- Where do foods come from? Visit a farm with your little one. Explore the crops where foods come from and how they grow. Can you try planting your own fruit and vegetable? We try to do this every season at our local farm. We go through and walk the crops and talk about all the vegetables and fruit and even let him "water" them with his water bottle. It sounds far fetched- but he loves it every time. I will offer him something new that we saw at the farm at home and remind him that he helped grow it by watering it- he at least takes one bite!
- Play a guessing game! This is for a little bit of an older kid- but its fun and works! Prepare several foods for your child to taste while he or she is blindfolded. See if your child can identify each food. Help your child use words to describe what he or she tastes, such as salty, sweet, crunchy, smooth, warm, cold and so on.
- Try something new. Allow your child to try a new fruit or vegetable. When you go to the store let them pick out something that's a little different and new to them. Maybe a jicama, mango or a papaya! Let them be a part of cutting it up or prepping it when they get home and have them taste their handy work. I will say- no matter what I am making if I let Kenzie play "chef" he always will at least taste one bite.
- Do a taste test or a crunch test! Dip carrots into three different flavors of low-fat dressing or try a crunch test with three different kinds of vegetables to see which vegetable crunches the loudest!
- Glam up fruits and veggies- Did you know that adding raw spinach to any smoothie is almost completely tasteless?! You can make a breakfast smoothie for your little one that had vanilla almond milk, avocado, ground chia seeds (omega 3), banana, strawberry, raw spinach and ice. It tastes sweet and it packed with healthy foods and healthy fats (for brain development).
- Don't give up. They say it can take 10 times to try a food before you like it. Even if you put it in their lunch or on their plate and they don't eat it- you are still winning. be patient- being a picky eater is pretty normal and part of children's development. They will come around as long as you make healthy food available, don't give in to letting them live on candy and junk food, and lead by example.
I get lots of requests for ab workouts for pregnancy. Here are some basic yet effective moves that are safe for all trimesters.
Directions: Try these moves completing 45 seconds of each move (on each side) then 15 seconds to transition to the next move (or to the opposite side). Take breathers when you need to and try to go through this circuit 2-3 times.
Tip: If at any time you see "coning" in your abs, refocus on core engagement and activation. If you are unable to stop "coning" during the exercise, please take the modifications, slow down, or go lighter in weights. Our goal is to help prevent ab separation and if you are coning we are promoting it.
If you have any questions please let me know! Stay tuned for more workouts and workout videos coming soon! Enjoy! -Nancy
I'm about 7 1/2 months pregnant and this is my first pregnancy update- lol.
I am going to be honest with you. I really don't love being pregnant. It's just not my fav thing. Don't get me wrong I am obsessed with my son and already in love with the one on the way but the actual journey of being pregnant and all the things that come along with it- just not my fav. To the women who say they love being pregnant and miss their belly after its gone, I envy you. I also at the same time sort of think you are full of it :P j/k
Here are some updates with my pregnancy so far:
Weight Gain: 13 lbs about the same as last time, maybe a little less.
Baby: It's a boy (if you didn't know) he is measuring 3 lbs 4 ounces (but who knows if that ish is accurate). He is BUSY. He is head down (hopefully for good) and I already feel very connected to him.
Cravings: Ice cold water (just like pregnancy 1) I must drink 4 liters a day easy. I also have been really into salmon avocado brown rice sushi rolls. Been having this like twice a week. Yes, its raw. I like to live on the edge.
Nutrition: Honestly good. I can't have gluten or dairy or eggs so its honestly pretty easy to eat clean. Anything yummy I would want to cheat on includes one of those ingredients so I just don't eat it. I hate cooked veggies right now but am fine with raw so I have been doing raw veggies and lots of salads.
Sleep: Kinda sucks, but getting better. For like two weeks I would wake up and stay awake for like 2 hours in bed. It was SO annoying. I think that's over though. Hopefully.
Currently having trouble with: Balancing work, pregnancy and mom life. Why is this so hard. I always feel like I am short changing something.
