Tips To Kick-start Your Weightloss

Congrats ladies! You’ve taken the first step and made the decision to lose weight before your BIG day! Be proud of yourself! I know that I am proud of you 🙂 That first step can definitely be scary to make but you’re past that and now it’s time to follow through on your goal! While I know this can be tough, here are a few of my simple tips to help you kick-start your weight loss and help you continue to lose weight and become healthier for your wedding day!

  1. Eat Breakfast
    • I know, I know, you have probably heard this hundreds of times but it’s the truth! You may think that you can shed pounds by skipping on breakfast but the opposite is actually true. Eating a good breakfast is what kicks off your metabolism for the day. So, be sure to eat that delicious meal high in fiber, protein and fruit within an hour of waking up and you’ll be on your way to a healthy day!
  2. Drink Water
    • I have said SO many times just how completely vital it is to consume enough water every day. Staying hydrated is one of the (if not THE) most important weight loss tip that I can give you. Be sure to drink at least half of your weight in ounces. It has zero calories, is key for overall good health and even makes you feel full when you’re hungry. Aim for a glass of water with every meal and snack (and some in between :))!
  3. Move Your Body
    • Going from a couch potato to spending an hour at the gym every day isn’t a change that most people can stay motivated to keep up with. So, start small and build yourself up. Start by adding just 10 or 20 minutes of exercise/cardio to your day for the first few days and build up from there. The key is to MOVE! Exercise also helps to increase your metabolism which is just what you are looking for!
  4. Write It Down
    • Write down on a piece of paper, the reasons why you want to lose weight. Do you want to have more energy or fit into skinnier jeans? Do you want to reduce your risk of diabetes? Write down your reasons and when you’re thinking about eating that bag of chips or skipping Yoga class, use your written reminders to keep yourself on track.
  5. Plan Each Meal
    • Make sure that you plan out your (healthy) meals for the week. Even do that dreadful “Meal Prep” everyone is talking about. Trust me, it helps so much! Even I find myself grabbing something unhealthy when I haven’t prepared for the week and am short on time or “too tired” to make dinner. Why deal with that? Save yourself time, stress and extra calories during the week by spending just a couple hours on Sunday to prep and cook your meals and snacks for the week!

Repeat

Chicken & Asparagus Lemon Stir-Fry

I know that Asparagus isn’t for everyone and was definitely an acquired taste for me but, if you do like it, this quick stir-fry recipe from SkinnyTaste is delicious and just for you!! The flavors all mix perfectly together while still allowing you to taste each individual ingredient. Feel free to tweak it according to your tastes and serve it with your choice of brown or white rice.

Check out the list of ingredients and recipe below and then be sure to head on over to SkinnyTaste for more details and nutritional information.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium shoyu or soy sauce (or Tamari for GF)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
Chicken-Asparagus-Stir-Fry-550x800

Photo credit: SkinnyTaste

Directions:

Lightly season the chicken with salt. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth and soy sauce. In a second small bowl combine the cornstarch and water and mix well to combine.

Heat a large non-stick wok over medium-high heat, when hot add 1 teaspoon of the oil, then add the asparagus and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Increase the heat to high, then add 1 teaspoon of oil and half of the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside and repeat with the remaining oil and chicken. Set aside.

Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil and cook about 1-1/2 minutes. Add lemon juice and cornstarch mixture and stir well, when it simmers return the chicken and asparagus to the wok and mix well, remove from heat and serve.
Read more at SkinnyTaste

 

Weight Loss Goals & Motivation for Your Wedding

I can share tip after tip, recipe after recipe, and workout idea after workout idea with you but the ONLY way that you can lose weight is if YOU WANT TO! You will not lose weight if you aren’t doing it for yourself. You have to be motivated and willing to work for it. Trust me, it will be hard work and sometimes or maybe a lot of the time, hard to stay motivated but, YOU CAN DO IT!

No one wants to look back at their wedding pictures and think ‘wow, who is that in the white dress?’. I know that you don’t! So, DON’T! What better way to start off a marriage than being healthy (in all aspects) and confident.

Be sure that you don’t make your weight loss goal unattainable. Nothing kills motivation like disappointment. You will be disappointed if you expect to lose 30 lbs. in a month and don’t, so be reasonable! Set achievable goals and then go for it!

