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!! 

Almond Chocolate Blondies

I’ve decided to step up my baking game. & my gains game.. To accomplish both, I’m on a mission to incorporate more high-protein baked goods into my life. So here’s my first round of ~protein baking~ that doesn’t involve pancakes!!

*if you are allergic to almonds, this is not the post for you… almonds galore here, people*

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein (or whatever flavor you see fit)
  • 2/3 cup crushed almonds
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 whole eggs

Steps to Awesomeness:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350, line your baking pan/try of choice with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil until it’s soft, or complete liquid.. I did the latter.
  3. Combine melted coconut oil with almond butter & mix away! Simultaneously (not rlly) whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the eggs and agave to your butter bowl. 
  5. Add almonds to the mix & fold them in until the consistency becomes thicker. Now’s your time to add protein powder if you so choose!
  6. Chop up your chocolate & cashews, mix them into your batter. Now would be a good time to add any additional fillings if you wish to. If the mixture seems too dry, pour a splash of almond milk in.   
  7. Pour your deliciousness into your baking vehicle (???) & set the oven timer to 20 mins. You may need to check them after this time & make sure the middle isn’t still totally raw.
  8. ENJOI!!!! …..once they have cooled down

  
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Macros: 

  • 260 calories
  • 20g fat- 5g saturated, 2g polyunsaturated, 5g monounsaturated
  • 12g carbs- 4g fiber, 5g sugar
  • 10g protein
  • + iron, vitamin B, vitamin E, copper, ribo~flavin~, & LOADS of other vitamins & minerals


     

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!!

A Daily Reminder

We’re all busy people. It’s not unheard of for the day to go right by you & the next thing you know, it’s 9 pm & you can’t even remember if you drank water today. 

So here’s a reminder- a sort of checklist to go through with yourself randomly throughout the day:

  • have you eaten in the last 3 hrs?
  • have you drank any water in the last hr?
  • have you gotten up & moved around? stretched your arms out as wide as they can go?
  • have you taken a deep inhale?
  • have you let go of that inhale with an even deeper exhale?
  • have you looked outside?
  • have you thought something nice about yourself?

All of these seem like really simple things… But I’ve found its the simple things that get away from us. 

Take a few minutes to let go of everything, breath, & recollect yourself & your thoughts. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself! Today & everyday 🙂

Power Circuit

You don’t have much time. 

Your motivation to workout isn’t exactly where you hoped it’d be. 

Your period cramps are starting to kick in. 

You have things to do, people to see- the gym isn’t your only obligation.

Whatever the reason is, you need a quick & effective workout. You came to the right place!

I needed a lift that wasn’t too labor-intensive…but I wanted to sweat & feel the burn in all of my muscles. I made up a circuit workout that let me take care of those needs, but still get of the gym to do the things I had planned for the day.

All you need for this workout is a barbell & some plates (or various dumbbells) & about 20 minutes. In just 3 moves you’ll use almost every muscle in your  body, build muscle strength, & get your sweat on 🙂

*I did about 15 mins on the treadmill (walking) to warm myself up before lifting. For a video of this workout, check out my Insta: @leedle_g*

Hang Clean ~ Hang cleans are sort of a deadlift variation… Accessory work HANN. 

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance & your hands shoulder-distance on the bar. 
  • Bend at the waist with the bar just below your knees. Keep your back straight, stick your butt out, keep your knees loosey-goosey. 
  • Spin around 3 times. [HA! Don’t spin around, just making sure you’re paying attention.] 
  • Now, pull the bar up along your legs into a forearm curl. Move the bar back down in a controlled way.

You just worked your whole front & back body. Yay muscles!!

Bent-Over Row ~ Bent-over rows use your upper back to pull the weight ~against gravity~

  • Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-distance. Bend at the waist with your knees loosey-goosey again. 
  • Keep your chest loud & proud! 
  • Pull the bar up by bending your elbows & squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the bar back to start.

