos, I try for chicken.  If I have a gluten free pizza, I add sliced chicken breast and lots of veggies.  If we have an American style meal, I chose salmon or a nice lean steak.

Protein Shake Nightcap

If you find yourself still lacking protein at the end of the day, try a protein night cap of casein (slower digesting), whey or plant based to finish off your day.

 

Want these tips sent to your inbox?

2.Pack Snacks To Fill The Gaps

Snacks, snacks and more snacks are the key to keeping your intake dialed in.  Traveling, for work or pleasure, can disrupt your normal routine.  You might be so busy you forget to eat or so bored all you want to do IS eat.  Either way, if you have snacks at your fingertips that fit your goals…things will go much better.

Here are some great ideas:

  • Bars
  • Popcorn
  • Pop Chips
  • Deli Meat
  • Jerky
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Baby Food Squeeze Pouches
  • Oats
  • Trail Mix
  • Rice Rollers or cakes
  • Fruit
  • Fruit Leathers
  • Nut Butter Packets
  • Pre-cut veggies

 

3. Ask For A Frig

When you make your hotel reservation, ask for a refrigerator.  Many hotel rooms include one but others will deliver one to your room (for free) if not.  This makes for easy storage of your snacks and gives you a great in room breakfast option as well.

 

4. Plan Ahead For Your Meal(s) Out

On a normal day at home, I push my clients to spread their fats evenly throughout the day so that it helps maintain normal hormone function and helps them to feel full. If you really want to enjoy a higher end fat meal out, eat lean leading up to it.  Opt for an egg white omelet, an Americano over a whole milk latte, chicken breast at lunch, etc.  Although you may not be able to track while traveling, you are making the effort to manage your intake and maintain those goals.

 

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For It The Way You Want It

Some people are so worried to seem high maintenance when dining out.  They are afraid to ask questions or ask for substitutions.  You shouldn’t be.  It is your health and your dining experience that you are paying for.  I’ve personally had a head chef come to my table to say thank you for changing the way a meal was ordered to satisfy my gluten free needs.  When I went back, they had added that option to their menu!

Ask for it grilled or steamed instead of breaded, ask for less cheese or more cheese if you need it.  Ask what oil they use or if there is butter in the potatoes.  They may be apprehensive solely because the server may not have an immediate answer.

Asking questions helps you gain more experience and knowledge while eating out and helps you hit your target with more accuracy.

 

6. Think High Carb, Low Carb.

It is the yin and the yang. What I mean is if you go out and crush a stack of awesome pancakes for breakfast, then think about choosing a lower carb option for dinner.  It allows you to enjoy something you really want but keeps your intake average by opting for something lower in carb at the next meal.  If you don’t plan to track tightly this will at least prevent you from being way off target.

 

7. Be Reasonable With Adult Beverages

Big kid drinks, as we call them in our house, are part of the travel routine.  Those drinks however, can add up!  If you plan to enjoy them then you will have to sacrifice real food carbs for it.  If you plan to track alcohol then you will treat it as a carb.  For every 1 gram of carbohydrate consumed, the body uses 4 Kcal of energy to burn it.  If your adult beverage, let’s say a glass of red wine, has 120 cals then the total carbs consumed will be 30 grams.  That is 30grams of sweet potatoes you sacrifice in its place.  Enjoy them with caution and planning.

 

8. Accept Haphazard and Enjoy Yourself

It is vacation after all, you need to enjoy yourself.  Navigating through a trip with a heightened awareness of your macro intake is in most cases strides ahead of where my clients have ever been.  After vacations, many clients come back so thrilled with their ability to make great choices to support their goals without the feeling of missing out on vacation for food.  It doesn’t have to be perfect but awareness and loose tracking will leave you feeling great post-vacay rather than coming home with post-vacay food guilt.

 

Want more travel tips at your fingertips when you are on the road?

Download my 8 Tips To Help You Hit Your Macros On the Road Here

And look for my tips for tracking macros in Disneyland HERE.

What are your other strategies for success while traveling?

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

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Don’t Be Afraid To Be A Beginner

In second grade I remember being afraid to do a penny drop from the monkey bars because I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to look silly in front of my friends who could nail the penny drop. For those of you who don’t know, a penny drop is when you hang upside down from the monkey bars by your knee pit (yes, it is a word) then plummet to earth while rotating one hundred eighty degrees to land on your feet.

So, do you know what I did?  

