Why is it that when everyone thinks of eating healthy that they automatically assume you have to eat plain chicken and steamed broccoli? I definitely refuse to eat plain chicken and you know I HAVE to roast my broccoli in the oven until it's crispy. I'll change up the way I cook my chicken... baked, grilled, crockpot. I'll change the seasonings or the sauce I use on chicken... sea salt, red pepper, garlic, turmeric, BBQ sauce. The possibilities are endless! I decided to go a different route this week with my chicken and BAM... that's how the Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Bowl was created!
Of course I had to combine the chicken with two of my FAVORITE things for the past few months or so: goat cheese & japanese sweet potatoes. Yes, I admit I have an obsession with japanese sweet potatoes. Yes, my boyfriend will stop at Whole Foods on his way home from work and surprise me with a bag of potatoes. Yes, that makes me happier than if he surprised me with flowers. No shame :)
Recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken:
Recipe for Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes:
For dinner, (the past 3 nights... so good) I mixed it all up in one big bowl of goodness including honey mustard baked chicken, japanese sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower, raw unsalted cashews, & honey goat cheese. YUM.
Most of us are so used to being on the go, running from one place to the next, working, driving from here to there, multi-tasking, and thinking of what we have to do next before we even finish our current task. Especially as a crossfitter, it’s a habit that everything is FOR TIME. 3…2…1… NO. Stop. Sloooooow down.
Just take a second right now to close your eyes. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose. Doesn’t that feel so good? It’s almost like we forget to breathe because we are so used to rushing to the next thing.
What I wanted to touch on quickly is practicing MINDFUL EATING. Or even just mindfulness in general. But we’re going to focus on mindful eating today… slowing down and really enjoying and understanding why you are eating what you are eating and getting in tune with your own body. We focus on WHAT we’re eating and not necessarily HOW or WHY we are eating. Ask yourself, when you eat a meal, is it because you are truly hungry? Is it convenient? Is it because you know it’s dinner time? Was it just there as you were walking by? Were you upset and wanted to have something sweet to feel better? Was it just because it tasted good even though you were full?
Most of us are super out of tune with ourselves and our bodies signals or hunger cues. Mindful eating is about slowing down, even before you eat a meal. Explore if you are truly hungry, if you are just bored, or maybe you are just thirsty. When you start to feel hungry, drink water and see if that helps. If you’re still hungry shortly after, then decide you are going to SIT DOWN and eat a meal or snack. Sit down with your meal in front of you and look at your plate. What does it smell like? Does it look as good as it tastes? Are you choosing foods that you know will satisfy your hunger? Are the foods on your plate going to fuel you for the rest of the day/until the next meal?
Be more conscious of the meals you eat while you are eating them. Focus on that meal and ONLY that meal. Eliminate distractions. This may mean no phones, no watching TV, no reading…. no eating while driving or running around and shoveling food into your mouth… it may mean just sitting down at a table and eating that meal without any extra distraction. This doesn’t mean you have to eat alone but just eliminating excess distractions. UNPLUG. Really focus on enjoying your food and the mental part of eating.
Start by chewing your food SLOWER. Eating the entire meal SLOWER. Time yourself. No joke. At your next meal, eat as you normally would but start your timer first. If it takes you 4:00 to eat your meal, try to slow down for your next meal and make it last 8:00. I did this yesterday and my lunch took me 6:00 to eat. So at dinner, I decided to try and use the tips below to slow down my meal. Dinner took me around 11:00. Wow! And it honestly tasted so much better and was more satisfying than most dinners tend to be after a long day. But how do you slow down your eating?
You eat to live and nourish your body… it shouldn’t necessarily be a comfort thing. It shouldn’t be a reward for a tough workout either. It shouldn’t always be something to make you feel better after a really bad day. Food is your FUEL above all. Food gives us the energy to do daily activities, exercise, work, and even to just breathe. You should be aware of your hunger levels and truly feel hungry BEFORE you eat and satisfied afterwards. Not completely stuffed and full and bloated. Eat to that “satisfied” or slightly full feeling. You can always eat another snack or meal later when you truly feel hungry again.
This all may seem silly to you but it’s just about being more AWARE and MINDFUL and not eating on auto-pilot, Take the time to enjoy the meal and embrace your feelings. Understand why you are eating what you are eating is HUGE. Slooooooow down next time you eat a meal.
Start with a small step. For a week, practice eating SLOWER. After a week of that, try removing all distractions while eating as well. After a week of that, practice eating to that satisfied fullness. You will become so in tune with yourself and your body. It will also help to develop a healthy relationship with food. It’s hard to do but can be so worth it. I challenge you to implement these steps into your lifestyle and see what works for you!
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“Time is a created thing. To say, ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.”
If you know me, you know I am ALL about eating organic when possible. I love the feeling of knowing my food is non-GMO and free of pesticides and artificial ingredients. AND my body loves it too! While most people may choose to go organic for different reasons including general health, avoiding hormones and antibiotics, animals, and environmental reasons… it can be COSTLY.
Not everyone can afford to eat organic or buy every single food item organic. That’s ok. While I feel that eating mostly organic foods is the best option for your health, I know that it can add up and sometimes you just have to choose the non-organic version to save a little extra cash. So which foods can you expect to contain the least amount of pesticides when buying non-organic?
Items safest to buy non-organic:
Foods where we aren’t eating the skin or the outside layer will typically have less exposure to pesticides and are safest to buy without being organic.
Items you should ALWAYS try to buy organic:
A few tips to avoid pesticides even further:
Again, I always try to buy organic first when possible but using this list when on a budget will help. Print it out and bring it with you on your next trip to the grocery store!
