Food & Fitness

The Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping

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The Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping

  • Are you too exhausted or way to busy to cook EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.? Are you a beginner at meal prepping? Trust me I get it… I didn’t have time before having a baby, and now I definitely don’t have time or energy.
  • My journey with meal prepping started 7 years ago. I could’t afford to go grab lunch at work every day, plus I really wanted to try and eat healthy. Working 2 jobs with a commute and going to school… meal prep was my only option. Over the years I have come to perfect what works for me, and I spend less on eating out and I feel way better eating my own meals. Plus 9 times out of 10 my cooking tastes better. 😉

What is Meal Prepping?

  • Meal Prepping is taking the time every week to prepare so many different meals in batches so you don’t have to cook everyday.
  • Meal prepping is for everyone. No matter what your lifestyle may be, there is always a time in life where you may not be able to, or want to cook. This helps alleviate the problem of going out and spending money on food that is fast, convenient and overall unhealthy.

How to get started with Meal Prepping

Most important thing you need are storage containers. When I first started meal prepping (before I really got into health), I used plastic. Glass containers, and stainless steel containers are so much healthier for you, and these are what I have been using for the past 4-5 years.

Also, when first starting with meal prepping, I always recommend starting with simple meals. Pinterest is an AMAZING place to search for sooo many different recipes.

Meal Breakdown

You can meal prep your breakfast, lunches, dinners and snacks. Everyone has different meal plans they follow, so you can totally customize it to your needs! But here is an idea of how I break down my meals:

  • Protein (egg, meat, fish, nuts & seeds, beans)
  • Vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous, nightshades)
  • Carbs (sweet potato, quinoa, rice, beans)
  • Healthy Fat (avocado, hemp, flax, olive oil)

Tips for Success in Meal Prepping

Best way to succeed with this is, keeping things simple at first. Maybe start prepping at least one meal a day. Start with foods you enjoy. If you start making different things you have never tasted you may not like it or want to eat it.

MAKE LISTS! Trust me you won’t be able to remember it all. Make lists of what meals you are going to make and what you need to make it. Then most important, a grocery list!

If you aren’t a big veggie eater… try adding a fresh pressed juice with your meal.

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Items to Always Have Stocked

Everyone has their go to seasonings and condiments that keep on hand. As you first start, you may not have many…but it is always a good idea to start creating your little flavor box to help you with making your tasty meals.

My go to seasonings..

  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • taco seasoning
  • italian seasoning
  • variety fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro, chives)
  • coconut aminos
  • olive oil/avocado oil/coconut oil
  • braggs apple cider vinegar

…just to name a few

Common Questions/FAQ About Meal Prepping

  • How long does the food last in the fridge?
    • Depending on what the meal is, it can usually last about 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge! If it is a salad, there are different ways to make a salad in a mason jar to last longer. You can also freeze your meals to last longer and enjoy at a later time.
  • Can I reheat my meals in the microwave?
    • Sometimes you have no choice. Many work places only have microwaves, so yes you gotta do what ya gotta do! But stove/oven is always the best to reheat food.
  • How do you find the time to meal prep?
    • I literally have to schedule it in my week, then it helps me be more committed. Choose a day with a block of time to focus on getting what you need and start cooking. I personally use the weekends. Sunday we shop and usually cook or I will do it Monday.
  • What if I can’t cook?
    • It may take some practice, but finding easy recipes with minimal ingredients can really help you be successful. Something that will help you is a thermometer to always check when your meat is at the correct temp.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Meal Prepping

Meal Prepping is so convenient and a much healthier way of eating rather than always going out. Once you make it a weekly routine, I promise it get’s easier as time goes. There are so many benefits like saving money on eating out, eating healthier, learning how to make different meals and pairing food. And if you’re a busy mama then meal prepping is a great way to get your little ones involved! They love to help.

What helpful tips do you have that make you successful at meal prepping? And what is your best meal that you prep?

