6 Tips to Lose Weight the Healthy Way

While there are so many wonderful goals besides weight loss, I did want to share some advice and tips to support you, if losing weight IS one of your goals.⁠ As you all know, there is no “one size fits all '' diet for weight loss, because everyone’s body and lifestyles are different. That being said, there are some basic foundational practices that can not only help you lose weight, but also will contribute to you feeling your best. At the end of the day, being happy & healthy is the most important thing, and that will look different on every body (literally). 

When it comes to weight loss, you do need to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make radical changes all at once, so start out small.  You’ll be amazed to see how quickly small incremental changes will make on your body & mind.  

Some of these tips can definitely help you reach your goals, mainly by limiting highly palatable foods and loading up on high satiety, filling foods.⁠ Tracking calories and macros for a period of time can also help you gauge your overall portion sizes, so you have a healthy baseline on how much food you should be consuming.  This will also depend on the type of food - whether it’s a protein, healthy fat, carbs, fruits, veggies, etc.  At the end of the day, you want to find a routine that feels sustainable & healthy overall. 

So without further ado, here are my 6 tips to lose weight the healthy way:

1️. Stop drinking your calories: This can be one of the biggest offenders to sabotaging your weight loss! With the exception of high quality protein shakes, avoiding sugary drinks like sodas, juices and even many store-bought smoothies can help cut back on these less-nutritious calories & save you the blood sugar spike & crash. 

2️. Limit the highly processed foods you eat: These foods are often easy to over-consume and while you definitely should enjoy your favorites in moderation, limiting the amount you eat on a regular basis will help your waistline & overall health.⁠

3️. Add tons of veggies to your meals: Veggies are great because they’re high in fiber, low in calories and add beneficial phytonutrients, prebiotics, vitamins & minerals to your meals. 

4️. Make sure you’re getting enough protein: Whether planted-based or animal, protein is one if the most important macronutrient & will help your feel full when you incorporate it into a meal.⁠

5️. Add in healthy fats: Fats are important for many functions in the body so don’t neglect this macronutrient.⁠

6️. Find the right amount of whole food carbs for you: Carbs are NOT the enemy. I repeat.  Depending on your activity level and goals, find the right amount for you 😁⁠

Remember, to be patient and kind to yourself.⁠ Changing habits takes time, but guess what?! YOU GOT THIS! I'm here to be your resource & help you along your journey.  


4 Easy Overnight Oats Recipes

You all know I love to meal prep! Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner - I enjoy being prepared from dawn until dusk.  Since I love sharing recipes & meal preps with you - I wanted to roundup 4 easy overnight oat recipes you’ll love! These are great to add to your routine if you don’t have much time in the mornings, or just want an easy, nutritious, on-the-go breakfast idea. Even if cooking isn’t your forte, overnight oats are a great option because they are simple, and will leave you feeling full and satisfied! What’s even better is you can add a variety of different variations of overnight oats into your routine so you never feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over again.  I love the versatility of this delightful, tasty breakfast. 

Here are my favorite 4 easy overnight oats recipes: 

Overnight Oat Recipe #1: Peanut Butter & Jelly 

Love a good PB&J? Me too! Did you know you can put a fun PB & J twist on your Overnight Oats? Now you do! Best part about this recipe is that it ony takes 5 minutes to make,  and is free of additives and refined sugar!

4 easy overnight oats recipes

What you need:

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk ⁠⠀

½ cup old fashioned oats ⁠⠀

Stevia ⁠⠀

¾ cup raspberries⁠⠀

2 tbsp peanut butter⁠⠀

2-3 strawberries (optional) ⁠

 

Overnight Oat Recipe #2: Chocolate Peanut Butter 

Looking for a match made in heaven? Say hello to Chocolate & Peanut Butter Overnight Oats.  This is a decadent option (perfect for a day you’re craving sweets or for that time of the month)! It won’t disappoint. 

4 easy overnight oats recipes

What you need:

½ scoop chocolate protein powder

¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

½ cup old fashioned oats

½ banana

1 ½ tbsp peanut butter⁠

Chocolate chips⁠

 

Overnight Oat Recipe #3: Chocolate Cherry Coconut

I love the taste of fruit & chocolate.  This chocolate cherry coconut recipe is one of my favorites! Enjoy that tropical refreshing taste of cherry and coconut with the nice depth of the chocolate. 