Currently working on: Being present in the moment when I am with my son and husband. My mind is always racing, thinking about work, what I need to do, what I forgot to do, how to be more successful, what to study next that can bring more to my programs and better results to my clients. The list honestly goes on forever. I've been trying to put my phone face down and not look at it when I am with them. Every time my mind drifts to work I try to give myself a mental nudge to bring myself back into the moment with my family. It's hard but I think it's important and I think our kids notice if we are really present or not.
Nursery: I have the design but haven't bought one effing thing yet. I am behind. So busy- who has the time to even online shop when you have kids and a crazy ass schedule?! Here is the design or mood board for it- what do you think? I'm so happy with it! My friend Jenny Leu from @forestandj helped me with it. I can't wait to bring it to life! I'll share more as we put it together. You can check out Jenny's designs here: https://www.instagram.com/forrestandj/
Work: It's great, its crazy. I know I seem like I have a ton of energy, which I guess I do, but honestly by the time Sunday comes around (I work 6 days a week) I am really beat. I will probably stop all of my private client sessions soon. It's just too much. MY goal when I got pregnant was to not work 10-12 hour days anymore, which is honestly what most of my weekdays were. I cut back on some things and tried to simplify but it's all crept back up and I'm working at least 10 hours a day again. So I have to change that asap. It's just too much. Mama is getting big and tired and I also want to have more time with my son before he isn't an only child anymore.
One thing I want to do for myself: I haven't had a pedi or manicure in probably 6-10 months? I can't even remember the last time. Going to find the time to do this before birth.
Workouts: I train 4-5 days a week. Usually 4 and well, you see what I do on my page. Cross-fit or strength and conditioning usually x 2 a week and Barry's Bootcamp 2-3 days a week. I think this is a great program for pregnancy. This is also exactly what I do when I am not pregnant. My weights have dropped by 15% maybe 20% on some lifts from what I do not pregnant. For those of you that speak Barry's, pre-pregnancy my jog pace is 7.0-7.5MPH depending on the day. Now it is more like 6.0MPH and sometimes if I feel good I'll finish the interval at advanced speeds. I have been able to sprint at advanced speeds (12.5MPH and higher) the whole pregnancy. Recently I did a very stupid thing and went to a spin class and it f*cked my hips ALL up. Been trying to get re-aligned and loosened up to get rid of some pubic discomfort I had because of it. Spin DOES not agree with my body. Even not pregnant- just not my friend. Anyway, I have been doing a lot more inclines instead of speed when running bc of this and even one week I only worked out 3 times to give myself a chance to loosen up and reset. I feel a lot better. I think I should be good now.
Birth Plan: fu*k it, you guys. I think I want to try for a natural VBAC. Yes, maybe I am crazy but this has ALWAYS been a dream of mine. I don't think I've ever wanted to achieve a physical and mental goal so badly in my life. And I have had a lot of physical goals given my line of work and lifestyle. I get it, if you don't get it. Last time, things didn't work out. Hopefully this time it will be different. If you're new to my page you can find my birth story of what happened with my first son here: https://nancyandersonfitness.myshopify.com/blogs/news/kenzies-birth-story
I'll try to do another one of these at some point. Xo- Nancy
Nancy Anderson is a certified fitness trainer, nutrition consultant, pre and post natal specialist and one of the most sought after celebrity trainers in Orange County CA. She is a Trainer for the Pear Sports fitness app and a Master Trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp. Nancy was named one of the top 10 Trainers to follow by Self Magazine and recently just published her first ebook on her nutritional plan ‘Nancy’s bible diet’.
Nancy’s extensive education in health and fitness, combined with her passion for working with people to help them live their best and healthiest lives, continues to take her career to new heights. Most recently, after experiencing pregnancy and motherhood firsthand, Nancy has found a deep passion for working with fellow fit moms who also do-it-all. In addition to being a certified pre- and post-natal trainer, Nancy also created a full pregnancy workout program (for all trimesters) that is featured on the Pear Sports App. Nancy is here today to talk about why you’re struggling to lose that extra baby weight while breastfeeding. You can find Nancy on her website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
You know what’s crazy? Having a baby and everyone under the sun telling you “ohh all the baby will melt right off as long as you breastfeed.” and then it well, it doesn’t at all happen for you. I gained just about 30 lbs with my first baby; nine pounds of which was him, another 10 dropped off that first week and then BAM as soon as my milk came in that weight loss halted and wouldn’t budge. It stayed like this just about the whole time I was breastfeeding (almost a year!) until I made a few very important changes.
