Labor day plans? Here’s some tips for eating well on the go!

I’m in my last semester of college which means that this weekend is my last Vegas trip as a college student. I’ve been to Vegas and plenty of other mini vacations with frats and friends, and if you have ever been on one of these too… you understand just how difficult it is to eat well while booze cruising. It’s actually especially important to eat healthy the day after drinking a lot because your body goes into repair mode after all of the hurt that you put it through the previous night. If you don’t give it some healthy food to work with, you’ll fall weeks behind in your diet and training schedule and all that working out will be reversed in a matter of days.
Yeah, sounds sh*tty huh? I personally don’t like to keep starting from square one whenever I go on vacation, so I’ve developed some strategies for how to maintain a healthy diet while out drinking for a weekend with your friends. If the de-training doesn’t scare you, then at the very least these are awesome tips for not spending too much money going out to eat while on vacation.

The number one theme you’ll notice throughout these tips is be prepared. When you’re hungover, it’s going to take a lot of effort to just get out of bed, let alone go through the extra effort of finding healthy food. So you have to be prepared to make things as easy as possible for your little hungover future self.

Do this BEFORE you leave…
Buy breakfast and snack items
This is the easiest thing you can do. It’s easier to make healthier choices when you’re out to eat at dinner and lunch because for the most part you’re over your hangover and not craving crappy food anymore. But you MUST have breakfast and snack items that are healthy and readily available so that you don’t opt for that McDonalds Hashbrowns or McFlurry.
Here are some of my favorite items..
Breakfast:
-Vigilant Eats Super Food Oat-Based Cereal

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*This is one that I always bring to Vegas. It’s under 400 calories, it fills you up until lunch AND it’s packed with organic, gluten free superfoods. Plus it requires cold water and it has it’s own spoon so that you don’t have to worry about bring your own spoon and heating up water! Plus it tastes great!

Snacks:
-Fruit. Preferably ones that aren’t easily squished.
*I mean apples, oranges and bananas. Don’t even try bringing pears, plums or kiwi. They will get squished and it will be gross and smelly.
-Hummus and baby carrots.
*Super easy. Just buy a pack of baby carrots and hummus and you’ve got yourself a protein and fiber packed snack on the go! You just may want to opt out of the garlic flavored hummus. You are on vacation after all and you won’t want to scare away the other people you’re with.
-Mixed nuts.
*Another great item. You just might want to pre-portion them out into baggies so you don’t go ham stuffing your face with cashews and almonds. Mixed nuts have a lot of great things in them, but you don’t want to accidentally eat 1000 calories of them in one sitting. It’s a lot easier to do than you think.
-Water.
*This is an easy one to forget about. However, you really can’t forget this one. Especially if you’re going to someplace like Vegas. I have one very terrible memory of being a freshman in college and going to Vegas for my first time without my parents. I woke up feeling so ill and dehydrated, like most people do in Vegas and went on a search for water. I didn’t have any cash and the vending machines weren’t accepting my card. It wasn’t until an hour later of excruciating hungover pain that I was finally able to obtain water. And it cost me $6 for a 16 oz bottle. Just bring water. Don’t make that mistake.

**Lastly, bring a cooler. It can either be a throw away plastic one or a legit nice cooler that you borrowed from your parents. Just don’t forget to bring a cooler.

Do this WHEN YOU ARRIVE
If you didn’t bring a cooler, then empty out a clean trash can and use that as one. It may seem gross, but just make sure to use it before anyone has vomited in it and you’ll be fine. If you were prepared enough to bring a cooler then good job-a gold star for you! Either way, fill your cooler/trash can up with ice from your hotels ice machine and put any perishable items and your waters into it. You’ll want cold water when you wake up the next morning with a throbbing head ache. It would be a shame if you went through all the effort of bringing food up if it just went bad by lunch time.

Now you’re all prepared for your holiday weekend. Go enjoy it with your friends and maybe even fit in a workout while you’re there!

Try my 22 minute full body workout that you can do anywhere without any equipment! You could even do it in your hotel room!

Have a fantastic labor day weekend everybody!

Workout Wednesday is back!

Welcome back to workout Wednesday! I know, I know, I haven’t posted one since May but to be fair, I was really busy traveling and what not. But now back on track! The workout Wednesdays are slightly different because I’ll be posting individual workouts to add to your routines. These are all tried and true exercises that I have been using and can attest to their effectiveness at slimming down that bod!

