Get social, IRL

It’s Saturday night, and while pre-fit-life me would have been posted up at the bar, I’m in bed early… getting ready for the barre. That Sunday morning, I take it easy. I check-in on the ‘gram with peanut butter toast in hand and message an insta-friend I’ve been following, double-tapping, and DMing for months. In a few hours, we’re finally going to meet IRL at a community Barre Class  & Brunch. When we finally get together – her with her bestie and me with mine – willingly spending our personal time sweating (and of course, eating), my heart is fuller than my (very-full) belly with feelings of empowerment, belonging, and joy. I kept saying to myself “Damn. It feels so good that this is what I choose to do.” I know, I know, it sounds sappy. But, for someone who was living on autopilot for far too long, these moments bring on ALL. THE. FEELS.

For the past year+, I have had the honest pleasure of interacting with likeminded people every. single. day.  and I can’t stress how important I believe this to have been in maintaining my lifestyle. At first, it was all virtual. The decision to get healthy lead me to the #TIUteam, where I connected with fitchicks from across the globe who each were at a unique stage in their fitness journey. I looked to some gals for major aspiration ab goals, and some to hold me accountable as we navigated our lifestyle shifts together.

As my passion for health and fitness grew, I began to take my lifestyle to the streets. Community classes, fit retreats, healthy eatery openings – you name it. **Insert major props to everyone and anyone who I ever encountered – be it DM, email, bootcamp partner, or yoga-mat-neighbor – you all have motivated me, inspired me, and propelled my lifestyle without probably even realizing it**

Hey girl. Yeah, you 😉 There’s nothing wrong with workin’ out in your living room and checking in with your group chat… but I encourage you to get social, IRL, with local events. Why? I believe that health is about total wellness, and that includes social wellbeing. I believe that choosing to surround yourself with people who root for you and uplift you is the best thing you can do. Take it from me, when your passion and your people collide, life gets a whole lot better.

Continue reading “Get social, IRL”

Me and Macros, A Love Story

In this post, I answered your FAQs about all things macros – from WTF “CPF” is to the results I’ve seen from tracking. I mention how everyone’s ideal macronutrient ratio is unique to their preferences and goals, and just the same, everyone’s approach to a macro-based diet is all their own.

The first day of my macro tracking, I exceeded my goal protein intake by something like 43 grams (that’s a lot), overcompensating because I perceived protein intake to be difficult. Whoops. That night, planning my meals for the following day, I stood in the kitchen for two hours, sighing with frustration, cursing MyFitnessPal, adjusting and readjusting, calculating and recalculating, until I finally, finally got it right. 6 months later, I dance around my kitchen with my scale & MyFitnessPal (who I finally refer to as an actual pal) and a steadfast routine, have fun with the few & far between adjustments and calculations, and get hype when I hit my numbers with ease.

Tracking caloric/macronutrient intake is a microscopic look at every gram of food that enters and powers your body. It’s a truly fascinating process (#nutritionnerd) to learn what nutrients make up your fave ingredients, what actual serving sizes are, and how your body reacts to different dietary cycles. That said, tracking food intake raises a hyperawareness that, while educational and beneficial, can at times be frustrating… and maybe even lead to disordered thinking. I knew I wanted to track macros, but how was I going to approach analyzing my food intake? First things first, I identified my priorities.

  1. Maintaining a healthy relationship with food in which I do not have restrictions or food-related anxiety
  2. Performance and function
  3. Aesthetic

It’s this ranking that serves as the foundation of my personal relationship with macronutrients. If I were a competitive body builder or just beginning my fitness journey, this list would probably look much different (with aesthetics leading the pack) and there’s nothing wrong with that. Right now, I want my dietary habits to help me achieve a sustainable, maintainable lifestyle – ’cause I’m in it for the long haul, y’all.

Keep reading for more on me + my relationship with macros.
Disclaimer: all advice/tips are based upon my own personal experience. I encourage you to listen to your body and come up with a strategy founded on intuition that aligns with your priorities.

The Big Picture. Think of a macro-based meal plan as an edible puzzle where the final product is your daily allotment of macros, and the pieces are super-yummy carbs, protein, and fat. Unlike a traditional puzzle, how you choose to arrange those pieces is entirely up to you. We could both have the same macro breakdown, but my picture could be a blend of kale, chicken, and of course, peanut butter, while your masterpiece could include sweet potato, salmon, and sunflower seeds. There will be a lot of shucking & jiving and you will need to practice patience & flexibility (and I’m not just talking about your back bend, yogi 😉 ).

