Monday, June 27, 2016

Meal Prep Monday Week 10: NO Cook Meal Prep for the 1200 to 1500 Bracket

No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |
The heat in So Cal lately has been UNBEARABLE. That means it is NO fun to meal prep and turn the oven on to make it even hotter.  With that said, we STILL have to meal prep so when one of the coaches on my team found this no cook meal prep plan blog post, I HAD to share it with you guys!!
This meal prep is ideal for a summer heat wave, if cooking isn’t one of your strengths, or if you simply are too busy and don’t have a lot of time to spend on meal prep.
Follow this guide to make your own no-cook meal prep, complete with step-by-step instructions and a grocery list. It’s made for the 1,200–1,500 calorie range.

Here’s what your meal plan for the week will look like when you’re done.
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

This Week’s Meal Prep Menu
Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Berries
Lunch (M/W/F): Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups
Lunch (T/Th): Roast Beef Salad
Snack (M/W/F): Shakeology, frozen fruit, and unsweetened coconut
Snack (T/Th): Shakeology, banana, and nut butter
Dinner (M/W/F): Asian Chicken Wraps
Dinner (T/Th): Turkey or Veggie Burger with vegetables and hummus

Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Berries
(¼ cup oats, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup fruit = 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Purple)
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

M/W/F: Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups
(4 lettuce leaves; ½ cup frozen green beans, thawed; ½ cup cherry tomatoes; 1 can tuna in water; 5 olives = 2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Orange)
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

T/TH: Roast Beef Salad
(1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup shredded carrots, 3 oz. deli roast beef,
½ cup beans of any kind, dressing = 2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Orange)
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

M/W/F: Shakeology with 1 cup frozen fruit and 1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut = 1 Red, 1 Purple, ½ Orange
T/TH: Shakeology with ½ banana and 2 tsp. nut butter = 1 Red, 1 Purple, 2 tsp.
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

M/W/F: Asian Chicken Wrap
(3 oz. rotisserie chicken breast; 8 raw, unsalted cashews; one 6-inch whole wheat tortilla; 1 cup shredded cabbage, cilantro or parsley; green onion; Peanut Lime Dressing [¼ cup smooth peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger, 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tsp. raw honey] = 1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, 2 tsp.)
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

T/TH: Turkey or veggie burger with vegetables and hummus
(1 turkey burger or veggie burger patty [microwave or put in toaster oven to heat], lettuce leaf, tomato slice, mustard, ½ cup baby carrots or chopped bell peppers, ¼ cup hummus = 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue)
No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |

Your step-by-step plan to assemble the no-cook meal prep:

1. Make the overnight oats. Place ¼ cup oats and ¾ cup Greek yogurt in a Mason jar or food storage container. Top with one cup of fresh or frozen fruit.
2. Thaw the frozen green beans, then prepare the Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups. Between four lettuce leaves, divide one can of tuna, ½ cup thawed green beans, ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes, and five chopped olives. Dress with a lemon wedge or balsamic vinegar.
3. Prepare the Roast Beef Salad. Combine 1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup shredded carrots, 3 oz. deli roast beef, ½ cup beans of any kind, and dressing. If you are using a mason jar, place the dressing at the bottom and the lettuce on top. If you are using a food storage container, place the lettuce at the bottom. You can dress the salad during the meal prep, or wait until the day you eat it.
4. Make the Peanut Lime Dressing. Place 2 Tbsp. water, ¼ cup smooth peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger, 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, and 2 tsp. raw honey in a blender, and blend until smooth.
5. Prepare the Asian Chicken Wrap. Set out three food storage containers and place one 6-inch whole wheat tortilla in each. Chop 8 raw, unsalted cashews; chop cilantro or parsley (to taste); and chop green onion (to taste). On top of the tortilla, add 1 cup shredded cabbage, 3 oz. rotisserie chicken breast, cashews, cilantro or parsley, and green onions. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. Peanut Lime Dressing.
6. Prepare the turkey or veggie burger. Set out two food storage containers and place a lettuce leaf and a tomato slice in each. Serve with one turkey burger or veggie burger patty that has been microwaved or toasted and topped with mustard. For a side, serve with ½ cup baby carrots or chopped bell peppers and ¼ cup hummus.

