Making it Work #wycwyc

So about a year and a half ago I read a book called “What You Can When You Can” given to me by one of my best friends. It was a quick and easy read (I highly recommend it) and I totally understood the message. At the time I was fully immersed in a lifestyle of “DO ALL THE THINGS: Plan a wedding, work out 6 days a week, cook for every meal, go, go, go!” Maybe I didn’t fully grasp the concept of the title of the book. I sure as hell do now!

Soooo, you all know I’m moving from Louisiana to Oregon in less than a month. HOLY CRAP. I’ve spent the last 28 years in the same place with the same people and never being more than an hour away from my family. and now I’m moving 2500 miles away. WUT?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited! I’ve learned that without risk in life you might not ever reap the reward that comes with taking a leap. My mental health has been far from normal and far from optimal. Living without your husband for 5 months while living on the floor on a mattress with your shit (what’s left of it) literally scattered around your parents’ house is no fun. I’m making it work. I’m pushing through. I’ve put aside my emotions for the better part of half of a year and now it’s all coming to a head. THIS IS HAPPENING.

In the meantime, I’ve been working a lot and spending a lot of time and energy on things other than my physical health. I’ve gained and lost the same 10 lbs since June. I was ABOVE WEDDING WEIGHT for a few weeks. Most people dream of getting back to their wedding day size while I swore I would never go back. The holidays were a nightmare for so many reasons. I was missing my husband; However, I was still meal prepping. I was still going to the gym on the weekends and I was walking at least a mile or two every day.

What You Can When You Can. I think I’m starting to get it…

wycwyc

I went so far off the tracks since Thanksgiving I didn’t know where or how to get back on when the new year rolled around. I found some sort of stability in attempting to focus energy on getting my diet back in control the last month, but every emotion and all my anxiety has really come to the surface now that the move is upon us.

I’m not sleeping well (and if you know me, you know I LOVE to sleep and can for 10 hours with no issue), I’m not exercising but twice a week other than walking, but my eating has been under control this last week and I’m feeling a lot better. I’ve read so much about how diet affects mood and I’m here to tell you, that shit is true. I’m not following any “rules” this time around because I’ve learned to be gentle with myself and not set myself up for failure if I eat a freakin cracker or something. I’m listening to my body and eating when I’m hungry and fueling it properly (Imagine that?? It works.)

I went to secure my job and find a place to live last week and ate everything you could possibly imagine. I came home to my clothes not fitting, my anxiety higher, and was bloated beyond control. I got my head in the game the next morning and lost 6 lbs of bloat in a week. While I am still 8 lbs higher than my lowest weight last summer, I’m giving myself a freakin break.

This year has been a freakin crazy train! When I look back at the last 6 months, my whole world has been flipped upside down. Honestly, I’m just grateful. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, a supporting family who has taken me in, a wonderful husband who has sacrificed so much and has been alone in Oregon working so we can afford this change, and I have some of the best friends in the entire world who have been there every time my crazy ass needs guidance, support, and love.
It’s not going to be easy to transition, but I have extremely high hopes. I’m more than cautiously optimistic. I actually expect to thrive. We are going to live on an acre and a half of land where I can finally attempt to turn my brown thumb green (I have my own orchard of apricot, cherry and apple trees-WOO!), and I’m going to be so close to so much outdoor beauty that will also include my love of hiking/biking and exploring. It is such a beautiful place and I’m beyond words when it comes to how happy I am that we are given such a wonderful opportunity.

When life stabilizes on the other side of this journey, I expect to have more time to devote to my fitness and I can’t wait to share the news with you as I travel these uncharted waters.

roguerivervalley

 

Until then, just do What You Can When You Can. I know that’s my plan!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Easy and Healthy Recipes (that are also delicious!)

not a diet

I figured it was about time that I delve into the treasure trove that is my recipe arsenal and share some with you! I have amassed quite a lot of go-to recipes in the last few years as well as many I’ve tried at least once and would recommend. I am allergic to a lot of things, but I will include some recipes with those ingredients as well.

I’ve touched on breakfast ideas in previous posts (baked oatmeal, overnight oats, chia pudding, mini crustless egg quiches, etc), so I will mostly be sticking to healthy salad and dinner ideas in this post.

First of all, some of these will require a spiralizer (turns vegetables into noodles), and I am obsessed with mine. You can get a decent one on amazon for $25!  Some of these recipes will require baking spaghetti squash (again, vegetables in the place of noodles.) These are the types of substitutions that have helped me lose weight. You’ll never know how delicious these can be unless you try. If my husband tolerates it- anyone can!