3 reasons why you’re not losing weight while Breastfeeding:
- Hormones: In general so many people dismiss the role that hormones play in, well everything, including weight loss. When you’re breastfeeding (and not ovulating yet) your estrogen and progesterone are typically low. This causes problems for those who want to lose weight because low estrogen can slow down our metabolism making it harder for us to drop lbs. The combination of low estrogen and progesterone makes us a lot more sensitive to sugar and carbohydrates not only making us crave them more but making our insulin more sensitive when we do eat them. Which of course is going to make it harder for us to lose weight, especially belly fat.
- Adrenal Function: Late night, mid-night and early morning feedings are far too familiar for breastfeeding moms during that newborn phase. The lack of sleep paired with the estrogen/progesterone state during a highly stressful time can really jack up or cortisol levels (stress hormone) and send our adrenals into working in overdrive which can cause weight loss resistance.
- Not Eating Enough or Nutrition Deficiencies: While you’re breast feeding your body needs fat. Keep in mind that most of your milk is made up of fat. So if your body is not getting enough fuel, or the right fuel from what you’re eating your body will hold on to fat stores. You have to fuel properly to get your body to relax, trust you and starting letting those fat stores go (shrink). In your bodies defense, this is it’s way of protecting you and your baby from starvation.
3 ways to jump start weight loss without losing your milk supply:
- Ditch some sugar and carbs out of your diet and replace it with healthy fats: High sugar causes high insulin and high insulin doesn’t help us lose weight or support our adrenals. Of course you want to still have carbs in your diet still, but try to choose healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, fruits, beans, quinoa, brown rice. Start adding in healthy fats into every meal (just a serving or so would be great). Healthy fats will assist with milk supply, energy, insulin control, hunger control, not to mention better brain function and mood while decreasing your risk of depression. Any Mama who has been deep in that newborn phase can appreciate those last few benefits! Good sources of healthy fats would include: nuts, seeds, grassed butter, fatty fish, nut butters and oils such as coconut or flax oil.
- Control your stress: This is easier said than done when you’re a new Mom but try to find some time for yourself. If it’s just 30 minutes to workout or go for a walk or get your nails done. It’s amazing what just a few minutes alone can do to help calm your nerves, recharge and rejuvenate. Try to get a family member, babysitter or your spouse to help make this happen for you. People are always willing to help with a newborn- take advantage of it and take a few minutes for you.
- Get some rest: Again this can be hard when you have a new baby. As a Mom the biggest suggestion I can give new Mom’s is to get your baby on a routine and schedule as soon as possible. This is hard work at first, but I would do it ten times over because of how much freedom and rest it gave me in the long run. When you get your infant on a set schedule you get a happier baby with more consistent sleep schedule and longer stretches of sleep throughout the night. The sooner you can do this the sooner you’re going to start reducing your stress, relieving your adrenals and losing weight. Not to mention start feeling like a human being again! If the sleep training thing isn’t something that you’re conformable doing then at least try to sleep when the baby sleeps. Forget about cleaning up, checking emails, or laundry, just take the rest while you can.
In closing, be kind to yourself. Being pregnant is hard, having a baby is hard, taking care of an infant is hard. Remember this is temporary. If you’re holding weight because you’re breastfeeding it will eventually drop when you wean. Hang in there Mama!
Must be Omega-3s on the Brain: How to Give Your Baby’s Brain Some Serious Love So we’ve been told for a while now that consuming omega-3s is essential for optimal adult nutrition, but did you know that it is a building block for baby’s growing brain?