I played soccer, tetherball, basketball, and completely avoided the monkey bars. To this day, I’ve never learned how to do a penny drop and honestly, I regret it. I was afraid. Afraid to fail and afraid to admit that I was a beginner and needed help. I have been afraid of this my entire life. In fact, I am a bit afraid even writing about it because I am admitting it for the world to know and that feels nauseating.

Self Realization

I realized a few years ago this has been a theme my whole life.  I’ve always wanted to seem like I knew what I was doing.  Not because I wanted to impress anyone but because I was afraid to admit that I didn’t know.  That if I admitted I didn’t know someone would think I was a failure.  And one of the things I hate most in life…failing.

This self-realization came when I began to CrossFit.  I know what you are thinking, not another CrossFit obsessive story. But just hear me out…

Crossfit is humbling. You essentially try a whole bunch of new movements that your body has never done for consecutive days and realize that the athlete you thought you were, has left you. Your body is expected to move in ways it never has and do it efficiently, effectively, and gracefully.

I was none of those things in the beginning. So, I became obsessed. I wanted to be good at every single movement — in fact, I wanted to be the best. I was a runner, a cardio queen, but not a weightlifter. So, I practiced at home and stayed at the gym extra hours to increase my skill level. I began to throw more weight on the bar in an effort to compete with the best with total sacrifice of correct technique. And I did that for a long time. Until I realized, I wasn’t really getting better. In fact, I hit a huge plateau. I had been lifting at the same weight for months and I had no idea why. So I worked harder with the same ugly technique and got nowhere.

Then it came to me.  I had sacrificed technique, the foundation, the beginning, in an effort to compete. I had to change something in order to overcome this stagnation.

That something was admitting I was a beginner.

Starting Over

I needed to start over, from the ground up, and retrain my bad habits. I had to put my pride aside, admit my faults, and become a beginner by taking some big steps back before I could move forward.

Can you relate?  Have you been in this place in life before?

It isn’t easy. It is an ego check and honestly embarrassing.  To top it off I am a CrossFit coach. I needed a coach with more knowledge than I had at lifting to coach me, a coach.

When I had this epiphany about myself, I began to reflect at similar situations in my life. I began to identify the moments and opportunities that I missed out on because I wasn’t willing to be a beginner. I wasn’t willing to admit I didn’t know because my pride was too big to admit I didn’t. I’d missed out on learning more in college because sometimes I felt like I knew the content so well, when in fact I didn’t truly deeply understand.

I missed out on being a better mom at times because I often felt like I had mastered certain stages of their life, when in fact I hadn’t (and still haven’t). I missed out on being a better wife because I didn’t want to admit to my husband that I was a beginner when it came to truly, authentically, connecting to his needs. There are more, many more that I know I could list.

And then, I realized that I couldn’t be a Varsity player if I didn’t have JV skills.

So I made changes. I didn’t want to continue through life this way and more importantly, I needed to show my kids that you have to start from the beginning to get to the top. I was at a turning point in my career and in my life and I knew I needed to fully embrace the beginning to become who I wanted to be in the end.

(Want to be a beginner and learn to stay on track with your health journey? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

So…

I began to do more yoga to give mobility to muscles that were the foundation for movement.

I’d begun to break my lifts into parts before I could work on the whole.

I began to read more to discover truths not just hearsay.

I’d ask other moms what worked for them because I don’t have all the answers.

I began to resist the urge to say “I know” in situations where I really didn’t.

To really dig in and learn, I began to take more classes to learn from people whose experience could add so much value to my life.

I began to look inward and study spirituality.

I began to surround myself with people who really know more than me because I needed their presence in my life to make me better.

To fail on myself would be the best gift of experience I could have, so I began to experiment on my body and try new things.

I began to try to just simply be a better listener.

I began to be more intentional and present.

And the best part…I began to learn things I would have otherwise missed out on because I was afraid to be a beginner.

When I stopped trying to always be “advanced” I realize that being a beginner was awesome. I began to see growth in my life, in my strength, in my heart and in me as a person.

I love when people come to me and admit they too are beginners. That they are beginners in understanding how to fuel their bodies and allow me the opportunity to guide them in that journey.  Together we learn and each time I have the opportunity to be a beginner with them.

“Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at your life in order to take a step forward and move on in it” -Rashida Rowe

Don’t be afraid to be a beginner.  Checking your pride at the door and really admitting you don’t know opens up so many opportunities for growth in mind, body, and spirit. I still wrestle with that internal habit to say “I know.” But now I am aware and work to strangle that urge (most of the time) before it is spoken.

I encourage you to be a beginner too.