4 easy overnight oats recipes

 

What you need:

¾ cup rolled oats⁠

⅔ cup coconut milk ⁠or almond milk

Monk fruit

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

½ cup frozen cherries

¼ cup chocolate chips

 

Overnight Oat Recipe #4: Peach Blueberry Pie

Last, but certainly not least, this pie themed recipe will make your taste buds dance! Rich with flavor, this peach blueberry pie overnights oats recipe literally tastes like a peach blueberry pie in a jar! 

4 easy overnights recipes

Instructions for all of the above: 

Combine oats, seeds, & all liquid ingredients in a bowl (including sweetener)⁠⠀

Add in your berries, nut butters, chocolate chips or coconut flakes.⁠⠀

If making PB & Jelly, mash up the raspberries on a plate and set aside.⁠⠀

Stir oat mixture to combine and scoop into a mason jar. ⁠⠀

Add layers and toppings. ⁠⠀

Store in the fridge and eat when ready! ⁠

 

I  hope these 4 easy overnight oat recipes make you as happy as they make me! Which one would you go for first?!


Morning Routines

Good Morning Friends!

A lot of you have been asking me about what I do as part of my morning routine! So I wanted to break things down for you and get super specific on how I love to start the day.

Morning routines are SO important because they set the tone for the day ahead.  It’s key for you to build a morning routine that works for YOU. It doesn't have to be long either! While I like to take a little bit more time for myself in the morning, you can also keep it short and sweet. The key part of a solid morning routine is that you start your day with a self care activity that makes you feel good.

Whether it’s meditation, exercise, morning news, coffee, and/or some reading - I highly recommend you start building a morning routine for yourself that you love & you can STICK to.  One of the great benefits of creating a morning routine is that It gives you predictability.  It allows you to center yourself - ultimately giving you the support you need perform to the highest degree, professionally and personally.

In the vein of morning routines, I wanted to breakdown my ideal morning routine for you:

  1. Hydrate with filtered water first thing in the morning: Hydration is key to starting your day on the right foot since you wake up dehydrated.
  2. Bounce on rebounder for 5 min: Benefits include stimulating your lymphatic system, plus it’s a super energizing way to wake up and get your heart pumping.
  3. Read my book & drink matcha: I love being able to spend some quality time losing myself in a book while drinking some hot coffee or match. I personally love Four Sigmatic Coffee or Primal Kitchen's Collagen Matcha.
  4. Workout or move: I typically like to workout for 1 hour every morning or 20-30 minutes if I’m in a rush or hopping into meetings.
  5. Multitask in the shower: Shower and oil pull at the same time. For those of you who aren’t familiar  - Coconut Oil pulling is swishing 1 tbsp of coconut oil in your mouth for 10 min to help with overall gum health /teeth whiteness. Be sure to spit it in the trash when you’re done.
  6. Dry brush, brush my teeth & get dressed so I can get fully ready for the day.
  7. Lastly, I finish off with some breakfast & gratitude.  I love taking 5 minutes to write in my Five Minute Journal reflecting on everything I’m grateful for as it’s a super positive way to start of your morning.

Still need some inspo to build out your morning routine? You’re in luck - check out the latest podcast on Master Your Health to get the scoop on “morning routines” & their benefits from myself & Chris!

xoxo,
MeowMeix aka Amanda


Breaking Down Plant Based Diets

After covering the 80/20 eating method in my last blog post, I wanted to cover the Plant Based Diet today.  With some many different opinions and beliefs floating around about the popular plant based diet, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on it with you!

While there are a ton of benefits of leaning into a plant based diet, I wanted to not only give you the rundown on the positive benefits of eating more plants & whole foods, but also highlight that plant based doesn’t always mean nutritious.

The Difference Between Plant-Based vs. Plant-Exclusive

Plant-based vs. plant-exclusive - It is a misconception that plant-based means plant-exclusive or vegan. Plant-based, in general, can you mean you have a diet that focuses on plant first but also includes moderate amounts of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy. Plant-exclusive or vegan means you abstain from animal products all together.