I hear this ALL the time and witness it first hand as a gym owner, coach, athlete, friend…
You’ve been putting time in at the gym and/or you are trying to lose weight but are unimpressed with your results… often times the missing piece of the puzzle is NUTRITION but other things might contribute to the lack of progress as well. Check out this list and see if any of these may be hindering your results:
Showing up for your workout is one piece of the puzzle. If you are sitting here and thinking “this is me” for some of the topics above, it’s time to get honest with yourself. These habits or mistakes may be hindering your performance in the gym and your goals. The goal for this article is to help you become aware of some of your habits and figure out ways to adjust and create new, healthier habits! Healthy on the inside means healthy on the outside.
If you have any questions, email me at QuadsLikeHalie@gmail.com :)
I love the Holiday season.
There are so many wonderful things about the Holidays like spending time with family, feasting, hot cocoa, baking cookies, decorating the house, holiday parties, traveling, kids are home from school, shopping, and gift wrapping. It's a time of joy and merriness but it also can be a BUSY time of year for most.
Usually, the period between Halloween and New Years wreaks havoc on people's fitness and nutrition. Schedules get crazy and added stress can affect sleep, which can throw off your workout routine. Holiday parties and baking and leftovers around the house leave you with endless opportunities to give in to temptation. The average weight gain can be anywhere from 3-7 pounds over the holiday season. In the grand scheme of things, that winter coat can be shed over the next month or two but why go through that vicious yo-yo weight gain and loss process?
Be smart this holiday season! I believe you shouldn't restrict yourself from things you love and enjoy, but it can be helpful to practice moderation in all areas through this crazy time of year.
Here are a few tips to consider so that you don't turn into that person who says "New Year, New me" and starts a crash diet and crazy fitness routine on January 1st...
It can be overwhelming. Maintain a positive attitude and use this time to explore yourself and grow mentally. Remember that at the end of the day, food is JUST FOOD. Yes, it fuels you and provides you the nutrients and energy you need for workouts or even just daily life. But it also is just food... Your food choices don't equal your value as a human being. Things may not go exactly as planned, you might over indulge at a holiday party, or you may under eat because you were just THAT busy one day... that is OK. This time of year can be difficult for most people so just know that you are not the only one struggling. Take it easy on yourself. Remember the bigger picture and what the holidays are all about!
Stick to your routine/schedule.
Life gets busy but trying to stick to your normal gym, meal, and sleep schedule can really help keep you on track. Meal prepping and eating your normal healthy meals a majority of the time will limit weight gain. If you have your food prepared like normal, it keeps you on track by wanting to eat those meals instead of allowing them to go to waste. Stick to the same gym schedule as much as possible. That is your YOU time. Write it down in your planner or plug it into your calendar. It's like a date with yourself, you can't cancel that! And get some sleep... the stores will still be open tomorrow to get your holiday shopping done (or better yet, order online from your bed!!). Make a schedule and stick to it.
Be prepared and plan ahead.
You are the only one who is in charge of you. You control the outcome of your daily choices and habits. Continue to prep your healthy meals to eat majority of the time AKA be prepared every day! If you know you won't make your normal gym time on a Saturday and you normally rest Thursdays, maybe switch it up and get that extra sweat sesh in on a Thursday. If you know you are going to be indulging in a larger meal that day, stick to your normal healthy food like normal beforehand. NEVER go to a party starving... that just leads to binging on everything in sight. Going shopping all day? Pack some healthy meals or snacks with you so that you don't skip eating or grab something at the food court. Going to a family members house for dinner? Get your workout done beforehand so that you have a little room for those extra calories! Traveling? Look up a CrossFit box or gym ahead of time in the area, check their schedule, call/email ahead of time and set up a time to drop in. Drop-ins while traveling are my favorite!
Indulge with awareness. Practice moderation.
If you have a holiday party coming up that seems overwhelming, remember food IS NOT the reason you are attending the event... spending time with friends, family, loved ones is. Focus on the event, the people there, and any activities that may go on at the event. That buffet of food over in the corner is just food. Make sure to not starve yourself all day leading up to the event and then binge on the entire buffet table. Eat like you normally would that day. Eat a solid meal beforehand so that you aren't so hungry that you grab everything in sight. If you still want to eat some of the food at the event, eat a lighter meal and then pick a few choices from the buffet and savor each bite. Eat slowly and enjoy the food you are chewing. Taking the time to really taste the food and satisfy those cravings can help you to be aware of how the food makes you feel and also allows you to notice your fullness sooner so that you may stop eating once you are actually full. That's another thing, eat until you are full and satisfied and THAT'S IT. Just because you are having something not in your "diet" do not give you an excuse to go crazy and shove everything and anything in your mouth. MODERATION. That's one of my favorite words. Yes, I will have a cookie or two. Yes, I will indulge at a family gathering and eat more than normal. NO I will not eat and eat and eat until it hurts. Craving something? Eat it and then MOVE ON. Don't let it ruin the rest of your day or even week. Have some self control and save those special treats for when it is really worth it!
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE that you have to keep up with every day. It's not a phase or a fad and it's full of challenges but also many victories, big or small. Celebrate the small victories you may have... like saying no to that extra piece of pie staring at you or getting your workout in when you didn't think you had time. Those are WINS in my book. Focusing on those wins allows you to feel the progress you are making both mentally and physically. If you do indulge, it isn't the end of the world. Embrace the slip-up and learn from it. MOVE ON. Enjoy the holiday season and make the most of this time with family and friends. Making good, healthy choices a majority of the time will allow you to maintain your health and fitness while still enjoying the fun things like cookies or hot cocoa.
I am passionate about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself & helping those around me.