Are you nervous to be a beginner? What would make it easier for you?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Why Food Quality Does Matter

You are part of a food chain.  In fact, you’re a part of many of them, also known as a food web. This is a concept I taught to my freshmen biology students for years. We tend to think of ourselves as stand-alone species because we are at the top of that food web and access to food can be extremely easy and passive. Because we are at the top, we get all the good stuff, AND bad stuff, from the bottom up.

 

Here is what I mean by that.

Plants take up their nutrients from the soil, water, and the sun. Then small consumers eat those plants, larger animals eat those smaller animals and then we humans eat them all.

Starting to catch on? (I know it is hard to think way back to high school biology).

The quality of all those organisms and the micronutrients they take in affects our food quality. That is exactly why quality DOES matter. Quality isn’t just what food looks like. In grocery stores today, vegetables and fruit have been covered in pesticides to make them last longer before they rot. The grocery stores also want them to look prettier to the eye during the selection process. But food quality has a far greater significance than what the eye can actually see.

(Want to fuel your body with the best food for you so you can live a healthier lifestyle? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

But there are a few rules of thumb to think about when addressing quality in regard to produce.

Eat Less Processed Food

Quality foods are unprocessed, unpackaged, and unrefined.  They are “all-natural”. These foods should make up the bulk of your diet. I don’t care what research study you read. Food quality is key to any long lasting, nutrient-rich diet. If you could do one thing to change your life, all you have to do is eat less processed food.  I am not gonna lie, this is a hard one.

Processed is quick and tastes oh so good. When you step away from consuming it you will rekindle your tastes buds for real foods. It takes true effort to make it happen but there is no price tag on its value. Make baby steps it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

To Buy Organic or Not To?

Is “Organic” really all that it is cracked up to be when buying produce?  Yes and no. I have general knowledge about labeling requirements for organic foods but I actually went to the USDA’s website to educate myself a bit more too. For produce to be certified organic it must:

“…demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using only approved substances.”

So essentially it must be good for Mother Earth and better for human consumption with lots of grey in between.

But I really wanted to know — is it worth my money?

In my opinion, yes. Here is why: In a 2012 study researchers concluded that the risk of chemical contamination from pesticides in traditional produce they surveyed was five times greater than organic produce.  In a second study, another group of researchers concluded that organic produce contained a far greater amount of antioxidant benefits and fewer heavy metals. I don’t know about you, but that is enough for me to be more aware of my food selections and choose organic when appropriate.

The Dirty Dozen

A great rule of thumb is if it has a thick skin around it, you can likely pass on buying organic. That is because the skin acts as a protective barrier to lessen harmful chemical exposure.  If you plan to eat the skin then opt for organic.

Avoid the dirty dozen from the main fruit and veggies section and invest in buying these few things organic. You can check the list of dirty dozen foods here.

Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

There are so many choices at the grocery store that I can see the glazed look come over some shoppers faces. We all want to feed our children the best foods we can.  I know our grandma grew up eating butter and lard and she is still doing awesome.

But here is the deal…Grandma’s produce didn’t face the agricultural tactics that our food faces now.  We have to be mindful in our food selections and not settle for the “My grandma ate it and so will I” thought process. One such tactic is genetically modified foods.

What are genetically modified foods or GMOs?

These are foods whose DNA has been significantly altered to try to create herbicide tolerance or another helpful trait to make that crop more apt for survival.  For example, a wheat plant might be injected with genes from a bacteria in the ground that is resistant to a specific weed killer.  This tolerance allows the plant to grow without being susceptible to destruction from that weed killer.  Except for the U.S. and Canada, all other developed countries do not allow their use.

Why do they matter to you?

They are harmful to us because the effects of modifying organisms’ DNA is damaging.  Because these crops are highly resistant to herbicides, they tend to have a higher than average chemical exposure.  And remember — we are at the top of the food chain. What they are made of is what we are made of. Look for the Non-GMO label on your foods to guarantee their safety. Here are some great tips from Whole foods on how to shop for non-GMOs.

My role as a nutrition coach often focuses on healthy eating and living. Choosing how to fuel your body can be completely overwhelming because of so many choices. Plus, it always seems like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are calling your name (ok, well my name too) at every turn.

My ultimate goal is to educate you (and educate myself along the way too) to make choices that will benefit you and your family a lifetime. Knowledge is power!

Keep it up — you are doing great things! Just with these few simple rules, you’ll be an expert at food quality in no time.

Do you think about quality when buying produce?