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The Best Juicers To Make Healthy Juices At Home

Juicing For Health

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The Best Juicer For Healthy Juices At Home

  • If you’re anything like me, you either spend waaaay to much money on store bought juices OR you bought a cheap little juicer from target. Either way it just isn’t working.
  • I love drinking green healthy juices quite often. In Cali we have a number of little places you can go buy a fresh pressed juice. You know with greens, celery, apples, etc. But these healthy juices are quite pricey. Like $8-$9 for 8 oz!!! Crazy right?! I could not afford an expensive juiced salad in a cup that didn’t even fill me up. It made me feel good and energetic. But didn’t do it for my wallet. So we bought a Jack Lalanne juicer to fix the issue. This was a great beginner juicer. After a while with all the juicing we did, we needed an upgrade. So after long nights of researching juicers, we finally made our decision, saved, and bought the SKG Juicer.

What is A Juicer?

  • It is a medium sized unit that you put different fruits & veggies through that separates the pulp from the juice.
  • A juicer is NOT the same as a blender. A blender cannot separate pulp from juice. It blends it all together. All juicers work differently as well as get taken apart and cleaned differently. This can be a lengthy annoying process.
  • Although the masticating juicers are slower they are more beneficial because it doesn’t heat up and oxidize the produce in the process. Therefore, it keeps all of the nutrients in the juice.

Why Should You Juice?

Juicing is a great healthy regimen to add in almost any lifestyle. Juicing helps aid in digestion, great way to add in your veggies, detoxes the body, and also repairs it! But just because you can juice anything doesn’t mean it’s automatically perfect for your body and health. For example you can’t only juice fruit and drink it all day everyday it is WAY too much sugar. While it is a natural sugar, you still don’t want to overdo it.

Why I Started Juicing

While working at a nutrition clinic, I realized literally everyone has gut issues. There were a few people that would get sick off anything they ate because they were unable to digest anything. This is where juicing came along in my life. For those with serious digestion issues sometimes the fiber would just be to harsh on their stomach. They would only be able to drink bone broth and fresh vegetable juices.

A majority of people probably don’t get anywhere near the amount of vegetables they should be eating in a day. It’s not easy eating rabbit food all day everyday. Juicing helps with that! You can literally juice all your recommended veggie serving size in one juice. Realizing how amazing and beneficial these juices are in helping repair the body, I knew I needed to start. Fresh vegetable juices are so amazing to help detox the body, repair the gut, add in adequate vitamins and nutrients, while also giving your body energy.

Best Juicers To Buy

When you invest in purchasing a juicer, think of it as an investment in your health.

The best part of purchasing your own juicer is that you won’t be spending more buying them from stores, and you know exactly what’s in them. I have tried 3 juicers. The Jack Lalanne, Green Star, and the SKG. These three all are great juicers, yet fits everyone’s different needs and lifestyles.

Jack Lalanne Juicer

This Juicer is great for someone who may want to have a juice here and there, and only wants to spend so much on a juicer. We had this juicer for a few years and it did it’s job. We decided to upgrade to a better juicer for a number of reasons. The cheaper ones don’t juice greens very well (spinach, kale, swiss chard). And we juice alot of greens. Also, it was a pain to clean the juicer. I mean all juicers are a pain to clean but this one was just more of a pain.

Jack Lalanne Juicer

SKG Slow Masticating Juicer Extractor With Wide Chute

My current most amazing juicer! I personally love this juicer it works perfectly for our needs! We get a great amount of juice extracted from the leafy greens that we use a lot. The cleanup is not bad at all, it comes with brushes to help clean the grater inside the juicer. IT also comes with a straining cloth, and a container to make your own tofu. We don’t eat tofu so it doesn’t matter to us, but you may love that 🙂 .