No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level |
3 cans of tuna in water
9 oz. rotisserie chicken breast
6 oz. deli roast beef
2 frozen turkey burger or veggie burger patties
Greek yogurt (32.5 oz.)
8 cups frozen fruit (or 3 cups frozen fruit and 5 cups fresh fruit)
1 banana
14 lettuce leaves
3 cups lettuce
1½ cup frozen green beans
2½ cups cherry tomatoes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onion
1 lime
1 knob fresh ginger
1½ cups shredded carrots
1 cup bell peppers
Dry and Canned Goods
1¼ cups oats
Unsweetened coconut
1 jar peanut butter (smooth)
15 kalamata olives
Raw honey
24 cashews
Three 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
½ cup hummus
1 cup beans (any kind)
Balsamic vinegar
Rice vinegar
Low-sodium soy sauce

Via the Team Beachbody Blog by Hannah Rex

Monday, June 20, 2016

What Should I Eat If I Exercise First Thing in the Morning?

“What should I eat if I work out first thing in the morning? I eat several small meals throughout the day, but when I work out first thing in the AM, it has been hours since my last meal.” —David A.
You’re not alone. I get a lot of similar questions. Morning eating is tricky because your body can store glycogen overnight so you may not need to eat anything at all — just drink water. However, when your diet is lean and you’re training hard (a very common scenario for Beachbody-ers) you can use up all of your glycogen for the previous day’s recovery, leaving your tank empty when you wake up. Here is our standard recommendation for this situation.
Try eating a banana (or half, depending on your size) or a serving of Energize in the morning just before your workout. If you feel better during your workout, especially near the end, you’ve figured out that you’re running out of glycogen. If this is the case you can do one of two things: keep eating the banana or something similar (about 100 calories of mostly carbs) or add a serving of carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, etc.) to your evening meal. Both should accomplish the same thing.
When your workout is over, you’ve burned through your glycogen and want to replenish it, which means either Results and Recovery Formula for breakfast or a meal that’s mainly carbs with a little protein, like fruit with yogurt or cereal with milk.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mamma Chia Giveaway!

I've been telling you guys about my love of Mamma Chia products for some time now and I'm SUPER excited to announce a Mamma Chia giveaway! I am OBSESSED with their granola clusters and vitality bars! The kiddos and I love the Squeezes and my hubby is addicted to the beverages!  All good stuff and good stuff for you!  AND all stuff you can win!! 

One lucky winner will receive OVER $100 in delicious Mamma Chia treats!

You'll get a variety of:
--Mamma Chia Granola Clusters
--Mamma Chia beverages
--Mamma Chia Squeezes
--Mamma Chia Vitality Bars 🎉🎉🎉 

To enter, do each of the following as often as you'd like to be entered:

1. Like this photo

2. Tag as many friends in the comments as you'd like who you think would love Mamma Chia & who inspire you to be healthy

3. Follow @Fit_Fluential_Mom on Instagram

4. Follow @MammaChia on Instagram

5. Repost this photo and tag me (@fit_fluential_mom) & @MammaChia in it on Inst

6.  Get bonus entries for liking the Mamma Chia Facebook page and FitFluentialMom's Facebook page.

You must follow each account, repost, tag friends and repost in order to win

This giveaway ends on Monday June 13th at 12pm PST, winner announced by Wednesday June 15th at 12pm PST. Good luck!

Now for the legal mumbo jumbo! Valid for US residents only. This contest is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Food Dyes and Why You Should Remove Them From Yours and Your Family's Diet

See the chicken on the left? If you can't tell, it has an orange color to it. The one on the right doesn't. I had to special order the one on the right and request it WITHOUT food coloring.
I'm glad I asked because if not, I would've been feeding my family something I am strictly against in all of our diets.

While we donest very clean, we also enjoy burgers, fries, pizza and other foods on occasion. What I do NOT however have nor allow my kids to have artificial food dyes.