Work Hard, Be Kind

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Daily Grubb Diary #2

Dang — I swear I blinked and it was 2017. My first daily grub diary was well received and gave people some simple ideas that they can incorporate into their day.  So, here I go again, sharing me getting my grub on.

Gimme All The Food

Since November 1st I have been working toward being in a surplus on intake or “massing” phase (at least that is the cool way of saying it).  Really it is just a purpose-driven phase of weight gain, not an “eat all the Oreos you can” kind of weight gain. I am lifting much more and doing much less cardio to try and gain muscle in the process.

It has been awesome and perfect time around the holidays when life is a bit crazy for sure.  So far, I am up 7 pounds from my starting weight and working for another few, nice and controlled. I eat a lot and I love it. It won’t always be this way, but I look forward to what the pay off will be on the flip side. So here’s what I ate today for weight gain.

(Want to make healthier choices with your food? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

What I Ate In A Day, Monday, January 2nd, 2017

5:00 Am Wakeup and Pre-Workout:

I was up early this morning to start my lifting before coaching so my normal routine was a bit interrupted. Usually, my breakfast serves as my pre-workout as well. I don’t typically train early so today I ate something small to top off my tank but not upset my belly.

Today it was leftover Krusteaz Gluten Free Pancakes. We have a Sunday morning tradition of a big family breakfast as my hubby is coming off shift and the start of our weekend begins. I lucked out with some leftover pancakes — yes! On top of them, I spread a current addiction of mine, the Wildfriends Pumpkin Peanut Butter that a friend introduced me to. So good! And both were perfect for a pre-workout carb up! And of course, I enjoyed my usual morning coffee. Before I left the house I put out chicken breasts to defrost to keep me on track for dinner time.

 

 

 

Post Workout Snack

After my lifting session, I took my normal whey protein shake and topped it off with a go-to of mine… baby food. I know, weird right? But it is so simple, great quality, and easy if I have to work or coach right after I lift. That morning I had one of my favorites, Happy Baby Spinach, Apples and Kale flavor.

 

 

 

Snack #2

I never leave home without snacks. It’s not just for my kids, but for me too. Ask my husband (and my parents), I go from zero to HANGRY real fast. A few hours into coaching I was starving and got in a quick snack, an Rx Bar. I love these bars. Simple ingredients like dates, some type of nut(s) and egg whites are all they’re made up of.  The Chocolate Sea Salt and Maple are my favorite.  (Click here to check out the awesome variety pack on Amazon).

 

Lunch

Finally. It was lunchtime! I have been on a major sushi kick lately. I crave it all the time, so naturally, I can’t deprive my body. I just need the Omega 3s. I love a local sushi restaurant that offers some great lunch specials. I opted for the Bento Box on this day which included 2 pieces of tuna sashimi, 2 pieces of salmon sashimi, a 5 (huge) piece California Roll, 3 oz Teriyaki chicken, seaweed salad and cucumber salad. It was AMAZING!

 

 

 

 

 

Just as a note: You shouldn’t have to be a victim to the scale and you shouldn’t ignore your goals either. I eat out now and then and use my food awareness to help me make my food choices. I know both the consequence and the reward of eating out now and then…and I am content with accepting both at the right time.

Dinner

I was in desperate need of doing some grocery shopping after the holidays, so I had to get creative with what I had at home. I opted for a new recipe I wanted to make after trying it a New Year’s Eve party. It was Gluten Free Girl’s Brussel Sprout Salad and I happened to have the sprouts and just got a few fresh pomegranates from a friend.

It was incredible, and so delicious. I dialed down some of the olive oil in the dressing and passed on the cheese this time and it was still super good. Along with the salad, I browned a few chicken breasts in a pan with garlic and spices and opted for some Earthbound Sweet Potatoes I had in my freezer.  The whole meal turned out so good and the kids and hubby loved it just as much as I did. I seriously love when I have to get creative with what’s at home and then they all love it!

 

 

 

So there it is. Just another day in the life of me, seeking balance and trying to fuel my body. It is never perfect but each day is mindful, consistent, and different than the next. Variety is the spice of life —literally!

What are your favorite healthy options when eating out?

Work Hard, Be Kind,

AWalk

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What 35 years of experience has taught me…

I turn 35 this week.

I normally don’t care much for my birthday. In all honesty, celebrating and making a big commotion about it has never been my thing. I’m not a “birthday month” or even a “birthday week” kinda girl. I like low key, being with my family, and still having my mom make my birthday meal (and I know she loves it too).

I grew to appreciate my birthday, more for my parents, after having my own children. The birth of my own children was the most significant day of my life and I can empathize with their feelings on my own birthday.