SKG Slow Masticating Juicer Extractor With Wide Chute

Tribest GSE-5000 Greenstar Elite Cold Press Complete Masticating Juicer

The Greenstar is also an amazing juicer. While working at the nutrition clinic, we used this in office. We hosted so many juicing classes using this juicer as the demo. I think it is is great for those who are serious about juicing daily. It works a bit quicker then the SKG, but yields just as much juice if not more. The cleanup of this unit is a pain in my opinion. I think it is a bit more tedious to clean, and it is definitely more of a larger unit, so make sure you have the space!

Tribest GSE-5000 Greenstar Elite Cold Press Complete Masticating Juicer

Common Questions/FAQ About Juicing

  • Can I store my juices for later?
    • YES
    • The best way to store your juice is in a tightly sealed container. Mason Jars are PERFECT.
    • To protect the enzymes in the juice, it is recommended to store in the fridge up to 72 hours.
  • Can I lose weight juicing?
    • This all depends on you 🙂
    • If you are eating healthy as well as juicing then most definitely!
  • Are juices meal replacements?
    • There are juice detox programs that are a few days where you consume only juices everyday. Usually it recommends consuming 20-30 oz fresh pressed juices 3-4 times a day.
  • Do you have to throw the pulp away?
    • There are so many options you can use the pulp for!
    • If you garden, it is great for compost!
    • You can also flatten the pulp out and dehydrate them for crackers.
    • Do you have dogs? Mix some of the pulp with their food! (unless they are picky)

The Last Thing You Need To Know About Juicing

  • Juicing is so amazing and healthy for the body. It is a great way to start towards Healthy Living! The more you get into juicing, you can start creating your own mixes of vegetables that are delicious! It is so perfect for all you mamas trying to add more veggies in their child’s diet! I make veggie juices and add some fruit to sweeten it up a bit to freeze and make healthy Popsicles for my little one.

What kind of juices do you enjoy making? Have you guys tried making crackers from the pulp?

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The Beginner’s Guide To Healthy Living

*Please note: I am not a professional, this a personal blog, and the opinions expressed here represent my own.*

The Beginners Guide to Healthy Living

  • Living a healthy life is important for every single person, woman, man, child, mom, dad, grandparent, and even animals!

How Healthy Living Started In My Life

  • The past 7 years has been a journey of learning/trying different things, foods, products, etc. to live a healthier life. Growing up, I never thought about what my health could be in the far future. I constantly had stomach issues, severe cramps, random rashes, and occasional immune compromises. Every issue I had I felt was normal because at least one person around me had the exact same issue. When I went to work at a clinic that nutritionally helped all different people with chronic health issues. I met A LOT of sick people. Not just elderly. There were so many kids, teens, 20-30 year old people that had so many health issues. What I learned working there was you can feel better by changing the way you eat, and your environment. As a mom it is extra important for me to help keep my family healthy in this toxic world.

What is Healthy Living?

  • Basically how you live your life. What you do and use daily that overall affects your health either in a positive or negative way.
  • It is way more than just working out and counting calories. To create a more healthy life there are a couple key factors. Eat nutritious food (organic if possible). Look at what you are putting into as well as onto your body. Health has to do with nutrition (food), emotions (stress), physical activity (exercising) as well as environmental (chemicals we use that affect us).

How to get started with Healthy Living

  • First step is to take a look at your day to day life! Start with small steps. For nutrition, start eating more vegetables, and eliminating processed foods. Try yoga or some sort of meditation to help with stress. Make time to take a 30 minute walk every day. Read and research what ingredients are in your beauty care, cleaning, household products and slowly start switching to healthier options.

Tips for Success in Healthy Living

  • It is never too late to change anything in your life. Your life your terms 🙂 . The best way to be successful at making big changes is to start with one thing at a time. You know the whole you gotta walk before you run thing….well that literally applies to everything. Make goals for what you want to accomplish and change! Maybe it is ” I really want to eliminate soda and drink more water”. So if you drink soda every day with every meal, start with cutting one soda out a day. And switch it with a water. Then try that for a week, and every week cut out another soda. Little changes like this help you to be more successful. If you make such drastic changes all at once, it makes things difficult which may lead you to give up. Been there done that with eating healthy, exercise, you name it.