Expecting mamas with high levels of one of the omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), at the time of delivery give baby a huge advantage in nutrition. Scientists have formulated various ways to test general developmental markers such as problem solving and language development, to measure brain development in infants whose mothers consumed omega-3s in comparison to those who did not. In fact, Dr. Emily Oken, a professor in the department of Nutrition at Harvard University conducted a study in 2004 and found that higher omega-3 consumption during pregnancy resulted in higher visual recognition memory and higher scores of verbal intelligence in the infant. Ultimately, there is a large amount of data that suggests that omega-3 fatty acid intake during pregnancy is crucial for fetal brain development and continues later in life through the child’s neurodevelopment. Dr. Jaclyn Coletta-Luca and her colleagues from Columbia University Medical center also found that omega-3 fatty acid deprivation during pregnancy is associated with impaired developmental and behavior scores later in the infant’s life.
It’s hard to keep up with constantly changing science, but we can rely on one thing for certain: DHA level during pregnancy is linked to baby’s development. The human body does not make the essential fatty acid DHA, so the best way for you to achieve high DHA levels is through your diet! Expecting mamas should aim to consume anywhere from 300-500 mg of omega-3s (or 1 serving of omega-3 rich food) daily.
Your best source of omega-3s will come from food; avoid solely relying on your DHA pill supplement to cover your mg amount. As far as healthy food options goes, seafood is a popular source for getting your omega-3s. A lot of expecting mamas avoid consuming fish during their pregnancy, but that shouldn’t be the case- you can find a separate blog post I wrote about eating fish while pregnant here).
More great options are omega-3 fortified eggs, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts. And a word on supplements- any supplement you choose to take should serve as back-up for whatever your food is lacking. It is EXTREMELY important that if you choose to use a supplement, that you are consuming the highest quality supplement possible. Because supplements are exempt from FDA regulation, it makes it hard for consumers to weed out the good from the bad; did you know that some supplement suppliers secretly make their products with pesticides or fillers?
When choosing a supplement, be on the lookout for seals of approval from third parties that test whether the supplement was well-manufactured, that it contains only the ingredients listed on the label, and that they do not contain harmful levels of contaminants. Here is a supplement that I love and TRUST.
You can find it on Amazon by clicking on this link: http://rstyle.me/n/cqaf9qb9r77
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Let’s Talk about Fat.
Lately it seems that most health and fitness bloggers are either telling their readers to consume a lot of fat or advising their readers to avoid fat completely. Yikes. And to make matters worse, when it comes to eating, 90 percent of Americans consume the wrong kind of fat anyways.
Allow me to tell you here and now: it is SO important to understand the impact of different types of fats on the body. And just to set the record straight, you absolutely need to consume healthy fats in most of your meals. The better and higher quality the fat, the better your body will function. Did you know that the average person holds anywhere from 15-30% of fat in their bodies? Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks; it is used every time the body needs to build cell walls. In fact, there are more that 100 trillion cells in your body. Yup, that’s right- 100 TRILLION. And you guessed it; every single one of them needs high-quality fat to be constructed and to properly function.
Now that you know how big a role fat plays in your body, it’s time to figure out which fats your body needs and why the kind of fat matters for cell production or organ function. Just think about it like this: imagine you’re starting a new project- you’re going to build a home or maybe you’re going to build a car. Would you build the frame of the house or car with strong, reliable and high-quality material? Or, would you just use the cheapest crap you could find? If you choose to go the cheap route and don’t use high-quality material- and maybe you’re like me and you’ve run into this issue with your home (oops)- problems almost always come up. We end up having to strip things back down and ultimately fix the problem from the inside, out. If we had just chosen the high-quality material in the first place, we wouldn’t be working twice as hard now to fix a preventable problem. And sure, maybe the problems start small; a leak here or crack there, but small problems add up. Worse still, small problems can also be signs that there is even greater damage than we thought.
I like to think of the human body in the same way.
If you want to fuel your body with the cheap and easy stuff (like most Americans), then opt for the typical prepackaged, fast food. When this is the fuel that you give your body, this is what your body is forced to put to work to build cell walls. When cell walls are built using foods with shitty-to-no nutrition, they end up being shitty quality. That means the cell walls will be stiff and hard, with no flexibility at all. When cell walls aren’t flexible, they are more vulnerable to inflammation, which causes sickness and disease and the functions of the cells become much, much slower.