This year has felt different.  I still don’t need a birthday week or a month, but this year I do want to celebrate. The 35th year of my life has provided me so much growth that I feel like I am beginning anew in my 36th year of life.

Here’s what 35 years of experience has taught me…

Read More

I’ve learned to invest time in reading. I never read much as a child or even as a student, only the things I really had to. Reading continues my path towards lifelong learning, it sets me up as an example to my children, and it helps me to cultivate my craft as a mom, as a wife, as a daughter, a friend, a coach and as a human.

Fill My Soul, Not My Calendar

I’ve learned to say NO. Quite honestly, it was one of the greatest gifts of knowledge I’ve learned this year. It feels liberating to say no to things that weren’t my absolute best yes. To say no to things that wouldn’t leave me walking away from any richer in mind, in conversation, or in spirit is freeing.

A quote from a book I read this year by Lysa TerKeurst entitled “Best Yes” still remains a constant reminder of this:

“The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live determines how you spend your soul.”

Be OK With Being Uninvited

35 years of experience has taught me to be thankful to be uninvited at times. I spent so many years with heartbreak from not being included, from being left out and from feeling less than.  I am done with that and I am moving on with gratitude for a far less busy schedule.

Slow Down

I’ve learned to slow down. To get on the floor and build legos, color, bake, and not rush through the day trying to always accomplish my “to-do” list. I’ve learned to actually sit and snuggle with my husband while we watch a movie instead of doing laundry or making a shopping list. Tomorrow is a new day and some things will just have to wait.

Invest in Me

I’ve learned to invest in self-growth. To read books and talk to people who challenge my perspective, who make me answer the hard questions — the ones you struggle to answer honestly to yourself. vvI’ve taken time to not just do for the sake of “doing,” but really try my best to act intentionally.

Eat Quality Foods

This isn’t something that really just happened this year. But in taking my business to social media, it has really made my passion for sharing it even bigger. Spare no expense for quality foods in your life.

Set Goals

I’ve learned to set goals. To physically write them down and cross them off my list. If you don’t hold yourself accountable, nobody else will. It doesn’t matter if you are 13, 35, or 61, you must have goals to keep you young at heart, to keep your brain active and to never allow your life to become stagnant.

(Want to set and actually reach your health goals? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Find Beauty in Simplicity

I’ve learned that I may never know how to contour my makeup or know the best beauty tricks, or how to coordinate the best outfits. It just simply isn’t me. I used to feel like this made me less of a woman. But now I realize I just have different priorities. I’ve always loved t-shirts, jeans, and cut-offs. I am simple, not fancy, and I’ve finally found beauty in that.

Know My Why

The moment I feel like I am floundering, I have begun to realize it’s the moment I’ve lost my “why”. I’ve learned I have to have a “why” to drive my passion or life gets idle. Find your drive and your reason, and when you do, things move in the direction of your heart.

Get Out of My Comfort Zone

This was my motto last year and will continue to drive me to the peak of the mid-30s. Nothing extraordinary comes from being comfortable. It feels good and safe but you never grow from it. I’ve done things this year that literally made me almost vomit from nerves and then I felt so empowered after.

I’ve grown my small business and taken it to social media, I’ve put my face on live video for thousands of people to critique, I’ve written and shared things that I can barely say out loud. And it all feels so dang amazing. The greatest growth really has happened outside my cozy place.

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I’ve learned to do what makes me happy. Period.

Eat More Burgers

I used to hate them and I have no idea why. Burgers have become my soul food. I’ve learned to enjoy them more.

Lift Heavy

I’ve learned that not doing cardio won’t kill me. I love running and met-cons more than anybody. But, I’ve learned that getting strong, adding muscle, being bulkier, and lifting heavier than I ever have is pretty darn gratifying too.

Accept the Mess

I’ve learned that it is okay to have a messy house.  If there are dust bunnies on the shelves, dishes in the sink, and laundry in baskets that’s okay. I have more important things to do.

Narrow My Circle

I’ve learned to narrow my circle. I just can’t be everything to everybody and nor can they to me. The definition of friend has evolved for me and is a title I use less willingly these days. I need friends who support me, who are honest, and who will call me out when I need it. Those friends are hard to find and thus, my circle has shrunk.

Be a Beginner

I’ve learned that it is okay to be a beginnere and to admit that I don’t know. This is a hard pill to swallow for me. Surrounding myself with people who have more experience in life than I have will only bring more value to who I am as a person. Going back to the beginning is sometimes necessary.

