Meal Prep Revitalization

So, as I’ve shared in the past, I’m not a huge meal prep supporter.. However now that I’m responsible for all of my own meals, I’ve concluded it may be time to dabble in a bit of food planning.

This shift isn’t for the purpose of staying on track for gains, but to help me keep my sanity… bc I hate rushing & not knowing what/when I’m going to eat. I also don’t want to spend my time after work making food.. 

SO! I tested the waters last week with my new rice/slow cooker (thank you to my family for being great gift-givers).

I’m always hungry so I decided ‘yea, I should definitely make 3 four-serving cups of rice :D’ & added some peas & black beans to the mix.

Well, a week later, I’ve been eating the same damn rice for a week. Which is exactly why I’ve always avoided meal prepping. LOL @ the irony right??

Yesterday I figured out an easy way to re-purpose my remaining servings of rice. It was super simple, & delicious! I’m here to share my steps to revitalized meal prep

Step One: Make way too much rice (& beans & peas) 

 
Step Two: scramble egg w/ butter

  
Step Three: Heat frozen (or fresh) veggies in olive oil (or butter) & season to taste

  
I used broccoli, carrots, & cauliflower. Seasoned with black pepper, cayenne pepper, & ‘French fry seasoning’ from the dollar store 😂😂

Step Four: COMBINE EVERYTHING!

  
Yay makeshift fried rice! Protein, veggies, carbs, & healthy fats!! 😀

What I’m learning is that leftovers & food planning doesn’t have to be a burden. This re-do of last week’s meal prep took me about 15 mins & was done on very low energy. 

I’ll share more as I climb the learning curve!! 

Enjoy 🙂

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Overnight Oats!

I am not a big ‘meal prep’ person.. Mainly because I have no clue what the hell I’m going to want to eat a week ahead of time/I am lazy. Sure, my body would thank me if I put time into planning healthy & filling meals for the whole week. And I bet my gains would skyrocket. But let’s be real here- I’m not ready to commit to such a pre-planned food life. I also am not that concerned with what I’m eating to dedicate to meal prepping every week.. I eat what makes me feel good & give myself ~creative license~ on food otherwise categorized as ‘not-so-good-for-you’.

So, with that being said, overnight oats are the closest I get to a consistent meal prep. They’re great for a grab-and-go breakfast or anytime snack. You can customize them with your preferred add-ins. They take about two minutes to whip up. They’re great!!

*I don’t use exact measurements.. so this may be a little vague, but it’s pretty hard to mess this up 😉

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 parts milk (dairy or non-dairy, I use almond milk)
  • 2 parts dry oats
  • 1 part chia seeds
  • 1 part greek yogurt
  • honey/agave (up to you how sweet you want it)
  • any other spices/add-ins

How To:

Add the yogurt, oats, & milk in a container. I usually use a 2-cup mason jar….Well, I use whatever is clean if I’m being honest.. Mix this trio together.

Pour in your chia seeds & honey. You’ll want to mixture to be liquidy at this point, so add more milk if needed! Throw in anything else you’d like. I added raspberries to my oat concoction today. 

After the mix has a few hrs to absorb the milk & chill (literally- refrigerate it when you’re done), it’s ready! It’ll be thicker after its chilled, that’s normal. 

Since I use random amounts of each ingredient, I don’t exactly have a ‘nutrition facts’for this recipe.. What I do know: Overnight oats are full of protein, fiber, & healthy fats! They’ll keep you going longer than most quick hunger fixes. If you make this for a snack/breakfast, you won’t regret it 🙂 

Enjoy!! 

4 Ingredient Vanilla Protein Pancakes

Good morning!! Happy Friday!!! 🙂

This morning I had some extra time before work & decided to make myself a real breakfast.. Vanilla protein pancakes seemed like the perfect way to start my Friday. With just four ingredients & about 30 grams of protein, the real MVP of breakfast is protein pancakes. 

{I’ve posted about these pancakes before, but figured this rendition deserved its own post}

What you’ll need: 

  • one egg
  • one banana
  • one heaping scoop Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Whey Protein
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • *optional* 2 tablespoons ground flax seed

Start by mashing the banana in a bowl- I’ve found a fork works best.