Military Press ~ Military press primarily works your shoulders & back. Everyone loves to work on their shoulder aesthetic. Back aesthetics are pretty lit too. Not to mention-you get stronger, you can hold weight over your head…it’s a terrific accessory lift.

  • Start with the bar parallel to your shoulders, either in front or in back of your head. 
  • Put your hands shoulder-distance or wider on the bar. 
  • Push the bar up using the power of your legs. Trust yourself! You got this, you can hold yourself & the weight of that bar. 
  • Slowly bring the bar back down to your shoulders. 

You’re using your shoulders, chest, upper back, & even your legs to successfully move weight through this lift!!

~ Repeat each lift 8-12 times (heavier weight, lower reps..lighter weight, higher reps) & complete the circuit for 4-6 rounds. Circuit workouts like this are great for strong, fat-burning, time restricted gym sessions. Your muscles get confused, they work during each lift, & your ticker (heart) gets a run for its money. This particular circuit also involves 3 compound moves; this means you’re utilizing multiple muscles to perform each lift. Efficiency at its best!

I went with a barbell circuit for this workout for multiple reasons. I’ve been working on my deadlifts…which means I’ve been working on my entire body’s strength & endurance. I’ve adopted some CrossFit-esque lifts (as you can see from this workout) in my efforts to add plates to my deadlift. That means more barbell-based lifts. More hang cleans, more overhead presses, more compound lifts. More sweat, more gains, more pain, more food, more sleep… Yeaaa…

Give this workout a try! You’ll feel strong, productive, & all-in-all like a badass.

Happy lifting, my friends!

Breaking Bad: Work Habits Edition

Greetings earthlings! This blog post is brought to you by tired mental state & me thinking about ways to save my weary brain..

We’re all (generally speaking) creatures of habit. We love routine, it makes us feel normal. 

Going to work at 9 am is my daily routine. Coming home between 4 & 5 pm is my daily routine. Sitting at my desk talking people through the process of a criminal case is my daily routine. Sitting….for hours… It’s making me go crazy. I love my job, & I don’t want to grow so entrenched in my routine that I start to resent it.

Since I’m finally able to wrap my head around my new routine, it’s time to take ownership of it! I haven’t been doing enough for me. I haven’t been taking my lunch hour or exploring the area around my office. & no one is stopping me from doing these things!! I’m not tied to my desk. I have the freedom to leave or take a break whenever I want…I just haven’t done it. 

So today I decided I’m going to commit to myself. I’m going to change some of the habits that I’ve fallen into during my work day. Not some ‘use the stairs to keep ur waist slim :)’ or ‘leave the carbs at home for more energy lolz’ BS. More like- ‘take care of your mental state during work so you aren’t burned out & agitated when you leave your office’…

Here are my 2 Golden Commandments to myself:

  • I will eat my lunch away from my desk. Yeaaa…. I’m sick of staring at my damn computer screen while I eat. That shit is depressing & makes for mindless food consumption. I like to enjoy my food. I’m going to use the time I spend eating as a refresher. Even if I’m still sitting in my office, I’ll be physically seperated from my desk & that will do wonders for my mind.
  • I will take a walk. Fresh freakin air. What a wonderful thing…that I definitely need more of. I think I’ve been discouraged by the colder weather recently, but I forgot how great even a short walk can make me feel! I’m going to bring some warmth accessories to my office so I can’t be deterred by the crisp or chill- I’ll always be prepared 🙂

Peace of mind is an extremely important part of being healthy. As I’m sure we all know, it takes a lot more than exercise to create a happy life for your mind & body.. All of my fellow office workers- I hope yall can look at your own daily routine & see if you’re doing enough for you. 

I think this is a reminder from the universe that I need to take care of me. We all need that reminder sometimes.. We fall off track, we get run down by routine. That’s not the focal point though- what is the focus is what we do when we realize we’re not doing the right things for ourselves. 

Refocus. Set new standards for your daily routine. Throw some changes into the mix. Feel good about how you spend your days!!