HolidayFITT Part 1 + Meal Prep Fun

I'm BAAAAAACK!
I apologize that I missed two weeks of posting for you but sometimes it happens, life has a funny way of throwing us off course but we get back to it and that's what matters. I come with ideas for keeping holidayFITT and new recipes being cooked up in our house this week. I so wish I could share the smell of our home as the dishes are getting done. It is a most heavenly, mouth-watering smell and I encourage you to fill your house with the same smell.
Before we get in to the food stuff let's begin our talk about the HOLIDAYS! Ugh, the holidays. Don't get me wrong I LOOOOOOVE the holidays.

And not even just Christmas, Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday, but more than just the holiday day itself I love this time of the year...it's the most wonderful time of the year after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The mood is generally cheery, people are in a giving spirit, gatherings of friends and family, it's all just good stuff. However, along with all this good stuff we tend to load it up with good food and I'm not particularly talking about "good for you food" either. I'm talking special holiday treats, meals and drinks that can lead you down a road of continually falling off your "healthy wagon" if you are not careful.
Don't go getting all fussy, I'm not saying deny yourself the goodness of what the holidays bring altogether, that wouldn't be much fun. What I am saying is be intentional about your health thru the holiday season. So what does that look like? Well, remember we are all different so it may look different from person to person but here are some ideas/things I do that help me stay on track during this time.

1. EXERCISE

Don't let exercise fall by the wayside this time of year. It doesn't have to be a 7 mile run ๐Ÿ™‚ it just needs to be something. Even a 12-minute HIIT will suffice! Here's one for you to give a try. Simple, but wildly effective. (Don't forget when you are doing a HIIT workout the point is to give it your 100% max effort during the work period, then rest during rest. This approach is what makes it so effective.)

10 seconds rest, 30 seconds work; 18 rounds

1-High Knees

2-Jump Squats (or Squats without the Jump)

3-Push-Ups (modified if you need)

4-Mountain Climbers

5-Jump Lunges (or alternate back lunge without the jump)

6-Burpees

Three rounds of that should do it! **I highly recommend the GYMBOSS timer. You can download the app for your phone or buy it online, best $20 you'll spend on workout equipment.**
Whether you are FITTing it in in the morning or another time of day, make exercise a priority.

2.ย BREAKFAST

Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Around here we pretty much stick to the egg casserole, eggs LOADED with veggies. On Monday mornings I typically cook breakfast but it's more or less the same thing, eggs and veggies, then on the weekends I typically use up our leftover roasted with...guess...eggs! My goal is for us to have vegetables in every meal. Adding them in at breakfast is awesome.
If you are a fan of oats, here's one for ya...saute some kale and garlic in coconut oil, fry an egg in with it, throw on top of some steel cut oats. I know what you're thinking, you want me to eat what?! I thought the SAME thing when it was recommended to me but turns out it's delicious and packs a powerhouse of superfood. Eventually we ditched the oats and now it's pretty much just eggs and veggies.
Pair some exercise and a healthy breakfast as a part of your day and you are more likely to make healthier decisions throughout the rest of your day. That's a win I like!

3. PREGAME

Holiday party pre-gaming. This is essential. When you are heading to your holiday parties you can GUARANTEE there is going to be food, dessert and drink aplenty and if you aren't careful it's easy toย get carried away. My pregame trick is typically eating an apple on my way to said party. It fills my belly so Iย don't go crazy eating party food and it's typically a healthier choice than most of what's on the party food line. If you want to up your game a little you could even dip apple slices in some peanut/almond butter, a little protein to fill the belly even more.

4. PARTY FOOD

Piggy-backing on the pregame talk let's discuss the food that is actually AT the party. Healthy CAN (and is) be tasty. If you are invited to a holiday pot-luck, don't be afraid to be the person that brings the healthy dish. There are so many dishes to choose from that are full of flavor and health, perhaps you'll even start a trend for future parties! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you show up and there is nothing really healthy there be wise about what you eat and HOW MUCH. Only allow yourself one plate, for example, for the night (no seconds), try to avoid toppings that aren't necessary and don't feel like you have to load up on any one thing, take small samples. And if you MUST drink, have your drink but then follow it up with a glass of water.
We will call it good here for HolidayFITT Part 1. Next week I am going to extend a challenge your way as we approach Thanksgiving and the height of the holiday season. Stay tuned!