Why Some People Choose Plant-Exclusive

Why do some people go plant-exclusive you ask? Most people choose to eat vegan for a variety of different reasons anything from animal activism to a desire to add more plants to their diet.  While eating vegan is a choice for some, it doesn’t always mean it’s the choice for YOU. I always encourage you to try different eating & lifestyle methods in order to understand what your body wants & needs. There is no right or wrong way to eat as long as you’re fueling your body with healthy, nutritious whole foods. Essentially, the goal is to leave you with some food for thought (literally!) 

Personally for me, I do incorporate some meats and eggs into my diet because that's works best for me but I also do eat a TON of plants. When I do incorporate meat and eggs, I try to support regenerative farms because those farming practices are better for us, the planet and the animals.

Why Almost Everyone Can Benefit From Eating More Plants

While I truly believe everyone is different and will flourish on different nutrition plans, I do also know that we can all benefit from eating more whole foods and less overly processed foods. Adopting a more plant based diet can ultimately boost your overall health, however it’s going to be important for you to still make smart choices when choosing packaged “plant based” foods. 

Unfortunately, many labels & marketing claim highly processed food to be “plant-based,” in hopes that they seem like a healthier choice.  I’m here to tell you - things aren’t always as they seem when it comes to reading food labels, so be sure to do your research. While products like frozen mac and cheese, cookies, etc. may technically be free of animal products or dairy, they are still heavily processed and not the most nutritious meal. Now don’t get me wrong, fun foods can definitely be a part of a balanced diet, but I encourage you to fill your plates with tons of colorful veggies, healthy fats, protein & whole food carbs on a regular basis in order for your body to flourish. For example, the salad on the right is packed with nutrients and is a more accurate depiction of a balanced, whole food, plant-based meal than the frozen pasta, fries, cookie, and broccoli on the right even though both technically “plant based.” 

An important component to this nutritious salad is the addition of @WonderfulPistachios because adding some better-for-you fats to the mix will make sure your body can absorb more of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K & E). 1/4 cup @WonderfulPistachios also adds an additional 6g of protein to your meal, making this a very filling combination.

Whatever lifestyle you follow, I'm here to support you!⁠⠀


80/20 diet

80/20 Eating Method

This week, let’s chat about healthy eating lifestyles! Ever heard of that classic 80/20 eating method? I’m sure you have, because guess what...it totally works! There are so many different ways to keep you healthy & satisfied on your wellness journey.  I know it can be overwhelming to decide which lifestyle is best for you, given the fact there are so many different options: paleo, gluten free, keto, vegan, omnivore, 80/20 eating method, etc. One particular method I’m excited to highlight today is the 80/20 eating method. One of the core reasons I love this lifestyle choice is that it works really well for most people and is sustainable in the long term.  Ideally, if you’re looking to lose weight and keep it off, you can have to be open to trying a diet that is manageable & something you can stick to. As you know, there are no shortcuts for weight loss. So I’m going to breakdown this effective and popular strategy called the 80/20 healthy eating guideline.

What is the 80/20 eating method, you ask? Essentially, it’s about aiming your weekly food goals for 80% whole, clean foods (with some healthier processed foods in the mix) and 20% “fun” foods. If you're not looking to eliminate a specific food group or ingredient, this is the eating lifestyle for you. Another benefit of eating this way eliminates a lot of the guilt you may have if you are sticking to a more rigorous diet and decide to "cheat."  This eating habit encourages you to indulge in some of your favorite things in a more balanced way. This is a reasonable goal to aim for if you’re just starting out and looking to lose weight OR if you’re a veteran and looking to maintain your weight! Now of course, this can change if you’re on vacation or have a special occasion to attend - opting in for a temporary split like 60% / 40%.  Ultimately, 80% / 20% is a great place to be at on an ongoing basis as it’s easy to manage & will give you the flexibility you need. For me personally, I’m more of a 90% healthy foods, 10% fun foods kind of person, but I encourage you to find where balance proves best for you. 

80/20 eating method

Additionally, if you’re unsure of your portion sizes starting out to get to an 80/20 eating method, start by tracking calories and macros.  Doing so can be a helpful tactic to to help you reach your goals. Now remember, this is not something you’re going to want to do all the time (the idea of this diet is to eliminate the calorie counting longterm) but rather a tool to use to gauge overall portion size and how to fit fun foods in your routine, without blowing your entire calorie budget.  Essentially, think of it as a stepping stone - a tool you can lean on to learn what that balance will look like for you. 