This week let’s work on our arms and pecs with the ISOMETRIC PUSH UP HOLD!!

First start in a standard push up position with your back straight and your arms locked. Keep your head neutral.

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Slowly lower until your arms approach a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Maintain a straight back and a neutral head placement.

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Hold this for as long as you possibly can until your arms give out or you start to lose your form.

For sleek and toned arms, do three sets of this three times a week along with your normal workout!

Stay tuned for next weeks workout Wednesday to add more exercises to your routine!
Also, make sure you’re keeping up with a healthy diet! You can workout all you want but you’ll never achieve the results you desire unless you follow an amazing diet as well. Just check out my blog for easy recipes to keep you going throughout the week!

Munching this so hard: acai berry bowl

I have a major obsession with acai bowls… Along with everyone else in LA. You can get acai bowls pretty much anywhere now. What sucks is that you think you’re eating a healthy treat that won’t make you feel guilty, but in reality, there’s a ton of added sugar to make you keep coming back for more.
Kind of like the frozen yogurt phase. Everyone believed that since it was yogurt, it’s okay to eat! But always take a look at those sneaky added ingredients… They’ll get ya.
So really with the acai berry bowl, you’re just eating semi frozen guilt with fruit on top.
Plus, most places charge upwards of $6 per bowl for your sugary little monster!
What to do in a world filled with a new craving for acai bowls?
Easy. MUNCH THIS.

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This recipe is great for breakfast or lunch. Very filling, so don’t really expect to need anything else after eating this!

“Chocolate” crunch acai berry bowl
serves 1
ingredients
1 acai packet (you can find these in the freezer section of Whole Foods)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 banana, separate into half
2 tablespoons frozen blueberries
2 frozen strawberries
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
3 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
1/4 cup granola (preferably one not filled with added sugar)
2 teaspoons cacao nibs
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

1. Blend the acai, almond milk, 1/2 banana, and frozen fruit until smooth. Pour into a bowl.
2. First add the granola to the top of the acai mixture, then sprinkle the blueberries and strawberries. Slice the second half of the banana and add that on top as well. Sprinkle the cacao all over. If you want, drizzle the honey over last.

GUZZLE THIS: green citrus smoothie

The past year I’ve been having nothing but this one cacao smoothie and I needed a change. I wanted something citrusy and green-basically the exact opposite of the other smoothie.
Plus, since I’m a girl and I need a lot more iron than guys do, so some spinach was in order.
A lot of people say that spinach isn’t the best source of iron because the oxalates inhibit absorption. BUT it just so happens that our good old friend vitamin C promotes absorption of iron, making the iron in spinach suddenly a good source!
This smoothie has protein from the Greek yogurt, vitamin C from the tangerine juice, iron from the spinach, and fiber from the banana. Plus, the wheat germ has a whole boat load of awesome things: vitamin E, both omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, the B vitamins, and a ton of minerals!!
So drink up!!

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Green citrus smoothie
serves 1

ingredients
1 cup tangerine juice
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 banana
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 small handful spinach

1. Blend all the ingredients for the smoothie! Add a few ice cubes if you want it cold.

MUNCH THIS: blueberry almond butter pancakes

I use to eat pancakes a lot growing up. Drenched in syrup, slathered in butter… You could hear yourself getting fatter (Tommy Boy reference for anyone who caught that). But then I grew up.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought that I would treat myself and get some pancakes for breakfast. It had all the above stated necessities. About two seconds after I finished eating it, I wanted to puke. I felt so… Icky inside. It didn’t even taste as good as I remembered. I guess eating cleaner caused my taste buds to prefer the healthier foods and reject the heart attack on a plate foods.
Put I still like the idea of pancakes, so I didn’t give up on them.
A few days later, my sister in law introduced me to a cleaner, healthier version of the sinfully sweet breakfast treat. And it is my civic duty to pass the recipe on to my fellow health nut followers!

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Clean blueberry pancakes
serves 2

ingredients
1/2 cup almond butter
1 banana
2 eggs
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the first three ingredients really well. Once that is mixed, stir in the frozen blueberries. Put two tablespoon portions onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Sprinkle the top with the honey, blueberries and Greek yogurt!

** Try this out on a lazy Sunday morning. Make extra and store them in the fridge for the week! Just reheat them in the oven!