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Focus on Amounts, Not Percentages. When you navigate to the nutrition tab in MyFitnessPal, the app automatically directs you to a pie chart view of your macro breakdown (labeled “Macros”). PSA: do not rely on this to determine your success in meeting your numbers. The pie chart does not account for your calorie goals, so your percentage could look spot-on without actually meeting your caloric needs (whether over or under). Percentages are based on the relationship between the total amount of your nutrients, and can be misleading. Instead, look at the “Nutrients” tab for a straight forward visual of your nutrient goal, intake, and remainder for the most accurate account.

Build-A-Meal. For the most accurate tracking, I find it easiest to create individualized meals that focus on how separate ingredients can come together as a whole. Buddha Bowls, Tray Dinners, Mix n’ Match bowls with quinoa or Banza, yogurt parfaits, and Everything But The Kitchen Sink Salads have become my staple meals. Comprised of protein, starch, veggies, and fat, these dishes are fully customizable, making it much simpler to fine-tune ingredients as needed. This B(build).Y.O.-style of cooking has encouraged me to experiment with new flavors and ingredients (curry, turmeric, paprika – oh my!). The combinations are seriously, satisfyingly endless. (Tip: When you do cook in bulk, use MyFitnessPal’s recipe tool for the most accurate nutrition facts. Be sure to weigh the final product so that you can determine an exact portion size).

 

Start Strategically. Do you eat a pre-workout snack every morning? (Yup!) Do you have produce or protein that you need to use up? Do you have a social salad date planned? Plug it into MyFitnessPal, and build your daily puzzle from there. For example, if I eat a larabar mini every morning before HIITing the gym, I know immediately that 110 calories broken into 10g carbs/3g protein/ 6g fat are accounted for in my total macro allotment. Plan your meals in advance in order to have the most balanced, easy to navigate experience sans surprises. I suggest starting by plugging in the main meals – M1, M3, and M5. (I always add my breakfast first because it’s typically my most caloric and macro dense meal of the day – all the proteins, all the carbs, and just enough of the fats for post workout muscle recovery!) Then, fill in the gaps with snacks. As you log your meals, navigate to the “Nutrition” panel often (like, really often) for a solid grasp on where your numbers are falling in relationship to your goals. I promise that over time your brain will learn and remember macro information, and the puzzle becomes easier!


This super caloric and macro dense M1 came after a suuuuper heavy leg day, and it dictated the rest of my meals.

Consider High Volume, Low Macro. A fitchick friend of mine gave me this piece of advice during a particularly hungry week of my macro counting at a time when I was strategically consuming in a caloric deficit. If you find that you are easily surpassing your macro goals, or perhaps meeting your macro goals but hungry – turn to high volume, low macro foods. For example, cauliflower rice is extremely low in macro values, meaning you can eat large, filling servings without compromising all your carbs. On the other spoon 😉 peanut butter (not knocking it ’cause I always make it work) is high macro/high calorie for a fairly small serving size. Opting for high volume options will keep you full and satisfied while leave wiggle room for treats or cravings – win, win!

Use a Food Scale. This is a MUST. If you want to accurately track macros, you can not rely on measuring tools like cups or spoons when portioning out ingredients. For example, a serving size of most peanut butters is 2 tbsp (30-32 grams). If you dig a tablespoon – one tablespoon – into your peanut butter jar and plop it on your scale, I can almost guarantee that it’s weight will exceed the two tablespoon suggested serving size. Can you tell I’m still salty (JK ’cause I buy unsalted PB) from this true life encounter? All products and ingredients will display a serving size in weight (most commonly ounces or grams) next to the standard measurement, use it! See the example below. A serving size of these organic dried figs (waddup TJs!!) reads “4 figs (40g)”. Well my friends, look what happens when I plop two average size figs onto my trusty food scale. At 1/2 the suggested number of figs, I’m already about to hit the weighted serving size. I could easily double the calories and macros (my precious carb count) on this ingredient if I didn’t use a scale to record it.