When it comes to specifics, some of the foods you're encouraged to enjoy while you're in your 80% are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and minimal dairy.  When you're moving into that 20% diet, feel guilt-free enjoying any of your "fun foods."

The goal of the 80/20 eating method is to help you enjoy nutritious, delicious foods that will fuel your body on a regular basis, all while treating yourself to your favorites and enjoying life. Balance is absolutely key! 

Whatever your goals are, I’m here to support you.


Know Your Breads: Wheat, Gluten Free, Sprouted & More

Like milks & yogurts, there are a ton of different types of bread on the market, so it’s important to know what bread choices are available and right for you! Given the assortment and variety, it can be hard to break through the clutter... especially when each is claiming to be healthier than the rest.  I know that choosing which bread is best for you can be difficult, so I wanted to break down the pros & cons for each.  This will help you ultimately make an informed decision. One of the key factors to consider is whether you have gluten sensitivity or not. In addition to taking that into consideration, another thing to note is that not all breads are created equal! It is so important to choose a bread that has a limited amount of mystery ingredients and/or artificial ingredients and sugars. In a world of options, we are lucky to have choices, which is why I’ve outlined the most important variables to consider for some of the main choices out there.  As always, it’s very important for you to listen to your body, so if certain breads do not agree with you, skip them! As you know I’m always an advocate of choosing the right foods/lifestyle habits for YOU. 

Here is my full breakdown of some of the best choices of bread out there & a quick tidbit on why you should skip out on white bread entirely:

  • White Wonder Bread: This one is usually highly processed.  Meaning, a lot of the essential nutrients (minerals, B vitamins, proteins, fiber, healthy fats, and germ layers) are lost. After this process; all that is left is endosperm, which contains all the starch without much nutrient density. 
  • Sprouted Ezekiel Bread: Is great for many reasons, plus, it’s my personal fav! It contains different types of grains & legumes, offering no added sugar. Sprouting increases the nutrient levels & availability in the grains it has more nutritional value than most other breads.
  • Sourdough Bread: It’s prebiotic content and probiotic-like properties, in addition to the fermentation process improves its nutrition profile in several ways. Whole grain sourdoughs contain higher levels of folate and antioxidants than most other breads in addition to more mineral content. To make sure that you’re getting “true” sourdough bread, I suggest buying it from a farmer's market or a local bakery that you trust.
  • Whole Wheat Bread: Keeps the all parts of the grain intact (the germ, bran, and endosperm). The bran and germ are also full of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. A lot of companies label their breads as “whole wheat”, despite the fact that they’re mostly made of refined flour. To get the best whole wheat bread, make sure the first ingredient is 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain flour & check for added sugars &/or oils. 
  • Paleo / Gluten Free Bread: Many paleo breads are made from almond or coconut flour and happen to also be gluten-free. I suggest looking for  paleo breads that are made from these flours because they tend to be lower in carbs and calories, but higher in protein and fiber than loaves made from other grains.⠀
  • Flaxseed Bread: Flaxseed bread is made primarily from whole-grain flours and flax seeds. Out of the breads, it’s one of the more nutritious kinds you can eat. It is extremely low in sugar and full of an omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid.  

As always, I love to hear from you guys - which kind of bread is your favorite? Drop a comment below! 


4 Smoothies That Will Rock Your World

How is everyone feeling now that we’re about half-way through the first month of 2020?! Hopefully, you’ve had a great start to the year and are feeling confident that you’ll be able to achieve anything you put your mind to this year, especially as it relates to your health and fitness journey! Speaking of health, you guys know I LOVE a good smoothie, which is why I wanted to round up my 4 favorite smoothies that will totally rock your world! Smoothies are a great way to add in more veggies and have a tasty, satisfying snack or meal! Feel free to customize these recipes to your liking (ie. add protein, hemp, chia, etc). I know I personally like to add some protein to my smoothies, either with a protein powder or in the form of Greek yogurt. I also like to have a balance of vegetables and fruit to ensure I’m getting a totally nutrient dense smoothie.

Looking for something sweet? You'll love this: 

berry smoothie, healthy smoothie

Smoothie Favorite #1: Berry Blast
What you need:
½ Cup of kale⁠
¼ Cup of strawberries⁠
¼ Cup of blueberries
¼ Cup of raspberries
¼ Cup of blackberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder⁠
4-8oz water⁠
Handful of ice⁠

Craving something seasonal? Go for this: 

fall smoothie, greek yogurt smoothie, healthy smoothie

Smoothie Favorite #2: Fall Smoothie
½ Cup of greek yogurt⁠
1 persimmon, peeled⁠
½ medium size banana
½ Cup of spinach⁠
4-8oz water⁠
Handful of ice⁠

Looking for something packed with power? Try this: 

antioxidant smoothie, smoothie recipe, veggie smoothie

Smoothie Favorite #3: Antioxidant Smoothie⁠
½ Cup of cauliflower
½ Cup of strawberry
½ medium size banana
1 tsp chia seeds
½ Cup of spinach
4-8oz unsweetened almond milk⁠
Handful of ice

Craving Paradise? Enjoy this:

tropical smoothie, healthy smoothie

Smoothie Favorite #4: Tropical Smoothie⠀
½ C spinach
½ C frozen mango
½ medium size banana
2 orange slices
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
4-8oz water
Handful of ice

Instructions:
Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor⁠⠀
Blend until it’s all combined ⁠⠀
Drink up!

I hope these healthy smoothie ideas satisfy your taste buds and help you stay on track! All of these nutritious, simple recipes allow you to save money, time, and encourage healthy eating habits.As always, I would love to hear which of these you tried and loved! Leave a comment below!


healthy greek chicken recipe

My Top 5 Healthy Recipes That Are Simple & Delicious

Anyone else focusing on their health & wellness as we start the new year strong?! I know I am! To get you started with some healthy habits for the New Year, I wanted to round up my Top 5 Healthy Recipes That Are Simple & Delicious that you can make in 30 minutes or less! The best part about these dinners is that they are high in nutrients, low in cost, and are absolutely tasty.  

Ultimately, clean eating should not only be sustainable, but also taste good.  I packed these recipes with plenty of veggies, protein, and healthy carbs to balance out your meal for optimal health! 

Healthy Recipe #1: Greek Inspired Chicken Dinner or Lunch

This dish is 484 cals, tastes delicious, and is packed with veggies & the right amount of protein to keep you feeling full. I opted out of the feta cheese but you can totally add some in. I choose chicken thigh for the protein because they’re cheaper, delicious and totally worth a little bit of extra fat for all the flavor.

What you need: 

  • 2 mini cucumbers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 lemon (or 1/2 lemon)
  • 5 olives
  • 1 chicken thigh (5oz)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Instructions:

  • Chop up the cucumber, tomatoes, and onion.
  • Mix the veggies, chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, & sea salt in a bowl. Pour on a plate, top with the olives and set aside.
  • Coat the chicken thigh with olive oil spray and seasoning of your choice (I like @fitflavorspices)
  • Cook on a grill or stove top. (About 5-6 min on grill flip over and cook for another 3-5 min or until no longer pink on the inside).
  • Add the cooked chicken to your salad mix and enjoy!

healthy greek chicken recipe

Healthy Recipe #2: Cauliflower Rice, Veggies, and Eggs

Cauliflower rice is so easy to make and is a great choice if you’re looking for a more nutritious and lower calorie option. In this dish I combined it with sautéed veggies and eggs to create a nutritious and well rounded meal that’s only 404 calories. 

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1/3 a cauliflower head (raw) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 a tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (+ olive oil spray)
  • Garlic
  • Sea salt + pepper
  • + a blender or food processor

Instructions: 

  • Cut up the raw cauliflower head into pieces and place in food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until it becomes a rice like texture. (Do not over-blend!)
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil & garlic to a pan.
  • Add the cauliflower rice, sea salt & pepper.
  • Cook until cauliflower is soft. Remove from stove.
  • Add olive spray & mushrooms, tomatoes and onion to a pan. Add desired seasoning. 
  • While that’s cooking, fry two eggs in a separate.
  • Add all food to a plate. Add more sea salt to cauliflower rice if needed.
  • Mix all together. I love using the egg yolk as a sauce to the rice - YUM!

healthy cauliflower rice

Healthy Recipe #3: Salmon with Zucchini Noodles and Veggies

I love this recipe because it’s only 395 calories, delicious and so full of flavor! There’s a lot you can do by adding garlic, sea salt & pepper to the mix as well. 

What you need:

  • 4oz wild caught salmon
  • 1 medium zucchini 
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • Handful of asparagus
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

What to do: 

  • Spiralize the zucchini (I love the Paderno brand spiralizer)
  • Chop up the mushrooms, tomatoes & asparagus.
  • Spray a pan with non-toxic olive oil spray & cook the salmon stove-top (I like to cover the pan so it cooks more evenly).
  • In a separate stove-top pan, add 1 tsp olive oil & garlic to pan. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes & asparagus. Sauté with sea salt & pepper. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
  • Once the salmon is cooked through (becomes soft and flaky), remove from the stove.
  • Spray a clean pan with non-toxic olive oil spray. Cook the spiralized zucchini with the pesto for a short time (you don’t want it to become too soft)
  • Plate and enjoy!

healthy salmon dinner recipe

Healthy Recipe #4: Chicken Spaghetti with Zucchini Noodles and Mushrooms

This 5 ingredient dinner is simple, easy and delicious - a total win. I love this combination because there’s plenty of volume from the veggies & the large of amount of protein that will leave you feeling full. Plus, it takes less than 30 minutes to make! If you're in a rush or tired after a long day, this is a great recipe to cook at home, save money, and stay consistent on your wellness journey. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 cup mushrooms, cut in half
  • 1 cup organic marinara sauce
  • 6oz pasture-raised chicken
  • 1.5 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper

Instructions:

  • Use a spiralizer to turn the zucchini into noodle like shapes (I love the Paderno brand)
  • Heat up a grill (or pan) for the chicken.
  • Cover the chicken in olive oil spray & seasoning (I love @FitFlavorSpices) & place on the grill (on medium low). 4 - After about 9 minutes, flip the chicken over and grill for another 6-8 min. Set aside. 
  • Coat 2 separate pans with olive oil spray to cook the zoodles & mushrooms. 
  • Flash cook the zoodles with marinara sauce (not too long) & cook the mushrooms with 1.5 tsp olive, sea salt & pepper until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Dig in!

Healthy Recipe #5: Eggplant Mozzarella with Grilled Chicken Breast

This delicious recipe is brought to you by my husband Chris! It’s tasty AF, and so easy to make.  This will ensure you stay on track with your 2020 goals. This is also a killer recipe if you are entertaining! 

What you need: 

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 3 oz Fresh Mozzarella
  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 3 Basil Leaves
  • 5 oz of Chicken (if you want)

What to do: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice eggplant into 1/2” pieces, and sprinkle with black peppercorn and a little Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.
  • Cut mozzarella into 1 oz slices.
  • Lightly grill eggplant on both sides
  • Put Eggplant in pan and place 1 oz slices of cheese, 2 tbsp marinara, and 1 basil leaf on each piece.
  • Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Eat up!

healthy eggplant parmesan

I hope these healthy recipe ideas satisfy your taste buds and help you to stay on track!  The goal is to stay consistent with your health & wellness in order to achieve the best results.  All of these healthy, simple recipes allow you to save money, time, and encourage healthy eating habits.  Leave a comment below if you've tried any of them! 


7 tips to start the new year strong

7 Tips to Start the New Year Strong

With 2019 coming to an end, and a new decade right around the corner, I wanted to share my top 7 tips to start the new year strong (literally!).   Not only is the new year a perfect time to set some new goals & habits up for yourself, it’s also a new DECADE, which means sky’s the limit! While it’s important to think about your goals throughout the entirety of the year, I always think it’s important to start the new year with a fresh mind, fresh goals, and fresh plans! When thinking about your goals, it’s also important to think SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals).  The most important part about setting your goals is crafting a plan in order to achieve them!  So without further ado, here are my 7 tips to start the new year strong:

  1. MOTIVATION: Pick a goal that motivates you personally. Rather than making a resolution that you feel you “should”, choose one that you can get excited about. Doing something purely because you think you should won’t give you the necessary enthusiasm or determination to do the work that is necessary. When we are excited about something (whether it’s the “end result” or simply having more energy and feeling better) it makes the process much more enjoyable and gives you more incentive to “do the damn thing.” 

  2. PLANNING: Outline your plan to achieve these goals. There will always be some temptation to give up on your goal early, we’re only human after all!  Sometimes you may set a goal for yourself and realize it’s no longer a priority or might be out of your control.  The key to actually accomplishing those goals however, is to PLAN. When you take the time beforehand to craft that plan, it helps you mitigate any temptations or obstacles, meaning  you’ll be more prepared to stick to your new habits. So before starting the New Year and setting those resolutions, decide how you will deal with the temptation by crafting that safe guard plan. .

