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Homemade Nut Butter: The Best Cashew Pecan Butter

I have a slight obsession with nut butter

Some form of nut butter makes a daily appearance in my menu line-up.  I love it with fruit, in my oatmeal or straight from the jar on a spoon (which can be really dangerous).  Take a look at it in action below.

Nuts are an amazing way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet necessary for great hormone function and energy supply. The taste is just a lucky byproduct.

This nut butter recipe may change your life. I am not joking, it really is that delicious. You are going to make it and swear that the sugar fairy dumped loads of sweetness in there when you weren’t looking.

But Pecans…WOW!  Their nutty sweetness really comes through when you emulsify them. Pecans, paired with cashews and a few spices make what many of my friends refer to as “Nut Butter Crack”, but it’s just my favorite nut butter — cashew pecan butter!

Homemade Cashew-Pecan Butter

 

Cashew Pecan Butter

This naturally sweet and creamy nut butter is sure to be a staple in your fridge.  It's made with 4 simple ingredients and pairs perfectly with your favorite piece of fruit or as a party dip.

Course Snack
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups Pecans
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place pecans and cashews in a food processor. (I have a 14 cup Cuisinart and use that thing all the time.)

  2. Lock lid in place and begin to blend for roughly 2-3 minutess.

  3. Stop blending and use a spatula to mix butter that has begun to stick to the sides as well as the oil that has begun to form at the center.


  4. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Put the lid back on and mix for another 2 minutes.


  5. Repeat step 3.

  6. Blend for another 2 minutes. Butter should be warm and a bit runny.

  7. Pour nut butter into a Mason jar or other storage container and store in the refrigerator.

If you’re a big fan of nut butter like I am, you really need to give this cashew pecan butter a try. The perfect amount of sweetness, the perfect nuttiness, an oh so smooth and creamy. Just make sure not to eat it spoonful by spoonful (although it wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do)!

Looking for my more macro friendly AND real food recipes?

Click HERE to download the entire book!

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

backrack

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.

Coffeeandfrother-tiny

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

5 Main Benefits of Collagen To Your Health

This post may contain affiliate links.

Clients, friends, and family often ask me how they can increase protein in their diet.  I love to try and get my protein from a variety of sources. Each type of protein offers a varying list of amino acid profiles, each rich in their own unique benefit to the body. One of my favorite sources of protein is through collagen or collagen hydrolysate.

So what is collagen?

Collagen is a crucial and abundant protein in our body responsible for making up connective tissue, skin, hair, and nails.  In fact, collagen makes up about a third of the body’s protein content. It’s actually one of the building blocks of the human body. Not only can it help improve your health, both below and above the surface, but it’s also been known to increase your “glow”. It’s a pretty versatile protein. When boiled down, it turns into a gelatinous substance. That substance can then be dehydrated and used to create a powder or liquid form. So in essence, there are many benefits of collagen to your health.

If you are on a journey for better health, take a listen to this episode of the Feel Amazing Naked Podcast that shares the single most underused tool that I believe will help you lose weight and create lasting change.

Collagen as a supplement

As we age, collagen production in our bodies slows down (say what?!?!). Joints and muscles become weak, skin sags and well, you get the rest… we get old! A collagen supplement can offer an increase in the body’s own diminishing supply. I decided to try collagen as a daily supplement for my husband who has a history of abuse from years of football injuries. He wanted a “bonus” for his joints and I was up for the research and discovery too.

5 benefits of collagen

There are so many benefits of collagen. But here are the top 5 reasons why collagen may be a great supplement to your day.

Anti-Inflammatory

Collagen is high in the amino acid glycine, which has anti-inflammatory effects in the body. A recent study found (1), among many other benefits, that glycine acts against inflammatory cells of the body and stops their reproduction.

Due to this, it can also promote a healthy gut. And a healthy gut is a happy gut. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, or if you have digestive health issues, collagen may be able to help.

Helps Build Muscles

For athletes, collagen helps promote natural creatine production for post workout muscle growth as well as arginine for increased muscle mass. So if you’re bodybuilding, or just looking to build some baby muscles, add collagen to your routine!

Increases Your Skin’s Elasticity

Elasticity is when you can stretch your skin and it returns back to its normal state afterward. As we age, it’s common for the skin to lose elasticity, also known as elastosis. Unfortunately, Elastosis could be worse in people who spend a lot of time in the sun. So if you’ve spent time sunbathing, playing outside sports, or working a job that requires you to be outside often, you may have noticed Elastosis more than normal.

Collagen has been proven to actually increase skin’s elasticity. In another collagen study (2), subjects given an oral collagen supplement showed a measurable difference in skin elasticity in only 4 weeks of ingestion.

Increased Bone Density

Collagen supplementation has also been linked (3) to increase bone density and the proliferation of more bone creating cells.