Pack His Lunch

I’ve learned that packing my husband’s lunch brings me peace.  I know it’s random, but it is one of the only ways I feel like I can prepare him for battle. When he leaves the house, sometimes I feel so empty and unsure, but if I know I helped him be ready in some way then he will come home safe to us.

I’ve learned that mortality is real.  For years I’ve ignored it.  I no longer can.

Accept Food as Food

I’ve learned that food is not who I am. I’ve found a balance in my nutritional life and I will never be able to help all people find that place. In the meantime, I hope to help as many people who will let me.

(Ready to fix your relationship with food? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Put Family First

I’ll admit, there are times in my life both as a child and an adult that I put my family second. That I may have chosen a social event with a friend over quality time with family. That just won’t happen anymore.

Turn Off the Radio

I’ve learned to turn the music off in the car and talk. Our driving time is sometimes some of the perfect moments to truly hear what is going on in the minds of my children. As they get older, I know this time will become even more valuable and scarce.

Question Authenticity

I’ve learned that I can no longer subscribe to “fluffy.” Invest in confronting things that aren’t real. I can’t preach it to my kids if I don’t do it myself. Take time to stand up for what you believe in and for those that don’t have the courage or the confidence to do it for themselves. I am finding peace in quality over quantity in so many ways.

I Accept That I’m Far From Perfect

35 years of experience has taught me that even though I’ve learned all of these things, that I am far from perfect. I wasn’t always okay with not being perfect. I liked being perfect, being first, being the best, and all those other totally OCD Type A personality traits (I know you know them too).  But the moment I accepted I will never be perfect was the moment life started to be REAL.

Cheers to 35 years of experience that I have gained, that I can share and that I can only hope my friends, my family, and my children will come to know as well.

What are some lessons you’ve learned in your life?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

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13 Tips To Stay On Track During The Holidays

I love the holidays. Okay, well, most of the holidays.

Some I would be perfectly happy skipping over.  But Thanksgiving and Christmas, those are my jam!  I love the feel of fall and winter. It brings about an emotional shift in me. Being an Arizona native, winter is but a small part of our year, so I embrace it fully.

As a mom, I’ve come to notice that the seasons begin to change at a perfect time. Just when we are sick of living in swimsuits and sunscreen, the weather begins to cool. Then, just as the fall has us on the edge of our seats waiting for freezing temperatures and cozy nights wrapped in blankets with Christmas stories and hot cocoa, winter emerges.

What the holiday season also brings is every single one of your favorite holiday treats and temptations. They are usually in every corner at work, dropped off by your super sweet retired neighbor (you know you have one), and on every grocery store end cap. It takes some serious willpower to turn away and say no to those once a year temptations. I know there are a million “How To Navigate The Holidays” guides out there. Many are awesome.  But many are lacking one thing.

stay on track during the holidays

Reality Of Life

What many holiday guides are missing is the reality of life. The reality that our real focus should be the other 360 ish days of the year where consistency truly matters. Don’t allow five holidays turn into three months of spillover from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to Super Bowl Sunday. I know these holidays are a special time to spend time with family and friends and enjoy those specialties.  But let’s be honest here — real results come with year-round consistency and not the willpower to say no to some of grandma’s “Christmas Crack” brittle (I know you know what I am talking about). Those things make me thankful I am gluten-free and can’t eat them.

I know darn well that most of my clients, and for that matter, most of the world, will indulge during the holidays.  Whether you’re trying to eat more wholesome food, or if you’re just hoping to not gain those few magical pounds of the season, I know you can follow my simple advice to get there.

With planning, education, knowledge, and flexibility, I know those that want to maintain their nutritional goals can maintain that mindset all year long. You can stay on track during the holidays, even when Aunt Ruth drops off her infamous holiday pumpkin roll (holy crap that thing is good!).

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

13 Tips To Stay On Track During The Holidays

There are many easy ways to navigate your holiday with nutritional success. In fact, this list of do’s and don’ts is really a great lesson for all year round at those special events and social gatherings.

Here are my tips to help you stay on track during the holidays.

Do: Turn that “big meal” into just another meal.

In fact, have that small meal twice if you want. There is no reason to eat yourself to oblivion for one meal. Eat a small serving of the dishes you enjoy. Allow yourself and your body some time to digest and truly appreciate flavor and taste. Then, allow yourself to go back and have a second small serving if you still have the desire later on in the day. You will feel better with smaller portions and are less likely to overeat.

Do: Have food awareness of portion size. 