VEGETARIAN SALADS:

Balsamic fresh green bean, parmesan, and basil salad This one is undeniably one of my favorites! If you like fresh basil (*it has a strong flavor), then you will love this one!

Cauliflower “potato” salad I only made this one once, but it was delicious! It has all the flavor of potato salad without the carbs/calories of potatoes.

Three Bean Wild Rice Salad This one is great as a meal! Protein packed and keeps you full for a long time!

Quinoa Tabouleh All the delicious flavor of tabouleh without the wheat! This one is great.

Spiralized Cucumber Carrot sweet and spicy salad with chickpeas If I had to pick my favorite spiralized salad, this one is either tied for 1st place or takes the gold medal! It does require a lot of chopping, but it is so worth it!! It’s great as a lunch too!

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad You’d never even think “hey- I’m eating vegan” with this one because it’s so satisfying!

Brussel Sprout, Apple and Pine Nut salad  This one ranks right up at the top! I never even knew I liked cooked brussel sprouts until this year let alone raw ones! If you are feeling adventurous and think you might enjoy this deliciously refreshing raw salad, you won’t regret it!

Broccoli Slaw with raisins and a light dressing THIS IS MY JAM! It’s just so damn good. I bet you’d like this and you’d get addicted too!

Asian Zoodle Salad So this is the other contender for favorite spiralizer salad. There’s just something about these flavors and eating raw just gives you the best energy and it’s filling!!

Sweet Potato Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad This one really has it all! Complex carbs, protein from the quinoa, cruciferous veggies, a little sweet from the cranberries, and a crunch from the almonds!

Hearty Lebanese Lentil Salad This one is meal worthy, lunch or dinner! It has a wonderful flavor and lentils are so nutrient dense!

Spicy Kale Quinoa Black Bean Mexican salad This one is new to me and I’m trying it this weekend! It should be good as a meal as it has everything you need to stay full for a while!

Peanut Sauce Kale Salad I can’t wait to try this one! Peanut sauce is my weakness!

Goat Cheese Asparagus Quinoa Salad Talk about delicious and indulgent! Creamy goat cheese makes me mellllllt

GRAIN FREE / PALEO DINNERS:

Chicken and Broccoli over Zoodles I don’t know about you, but I love the flavor of Chinese food, so if I can get my fix in a healthy way, I’m all about it!

Turkey and Sweet Potato Meat loaf Made this one this week (husband approved!)

Chicken Sausage with roasted vegetables and sweet potato This one is in the regular rotation (having it this week!) We love it and it makes great leftovers!

Oven Chicken Fajitas This one is also in the top rotation! We use olive oil and add green chiles, cilantro, and green onions! I don’t eat them with tortillas; I just pile it on the plate!

Cauliflower Fried “Rice” If you haven’t delved into the world of cauliflower rice, I recommend starting with this recipe! You can pretty much add whatever veggies you want in addition to these./ I love water chestnuts and a little sriracha!

Chicken Zoodles with Red Peppers and Sugar Snap Peas This is one of those that is so good you wish you didn’t have to share (maybe you don’t!)

Turkey (or beef) Sweet Potato Chili Need that chili flavor, but not the unhealthy calories? THIS!

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps No explanation needed! Add any toppings you like!

Chicken Or Turkey Sausage Sweet Potato Kale Soup This one is quickly becoming one of my favorites! We used ground chicken sausage (loose not links) and when we ran out of kale, we used spinach and it was still delicious!

Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli Need that flava flavvvv? This one has you covered!

Sriracha Lime Salmon with Brussels Sprouts I haven’t tried this, but it sounds AHMAAAZING

Tuscan Chicken Skillet All I know is I’m damning my tomato allergy straight to hell right now!!

Spaghetti Squash Primavera Again, DAMN YOU ALLERGY!!

Spaghetti Squash with parmesan, spinach, bacon, and pine nuts Think you don’t like spaghetti Squash? This will change your mind!! BAAAACONNNN

Eggroll In A Bowl Want all the flavor of an eggroll but not the deep fried fatty feeling? This is awesome! Any ground meat will do. I’ve used turkey or chicken sausage and both were great. I add water chestnuts diced, a lot of garlic and fresh ginger, and a boat load of sriracha or red pepper flakes because I love spice!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken (crockpot) Lettuce Wraps Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m obsessed with this. I don’t even use blue cheese or any toppings except sliced celery and carrot and I can’t get enough!!

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup This is one of those recipes that you just keep going back to because it’s that good!

Italian Sausage, Kale, White Bean Soup In some circles, (*thanks, Letty) this is called “Sarah Soup.”  I use turkey or chicken sausage (buy ground or in the link and remove from casing) and it is one of our staple soups (especially when it’s cold outside!)