Stock Up. Keeping a well stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer will enhance your macro tracking game and make adjustments much easier. After all, we do want this to be sustainable and simple. Finding that you’re low on fat for the day? Good thing you have a bag of raw almonds in the pantry! Whoops – calculations went way over on carbs? Swap sweet potato for zucchini noodles. (Tip: Don’t worry about excess produce going to waste. Build a bounty of frozen veggies and dried fruit to fall back on.)

Track When It Works (and understand how this will affect your goals). Allow me to reiterate: it is very important to me to maintain a healthy, positive relationship with food and eating that is free of anxiety and stress. In order to achieve this, I limit my tracking on Saturday and Sunday, unless I have hyper-specific goals to meet in a set amount of time. I approach weekend vibes one of two ways: 1) track my main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and let my intuition, belly, or cravings determine my snacks or 2) track my meals with the exception of one restaurant-based meal. *It doesn’t mean that I abandon my quality preferences (lean, clean, green and #TIUapproved), it just means that I allow for flexibility with the quantity.* Let it be known that if you take this approach, you will naturally have inconsistencies in your macro intake and should be aware of how this may affect your results. I recommend strictly adhering to your macro allotment until you have mastered the process before loosening the reigns – by priming your body in this way, your intuitive eating and cravings will most likely reflect what you need in your macros.

Which leads me to…

Tracking Out: So, you want to track a restaurant-based meal at an eatery that doesn’t provide nutrition breakdowns (see also: most restaurants)? First, understand and accept that your macro count won’t be 100% accurate in this scenario. Next, overshoot. When attempting to log chef-prepped meals, I generally try my best to overcompensate for my macros so that, if anything, I am hopefully falling short in my totals instead of grossly exceeding them. If you want to get detailed down to the morsel, consider that your food is probably cooked in more oil than necessary (hello fat content!). The more you track, the better judgment you will have when making estimates at protein portion sizes and prepping techniques.

Challenge Yourself. The more you track, the more your body responds intuitively. Try going a day tracking on paper only (or mentally) and avoid calculating any of your totals. Make attempts to keep your macros balanced, but don’t overthink it – allow your body to tell you what it wants and needs. At the end of the day, plug all your numbers into your tracking app and see how you did! I tested this method after several months of tracking, and came impressively close to my goals on intuition alone.

And after months of practice, that’s how I get along with macros 🙂 I’d love to hear your tips and tricks – if ya got ’em drop ’em below.

Fitlicity Faves: Trader Joe’s

If you asked me to close my eyes and describe my happy place – a place where I could spend all of my days – it would have a squat rack, and barbells, and rows and rows of roasted & raw nuts and seeds, and zig zag butternut squash, and crunchy chia + flax peanut butter. Stop. Wait a minute. What I am describing is essentially a gym combined with a Trader Joe’s.

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Alas, I must resort to getting my sweat on and my shop on in two different locations… but I won’t stop dreamin’ 😉

Since beginning my Fitness Journey, I have been loyal to my main squeeze, Trader Joe for all things grocery haul. So long weekend bar hops – it’s Friday night aisle hops now! It is no exaggeration to say that, with the exception of protein (I buy in bulk) and a few speciality brands, every single item in my fridge, freezer, and pantry is purchased from Trader Joe’s. I have to acknowledge TJs for the role it has played in my healthy lifestyle. Shout out to you, TJ, for committing to making quality, healthy food accessible and affordable. Because of you, I have been able to sustain ~25 meals/week for two people (one being my very hungry fiancé) for an average of $75 or less.

 

Without further ado, I present a list of my favorite Trader Joe’s buys:

Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds
“Between the nuts and the seeds, each two tablespoon serving provides 320mg of ALA (Alpha-lineolenic acid) Omega-3 fatty acids. Good stuff, indeed.” – Trader Joe’s *Bonus: save the container for ONOs and chia seed pudding. Thank me later.

 

 

Dried Fruit: Organic Turkish Figs, Just Mango Slices, Golden Raisins, New Zealand Apple Rings, Banana Chips*
All the goods of sweet, chewy dried fruit sans added sugar and artificial ingredients. Win! (*banana chips do have added sugar, but make for a a good treat yo’self snack!)

 

Go Raw Trek Mix (Just a Handful)
Keep your candy, sodium, and sugar – trail mix imposters. The textures and flavors in this blend make it hard enough to close the bag. Pro tip: buy the proportioned packs to prevent eating an entire bag in one sitting 😉

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Nothing But Fruit & Nuts
Trader Joe, you have outdone yourself here. Introducing the perfect “guilt-free” post-dinner treat for anyone with a sweet tooth like me. The Date • Hazelnut • Cacao flavor tastes like a chocolate candy! If you can find ’em on the shelves, buy ’em all!