Add the egg & mix until there’s a nice lumpy consistency.. Make sure the yolk is broken & spread throughout the mixture!

Pour your milk. Pour your protein powder. Mix away! (Waiting until you add the protein to mix in the milk makes it much easier to blend) I also added a few spoonfuls of ground flax to keep it movin 😉

Warm up your pan with whatever oil/butter of your choice. I used olive oil- would probably go with something lighter next time. Whatever you use, make sure you use enough to cover the pan so your pancakes don’t stick! 

Pour your batter in & watch the magic happen. ….Ok actually I JUST learned how to flip my pancakes without completely messing them up…so maybe what happens won’t be magical. Either way- your little creations should be ready to eat in about six minutes

  

Add some peanut butter, fruit, chocolate chips, syrup, sprinkles, or whatever else you desire! Enjoy!!

Start Your New Year’s Resolution NOW

The new year is a crazy time. The world of fitness & health gets more frustrating than usual- filled with people jumping into new fitness routines, people who vowed to make this year their year

We’re all guilty of this ‘new year, new me’ mindset. We start making promises to ourselves to change all of the things we didn’t like about the previous year. We tell ourselves this year will be different- we’ll get in shape, we’ll run that marathon, we’ll finally try those healthy recipes that have been bookmarked for months..

Why do we need the number at the end of today’s date to change to allow ourselves to be better? What is the purpose of waiting? Maybe it helps us put off our own health without feeling guilty, because ‘once January comes around things will be different’…’the new year is when I’ll get serious about working out’. 

Here’s my advice to you (& myself): START NOW!!!

Start researching. There’s a wealth of information for anyone new to the world of fitness & health & wellness. Here are some of my favorite user-friendly places to search:

  • BodyBuilding.com Sooooo many free workout plans, informative articles, exercise how-tos, & even supplements! This is literally how I built my lifting knowledge-base. 
  • Fitness Blender I just discovered these guys. Their YouTube channel has a plethora of at-home workouts that range from interval cardio to weight training.
  • Bad Yogi Official Erin Motz is a seasoned yogi who totally gets that most people who do yoga are not experts… She has lots of free classes that make you feel good about your imperfect practice 🙂

It’s going to take some time before you find a fitness regime you really enjoy. It’s going to take even more time before your hard work is gratified with visible results.

Experiment with different types of exercise. Figure out the different things you’d like to try now.

Make small changes each day so you don’t shock your system & give up when it gets too difficult too fast. 

Get a jump start on your 2016 goals!! Have fun, try new things, & never give up on yourself! 

I hope you all have a wonderfully funky final week of 2015. 

~peace & all good~

Black Friday Exercise to Free You from Your Guilt

Ah, the day after Thanksgiving.. 

Recovering from lots of food, lots of family time, & possibly lots of adult beverages. Maybe you’re still with your family & friends. Maybe you’ve already been up for hours because you enjoy battling for deals that you can also get from the comfort of your bed… Online shopping is the way to go yall. 

I woke up feeling great this morning- my body is praising the lord for all of the food I gave it. However, my legs aren’t very happy since I made them finish a dreaded 5k yesterday morning. I know 3.2 miles isn’t very much for most people, but ya girl usually runs a single (1) mile if any at all.. So I’m pretty proud of myself for my under 30 min finishing time! rofl

  

It was actually a lot of fun (can’t believe I just said that). Turns out running outside with the fam isn’t as torturous as running on a treadmill..

Since most of us stuffed our faces all day yesterday, I came up with a quick & easy workout to get back on track. Anyone can do this fun little routine!! 

Exercise 1: Sit & Reach

Start on the couch. While holding in your abdomen, sit up and reach for the remote. Repeat as many times as necessary. Try changing the channel & volume in intervals to get more work in!

Exercise 2: Leftover Dash

Start on the couch again. Now you’ll get up & walk to the kitchen. Fix yourself a plate of leftovers. Put the food in the oven/microwave. Walk back to the couch..& then back to the kitchen when your food is ready. Remember to take breaks!! This one can be tough.