To change the cells in our bodies from rigid to flexible, AKA completely rebuild our body’s structure; requires us to change our diet. This means incorporating those good, high-quality fats and limiting consumption of the bad fats. And this whole process can take up to a year. The hardest part isn’t finding the information (you have it now!), but being patient and consistent with a new way of eating.
Here are a few pointers to help you choose better quality fats, ones that will help rebuild your cell walls in the right way:
1. Increase your omega 3 fats. You can source this fat through cold-water fish, organic (not optional- always go organic!!) canola oil, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seed, flax oil Brazil nuts, and/or sea vegetables.
2. Avoid trans fat and shitty processed fats completely, such as: safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn, and cottonseed oils; hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils; margarine and shortening.
3. Source your fats from this power group: coconut butter; organic, virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil; organic, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil; MCT oil; organic flax seed oil; organic, expeller-pressed refined avocado oil; walnut, pumpkin seed, pistachio and hemp oils
Let’s keep in mind, there is a reason that most Americans are eating bad fats- they are usually the cheapest, fastest option. Healthy fats (or foods that use healthy fats) can be very expensive, hard to find, or take some time to prepare. For these reasons (not because people actually want to be unhealthy) is why consuming healthy fat is low on most people’s list of priorities. My hope is that with more widespread knowledge about healthy fats, people will start to make small but mightier choices for their bodies. And in due time, food industries will follow and realize what the consumer actually wants. It might-be a far-fetched dream, and no-doubt one that will take years, but my hope is that by sharing this knowledge we can make healthier changes for ourselves and eventually, for our society as a whole.
By: Nancy Anderson
Editor: Clara Canul
1. I love Sprinkles gluten-free cupcakes.
Most people think I eat nothing but veggies and protein all day, everyday, and that I never treat myself. Not true! Unless I am trying to lose weight post-baby, I follow my lifestyle plan, "the Bible diet," for about 80% of what I eat. But, for the other 20% of my diet (or about 200 calories per day), I stray! This freedom in my diet keeps me sane and focused. Because of this flexibility I am able to maintain a lean and healthy physique without ever feeling deprived.
2. I'm a spiritual gangster.
Mediums, psychics, spirits, haunted houses, past lives, crystals- you name it, I’m into it. I see a psychic medium just about every quarter. She is amazing and has yet to be wrong about anything in my life. I am hooked! Some people may not believe mediums are "real" and that’s fine- I firmly believe that they are. Believing in spiritual things is fun for me; it keeps me motivated and helps me stay focused on my goals.
3. I don't squat.
Yup- doesn’t really happen. Truthfully, I haven’t squatted heavy for years. Sure I will do some squats here and there, but honestly, squats don’t feel good on my body. I don’t feel like they engage anything but my hip flexors, back and quads- even though even leaders in the industry have assessed my form and confirmed that I am on point. In the strength-training world, we know that the same movement for one person can feel and recruit differently from person to person. It partially depends on where people carry tension in their bodies and anatomy, making certain movements more or less beneficial for their specific body. The way I earned and maintain my “bubble butt” is through a mix of light, medium and heavy deadlift variations, hips thrusts, lunges and band work. Yes, it works and yes there is research that supports this!
4. I think I’ve already met my future children.
I had a dream 3-4 years ago that I had three kids (oldest: boy, middle: boy and youngest: girl). They all walked up to me and stood in front of me side by side and introduced themselves. They said they were my children. This "dream" felt so real, I have been convinced ever since that they truly were my kids visiting me from the other side. A year after this dream I had my first son. Two years after that I am pregnant with my second son. I believe if I choose to have a third it will be the little girl.
5. I got my undergrad in fashion merchandising.
Yes, I don’t know what I was thinking. Looking back, it feels so far from my calling. I realized before I even finished earning my degree that I didn’t want to do anything in this field. Soon after graduating I quickly began plotting going back for my master’s degree. That’s when I decided to focus on what I realized I was actually passionate about- exercise science.