It’s your body. It’s your life. It’s your wedding. It’s your marriage. So, get started today. Make a plan, set your goals and get started on the journey!

FB_IMG_1439044454639

 

Simple & Delicious Restaurant-Style Homemade Salsa

I am obsessed with chips and salsa! EVERYONE who knows me, knows that I love and am down to eat them no matter the time of day 🙂 Once I start with the delicious crunch of the chip and the spice of the salsa, it’s SO hard to stop and not eat the whole bowl!

The best part of this salsa is how fast and easy it is. It only took me 5 minutes to make yesterday! What’s even better is that it’s super healthy, low-cal and all veggies!

20160721_123322

I have this delicious recipe below but be sure while you’re making it to taste-test and add or tweak it based on your and your family’s preferences and likes. I’d suggest to add less salt than the recipe calls for and then add as needed from there. Sometimes the cans of tomatoes are salted enough that you don’t even need to add salt in.

Once you’ve blended it and gotten it just right, ENJOY! I have found that if I can pull my stuff together enough to make it the day before I am really needing or wanting it and let it sit in the fridge overnight, it tastes even better as the flavors have blended! Either way, it’s delicious so whether it’s a last minute make or a forethought, enjoy!

Also add it to any of your favorite foods like fajitas or enchiladas! Will add a whole new spice and taste to your already delicious meals/snacks!

RECIPE:

YIELD: about 4 cups

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

COOK TIME: 0 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

One 28-ounce can diced or whole tomatoes (or two 14.5 oz cans work), including juice
1 small yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers (depending on how spicy you want it), de-stemmed and roughly chopped (I prefer 2; remove seeds to reduce heat level)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (or minced garlic out of a jar works too)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste (remember some brands of tomatoes and chips are much saltier than others)
1/4 to 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional and to taste (balances the heat and tomato acidity; start with less and add more if necessary; careful not to over-sweeten)
1 or 2 handfuls of washed cilantro leaves, discard stems (I prefer at least 2)
3 tablespoons lime juice
Tortilla/Corn chips, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients into the blender or food processor in the order listed. Pulse or blend on high power until texture is as smooth as desired. If you have a very strong blender, you probably don’t need to pre-chop the ingredients before adding them to the blender, but I do just to make sure I don’t get large random, accidentally un-blended chunks of any one ingredient.
  2. Taste the salsa and tweak as necessary.
  3. Transfer to airtight container and serve immediately with chips. However, I prefer to refrigerate salsa for 1 day prior to serving because I prefer chilled salsa and because the flavors marry, mellow, and the flavor improves on the second and third day. Salsa will likely keep up to 1 week airtight in the fridge; however, I’ve never had it last that long 🙂
  4. ENJOY!

3

Make Drinking Enough Water a No-Brainer & Fun!

We all know that drinking enough water not only aids in weight loss, but staying hydrated provides so many other health benefits as well, including clearer and more beautiful and glowing skin for your BIG day! As I mentioned in a previous post, I used to not drink a lot of water. I was continuously dehydrated and experiencing negative side effects that I never knew/thought were related to my lack of hydration. But surprise surprise… they were!

I had a hard time shifting my mind and body to drinking more water so I had to try different tricks till I found one that worked for me. I was finally successful by setting specific goals for myself (certain water amounts by certain hours of the day) and now, if I don’t drink enough water during the day, I feel off.

Believe me though, I get it. Drinking water can be SO boring!! Especially when I’m drinking a gallon or more every day. And… who likes boring?! I don’t 🙂 So, if you’re having a difficult time drinking the proper amount of water each day, here are two tricks that I found were helpful and tasty!

Set Goals:

  1. Find a reusable, BPA free, see-through water bottle that holds at least 32 ounces (the less ounces, the more times you will need to refill your bottle) and that you don’t mind writing on.
  2. With a permanent marker, make lines at every 8-10 oz. for every hour between 8am and 6pm (adjust hours if you wake up/go to bed at different times). So, if you get up at 7am, set your first line (8-10 oz.) for 8am. Then another at 9am, 10am, etc. until you reach 6pm. The key is to make sure that you have drank the allotted amount of water before each hour is up. This will help you to drink between 88 and 110 ounces per day. As your body adjusts, feel free to increase the number of ounces you are in-taking every hour.
  3. If you don’t feel like doing the marking and math on your own, check out the pre-marked and motivational bottles at Blogilates Designs.