Cauliflower Chowder Another one that is SO easy and good especially in the winter! Filling and nutritious!

Artichoke Mushroom Chicken Breasts I absolutely love these flavors! You could serve this over rice.

Lemon Asparagus Chicken Stir Fry This is one of those flavor packed meals that takes absolutely no time at all! Serve with quinoa or rice if desired. We love this one!

White Bean Chicken Chili We could all use more fiber and protein and this is an excellent and delicious way to get it! Another easy and filling recipe with leftovers for lunch!

Shrimp and Sausage with Veggies Skillet 20 minute one pot meal! This one could get your kids to eat some veggies!

Jerk Shrimp Stew with Cauliflower Rice Those lil jerk shrimps, am I right? Actually, this one will take you to Jamaica, MON!

Turkey (or beef) with Butternut Squash I absolutely love this one! I just tried it a few weeks ago and I will be making it again!

Thai Ground Turkey with peppers and basil I made quinoa  and mixed it in with this and increased the spices to stretch it farther, but you totally don’t need it! Flavor country!

These recipes include a wide variety of things including grains *still most do not include wheat*, dairy, some lean meat and some vegetarian, and complex carbohydrates for a balanced meal

OTHER MEAL IDEAS:

Ground Turkey and Potatoes with Peas The rice is overkill as it already has potatoes as a starch.

Quinoa Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers You could add ground meat to these and add taco seasoning to it to make this recipe stretch further. I also have used rice instead of quinoa. You can add any toppings you want (salsa, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, etc) and you can also kick it up a notch with jalapenos.

One Pan Roasted Chicken Sausage, Green Beans, and Sweet Potatoes This is in the rotation fo sho! The cumin gives it such a nice flavor. I really love this one and it’s so easy!

Savory Black Eyed Peas and Bacon We’ve used this recipe to kind of make our own version of this. This has to be in my husband’s top 10! It’s that good. We use all the same vegetables and beans, but we use italian seasoning and homemade broth. We usually do a double batch and use the ENTIRE package of bacon! mmmmmm

One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts and Veggies Easy and delicious! The potatoes are just divine with this flavor!

Amazing Chicken and Cauliflower Casserole I dare you to try this and tell me you still don’t like cauliflower. This one is decadently delicious and it’s so easy to use a rotisserie chicken to make this a little easier or pre bake some chicken. Great way to get vegetables into your picky eater! I seriously would fight for these leftovers.

Spicy Honey Chicken and Bell Peppers We make this one pretty often as it is pretty easy with minimal ingredients but packs a heck of a flavor. Served with rice and it’s an easy week night meal.

Vegetarian Curried Quinoa This one is a winner! I love to make this on the weekend and have it all week for lunches. If you are looking to cut back meat, but not sacrifice flavor or satisfaction after eating- try this! I add all kinds of vegetables in it! spice it up with some cayenne if you want!

Cauliflower, Leek, and Potato Soup This blended creamy soup is so satisfying you won’t realize that there isn’t any heavy cream weighing it down! Roast some red peppers and puree for a topping-it’s a must with this soup. We love this one on a cold day!

Easy One Pan Shrimp, Rice, and Peas Haven’t had this, but it looks easy and delicious! If you try it, let me know!

Easy 30 Minute Salmon and Potato Foil Pack What could be simpler?? But only 2 servings so no leftovers!

Zoodle Spaghetti with Meat Sauce I swear if you try it instead of pasta you will be surprised at how much you like it!

Easy Chicken, Potato, and Carrot One Pan Meal The dijon mustard really makes this recipe a winner! Another easy week night meal!

I’ve dedicated a lot of my free time to cooking. I get a lot done on the weekends which makes the week days a lot easier. It’s a tag team effort at my house. My husband really makes it all come together when I’m working late or busy running around to an exercise class or an errand. Find a way to make it work for you. It’s a game changer.

cooking

So there ya go! Just a small sampling of the many recipes I’ve grown to love over the last few years. I’m so happy to share these with you and hope you will try them. Be adventurous in your kitchen! Make things you’ve never tried before. I amaze myself every week when I try a new recipe (it’s fun to try a new one once a week just to see if it’s worth adding into the arsenal.) Let me know if you tried them and what you think.

Most, if not all, of these recipes follow the guidelines for clean eating. Just a few reminders  of what that entails:

clean eat

clean eat 2

 

As always, if you have any questions or want help you know you can always message me and we can chat! I’m happy to help! I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it- If I can make decisions for a healthier life and lose over 100 lbs, what’s stopping you from making the commitment you and your body deserve?? You are worth it. Make yourself and your family’s health a priority.

healthy

Much Love.