6. My calves and quads used to be the same size.
I know- gross. I had to work for years in the gym to get muscle mass on my body. Naturally my legs are bean poles- like all the way from top to bottom and I naturally store fat in my lower back/waist. It's extremely hard for me to put mass on my legs and much easier for me to put it on my upper body. I've worked hard to get them where they are (they are still too small in my opinion). So when I tell my clients it doesn't come easy for anyone, including me- I mean it :)
7. I told my husband on our first date I was going to marry him.
This was a few drinks in, of course! He had been one of my clients for a year and I was undeniably attracted to him- almost magnetic. When we finally went on a “date” one year later -AKA our company Christmas party- I spilled the beans and told him, “Max, I am going to marry you someday.” He told me I was “nuts.” I shrugged and said something like, “okay, we’ll see.” And now 5 1/2 years later we are married and pregnant with baby #2. Ha!
8. I don't believe that sex on the first date will ruin any relationship potential.
See #7! It worked out for me- and I’m sure lots of other couples too! They just don’t publicly admit it :P
9. I am obsessed with titanic and RMS ships from the early 1900's.
I am desperate to go on the re-creation of Titanic. I don’t know why I feel this way. I visited the Queen Mary a couple years back and it is just so incredibly fascinating to me. If I had more time I would nerd out on them way more often.
10. I have one tattoo and you’d never know the meaning behind it unless you read this.
Unfortunately, when I was barely twenty years old my father took his own life. He had journals and letters that I found afterwards and in one of the entries he talks about his pride for me. In this entry he notes the accomplishments I achieved so far in my life, both past and present. My father went on to talk about how proud I seemed to be of myself for achieving my goals. He then inscribed three words: “So am I.” This specific entry, these specific words, really hit home for me. After all, children always want to make their parents proud. I knew my mom was still able to tell me anytime that she was proud. He couldn't anymore. I never wanted to forget how good it felt to hear him say how proud he was of me; not because it was a compliment, but because of how motivating it was for me; how much it drove me to continue to do more, work harder, dream bigger. I took the journal to a tattoo artist and had him tattoo my father’s exact handwriting from the journal on my wrist, facing me, so anytime I was hitting major milestones in life, working hard, struggling, achieving, etc., I could always look down and be reminded of this.
It’s no secret that pregnant women have a long list of foods to avoid, but what about fish? We’re warned about the scary levels of mercury found in seafood but then we’re encouraged to get our omega-3’s in whenever we can. So what do we do? Let me break it down for you.
First things first – don’t avoid fish!
Let’s get one thing straight before we dive into the details. Avoiding fish altogether is not the answer. In fact, it’s great for you and baby’s diet. Because the human body does not naturally create omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, EPA, and ALA—all three of which are considered “essential,” the only way Mama can obtain these nutrients is through diet. In addition to the omega-3 fatty acids, fish also provides you with minerals like iron and it’s also a great protein option. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for baby’s brain function, healthy growth and development, and reducing inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, which include some cardiovascular diseases, varying types of cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more.
And a note on fish-oil and omega-3 supplements: when you can, always choose whole foods rather than substituting with supplements. Just like how obtaining vitamins and minerals in the form of natural whole foods is way better than relying only on supplements, it’s always beneficial to incorporate foods that naturally contain omega-3’s. For this reason, it’s a great idea to incorporate fish with low mercury levels into your diet. And for mamas-to-be who don’t care for seafood, you can obtain your omega-3’s through foods like ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, and soy oil.
So, what’s the deal with mercury?
Mercury is a type of metal that collects in natural bodies of water, where it turns into the neurotoxin, methlymercury. It is found in high levels in certain types of fish and is absolutely toxic to mom and baby’s nervous system and can even lead to serious birth defects. While one serving of fish with a high level of mercury is unlikely to pose a huge risk, it’s best to avoid these kinds of fish at all costs.
So this might be where people get lost. Because there are so many kinds of fish, and because restaurants don’t want to tell you that you’re consuming mass quantities of mercury, unless you research fish types, it’s hard to tell which types of fish are safe and which are not. So, let me make this easy on you! Here is helpful guide straight from the FDA on how to safely consume fish during your pregnancy.
For more valuable information on pre natal nutrition; download my pregnancy nutrition guide by clicking on the 'shop' tab at the top of this page.