 

Sprouted Grain Bread
I love the texture, better-for-you process & ingredients, and the protein count! Toast it up or eat it fresh 🙂


Whole Grain Crisp Bread
“Ingredients include: sunflower and sesame seeds, flaxseed, oat and wheat bran, and a few other straightforward ingredients.” – Trader Joe’s

 

 

Grainless Granola
O.M.Granola. Goodbye, sugary granola traps and hello, naturally sweet dates, bananas, nuts, seeds, and cinnamon. I love you so!
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Unsweetened Instant Oatmeal
It’s right there on the cover: made with amaranth, flax, chia, and quinoa… could it get any better?

 

Just Beets
It’s the fitchick chip. “‘C’mon!’ you say. ‘Isn’t there at least some sea salt, or a little oil, or some additional seasoning added?’ No. No. And no. These are Just Beets.” – Trader Joe’s

 

Double Roasted Salsa
Just the right amount of smoky spice with ingredients you can feel good about. 

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Seasonal Produce
Butternut squash zig zags, sweet potato ribbons, corn, organic rainbow carrots, jazz apples, fresh berries

 

 

 

Frozen Goods
Organic riced cauliflower, green veggies (brussels and broccoli florets), spiralized carrots, frozen fruit (fancy berry medley, organic tropical blend), Gone Bananas (treat yo’self ;))

 

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
Worth the hype.

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Macros FAQ

Of all the hyped-up health & fitness practices trending through the FitFam community (*cough teatoxes and waist trainers cough*), tracking macros is one that I can whole-bellied (I’d say whole-heartedly, but my belly is bigger 😉 ) get behind.

Mentions of macros have been appearing more frequently on my Instagram, whether it’s hashtags in captions or stickers on stories. With this comes a whole lotta FAQs slidin’ into my DMs. With the disclaimer that I am not a Registered Dietitian, I’m breaking down what I’ve learned over the past 6 months of tracking macronutrient intake.

WTF C/P/F?

Everything we eat, from Big Macs to kale bowls, is comprised of a combination of three core macros, short for macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. My fave? The ultimate macro trifecta: NUT BUTTAH! 😉 The human body processes and applies each macronutrient differently – from energy, to growth, to hormone production and organ health.

So, how do macros relate to fitness? When portioned strategically and combined with a regimented workout plan, macronutrient intake plays a major role in body composition – from fat loss to muscle gain. Everybody (read, literally: every body) is different – if ya don’t know, now ya knowwww – and so an ideal macronutrient breakdown is unique to every individual, which is why you won’t catch me sharing the specifics of my personal macro intake. The c/p/f split is based on your body’s caloric needs as it pertains to your goals (simply put: losing, gaining, or maintaining).

Macros are an indicator of quantity (how much of a specific nutrient to consume), but not necessarily a guideline for quality (where to source those nutrients). (Hello, micronutrients! But, we’ll save that for another time.) In short, I believe that not all calories and macronutrients are created equal. For example, a 100 calorie portioned pack of Oreo cookies is not the same as 100 calories worth of raspberries. An Oreo’s carb source (added sugar) is not the same as a raspberry’s carb source (the Supreme Queen of fiber).

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a look at my main macro sources

Why Do You Track?

Eating intuitively is a valuable skillset, and a practice that I believe forms a healthy relationship with food. When I began my Fitness Journey, I overhauled my dietary habits with the help of the Tone It Up Nutrition program and began to intuitively eat carefully selected food pairings sans any form of tracking (caloric or macro). In fact, I practiced intuitive eating for longer than I have practiced a macro-based meal plan, and saw my most visible physical transformation on an intuitive eating plan. So why’d I make the switch? I hit the dreaded plateau. I was WORKIN’ IT (probably too much, in hindsight – live, lift, n’ learn!) in the gym and my diet was squeaky lean, clean, and green… and yet I did not feel that my body composition was reflecting my efforts. My lower belly region was as stubborn as ever, and where I wanted to look muscular, I felt I was thinning out. That, sweat sisters, can get pretty damn frustrating. But, like I say in this blog: when the goal is not met, change the means, not the goal. (Yes, I do practice what I write 😉 ). After some self-propelled research and connecting with other fit chicks, I came to the conclusion that while the quality of my food consumption was on point, the quantity was imbalanced. I was eating way too little to sustain my activity level, and my fluctuating macro ratio was such that my body was not able to break down and translate the nutrients I was consuming in a way that supported my goals. Dear Fat: It’s me, Al. I’m sorry for neglecting you so.

