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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday Prep w/ Recipes



One of my biggest methods for success is, especially on busy weeks, to prepare meals ahead of time. Sunday is generally the best day to do this. I prepare enough food to get me through at least Wednesday at which time I might need to boil another dozen eggs, make some more protein bars and maybe break out some frozen stuff to get me through the rest of the week but, for the most part, I can be on autopilot for the week when it comes to food. I have all the recipes listed below for my food prep from last Sunday but first I'd like to offer a few additional tips on how to make your Sunday food prep a success.
  • Plan ahead. Make sure you know what you're going to make and that you have a good balance of carbs/protein/fats as well as all the ingredients you need.
  • Don't make food you are going to dread eating!!! You will see by my recipes that all the ingredients are not 100% perfect. However, this is food that I don't mind eating and, in some cases, actually look forward to and it's still very healthy and BALANCED which is key when you're trying to lose weight because these are the things that will keep you satisified and keep you from making unhealthy food choices that you feel you have no control over.
  • If you go off plan and eat an unplanned "cheat" meal during the week, don't decide that means you should scrap the rest of your meals for the day and try again tomorrow. No, pick right back where you left off and start eating those meals again the very next time you're hungry. Don't turn one mistake into a whole day (or week, or month) of regret and setbacks.
  • Get a giant cooler bag! This is one of the best things I've done for myself lately!! I pack a big cooler with all the food I have prepped for the day plus a few extras like fruit, raw nuts, protein shake powder, etc. That way if I get hungry more than I think I will I (a) don't eat fast food and/or (b) don't arrive home that evening starving and eating everything in site. I consider my cooler bag to be my gas tank, and everyone knows you have to make sure you have a full tank before you start off on a trip (a "trip" being a long day away from home).
  • Don't decide that you can eat whatever you want on Sunday (or all weekend) because you know that you're "gonna start my new diet on Monday with all this great food that I'll be making on Sunday". Why? Well, first, those calories and unhealthy fats/carbs matter too. Your body will convert them to fat (and disease) whether you're planning on changing your whole life on Monday or not. Second, too many carbs, too much fat, excess calories can slow you down and make you lazy and you won't even feel like prepping your meals. Third, and perhaps most importantly, the more bad food you eat the more you want. You will wake up Monday morning feeling like crap from the horrible things you put in your body and, for some reason, craving more of that horrible crap. Your healthy foods waiting in the fridge for you will not look very appealing at all!
  • Finally, when Sunday rolls around and you don't feel like prepping your food, remember the saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." You will NEVER regret the time you take on Sunday that ensures you enter Monday feeling efficient, responsible and in control of your life.
Homemade Protein Bars

This is a variation of quite a few recipes I've seen online for protein bars. I think it's most similiar to one I got from He & She Eat Clean, a great site that I highly recommend.

2 cups quick oats
4 scoops chocolate protein (I use Optimal Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey Double Rich Chocolate)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (make sure it doesn't have partially hydrogenated oil and check that sugar count, it shouldn't be more than 3g for 2 tbsp AT MOST)
1/2 cup almond milk (I use Blue Diamond unsweeted vanilla)
1/4 cup organic raw cacao nibs (optional)
dash of vanilla (optional)

Mix all ingredients together (adding the almond milk last).
Evenly spread all contents into an 8x8 pan lined with wax paper or plastic wrap.
Freeze for 30 minutes.
Cut into 6 bars & refrigerate.

I don't know all the nutritional info on this but I've calculated each bar has somewhere between 22-24g of protein.

Perfectly Boiled Eggs

I've had a few people ask me my method of boiling eggs. I've tried it several different ways but this is what I use now and the eggs come out nice and tender instead of dry and chalky.

Place eggs in pot of cold water.
Heat on high.
As soon as the water has the first boiling bubble, turn off & remove from heat.
Cover immediately and leave covered for 10 minutes.
As soon as the 10 minutes are up, immediately drain the pot and fill it with cold water and ice.

Kale Salad

I'm sorry I don't have exact measurements but it's because I started out from the beginning using & modifying an ingredient list off of Earth Fare's kale salad from the deli. However, I have yet for it to turn out NOT tasting good so just experiment!

Curly Kale
Rice Vinegar
Sesame Oil (I usually put about 2-3 times as much sesame oil as I do vinegar)
Sesame seeds
Salt
Garlic powder
Soy Sauce (I actually use Aminos, they are healthier and just as tasty if not better)
Red pepper flakes (optional, I just use this sometimes for an extra kick)

Put all ingredients in a big covered bowl and shake. Let it marinate in the refrigerate for a few hours for optimal taste. This is excellent on top of salads or as a side dish.

Breakfast Casserole

This is another one of those recipes that I throw in different things different times but here's the recipe I used when I took the Sunday prep picture. I also generally use mushrooms but didn't this time around. I really want to start experimenting with more seasonings and/or fresh herbs so if anyone tries any and they turn out well, I would love suggestions!

12 eggs (free range or eggs that advertise they have Omega-3's in them are best)
1 red pepper
1 medium onion
2-3 handfuls spinach
1 package (4-6 links, depending on size) natural chicken sausage
1/4 pound cheese (I use raw, grass fed cheese)
Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a 8x13 glass baking dish (I use coconut oil because many other oils become toxic when heated to this high of a temperature)
Dice the veggies, sausage & most of the cheese into small pieces and place in pan along with the spinach (shred the remainder of the cheese & set to the side)
Mix the eggs in a bowl (add a little salt) and pour on top of the ingredients in the dish
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Cover & bake for 25-40 minutes, checking every 5 minutes after 20 minutes is up. Remove just as soon as the eggs are no longer liquid but are still very soft as they will continue to bake in their own for a few minutes.

Buffalo Chicken

This one is hardly worth including but I will anyway because people keep asking about it.

1 lb of chicken
hot sauce (I use Frank's)

Dice chicken into small pieces and marinate in hot sauce for at least an hour
Bake on 375 for 30 minutes.

I use this chicken on top of salads with spinach, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, carrots, Annie's natural ranch dressing and walnuts or sunflower seeds for a crunch. This salad staves off my frequent hot wing cravings....most of the time.

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