1 can (about 15.5 ounces) black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 large head cauliflower (3 rounded cups riced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
1/2 cup fresh sweet onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup fresh red bell pepper (diced)
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons pickled jalapeno slices (finely chopped)
sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup fresh parsley diced (or cilantro)
1) Rinse and drain black beans. After removing excess water, place on paper towels or flat surface for remaining water to evaporate while preparing the vegetables.
2) Cut cauliflower into florets and remove the thick core. Pulse in small batches in food processor to make "rice". See picture in post for proper consistency. Empty into large bowl and repeat. If there are uncut pieces of the core, remove them and discard. A box grater can be used as an alternative to a food processor. You will need about 3 full rounded cups of cauliflower "rice". Set aside.
3) Begin warming olive oil in medium/large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to olive oil and saute until golden. Add onion, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to garlic, stirring occasionally, and continue sautéing until onion begins to turn translucent. Add pickled jalapeno and stir. Pour cauliflower on top of vegetables, sprinkle well with salt and black pepper, then mix. Continue cooking approx. 5-7 minutes (until cauliflower is soft but not mushy) flipping and stirring about half way through. Add black beans and cook additional 2 minutes (enough to warm and gently soften beans). Add parsley, mix well and serve. Please add and serving 1/4 avocado with each serving.
For a milder preparation alternative I would suggest omitting the cayenne pepper, substituting cilantro for the parsley, and adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice.
Recipe & Photo Credit: http://www.nutritionicity.com/recipes/black-beans-and-cauliflower-rice/
Here's the honest truth: any nutrition plan, food plan, or 'diet' that actually works is going to require some sort of meal prep. There is no way around it. Unless you can swing having a personal chef to prep your meals, you’re in the trenches with the rest of us who do some or all of the following: work, clean, run errands, workout, take care of kids (plus a partner!) as well as having to figure out how and when to squeeze in meal prepping.
Here are 5 super easy and efficient ways to meal prep and set yourself up for healthy meals and keep your fit-mom bod!
#1 Make a crockpot recipe every Sunday night. This is SO easy and makes a ton of food. My go to is a veggie overloaded pot roast (recipe in my nutritional plan 'The Bible Diet') but you can do any clean recipe. Use broths/water & herbs/spices instead of oils or sauces. This can easily cover all of your lunches for the week or one dinner for the whole fam and some leftovers for your lunch the next day. Always cook more than you need when making healthy meals. Give yourself some options for upcoming lunches or even dinners. Slow cookers are great because you can cook it overnight. Prep time is usually 15 minutes or less then you set it before you go to bed and forget it! It will be ready to serve (and/or store in the fridge) when you wake up.
#2 Buy your snacks in bulk. Perfect Protein bars or other bars that aren't loaded with carbs and sugar are awesome options on the go. Use Amazon, iHerb or Costco and get these in bulk to save some coins. Have them ready to grab and go for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
#3 Shake & serve your breakfast! Protein shakes aren't for everyone but if you're into them they make for a super easy breakfast on the go. Pick a clean protein powder of course, (I prefer MRM or Vega-vanilla is my fav flavor of both!). I literally do this every morning and my breakfast is done in 30 seconds. Don’t ever skip breakfast. This option literally takes 30 seconds to make so there is NO excuse.
#4 Be a grill master. Throw it all on the grill with some to spare! Cooking for the fam? Throw the family meal on the grill plus extra for your lunch for the next few days. Add salmon with the chicken you’re grilling for dinner, throw those sweet potatoes and veggies on there too! You’re already turning the grill on and using it, so load that baby up with lots of extras to make sure that YOU can stay on track with your meals the next day or two to come. It’s quick and the clean up is easy! Store your leftovers in a tupperware and throw it in the fridge. Boom there is another few meals for the week.
#5 Think ahead. The theme here is just to take a minute and think ahead. Literally that's all it is. Take a few minutes (because YOU deserve them!) to think about how you can maximize the time you are already spending making meals for the family. If your husband is the cook then this is easy for him to get on board with, too. Take a few minutes and map it out, start adding your healthy snacks to his grocery list, don’t just grab the kids snacks because that’s all that's there.
Lastly, here is a skill video from Buzzfeed that shows just how do-able meal prep can be if you're smart and efficient. I hope some of you try this- bc it's awesome and so easy!!
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