Reduced Joint Pain

One of the biggest benefits of collagen that I’ve noticed, especially for my husband who has suffered from joint injury/pain, is the supplement’s potential to reduce joint pain. (4) It worked for my husband, and it has been beneficial as a part of his routine. So it may work for you!

Which collagen is the best?

I’ve tried many collagen supplements.  Many have done awesome and a few have fallen short. When it comes to collagen, quality matters and Vital Proteins fits my requirements: high quality, no fillers, and a reasonable price point.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is my supplement pick.  It is high quality and is cold soluble so it doesn’t get too gooey when cold. I love to put a scoop (10 grams) in my morning coffee or in my afternoon pick-me-up shake for a protein boost.  It is odorless and tasteless but carries some amazing properties you should be benefiting from too.

 

There are collagen creamers too!

Vital must have heard our love of collagen as a protein boost in coffee because they answered by creating new creamers.  Each creamer is slightly flavored and still packs the benefits (including protein) of their regular collagen.  The bonus is a bit of flavor added from natural ingredients and MCTs, a brain healthy fat source. And while the benefits of collagen would outweigh any negative flavor or texture (at least for me), it’s nice to know that there are some delicious options!

 

 

Collagen Beauty Greens

Another product that I love from Vital is their Collagen Beauty Greens. At a much higher price point, the Beauty Greens are a blend of of marine collagen peptides, non-GMO organic greens, hyaluronic acid (5) and probiotics.  The flavor is very earthy in taste but delivers some serious benefits of collagen and micro nutrient benefits.

Allergic or sensitive to whey or beef? 

Vital Proteins also offers a marine blend derived from wild-caught Snapper.

 

I recommend Vital Proteins because I believe their quality surpasses the rest.  It is the motto of my business, quality over quantity.  I only recommend products that I believe in and use myself. In an effort to be completely transparent with my readers, if you do purchase a Vital Proteins Product from a link above I receive a very small affiliate commission. This commission continues to allow me to write even more awesome content for my blog. Thank you in advance for your support! Now, go get those benefits of collagen! 

Have you tried collagen and love it? What amazing effects did it have on you?

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Resources:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12589194

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23949208

(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19895915

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18416885

(5) http://www.jmnn.org/article.asp?issn=2278-1870;year=2015;volume=4;issue=1;spage=47;epage=53;aulast=Borumand

 

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Kickin’ It Old School during Snack time

healthy nostalgic snacks

I’m sure you remember quite a bit of your childhood. When it comes to food, nostalgia is REAL. The thought of healthy nostalgic snacks take me right back to after school TV and riding bikes with teh neighborhood kids.

There are some snacks that have withstood the test of time and others that have gone to snack heaven. There are snacks I think about that make me nostalgic and others that make me want to puke.

I am a child of the 80’s and grew up on snacks like Planter’s Cheese Balls (remember those in the blue can), on Keebler’s Magic in the middle cookies, on “Squeeze It’s”, and of course, fruit by the foot. But, the healthy nostalgic snacks that I think of really bring back fond memories and have stuck with me to this day.

Afternoon Snacking

The afternoon is a snack time for me and my kids. We tend to eat dinner later to accommodate my husband’s work schedule and I love a balanced snack to hold me over until then. These snacks are typically snacks that I love and that my kids love too. Thankfully, my kids will escape a pantry full of 80’s snacks because it’s my goal to provide an afternoon snack that is fun, healthy, delicious and that they will remember and love!

Why do people snack?

Statista.com reports that in 2014, North American’s spent over 124 billion dollars in snacks in grocery stores. According to research conducted by the Mintel Group, “62 percent of U.S. consumers snack mainly to satisfy a craving. One-quarter of Americans snack because they are bored, while 16 percent do so because they are stressed.

Say what!?!

This data is clear evidence that snacking is tied to emotion and your mood. Thus, further supporting the need to have healthy snack options at home to avoid that oh-so-tempting 80’s style snack binge.

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food and learn how to eat without all of the emotions? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

No need to be FANCY

Some of the best snacks and for that matter, meals, are the simple ones. Ones that don’t take the entire kitchen to prepare, that are pretty to look at, and that have great tasting ingredients. I’ve put together for you three simple, old-school style, healthy nostalgic snacks for your snack attack that you can make now…like right now!

Plus, you may already have many of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry, which is a double win.

Ants on a Log

For this quick and easy recipe, you’ll need:

1 tablespoon of Peanut/Almond/Sunbutter (sub with 1 serving PB2/Fit to reduce fat)
.5 ounce of Raisins
1 celery stalk

All you have to do is spread your nut butter of choice on that celery stalk, sprinkle those “ants” right on top, and enjoy the salty and sweet taste.

My kiddos love it…especially if I sing “The Ants Go Marching One-by-One!” (which I highly recommend doing, it’s so much fun).