 

What do you do throughout the holidays to help you stay healthy?

 

Meal/Food Prep Fun

I'm very excited to start eating some of the meals we have planned for this week. I think I got three new ones in (a vegetarian one included, I would like to start including one vegetarian meal per week) this week and one repeat at the request of Jordan. Here's what we will be eating this week:

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole

Photo and recipe fromย life-in-the-lofthouse.com

I got this one done first thing in the morning Sunday and took a little taste when it was done. Yes, it is good. Very good. My only substitutions were these...

...and using coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. I try to avoid soy when I can so this Coconut Liquid Aminos is perfect plus it has far less sodium which I like. The coconut sugar is not as sweet as brown sugar and I am a fan of that as well.

Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Photo and recipe by Lindsay Livingston on theleangreenbean.com

I have been making these bars for a while now and they are always a hit. I am making them a bit different now though. This time I used a 1:1 gluten free baking powder (a sub for the whole wheat flour called for) and I also used gluten-free oats. (We are not gluten free house however I have been enjoying using less gluten in my baking) I did not add the honey or any chocolate chips or dried fruit in this batch either. They are not sweet but they are good. A good post workout snack or a snack for any other time.

Roasted Veggies

Paleo Cornbread Muffins

Get recipe here

"Cornbread muffins" ๐Ÿ™‚ These are to go alongside our chili. There is no cornmeal in these at all, can we still call them cornbread? I also left the sweetener out of this recipe. Our food does taste good I swear! ๐Ÿ™‚ Honestly removing the "sweet" in our meals is something that has been a process. But now that we don't we really do prefer our food not having that sweet taste. And the kids, well they don't know any different and I kinda like it that way. They don't seem to dish out any complaints come meal time.

Skinny Crockpot Chicken Chili

The chili is getting thrown in the crockpot first thing Monday morning but I did a bit of prep so it's super easy. I like that I don't have to "precook" anything for this chili, just dump and go. Of course I am adding my superstar food at the moment...butternut squash to the menu. Other than that sticking to the recipe.

Get recipe here

Chili prep on the left, Egg Casserole prep on the right. Since I cook breakfast for the entire family on Monday mornings I like to get all the veggies prepped for the casserole then on Monday either Jordan or I make the casserole and it stays a day fresher through the week for us. Is anyone else loving all the colors of our meals this week?! Seriously I can't get over the colorful deliciousness of our meals.

Kielbasa and Cabbage Skillet

Photo and recipe from bellyfull.net

Jordan's request for the week. I've made this a few times and it's awesome. If we have leftovers come the weekend guess what I pair it with for breakfast....EGGS! ๐Ÿ™‚ This will also get made Monday. If I'm keeping honest with you I'm not the biggest fan of kielbasa, it has sugar, but we do not eat it often so I will roll with it.
>I truly believe I have saved the best for last. The fragrant smell of this dish was almost too much for me to handle. I CAN.NOT.WAIT. to eat it.

Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole

Get Recipe Here

Yep, that's me just smelling all the food before cooking it. After cooking oh my goodness, yum. The biggest thing I did here was that I didn't use near as much cheese as it called for, just enough for a little "stick" and I used Herdez Red Salsa as opposed to enchilada sauce. Jordan isn't a big enchilada sauce guy and I can take or leave it my own self. I think it's going to be a little bit of awesome.
Sunday's can be busy with prepping food/meals, doing the laundry, blogging and even some work brought home but we work hard to make sure we get in family time and snuggles whenever we can too. Emma helps with food prep and Brody provides entertainment...until he passes out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tell me this will last FOREVER! (I know it won't.)

So, what do you think? Which of these meals do you want to try most?