Although I was overall pleased with the results of my lifestyle choices, I had highly specific goals for my physique (resting flex arm) that required a more regimented, strategic approach to eating. Knowing that I am doing all I can to support my goals prevents me from getting frustrated in my Fitness Journey and reassures me that I am making the best decisions for me.
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How Did You Start?

Truth be told, I was hesitant to track my food intake. I knew, based on actual factual science, that meeting a predetermined caloric and macro breakdown would be the means to my goals, but I also wanted to maintain a healthy, positive relationship with food and my lifestyle. I think this is where intuitive eating played a key role in my transition. Since I had already become accustomed to eating in a specific way and had established the foundation of a healthy relationship with my dietary habits, I was able to be more patient and flexible with myself in the beginning stages of tracking (more on that later). After researching all corners of the internet and social media, I made the decision that I wanted to give a macros-based diet a shot. I contacted my local women’s wellness center where I made an appointment with a Registered Dietitian specializing in Sports Nutrition. We discussed my goals, my fitness and nutrition routine, and my preferences, and we developed a plan.

But, What Really Goes Into Tracking Macros?
(See related: Is it time consuming? Is it difficult?)

Meet your new best friends, the non-negotiable necessities for macro tracking:

  • Food Scale
  • MyFitnessPal (or similar tracking app)

And the somewhat optional but totally-will-make-your-life-easier crew:

I’ll be completely upfront with you. While not necessarily complicated, tracking macros is time consuming and requires a certain level of dedication. In order to accurately meet your macro breakdown, you will need to weigh every morsel of food that you plan to consume – down to the tbsp of peanut butter – and log it into a tracking app. Seriously, imagine my face when I scooped “1 tbsp” of nut butter out of the jar with a measuring spoon and plopped it into my greek yogurt parfait only to see the number on the scale skyrocket well above the suggested “2 tbsp” (30g) serving size. Referring to serving sizes by weight (most commonly gram and ounce) is paramount to macronutrient success. I know it doesn’t sound entirely glamorous (it might sound down right awful to you), but like anything in life, you find your groove over time!

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What Changes Have You Seen From Tracking Macros?

Let it be known that like any sustainable lifestyle, tracking nutrient intake does not work it’s macro-magic overnight – however, I found it worked pretty damn quickly. Within a week of adjusting my caloric and macronutrient intake my stomach leaned out more than ever. The aforementioned lower belly “pooch”? See ya never! JK, see ya after I eat 5 lbs of green veggies 😉 Science, people. Since adopting a macro-based diet, my muscles are slowly but surely growing (booty + biceps poppin’!) and performing at a higher level (more reps and more weight). But something I didn’t expect as a result of macro tracking is the effect it has had on my satiety levels and cravings. Since feeding my body the exact balance of nutrients it needs to function, I am fuller longer and my post-dinner sweet snack attacks have dwindled (but not totally disappeared 😉 ).

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Why Should I Track?

Maybe you should track, maybe you shouldn’t. Health & fitness practices are extremely unique to every individual, and it’s something to be celebrated. A few points to consider: Have you hit a plateau? Do you have hyper-specific aesthetic (resting flex arm) or performance (speed, pull up, agility) goals? Do you feel that your energy levels are inconsistent? Do you struggle with satiety or cravings? Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Then, tracking macros may just be for you! Does the thought of weighing maple syrup by the gram sound worse than a 10-miler on a treadmill? Have you had negative or disordered relationships with food in the past? Do you feel that your goals are being met with your current routine? Then, tracking macros may not be for you.

How Should I Start?

Master an intuitive eating plan. Research. Consult a professional. In that order.

Bonus Question: You Can Never Have Enough Protein, Right?

Wrong! The body can only process so much protein at a time before, like any other macronutrient, storing excess intake as fat.

UP NEXT: MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MACROS featuring first hand experience, tips, advice, and how I make macros work for me.