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt

This is one of the simplest healthy nostalgic snacks. You only need a few ingredients.

4 ounces Plain Greek Yogurt 0% fat
2 ounces All Natural Applesauce
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
(You could also add 1 serving PB2 for a thicker, peanut butter taste)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Then, dip in your spoon and enjoy! Sweet with a little kick of cinnamon. This recipe is a winner!

Rice Pudding-ish

¼ cup cooked white rice
2-4 ounces Greek yogurt 0% fat
1 tablespoon honey
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Another simple and easy snack. Just combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! Just as a note, you can alter these quantities to suit your palate texture requirements as well.

A great idea is to prepare a “rice reserve” for the week. This reserve is easy to pull from for meals and snacks and can be spiced in lots of ways as you need it. Plus, extra rice on hand never hurt anyone, and it can last a while in the fridge!

The beauty of all of these recipes above is that you can tweak each to meet your needs and taste. Snacks are optional, but good health and good taste don’t have to be.

Although those 80’s snacks like Gushers and Bugles (you remember them…I know you do!) bring back love in your heart, don’t let them bring any love to your belly. Enjoy that afternoon snack with all health benefits included. So — get in that kitchen and get your snack on, and enjoy those healthy nostalgic snacks!

What were some of your favorite healthy nostalgic snacks?

Work Hard Be Kind,
AWalk

* All calories calculated using CalorieKing.com

5 Simple Tips to Make Healthy Living Easier

Make Healthy Living Easier

When trying to eat healthily, sometimes you just don’t know where to start. Even if you’ve been on the healthy living journey for a while, it can be difficult to stay motivated, make the right choices, and stay the course. So how can you make healthy living easier and more enjoyable, while still living your day to day life? Here are my top 5 simple tips to make healthy living easier!

Clean Out Your Pantry

First things first, let’s clean out the pantry! Get rid of any cookies, chocolate, ice cream, candy or whatever really makes you overindulge and feel bad about your body, mind, and journey.  No, this won’t be forever. It will be until you can have better acquisition of your goals and gain a sustainable eating pattern.

By cleaning out your pantry (and fridge!), you are giving yourself the opportunity to start fresh and really get in the mindset of being healthy for the long haul. You won’t be tempted by foods that aren’t the best for you, and you’ll also have the opportunity to buy plenty of healthy and delicious options to choose from.

Prep Your Produce

It’s time to chop up your veggies and fruits! Turn up your favorite Pandora station and spend an hour or two just preparing raw veggies and fruits.  Wash and cut up your produce and store them in containers so they are ready to eat. Also, make sure to store your fruits and veggies properly, so nothing goes to waste! You will have no excuse other than to enjoy the delicious and healthy bounty in your fridge and pantry.

You can also use mason jars to store so they stay fresh and at your disposal, and these are also great on-the-go options. If you have kids, get them involved! You are their first example of what a healthy eating lifestyle looks like.

Let them tear up the lettuce, chop up the strawberries, and rinse the celery. Keeping them involved in the kitchen builds their confidence and shows them that healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming.

Meal Plan

Take some time at the beginning of the week to plan it! Take 30 minutes to plan a rough outline of your lunches and dinners before you even set foot in the grocery store. If you plan before you go grocery shopping for the week, you will have a focused mission and are less likely to purchase less nutritious (and more expensive) options.

Remember, you don’t have to make meal planning complicated. Keep it simple when you first start. Protein, Carb, Veggies/Fruit. That’s it. When you get more experience or time in the kitchen, then you can experiment and go all out!

(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.)

Cook Extra

Along with meal planning and prepping, go ahead and make an extra serving or two when you cook! By portioning out an extra serving or servings of the protein, carb, and veggies you plan to prepare for dinner, you’ll have some extras leftover for lunch!

You’ll be able to enjoy your delicious creation the next day, with no added prep or cook time. Plus, this will keep you from having to order out or choosing an unhealthy option at work or home, and it will save you money. Who doesn’t love saving money on healthy food?

Keep It Simple

Along with keeping meals simple with choosing a protein, carb, and veggie, keep it simple in the preparation of these items. Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy or gourmet for it to be delicious and nutritious. Let’s face it — we’re busy. We have jobs, kids, households to run, and more.

We don’t usually have the time or energy for complicated meals anyways. And if you have kids, trust me, they won’t be tough food critics. They’ll just appreciate the fact that they get to have the dining experience with their family. Plus, you’ll have extra time with your family if you aren’t spending hours in the kitchen, and that’s always a better option.

So those are my 5 simple tips to make healthy living easier, and they won’t take much time at all to get started! You don’t have to be perfect to be healthy, you just need to get going and give it a little effort.

Do you have any healthy living tips?  I’d love to hear them and add them to the list!

Work Hard Be Kind,

Amanda