Be aware of the portion sizes of your food. If you aren’t familiar with the correct portion sizes you should be eating, familiarize yourself so you don’t feel the need to bust out the scale at Grandma’s house.

Do: Serve things separate.

If a recipe calls for cheese or pecans, try serving them next to the dish rather than on top. This will allow you and your guests to have better control of intake. Super bonus is that they can also create a dish they will enjoy more instead of picking off things they don’t love. It’s a win for everybody!

Don’t: Overindulge in creamy casseroles.

Cheese, heavy creams, and butter can make that unhealthy fat intake soar. I get it, creamy casseroles are delicious. But don’t sacrifice your hard work (and health) by going overboard! Fat is a good thing, but too much can be a bad thing!

Do: Plan for hidden sources of fat.

You won’t be in control of every entree or side dish you eat. So plan for those hidden sources of fat and make decisions accordingly.

Don’t: Expect yourself to say no to every treat.

Wine and great conversation will be flowing and pretty soon all inhibitions are gone and so is the entire pumpkin cheesecake. Be honest and realize you will want something sweet to top off that amazing meal. Plan ahead for it!

Do: Plan ahead for the things you really want to enjoy.

Don’t lie to yourself and say you won’t enjoy a treat. Plan ahead and commit to a small serving, nothing more. This will also give you something to look forward to.

Don’t: Fly by the seat of your pants.

If you have a mental plan for the things at the top of your list that you want to enjoy, you will navigate the meal with greater success. You will have a plan on things that you should likely avoid and can serve yourself things that best support your goals. Know your food boundaries and decide ahead of time on the foods you plan to pass over to support your goals.

Do: Eat more protein.

Most people don’t take in enough protein on a day-to-day basis. This variable is even further magnified at a holiday meal when dishes are usually packed with carbohydrates and fat, and protein is scarce.  Make sure protein is present on your plate. Plus, who doesn’t love those Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey and hams?

Don’t: Drink your calories. 

Alcohol not only has hidden calories but it lowers your inhibitions, and with it, your food awareness.  Enjoy a few drinks, nice and slow, along with your meal.

Do: Have a hearty and lean breakfast. 

Before the big event, have a hearty and lean breakfast you aren’t starving beforehand. Being conservative in consumption leading up to a big meal is good but being HANGRY will leave you eating everything! Have a large omelet with egg whites, lots of veggies, lean Canadian Bacon and berries on the side to start your day off in the right direction.

Do: Bring a dish or dishes you know YOU can enjoy.  

If you are a guest at a house whose cooking may be on the heavy side, contribute by bringing along dishes that fit your needs like some bacon brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, or other roasted root veggies. You can even bring something like a fall salad. You’d be surprised at how many people want in on something light that makes them feel good and helps fill their tummies!

Don’t: Miss out on the celebration because you are lost in accuracy.  

Here is the reality, there is a difference in going into a meal with an “I don’t care” attitude versus being “food aware.” Find balance in the holiday and your goals so you end the night with a “Heck ya—I had a great time and enjoyed every bite of my food” rather than major food guilt. At the end of the day, you deserve to treat yourself and have a good time. And you don’t have to sacrifice your goals to do that.

True Results

True results come from the effort you make day-to-day. It isn’t one holiday or one meal that will make or break you, but the consistency you have day-to-day and the food awareness you have in social situations that yields true results. It is enjoying that special day. But it’s also having the knowledge and willpower to make that one day remain just that, one day.

Enjoy your holiday, find balance and then set yourself right back up for success the day after. If you are ready to make changes to your nutrition this holiday season, check out my favorite gifts for a nutrition newbie or nut (like me).

What do you do to stay on track with your nutritional goals during the holidays?

Work Hard Be Kind,

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Ready to kickstart your nutritional transformation?  Click below to start now!

My Daily Grub Diary #1

I am only one person in a sea of people on a quest to live a healthy lifestyle. If you would have told me ten years ago that I would own my own nutritional coaching business I would have thought you were CRAZY! But somehow all the planets aligned and have led me to this place. It is an awesome place to be to have the opportunity to sincerely change lives. Not just by helping people lose weight or to set a personal record in the gym. But to be able to shift a person’s food mindset into a healthy place is the greatest gratification.

A frequent question I get from clients is “What do you eat each day?”. I am an open book when it comes to what I eat, although I do have hesitations about sharing because I don’t want someone to judge their current place in their own nutritional journey against the one I’ve been leading for years. The piece that I really do think is valuable is the logic, the timing, and the meal combinations that go into a day’s worth of meals. I am simple, nothing overly gourmet. I love to make and eat just plain, simple, real food.