An Open Letter to the Girls Missing from the Weight Room

If you follow along with my Fitness Journey on the ‘gram, you know that I start my day with a 5:30 am workout. 5 out of the 6 days I’m there, I’m the only girl on the weight room floor. I’m by no means the only girl in the gym. I see my sweat sisters churning on the elliptical and treadmill, crunching on the floormat, looping the track, and sometimes tucked away in a corner with a set of neon neoprene free weights. But here, with the iron dumbbells, barbells, and plates, with the cables and racks, I see myself surrounded by men.

An open letter to the girls missing from the weight room:

Society teaches us that the world, and our expected roles & responsibilities navigating it, is split into masculine and feminine. In the gym, this translates to weights and cardio, respectively. And to that social construct I say, “Oh HELL no.”

There is no sign on the weight room door that says “Men Only,” and yet something – an invisible but deep rooted barrier reinforced with the thousands of gender role pings we’re bombarded with on the daily – is keeping you out.

Listen, if I don’t see you on the squat rack because you don’t want to lift weights, you can stop reading. I’m not here to tell you what to do, and honestly I’m just happy that you’re active. But if you aren’t in here lifting because you’re scared, or intimidated, or because the world makes you feel like you can’t – this is for you.

If it’s a fear of getting “bulky.” If I could track down the person who started this rumor, I would crush them with my tight AF biceps. What even is “bulky?” When we say curves are beautiful, did we forget about the resting flex kind? I digress. The truth is, the more muscle you gain, the leaner you become. It’s literally, actually science. Read about it here. And here. And pretty much anywhere on Google. PS. excessive cardio is more than likely causing you to burn muscle and retain fat – but that’s none of my business.

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Left: excessive cardio, max 5 lb dumbbells, air squats, poor nutrition.
Right: strategic cardio, average 15-20 lb dumbbells, squats more than body weight, clean + consistent nutrition.

If it’s a fear of not doing it right. Letsbehonest, most people in your local YMCA aren’t professional weight lifters. Everyone is learning (yes, even the professionals) and so will you. That said, proper form and safety are super important when it comes to lifting heavy weights. Observe other people. Watch YouTube. (Seriously, when I’m in the gym doing a new move, I’ll pull up YouTube right there at the cable machine and watch a quick video for proper form.) Download a weight training plan. Invest in a personal trainer. Read articles. And most importantly, listen to your body.

If it’s a fear of being judged. TBH, no one should have time to judge you while they’re back squatting 150 lbs. More importantly, you shouldn’t have time to notice when you’re back squatting 150 lbs. Focus on your badass self, ain’t no body got time for otherwise. Confidence and self assurance are so very important – in and out of the gym. What better place to practice than with a bunch of pre-occupied people who don’t know your name or anything about you 😉
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If it’s a fear of challenging yourself. Forget that and repeat after me: there’s no change without a challenge. Progress – and hell, anything good in life – happens outside of your comfort zone. You are so much stronger than you know. At first, you’ll surprise yourself. Then, you’ll impress yourself. And finally, you’ll push yourself.

If it’s a fear of the guys.
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Yours fitly,
Alex

Menu How To

  1. Fact: I love meal prep because it saves me time, energy, and money and supports my nutrition goals.
  2. Fact: A healthy lifestyle is defined by total wellness, including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.

How do these two very true facts relate? Sit back and relax gals, I got a good one for ya.

I love stackin’ Tupperware like dolla bills as much as the next fit-chick, but sometimes life calls for a meal away from the comfort of your kitchen. Whether you’re nurturing a relationship with a friend or significant other, celebrating a milestone, or just simply practicing leisure time, there are so many benefits to restaurant-centric plans (yes, including not washing the dishes ;)). I have come to love (like really, I feel genuinely excited and proud) finding menu items that meet my dietary preferences – it’s so rewarding to apply my ever expanding nutrition knowledge and reinforce my ability to make consistent, healthy choices. Before we begin, listen up for an important message: if ever the prospect of dining-out breeds feelings of anxiety, take a step back (this is not a positive or healthy association with food). Alright – forks up, babes! It’s time to dig in.