Common Questions/FAQ About Healthy Living

  • Why does eating organic matter?
    • To avoid the pesticides that are in our food. The biggest issue with genetically modified/non organic foods is glyphosate (the main herbicide used in the United States). It is a carcinogen and super toxic to humans, animals and the environment. So when we eat non-organic food we automatically consume what’s been sprayed or altered in the plant.
  • Is it automatically healthy food because it’s organic?
    • Just because you are eating something and it is organic, does NOT mean it is healthy for you. When it comes to processed foods, they are the worst and usually super high in sugar with 0 nutrition.
  • How do I know what ingredients are bad/toxic?
    • Whether it is food/ beauty care/ or cleaning products do your own research. Read on the ingredients listed that you may not know. Yes, I know this may be time consuming. But become aware of what harmful ingredients are going into YOU.
  • Are all forms of exercise healthy?
    • There are different debates on what type of fitness is considered good/healthy. Everything you do/consume should be done in moderation. Everyone is different, so what works for me and my body won’t necessarily work for you. Just continue trying new things to see what works.
  • I don’t have health issues, so why do I need to take on this approach to healthy living?
    • To help you continue feeling amazing. Some people go years eating the same way, not exercising, and using the same products with chemicals and feel fine. There is a chance down the road where it may all of a sudden start having a toll on your health. And you won’t know until then how it will actually affect your health. You may form a skin issue, an allergic reaction to something you were never allergic to before, stomach issues. You never really know.
  • Does stress really have an impact on your health?
    • YES, stress is huge. It is super important to find an outlet to help alleviate stress so it doesn’t consume you. Stress affects everyone’s health differently causing certain health issues that you are already battling to be worse.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Healthy Living

Taking on new life changes can be sometimes difficult and overwhelming. If you start slow, set goals, and know this is to better yourself. You and your health are important it can make it more easier.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” -Jim Rohn

What do you do to live a healthier life and what are the different ways that help you to manage stress?

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How To Lose The Baby Weight After Pregnancy

Getting Back To Your Goal Weight

While loving and enjoying your most amazing and precious gift, a question may have popped in your head… Now that I have given birth, how am I going to get rid of the rest of this baby weight? I was at 10 1/2 months postpartum when I officially scaled down to my pre pregnancy weight! Before I get into what I did to help get back to my pre pregnancy weight, let me share with you what kind of shape I was in before I found out I was pregnant.

My Body Before Pregnancy

For me personally, I try not to set “weight goals”. This is because the numbers on the scale constantly fluctuate for a number of different factors… sometimes this can be super frustrating or even discouraging. I like to use how my clothes fit as a gauge to achieve my body shape goals. For instance, I have ALOT of clothes in my closet that are too small for me to fit in…but I keep them as a motivation to help me measure my progress.

So before motherhood began, I was an avid runner…but not to the extent where I could run a marathon. BUT that was my goal that I was working towards. I would run anywhere from 3-5 miles a day about 3-4 days a week. I also did body weight workouts 3-4 days a week, and hike at least once a week. So I feel like I worked out pretty consistent, and I was in pretty good shape. I wasn’t really where I wanted to be size wise, or endurance wise. Naturally, I have a small-ish frame, but as my biggest self critic I was never satisfied with my appearance (being a mom has definitely helped me to appreciate my body).

How My Body Changed During Pregnancy

Once I became pregnant, that first trimester nausea hit me hard. For me it was not “morning sickness” it was “24/7 sickness”. This put a nice big pause on working out. Then by second trimester I felt MUCH better, and started to run again. For doctor appointments, I saw midwives at the clinic, but I also saw a Nurse Practitioner at a private practice who incorporates integrative medicine. During one of my visits at the private practice, she manually checked my Blood Pressure, and it read abnormally low. So I was advised to hold off on running so I don’t continue to stress my adrenals and try something more relaxing such as walking or yoga. So I decided to go for walks.