 

8d489cb03ea17611fb39cfc33ed1489f

Photo credit: Blogilates Designs

 Make It Fun:

  1. Dice up and freeze a month’s supply of fruit like raspberries, strawberries, lemons, limes, oranges, or whatever other fruit you’d like and add it to your water bottle. It not only keeps your water cold but it flavors it as well. Eat the fruit at the end and you’ll be on your way to getting your fruit servings in each day!
  2. Try different combinations to infuse into your water until you find ones that you like best. Another cool trick is to freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays and pop them in there.

 

4c9bba7f20409b3cb7f55184e2afa97e

Photo credit: Pinterest

Healthier Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I LOVE FOOD! Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I have a huge passion and excitement for food. I love cooking, experimenting, trying new recipes, and of course, eating (so glad that God blessed me with a fast metabolism :)). One of my favorite memories of growing up is of my Grandma’s cooking. I was always her and my mom’s kitchen helper and loved having that role/responsibility (I have 4 older brothers and this was one of the special connections I shared with my Grandma and Mom by myself). My Grandma is an amazing cook and one of my all-time FAVORITE recipes of hers is her Broccoli & Cheese Soup. It is delicious, creamy, and flavorful. I could eat her soup every single day! Haha! That’s how much I love it. I am always looking for ways to mix up a recipe and to cook and eat healthier. I came across this Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe on Food Network and thought that I’d give it a try. It was delicious and super simple to make. It obviously tastes very different than my Grandma’s but is delicious in it’s own unique way and flavor. If you’re a fan of soups and want to try out a healthier Broccoli & Cheese soup, see the ingredients and recipe here and let me know how you like it!

CC_BROCCOLI-CHEDDAR-SOUP_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Photo credit: Food Network

4th of July- BBQ Turkey Burgers

It’s celebration time! With the 4th of July coming up on Monday, what better way to celebrate than with a super easy, delicious and healthy BBQ turkey burger recipe?! This fresh spin on burgers is a tasty way to eat more turkey which is not only an excellent source of lean protein but will leave you feeling fuller, longer. So, while you’re planning your menu for the holiday and looking for something different and delicious to grill for your family and friends, plan for these BBQ Turkey Burgers!

BBQ-Burger-XL

Tasty Tuesday- Water Water Water

One of the biggest mistakes that people make (yes, I used to be a part of that group too) is not drinking enough WATER. Our bodies are made up of 60% water and we NEED to continuously replenish our bodies with water for overall health and energy.

Until 3 years ago, I hardly ever drank water unless it was during volleyball practice or at the gym, etc. The rest of the day I might have had a sip or two here or there but that was it! I know, crazy right?! I had headaches, low energy, tired eyes, and a plateaued weight and health.

I (as you probably have heard too) have always been told that I needed to drink at least ten 8 ounce glasses of water a day but I had never really paid attention to that “suggestion.” It wasn’t until I was in my car for work full-time that I slowly started getting in the habit. I began bringing two refillable water bottles with me and (being as competitive as I am haha) would give myself goals of when I had to have certain amounts drank by.

Soon, it became such a normal part of my every day that I would drink about a gallon a day. I noticed that I was having way less headaches, had a little extra pep in my step and didn’t feel as tired. Foods were processing through me more easily, and I was losing the extra few pounds that had been so hard to get off. All definite positives!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to drink an entire one of those 5 gallon water jugs at work, you just need to make sure that you are drinking a minimum of 64 ounces a day. If you are exercising (which you should be), you need to drink at least 72 ounces, or a gallon a day!

I can’t stress it enough. Drinking enough water daily is the key to your health and weight loss. DRINK YOUR WATER! Not drinking enough water can cause major issues like fatigue, allergic reactions, high blood pressure, wrinkling, gas, bloating, and nasty skin issues (there goes that glowing bride look you were going for). So, I’ll say it again… DRINK YOUR WATER!

*Tip of the day: Squeeze in some lemon juice for change of flavor or mix in my FAVORITE GREENS to one of your bottles a day to get the added 8+ servings of fruits and vegetables and 38 super-foods they contain as well as the benefit of alkalizing, detoxing and balancing your body for even greater health and energy!

78b42db2f601221910ab5238ebcfc440

Photo credit: Anna K Photography