Exercise 3: Glass Curl

This one requires a glass of water, tea, coffee, wine, whatever you prefer. Same starting position- on the couch.. Grip your glass & lift the glass to drink from it. Squeeze your bicep muscles while lifting & lowering the glass. Chiseled tank top arms here we come 😉

Stay persistent, & always practice safe sets!! 

Enjoy this time of indulgence, your body deserves it. Too much deprivation never did anyone any good anyways! Besides, most of the food we’ve all eaten for Thanksgiving is relatively unprocessed & full of much-needed refueling nutrients. Guilt-free holidays 4 lyfe!

~peace & all good~

French Toast with a Dash of Protein

I’m all about high-protein recipes. If you can make a protein version of a food, I will. From pancakes to muffins to chilli, nothing is safe.. My family thinks it’s annoying but they will thank me when their muscles are happier than they’ve ever been! 

I was browsing le internet recently & found an article (click here to read) that had some info on how to turn an average breakfast classic into a protein-fest. 🙂 French Toast..plus protein.. Yes please!!

What You’ll Need

  

  • 1/2 cup milk (I used half & half because our milk was sour..always a nice discovery)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein (I only have chocolate so I ‘borrowed’ my moms Weight Watchers protein)
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • dash of cinnamon 
  • dash of vanilla extract

First step (which I regrettably skipped) is to melt the butter. It may have something to do with the protein powder, but solid butter didn’t blend into the mix.. 

Preheat your oven to 350 & lay some parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

Then you’ll add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Mix them until they’re….well, mixed.

  
I cut my bread into strips, because French Toast Sticks seemed like a cool idea. 

  
Then you’ll dip your bread into the liquid mixture. It only works if your sink (like mine) is overflowing with dirty dishes. 

  
Line the strips on your baking sheet. This pic is funny because you can see how the unmelted butter literally didn’t mix with the other ingredients at all. It was too cool for them… 

After 10 mins you’ll want to flip the toast so both sides get evenly cooked & crisp. 

  
This is what a side that’s fully baked looks like. Delicious.

  

Top your toast with syrup, confectioners sugar, sprinkles, fruit, or even more French Toast- whatever you want! 

Enjoy your protein-filled breakfast!! Your muscles will thank you 🙂

~peace & all good~

Peanut Butter Energy Bars

I’m always hungry.. I need a consistent source of energy (aka food) to keep me going throughout the day. Without an energy source, hanger sets in quite quickly. Which means I’m always looking for easy snacks & meals that will keep me full.

I also love peanut butter. [Anyone who has nut allergies, I’m sorry….this post won’t be of much help to you on your quest for easy recipes.] If you follow me on Instagram (@leedleg) you know I also love oatmeal. Put a few of my favorite things together & you get this amazingly quick, easy, & filling snack! 

Peanut Butter Oat Bars

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 cups raw oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds (camera shy)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinammon

  
These bars are great because you can pretty much put whatever you want in them… They’re no-bake, so keep it within the realm of ‘doesn’t need to be cooked’. But go crazy! Add chocolate chips, almonds, my mind is blanking on other things….you get the point- take control of your snack bars!!

The first thing you’ll do is melt the peanut butter & honey together in a small pot.

   Already so yum, very wow.

Then you’ll mix in the oats. I tried to do everything in the same pot but it didn’t go so well… So I suggest starting this step in a separate bowl.

Once the oats are mixed with the peanut butter-honey blend, it’s time for all the other ingredients to join the fiesta!

   Using your hands > Using a spoon

When everything is mixed to your satisfaction, transfer it to a baking pan. 

  *holding the jar of peanut butter next to the pan is optional*

This is where your bars will live overnight while they become who they’re meant to be… Store the pan in the fridge, covered with tinfoil/Saran wrap/whatever you have. 

Voila! Tomorrow, let the bar come to room temperature & cut it into a desirable range of sizes. Bring em with you anywhere you might need a snack! These will probably last you a while if you’re not sharing, so keep them fresh in the fridge 🙂

~peace & all good~