So these requests inspired me to share “My Daily Grub Diary”, or a what I eat daily, to help people better understand that planning, preparing, and being what I call “food aware” is completely doable. Whether you have been on a health journey for years or are just looking for ideas on how to eat more clean, my what I eat daily blog posts are for you.

I also think it is important to know where I am in my nutritional journey. I’m currently eating for strength. I am slowly increasing my intake in a controlled fashion to build muscle, strength, and scale weight. My training consists of 4 strength sessions and 2 conditioning sessions per week (in a perfect #momlife world). I am just a mom trying to achieve my nutritional goals and keep my sanity.

(Ready to stop putting your health on the backburner? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

What I Eat Daily: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

P.S. I chose a Wednesday to show you that in my most crazy day of the week, I nailed my nutrition goals.

4:30 am – Wake up

Yes, I get up between 4:30 and 5 am every single day. The only day I don’t wake up this early is Sunday. I’ll sometimes sleep until 6:30 am then. I work a part-time job from home, run my own small business, and write for my blog. Needless to say, I have a large to-do list. Early mornings are my quiet time to put in a few hours of work or reading before my kiddos wake up and Mommy duty calls. When I wake up, I try my best to down a full glass of water to start my day with a little hydration.

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Next — coffee time! I really didn’t even start liking coffee until after I had kids. It must have been survival mode inspired. It is a treat in my day and I’d chose my coffee version any day over Starbucks.  I usually prepare my own latte with coffee, milk, butter, and a bit of maple syrup.

7:30 am – Breakfast

My breakfast often doubles as my pre-workout meal. I typically try and eat breakfast with my kiddos and then head to the gym after I drop them off. I cooked up 1 egg and 1 additional egg white, over medium, to go on top of hash browns. There are few things better for breakfast in my opinion than a runny yolk over potatoes! I also had a few strawberries on the side.

While I made breakfast for us, I also threw 3 pounds of chicken breast with some simple chicken broth, salt, pepper, and fresh garlic into the Crockpot to cook on low all day. Wednesday is gymnastics and football practice for my family, so I make sure my meals are simple and easy for our quick turnaround between activities.

8:30 am – Pre Workout Snack

I love being able to squeeze in a pre-workout snack with some good fat and carbs. I try to choose the most wholesome and quick option as possible. One of my favorite options is an apple cinnamon Larabar. I was hungry already and knew I’d starve during training if I didn’t have some good fats on board. Since I am in a strength gaining phase, I will take fat before a workout. If I were more into a weight loss or maintenance mode, I would personally avoid fat around workouts altogether.

Post Workout

This is the time that I usually prefer to take something in a liquid form. It gets back into the bloodstream a bit faster and falls into that “magic” window.  I usually ha ave ½ serving of my whey protein, 14 grams, shake mixed with 6 oz or so of water. I also try and have some type of fast acting carbohydrates. Today I had planned for a banana and then totally left it sitting on my counter. Luckily I dug through my gym bag and found a fruit leather that I keep on hand for my kids! BOOM! It was my lucky day.

Lunch

After I workout, I typically have my next meal an hour or so afterward.  Today, I was craving a turkey burger. That’s the great thing about healthy eating. I can have whatever I want, and not feel guilty about it because I make a few changes to fit my lifestyle and goals. Anyway, I browned my turkey burger in a skillet with a light spray of olive oil and ate it on top of fresh greens. On the side, I made ¼ cup of white rice.

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Afternoon Snack

Today is a crazy transition from school to gymnastics to football.  I planned for my Afternoon Pick Me Up Shake to have on the road.  It is the perfect combination of macros and a little afternoon “sweet” treat to help me get through the rest of the day, without the crankiness.

Dinner

Tonight my Crockpot chicken turned into buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potatoes. It had to be something fast before football practice. I microwaved 2 large sweet potatoes for the family to share. Once soft and cooked throughout, I piled on my shredded chicken and topped with buffalo sauce and a bit of Greek Yogurt. We also had a side of greens.

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Bedtime Snack

When my kiddos go to bed, my hubby and I settle in for a little Netflix and chill, or I’ll use the time to work again. I look forward to a snack at this time of night. Tonight it was a brown rice cake, 1 tablespoon organic peanut butter, and my current obsession — pumpkin butter!

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This gives you an idea of one day, in the scope of many, of how I balance my intake at mealtimes, around workouts, for snacks, and amidst the crazy schedule, we keep! It takes effort in planning but comes with great reward.

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk