Food Prep Tips – KEY to eating clean!!!

Food prep is a huge part of eating clean MOSTLY at your lunch time!  Here are a few reminder tips!

  • Hard boil a dozen eggs.
  • Steam 2 bags of kale.
  • Saute one head of chopped cabbage in coconut oil.
  • Roast diced squash.
  • Roast 6-12 sweet potatoes/yams.
  • Saute 2# of ground meat (beef, turkey, pork etc)
  • Slow cook 2-3# of chicken breasts or pork loin in the crockpot with sliced onion and peppers, a can of diced tomato and spices. Shred the meat when it’s done cooking.
  • Cook in a couple big batches. I do one big cooking day on Sunday and another small one during the week. The rest is heat and eat.
  • Make staple items like cooked veggies and meats which you dress up with different seasonings and spices.
  • Invest in an army of proper storage containers. It will keep food fresher longer than flimsy plastic wrap on top of a bowl! My favorite is Glasslock Snapware (online here or at Costco). It does NOT leak, and I prefer the idea of heating up glass better than plastic.
  • Wash and prep produce as soon as you get it home from the market (ex: slice or dice peppers, dice onions, etc) and store in individual containers.
  • Portion out all lunches, for example, for the week at one time.
  • Freeze extra portions if you make too much (works especially well for crock pot or casserole type recipes).
  • Keep a running shopping list on your phone so you can easily edit.
  • This sounds obvious, but don’t do a task twice if you don’t have to. Go through 6 hard boiled eggs a week? Do it all at once instead of 3 now and 3 mid-week. Learn what quantities work best for you and stick to them so you can go on autopilot at the market.

Devote a few hours one afternoon each week to food prep.  It gets a huge chunk of the week’s cooking out of the way!!!  These tips will help make your life easier and eating clean a guarantee!   Try some of these if you’re feeling stuck in a rut!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony through Fitness & Whole Foods

ShapeItUp.com – YOUR Fitness Superstore

 

 

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Spaghetti Squash Goodness – who needs noodles???!!!!

I made spaghetti using spaghetti squash as our noodles and it was AMAZING!  I have been doing this for years and tonight I was reminded how yummy it is!!!

Ingredients (including turkey burger & spaghetti squash)
Squash5
Cook upside down at 375 for 45 minutes.  Take out of oven once it’s squishy on top.
Squash4It will look like this once it’s done.  A fork will scrape out the insides like noodles. Squash2Homemade spaghetti sauce that only took a few minutes and did NOT come out of a jar! Squash3END RESULT = YUM YUM YUM!!! Squash1Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
1lb turkey burger
Coconut Oil
1 onion
10 cloves of garlic
1 orange pepper (or color of choice)
3 zucchini
4-5 heirloom tomatoes
4-6 chopped mushrooms
Lots of fresh basil
Salt / Pepper
Organic garlic salt

Cook your spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes at 375 or until squishy on top.  Turn it over once it’s out of oven as it’s SUPER hot.  In meantime put a spoonful of coconut oil in a pan and sauté chopped onion, garlic & bell pepper.  Add in turkey meat and brown.  Chop up and add the tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms & basil.  Season GENEROUSLY with salt, pepper & garlic powder or salt.  Put a lid on it and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes.  Use a fork and scrape out the squash like noodles.  Serve the meat sauce on top.  Top with nutrition flakes (if desired) which will resemble parmesan cheese.
ENJOY!!!

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods…

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Circuit Time – AGAIN!!!

Workout2

Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well
Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

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Circuit Time!!!

Workout5NEW CHALLENGE!!!!!

Happy Fit (ALMOST) Friday!!!!

Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well
Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

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Gluten, Dairy & Soy FREE Cupcakes!!!!!

cupcake2Homemade cupcakes that contain NO bad ingredients!!!!  YAHOOOOOOO!!!  Charly is asleep but when she wakes up she is gonna be EXCITED!!!  These took only 30 minutes to make & have minimal ingredients.

cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs
1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup honey or coconut sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt & baking soda

2.  In a small bowl blend together eggs, oil, sugar & vanilla

3.  Mix wet ingredients into dry and blend with a mixer or hand blender until smooth

4.  Pour batter into well oiled muffin pan

5.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes

6.  Cool completely

7.  Top with chocolate frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Frosting:
1 cup dairy, soy free chocolate chips
1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil (I used olive oil)
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

1.  In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and oil

2.  Stir in sugar, vanilla & salt

3.  Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to chill and thicken

4.  Remove from freezer & whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy

5.  Frost away!!!

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The next round of circuit dates are HERE!!! Do you have a confirmed spot??

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Are you looking to lean down, improve at your sport, get stronger and workout with a very fun / motivating group of people???!!!  My circuit is for YOU!!  I am taking sign-ups for the next round.  Let me know if you would like a confirmed spot!

Kennedy Club Fitness – AG
Thursdays 6am or 7:05am

March 12th
March 19th
March 26th
April 2nd
April 9th = NO Circuit
April 16th
April 23rd
April 30th
May 7th
May 14th

Cost is $199 (Kennedy members) or $247.50 (non-members)

Let me know if you would like a confirmed spot!!!
amy@ShapeItUp.com
805-234-2780

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony through Fitness & Whole Foods

ShapeItUp.com – YOUR Fitness Superstore

 

 

 

 

 

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Fitness Challenge #3!!!!

challenge

XoXo
Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

ShapeItUp.com – YOUR Fitness Superstore

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Exercise Challenge #2!!

challenge2

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Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well

Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

ShapeItUp.com – YOUR Fitness Superstore

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Exercise CHALLENGE – BURPEES!!!

30 Day Exercise Challenge
260566_372272542876616_464869078_n

Day 1:  5 Burpees
Day 2: 10 Burpees
Day 3: 15 Burpees
Day 4: 20 Burpees
Day 5: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 6: 20 Burpees
Day 7: 25 Burpees
Day 8: 30 Burpees
Day 9: 35 Burpees
Day 10: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 11: 35 Burpees
Day 12: 40 Burpees
Day 13: 45 Burpees
Day 14: 50 Burpees
Day 15: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 16: 50 Burpees
Day 17: 55 Burpees
Day 18: 60 Burpees
Day 19: 65 Burpees
Day 20: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 21: 65 Burpees
Day 22: 70 Burpees
Day 23: 75 Burpees
Day 24: 80 Burpees
Day 25: DOWN DOG / Rest Day
Day 26: 80 Burpees
Day 27: 85 Burpees
Day 28: 90 Burpees
Day 29: 95 Burpees
Day 30: 100 BURPEES

Can you take on the challenge??
XoXo
Eat Clean, Train Hard, Be Well
Amy Approved = Creating Harmony Through Fitness & Whole Foods

ShapeItUp.com – YOUR Fitness Superstore

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The Hottest New Diet of 2015 That You Haven’t Heard Of

Pegan

Allow us to introduce you to… the Pegan diet! This plan combines the healthiest qualities of two popular eating plans to help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and improve heart health.

When it comes to nutrition, the mind-boggling mix of advice can make anyone’s head spin. Should you eat whole grains, or avoid gluten? Consume lean protein, or be a vegetarian? Go low-fat, or eat plenty of fat with every meal? It’s no wonder we’re all confused about what we should—or shouldn’t—eat.

The perpetual debate can be divided into two main (and seemingly opposing) camps: Paleo and vegan. Devotees of the Paleo (or “caveman”) diet, consume foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. Grains, legumes, sugars, processed foods, and most dairy products are forbidden. A vegan diet, on the other hand, consists of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds—and prohibits anything that comes from an animal.

Followers of each are staunch in defending the benefits of their diet, and science isn’t much help when it comes to differentiating between the two. Studies show both Paleo and vegan diets can help with weight loss, reverse diabetes, and lower cholesterol. How can you tell which is best for you?

“Although they may sound completely at odds, the truth is Paleo and vegan diets have more in common with each other than either have with the standard American diet,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author of the forth coming book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Cookbook (March 2015).

“The foundational principles of both diets—real whole, fresh food in its natural state free of processed ingredients, refined carbohydrates, and additives—are the same,” Hyman explains. “Designed correctly, both a Paleo and vegan diet can provide health benefits like weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and reverse diabetes.”

Hyman decided to seek some middle ground and combined the two opposing diets together. “Taking the best, most healthful qualities of both diets, I wanted to create an eating style that combines the best of two worlds,” Hyman says. The result: Paleo-Vegan, or “Pegan” diet.

To really boil it down for you, it’s made up of eating fresh food in its unadulterated state. “When people get back to these foods, they lose weight, regardless of whether they are Paleo or vegan,” Hyman says.

If Peganism sounds like it’s up your ally, simply follow these 10 principles to reap the best parts of both diets.

1. Focus on foods with a low glycemic load. ”They key to weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular health is eating a low-glycemic, high-phytonutrient diet,” explains Hyman. In other words, choose foods that are low in sugar, avoid refined carbs of all kinds, and stick to organic options like fruits, nuts, legumes, and even teas.

2. Fill your plate with veggies. 50 to 75 percent of your diet—and your plate—should be vegetables, Hyman says. And the deeper the color, the better—this signifies a high phytonutrient (aka organic) content that can protect against disease.

3. Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil—it’s highly processed and high in inflammatory omega 6 fats. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, found in olive oil, nuts, coconut, avocados, and in small amounts, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals, Hyman suggests.

4. Treat meat as a side dish. Paleo diets give meat the starring role, while vegans avoid it entirely. So what’s a Pegan to do? “A good rule of thumb is to fill about 25 percent of your plate with a protein-rich food—about the size of your palm,” says Hyman. Veggies should still be the majority, and any remaining plate-space should be given to healthy starches such as winter squash, sweet potato, or black rice.

5. Choose sustainably raised or grass-fed sources. Grass-fed beef has more cholesterol-neutral stearic acid and contains protective omega-3 fats and vitamins A and D that raises glutathione and other antioxidants, Hyman explains. And if you’re going for fish, choose omega-3-fat rich fish such as sardines or wild salmon, which have lower mercury levels.

6. Avoid dairy. Here’s where both diets have it right. “While some people can tolerate it, recent research has shown that it can contribute to ailments such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and may increase (not decrease) the risk of osteoporosis,” Hyman says. Try organic goat or sheep products, and only as a treat.

7. Say no to gluten, and cut down on other whole grains. The debate over gluten rages on, but Hyman recommends that other than an occasional treat, it should be avoided. As for other whole grains? “Eat them sparingly. They still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.”

8. Limit legumes. Although beans are a good source of fiber, protein and minerals, Hyman suggests capping consumption to less than 1 cup per day. They can cause digestive problems, and increase blood sugar in diabetics or pre-diabetics—especially big starchy beans.

9. Have sugar only on (very) special occasions. Consider sugar—in all its various forms—an occasional treat. Maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar are okay in small amounts, Hyman says, but skip artificial sweeteners and any added sugars.

10. Banish Franken-foods. Choose foods that are low in pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, and GMOs, Hyman says. Translation: No chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG, or artificial sweeteners.

 So what does a typical day in the Pegan diet look like? Pretty delicious! “Breakfast is usually a protein smoothie with nuts, seeds, berries, coconut butter, almond butter, and unsweetened almond milk.” Hyman says. “Lunch might be a big salad with avocado, pumpkin seeds, canned wild salmon, or sardines. Then dinner is usually something like wild-caught fish or pasture raised lamb or organic chicken, two or three sides of vegetables including dark green leafy greens, winter squash, and roasted mushrooms.”

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