41 weeks pregnant and I weighed 50 Pounds heavier than before I was pregnant. I was told during pregnancy women gain 25-40 pounds, and I obviously exceeded that. I have always had an appetite, and I eat ALOT, and being pregnant made me even more hungry. So I am sure between lack of exercise and overeating, I just kept on gaining weight.

How I lost The Baby Weight

The day after giving birth, I was instantly down 20 pounds, 8 lbs 13 oz of it being my beautiful baby girl. Now I just needed to lose 30 pounds to get where I was before.

I do admit I still focus fitting back into my smaller clothes, but I have been fixated on losing those numbers on the scale as a peace of mind to help me get back on track to get in shape, and stay healthy.

I know many people start right back into working out as soon as they get the go ahead from their doctors like 6 weeks after giving birth, and I envy them and their willpower/dedication/determination and most important their energy! As a 24/7  cafeteria milk lady, my energy gets sucked out with the milk. Over the last 10 months I have probably done a total of THREE 1 mile jogs, and TWO body weight workouts.

Well… then what did you do to lose the weight you ask?

BREASTFEED, WALK, BREASTFEED, WALK, BREASTFEED, WALK,  and BREASTFEED and WALK some more.

I probably walk at least 2 miles most likely more…about 5 days a week, and then obviously breastfeed on demand it feels like 30 times a day but its definitely less. It is said that you can burn up to 500 calories a day with breastfeeding!

**UPDATE ON WEIGHT

One year now after giving birth, I am smaller than I was before when I originally got pregnant. I am still nursing, walking, and now I hike 4 times a week. I have lost my 50 lb pregnancy weight, and an additional 3 lbs. While I know 3 lbs may not be a lot, my clothes fitting me different is what matters for me! I am able to fit into small pants sizes that I haven’t worn in YEARS.

Challenges On Losing Weight

For the Mamas who were not able to breastfeed , I totally get it sometimes things happen in life for whatever reason where we have no choice because:

  • not enough milk is being produced
  • going back to work
  • constant infections
  • or whatever else may inhibit you to breastfeed, you can still get to your pre pregnancy weight too! 
  • Consuming enough water is VERY important and plays a key role. My goal is to drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces a day.

My biggest challenge at the moment is fine tuning my diet. I know once I start being more regimen on my food intake (and incorporate more exercise) I will progress even more! I don’t like to say I am dieting or going on a diet, I believe eating healthy is a lifestyle change! I never consider myself as an unhealthy eater. Do I consume junk food? YES, every once in a while. AND so I don’t feel 100% guilty I eat organic/NON GMO junk food, so therefore it is still bad for me but it doesn’t have pesticides in it so consciously I feel better. I really do try to limit the junk food because it isn’t fair for my baby who I am nursing to get this through my breast milk, and it is something I want to strive to perfect.

Tips On Losing The Baby Weight

Eating a healthy nutritious diet is by far the biggest tip. Eliminate processed and sugary foods. Now is the time to start implementing meal prepping!

My food plan of choice is paleo. I have always followed this in the past and it has worked for me, and I will continue to eat this way (although I am not a strict follower). I know a lot of other people follow keto, and these moms have gotten a lot of success from following keto! I believe you should follow whatever works best for you and your body/lifestyle.

There is not one perfect solution that fits everyone. But what will work for everyone is:

  • Drinking more water
  • Limiting Sugar (especially refined sugar)
  • Watching your carbohydrate intake (breads/pastas/flours/etc.)
  • Exercise! (walking, jogging, hiking, at home workouts, swimming, go to the gym)
  • Eliminate Stressors (face it, being a mom usually means your house is going to be a bit messy – just don’t stress about it!)
  • Most important, be kind and loving to yourself!

What Are Your Weight loss Success Tips?

What have you done to help you lose the baby weight, and how long did it take?


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