Eating healthy on a post grad budget: making the struggle easier

I have one more semester until I’m completely done with school and honestly, it scares the sh*t out of me. It’s hard to get excited about graduation when all I can think about is the impending doom of being on my own and having responsiblity thrust upon me. Thankfully, I have learned how to at least feed myself on a limited budget so I won’t starve to death or survive off of plain pasta.
One of my friends who graduated in May asked me to shed some light on how to eat well while pinching your pennies. I’m going to provide tips that have gotten me through hard times of barely any money and an example week of how to eat when you can’t even rub two dimes together.

SURVIVAL TIPS

1. Meal planning will become your best friend. It can be extremely annoying to have to plan out what you’re going to eat each day for 5 days, but unfortunately, you’re broke and you don’t have much more of an option. When you’re making the big bucks, you can go crazy and decide on a whim what you’ll eat, when you want to eat it. But for now, you have GOT to learn how to meal plan.

???So how do you meal plan???
Great question, young post college graduate. That leads me to my next point…

2. Make simple meals that all use some of the same ingredients. This is really important. Lets say you want to make a veggie pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and broccoli. Use the leftover vegetables the next day to make a veggie quinoa bowl. It takes some planning, but it gets easier, I promise.

 

I’ve told you how to plan to eat cheaply for a week… now how do you make it healthy?

SIMPLE!

3. Use the recipes that I post to plan your meals around! And stay updated with the recipes that I post. I have been living a healthy and CHEAP lifestyle on my own now for four years. I’ve learned a lot. Use my information to help you succeed in staying healthy on a budget.

 

Now I’m going to lay it all out for you in a 5 day example so that you can get the gist of how to do this. I’ve  listed enough meals for each category to get you through the week. Some won’t have 5 different meals and that’s because you can eat this on multiple different days to save you money:

Breakfast: Eggs and toast, strawberry and almond butter toast (use bananas instead of strawberries), leftover savory eggs and potatoes

Lunch: raw kale salad with avocado dressing, fajita style chicken lettuce wrap, dinner sized salad (add chicken),  chicken sandwich (using leftover chicken from one of your meals), black bean quinoa bowl 

Snacks: peanut butter protein bars, kind bar, greek yogurt

Dinner: Vegan shepherd’s pie, green monster quinoa bowl, savory eggs and potatoes, potato leek soup with toast, teriyaki chicken plate (use quinoa instead of rice)

Drinks: a bottle of wine… you know… for the weekend. or something.

You can eat ALL OF THIS healthy food for only $55.61. And I even included a bottle of WINE! Take that out and you’re under $50!! I actually went to Trader Joes, wrote down the cost of every item that you need for these meals, and then figured out the cost of everything. You’re welcome. Now you don’t have any excuse! Go eat healthy and check in for more recipes on my blog! All are diet friendly. All approved.

Just a reminder… THESE are all the money saving meals that you’ll be able to make. Looks a lot different than ramen, huh?

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MUNCH THIS: Portobello mushroom steak with roasted cauliflower

Wow, if you’re looking to impress friends and family with a recipe, MUNCH THIS. I made this last night to just try it out. I’ve heard of “cauliflower steaks” before at fancy vegan restaurants so I went ahead and made that portion… Except that the finished product looked like a brain.

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Plus, a dish of roasted cauliflower just didn’t sound like it would be satisfying at all, so I added in my usual Portobello “steak” recipe. The Portabello steak combined with the cauliflower steak, a slightly strong raw cheese and a red wine sauce…. Drooling as I type this.

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It presents really well also! Try it out when you’re feeling a little adventurous!! Plus, the entire meal is only 270 calories

Portobello Mushroom Steak with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Wine Sauce
serves 1

ingredients
1 head of cauliflower
1 portobello mushroom
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1/4 cup red wine (I used chianti)
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 thin slices of a mild raw cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Slice the very tip inch of the cauliflower off, then cut a 1 inch thick steak from it.
*the cuts should be parallel to the base of the cauliflower. Careful while you cut down so that you don’t break the steak into chunks.
3. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle two teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper over it. Put into the oven for 25 minutes.
4. While that bakes, take the portobello mushroom and remove the stalk by pulling it out. Place 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a pan and heat to medium. Put the mushroom, gills up, into the pan and sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook both sides for 3 minutes then add the thyme and wine. Let this cook for another 4 minutes or until the wine has reduced. Turn off the heat, add the chicken broth and butter and stir until a sauce is formed.
5. Place the entire cauliflower on a plate and drizzle it with the red wine sauce. Place the mushroom on top of the steak and add the sliced cheese to the top.

Yummmmmmmm.
Definitely MUNCH THIS!