After severe behavioral issues with my daughter, tantrums, teachers saying she may have ADHD I started researching and quickly learned about the effects of artificial food dyes. When we eliminated the dyes, her behavior COMPLETELY changed and she no longer has tantrums, outbursts or problems in class.

Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into U.S. foods.
Some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer, along with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.

While Europe has recently placed regulations on labeling food dyes to inform consumers of the health risks, the United States has no such requirement.

Red #40 
This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It may accelerate the appearance of immune system tumors in mice. It also causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. What it's in: Beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics

Red #3 
Recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. What it's in: Sausage casings, oral medication, maraschino cherries, baked goods, and candies.

Blue #1 
An unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice. What it's in: Baked goods, beverages, desert powders, candies, cereal, drugs, and other products.

Blue #2 
Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. What it's in: Colored beverages, candies, pet food, & other food and drugs.

Citrus Red #2
It's toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it's in: Skins of Florida oranges.

Green #3
Caused significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. What it's in: Drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet, ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics.

Yellow #5 
Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it's in: Pet foods, numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Yellow #6 
Caused adrenal tumors in animals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. What it's in: Color bakery goods, cereals, beverages, dessert powders, candies, gelatin deserts, sausage, cosmetics, and drugs.

Every year, food manufacturers pour 15 million pounds of artificial food dyes into U.S. foods -- and that amount only factors in eight different varieties, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

These dyes are so common in U.S. foods -- especially kids' foods -- that parents don't think twice about giving their children rainbow-colored cereal or fluorescent blue "juice," and adults don't consider bright orange cheese puffs out of the ordinary, either.

But you might do a double take if these food packages contained warnings detailing what these artificial food colorings may really be doing to your health, and that of your children.

In Europe at least, they do. As of July 2010, most foods in the EU that contain artificial food dyes were labeled with warning labels1 stating the food "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children." The British government also asked that food manufacturers remove most artificial colors from foods back in 2009.

In the United States, however, consumers are still snatching up artificially colored foods with fervor, as most are completely unaware of the risks involved … and let me just say, hyperactivity in children is only the tip of the iceberg.

Cancer and Other Serious Risks from Food Dyes Revealed
In CSPI's summary of studies on food dyes2, you can see that some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer. CSPI reported3:

"The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens … Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply."

In their 58-page report, "Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks," CSPI revealed that nine of the food dyes currently approved for use in the United States are linked to health issues ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergy-like reactions -- and these results were from studies conducted by the chemical industry itself.

For instance, Red # 40, which is the most widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of immune system tumors in mice, while also triggering hyperactivity in children.

Blue # 2, used in candies, beverages, pet foods and more, was linked to brain tumors. And Yellow 5, used in baked goods, candies, cereal and more, may not only be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals, but it's also linked to hyperactivity, hypersensitivity and other behavioral effects in children.

In addition to considerations of organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions, mixtures of dyes (and Yellow 5 tested alone) cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in some children.
Because of those toxicological considerations, including carcinogenicity, hypersensitivity reactions, and behavioral effects, food dyes cannot be considered safe. The FDA should ban food dyes, which serve no purpose other than a cosmetic effect, though quirks in the law make it difficult to do so (the law should be amended to make it no more difficult to ban food colorings than other food additives).
In the meantime, companies voluntarily should replace dyes with safer, natural colorings."

Remember Why Food Colorings Are Added to Foods in the First Place …
If you need further incentive to ditch artificially colored foods from your diet, remember the reason they're added to processed foods in the first place: to make a food that would otherwise be an off-colored mess look appealing.

When foods are processed not only are valuable nutrients lost and fibers removed, but the texture, natural variation and flavors are lost also. After processing, what's actually left behind is a bland, uninteresting "pseudo-food" that most people would find entirely unappetizing.
So at this point, food manufacturers must add back in the nutrients, flavor, color and texture in order to make them desirable, and this is why they become loaded with food additives.