  3. BE REAL: Set realistic goals for yourself.  One of the easiest ways to set yourself up for success in the new year is to make a resolution or set a goal that you can realistically stick to. Now, I’m not saying only pick goals that are easy to stick to, but rather goals that will challenge you and push you to be the best you can be without being so far out of reach that you barely try. For instance, instead of resolving to never eat your favorite pizza ever again, shoot for only having it once a month. This way when you’re craving that slice, it’s easier to resist because you know you’ll enjoy it soon enough and still be on track with your goals.

  4. IT’S ABOUT THE JOURNEY: Keep track of your progress along the way.  Every accomplishment counts, big or small! Try breaking down your bigger goal into smaller short-term goals and document them in a notebook or on your phone.  By doing this, you can feel the excitement of seeing your progress, which will help you to continue the momentum. When you see that you’ve stayed on track for X many days in a row, it makes it so much easier to wrap your head around just one more day of doing the same thing! After all, you got this! 

  5. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER:  Have a reliable support system in place. Accountability is one of the most important factors in achieving your goals and maintaining a resolution. It doesn’t matter who it is- just choose someone you know will be there when you need them to help encourage you when you feel like quitting and to help you get back on track if you fall off. The great thing about this is that you can be their support too and help hold them accountable to their goals as well. It’s a team effort! 

  6. GO ALL IN: Dedication & Persistence. Long-term goals require patience and dedication. It takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, so don’t give up before you’ve really even started. I promise once it becomes a habit, you won’t have to think about it quite as much, and over time you may not have to think about it at all. We don’t form new habits overnight, so be patient with yourself and keep going! 

  7. LOVE YOURSELF AT EVERY STAGE: Be kind to yourself. No matter what your goal is for the New Year, remember to be kind to yourself along the way and not beat yourself up if you get off track. When you’re hard on yourself and don’t leave room for mistakes it can be SO much harder to stick to a new habit or activity. If you miss a workout or eat a piece of cake, don’t give up on yourself and throw all your hard work and progress out the window. Just do the best you can and remember that it’s never too late to get back on track. 

7 tips to start the new year strong

Now that you have my top 7 tips to start the new year strong, I want to hear some of your goals for the new year! Feel free to drop a comment below!


2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Leggings, Face Masks, Booty Bands & More!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year ;) Unless you’re out of gift ideas…in which case, I got you! Thankfully, that’s where my handy gift guide for you comes in. I know how chaotic and stressful this time of year can be, so I wanted to make gifting stress-free.  Plus, I kept your budget in mind, so you can avoid overspending this holiday season, as I picked out some fun holiday gifts for every budget.  

For Your Fitness Friend

$7.99 Barbell Santa Ornament 

Need a cute idea to add the Christmas tree or a pre-Christmas gift? This barbell santa makes a fun addition to any ornament collection! Plus, they’ll get a kick out of it year after year! 

$15.95 Booty Bands That Actually Stay In Place

Whether they’re looking to grow those glutes or want some bands for travel / on-the-go workouts, this super cute set of bands make for a great gift for that fitness friend of yours! 

$19.99 Stainless Steel Shaker Cup

Skip the plastic and gift this stainless steel shaker cup for anyone who wants to make protein shakes on the go. This shaker cup keeps your beverages ice cold & avoids any lumps or clumps! 

2 leggings for $24 (VIP membership) - Fabletics Gear

As a Fabletics ambassador, I’ve been blown away by the quality of the clothes for the price. Their sets are super cute and leggings are also very functional. Plus, if you order rush shipping by December 17th, it will still come in time for Christmas. Take advantage of their 2 leggings for $24 offer and buy one for you & one for a friend (or 2 for a very special friend).

 

For the Friend & Family Who Cooks

$10.99 Glass Straws

For the perfect little stocking stuffer, these colorful glass straws make a great addition to any kitchen set. 

$11.99 Stasher Reusable Silicone Bags

Not only is this gift super practical, but these silicone bags also come in an array of cute colors. It’s great for storing food and stasher bags are also dishwasher, microwave and boiling safe. This is also a great gift for your coworker, boss, or Secret Santa! 

$13.99 Skull Mason Jar

I’m sure you’ve seen this featured in my photos & Instastories many times! Anyone who spots this unique skull mason jar in my content always asks where to buy it...so here you go! For the unique individual who loves the non-traditional things in life, this makes for a great gift!

$29.99 Yeti 20oz Rambler 

For anyone who likes coffee on-the-go, this stainless steel tumbler is environmentally friendly and super cute. Plus, it keeps that ice coffee cold during the summer as it’s insulated for ice & heat. 

$21.99 3 Pack Meal Prep Containers | $28.99 5 Pack Meal Prep Containers

Another super practical gift, these meal prep containers are perfect for anyone who loves to make and store food! 

$36.99 Stainless Steel Half Gallon

For anyone looking to up their water game in 2020, this stainless steel half gallon is the perfect bottle to provide long lasting thirst clenching. Not to mention, it keeps your water ICE COLD! 

$79.00 Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

If you’re looking to go all out on a present, the instant pot is any home-cook’s best friend.  Not only can you cook a whole chicken in the matter of 25-30 minutes in the instant pot but you can also make delicious soups and stews, hard boil eggs and much more in this multi-feature kitchen tool.  Or you can replace mom and dad’s old crock pot with this upgraded kitchen gadget. 

$99.98 Air Fryer

I’ve only heard raving reviews from anyone who owns an air fryer. Not only is it much healthier than traditional frying, you can quickly make plain items like chicken, vegetables or potatoes tasty and crunchy in well under an hour. 

 

For Your Friend Who Needs More Chill in Their Life | Self Care Gifts They’ll Love 

$11.95 Dry Brush

One of my favorite daily habits is dry brushing! Not only does it help keep your skin extremely soft but it feels great doing something small for me daily (only takes about 5 minutes max!). It has helped me tremendously decrease my bacne, reduce the small bumps on my arm and maintain a clearer & softer body complexion overall. The special technique is also supposed to support the lymphatic system. 

$12.99 Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt baths are a relaxing way to end a stressful day. Enjoy a soak with these magnesium salts as a weekly de-stress ritual. 

$15.25 Chlorophyll Face Mask

Keep your face feeling smooth and clear with this green chlorophyll face mask. While it can get a little messy, it is absolutely worth how your skin is going to feel afterwards. Plus, it will make for a great weeknight nightcap after your shower or skincare routine. 

$24.99-$26.99 Elephant Robe

Feel comfy and cute in this soft elephant robe. This is one of my favorite staples to hang out in post-shower.  

$29.99 Natural Bath Bombs

Give the gift of relaxation with this 6 pack of natural bath bombs. 

 

For Someone Who Needs Better Sleep

$42 Philips Light Alarm Clock Older Version |

$120 Philips Light Alarm Clock Newer Version

(Both are great, however the older edition is more affordable, while the newer one offers more features) 

For anyone looking to optimize their morning routine, this is for you! Not only is waking up to light much more natural than a loud sound on your phone,  oftentimes I find it doesn’t even wake up my husband sleeping next to me since he is facing the opposite direction of the light. It also wakes you up with sounds of birds chirping if you need addition reassurance, but overall this alarm clock has been life changing for me!

$69 Blue light block glasses 

For anyone who uses screens at night (which is pretty much everyone), these glasses make a fabulous gift. This is also a great option for any of your friends, family, or colleagues who spend majority of their day working on a computer. 

 

For The Bookworm Friend Looking to Elevate Their Life

$16.69 Tools of Titans 

A classic book by Tim Ferris, which walks you through practical tips and routines given by Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. 

$17.92 Genius Foods

Eat your way to a healthier brain. After Max Lugavere’s mom was diagnosed with Alztiemers, Max made it his life’s mission to equip the world the knowledge and tools to prevent this disease from happening to you. This book breaks down the science and tips behind preventing dementia and also includes recipes to add to your nutrition routine.

$18.99 Sleep Smarter

For anyone looking to elevate their sleep cycle, Shawn Stevenson breaks down many tactics & tips on how to improve sleep.  Plus, he dives into the science behind those sleep choices in an easy-to-read, digestible and fun way.

I hope you enjoyed this gift guide and remember... spending quality time with friends and family is the best part of the holidays!  So remember,  not to sweat the small stuff and have fun!