Most commonly, additives are included to:

  • Slow spoilage
  • Prevent fats and oils from becoming rancid or developing an off-flavor
  • Prevent cut fruits from turning brown
  • Fortify or enrich the food with synthetic vitamins and minerals (which are lost during processing)
  • Improve taste, texture, and appearance

In the case of kids' foods, bright colors are also added to attract kids' attention and make the foods appear "fun." But in most cases, if a food comes in an outrageous color that is not found in nature, consuming it is not a good idea.

Take one carefully designed, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal The Lancet5. It concluded that a variety of common food dyes, and the preservative sodium benzoate -- found in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings -- do in fact cause some children to become measurably more hyperactive and distractible.

The study also found that the E-numbered food dyes do as much damage to children's brains as lead in gasoline, resulting in a significant reduction in IQ.

The results of this study were what prompted the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) to issue an immediate advisory to parents, warning them to limit their children's intake of additives if they notice an effect on behavior. As mentioned earlier, they also advised the food industry to voluntarily remove the six food dyes named in the study back in 2009, and replace them with natural alternatives if possible.

The United States, however, has not followed suit in issuing any similar warnings to American parents, even now two years later.

Stick to Naturally Colored Foods for Your Health
Let me make it clear that your diet should include a range of vibrantly colored foods … but these foods should be the ones that are naturally rich in color. Red bell peppers, purple eggplant, green spinach, blueberries and rainbow chard are all examples of healthy foods whose bright colors are signs of the important nutrients they contain.

These are the food colors you need in your diet … not the man-made varieties found in most processed foods. The good news is avoiding artificial food dyes is incredibly easy -- just stick to whole fresh foods and avoid the processed ones. If you need help breaking an addiction to processed foods, these seven steps will help you wean off of them in favor of healthier, unprocessed, natural alternatives.

For the complete article and more information, go to Mercola's article on it which is where I found this excerpt and the information. This is the link

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Egg Protein Bars or Squares

I used to make these in muffin tins til my husband threw out the tins because he saw rust in them. So I had to improvise and that's how this recipe came out. Protein squares instead of muffins.
Super simple to make and you can add anything you want to them. I just add the ingredients below to make it simple but they'd be good with other veggies, turkey bacon, vegan sausage, anything!

They are one of my favorite snacks to have on hand, easy to eat on the go, at work, etc. I make them once or twice a week and keep them in the refrigerator so I have something healthy to eat when hunger strikes.  They're high in protein, low in fat, low in carbs, clean and gluten free if you happen to be eating that way too! You can freeze them too. The recipe is below but like I said, the best part about these is that you can add anything you'd like to them!

1 9 x 9 pyrex pan
2 cartons of egg whites (or 24 egg whites)
3 to 4 cups of spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup feta cheese (or any cheese you prefer shredded or grated)

1.  Preheat the oven to 400

2.  Spray the baking dish well with olive oil or coconut oil to prevent from sticking

3.  Pour egg whites into the baking dish

4.  Splash some milk in to make them a little fluffier.

5. Add the spinach in and spread it out. It's ok if it sticks up a little. It'll drop while cooking.

6. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and cheese and anything else you'd like in there.

7. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top then add some salsa on top as well. As much or as little as you'd like.

8. Sprinkle seasoning. I add either Kirkland Mesquite or Organic No Salt Seasoning

9. Bake for about 45 minutes. This depends on how you like your eggs and your oven. They need to be well doneand sort of browned along the edges to be able to be sliced into squares. I like them very well done and the bottoms and sides crispy so I cook them for about an hour sometimes. If you like them softer, 40 minutes should be just fine.

10. Let cool and cut into squares.

11. If you plan to store them in the fridge, place them in a tupperware and they'll be ready to eat.

12. I make a large batch at once so I don't have to make them more than twice a week.  My husband, 7 year old daughter and even my 2 year old baby love these! 

If you cut them into squares about 1 inch by 1 inch, each, it makes them bite size and easy to eat.  This size they are also only about 25-30 calories each depending on whether you use cheese or not! Enjoy and let me know how you like them snd how you make them!