Don’t be this meme. When bae asks you what you want to eat, remember the importance of total wellness, and order with confidence using these tips!
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  1. Peep the Plates. Prior to sitting down at the table, I always find out where the ressies have been made so that I can form a plan and focus on being present with my pals instead of scouring the menu options.
  2. Choose Your Indulgence. Eating out should be a relaxing, fun, and celebratory social experience, so don’t be afraid to #treatyoself on occasion. Practice balance by choosing one indulgent moment during your meal – whether it’s goat cheese in a salad (“Yes please!” -me), a piece of bread for an app, or a glass of wine to wash down your main.
  3. Make Mods. With all due respect to chefs and their culinary art, a menu is not set in stone, and you (as the paying customer) have every right to feed your body whatever you so choose. Sorry for the sass, but don’t be afraid to ask for dishes sans undesired ingredients.
  4. Swap Sides. French fries, onion rings, and chips need not make their way onto your plate. Sub out starchy, greasy options for grilled or steamed veggies or a fresh side salad for an easy way to keep your meal lean, clean, and green.
  5. Hold The Dressing. Don’t drown your fresh eats in artificial sauces and spreads.  Instead, ask for dressings on the side so you can decide if they work with your preferences (my rule of thumb is if it’s creamy, stay away from it entirely).

BRUNCH

Omelet you finish… But brunch is the best meal of all time. Too much? Omelet that slide 😉 Okay, I’m really done now. Brunchin’ with galpals is a social staple, and you bet your booty you can RSVP, “HELL YES!” When navigating a brunch menu, I always look for a make-your-own omelet option. You all know I love eggs as a nutrient-dense form of protein that will keep you full long after the bill is paid. Fill ‘er up with unlimited veggies, but hold the cheese! (Restaurant-prepped omelets are often tossed in butter or oil, so I like to keep my fillings as lean n’ green as possible.) Tip: Swap Sides! Opt for greens or fresh fruit instead of crispy potatoes, and you’ve got a complete meal.

LUNCH

There’s no better time to dive into a big ol’ bowl of leafy greens than when the mid-day hunger hits. Most restaurants feature several salad options on their menu, and, although often overpriced (*jaded from Meal Prep*), I absolutely love splurging on a big bed of lettuce packed with goods I don’t typically keep in my pantry. Gimme all the toppings – nuts, dried fruits, and seeds galore! Make sure that your salad of choice features some sustaining protein! If it doesn’t, just ask your server to top it off with grilled chicken or fish (tofu or chickpeas for my veg-girls). Tip: Hold The Dressing! Don’t fall into salad sabotage with a creamy, sugary, sodium-packed dressing. Instead, ask for balsamic vinegar and a fresh lemon squeeze!

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DINNER

For the perfectly-portioned plate, direct your eyes to protein-based (are you seeing a theme yet?) dishes on the menu, usually listed as “Entrees,” “Plates,” or “Mains.” These options are typically comprised of a protein and veggie (and sometimes a starch). Seafood options like salmon, trout, or scallops, or even a lean grassfed filet, are my favorite because it’s something I don’t often cook for myself! Tip: Apply the Choose Your Indulgence and Swap Sides tips at dinner time! If you #treatyoself to a piece of fresh bread, ask for double veggies with your main. As always, don’t be afraid to Make Mods!

RESTAURANT FAVES

Burgers: If the gang is craving burgers and beer, you’re in luck! Look for a turkey burger on the menu for a lean, tasty treat. Forego the bun and swap your fries for a side salad. Or, for a #treatyoself moment, indulge in sweet potato fries! Beware of the health halo effect shining around restaurant-prepped veggie burgers, they are often loaded with processed fillings and fried to maintain their shape – you’re better off going full carnivore here.

Sushi: Forget frying your veggies in tempura, and kick off your meal with an appetizer of steamed seasonal veggies or protein-packed edamame instead! When it comes to your rolls, request they come wrapped in brown rice (other lean, clean, and green options are cucumber wrapped rolls and sashimi – but when I treat myself to sushi, I opt for the rice). Stay clear of spicy sauces that use mayo-based ingredients, and go for options where the fresh ingredients shine. My go-to order: 1 Alaskan Roll, 1 King Crab Cali Roll, and 1 side of edamame or steamed veggies.

Mexican: Yes, I know guac is extra – and you best believe I want it! 😉 In my LBF days, Mexican was my absolute favorite comfort food. (I was am a real sucker for melted cheese.) Luckily, I have since found new ways to enjoy Mexican that don’t cause my pants to unbutton at the table (true story): fajitas. Set the tortillas aside and eat your fajita fillings like a platter for a protein and veggie combo that cures all cravings. Letsbehonest, tortillas are not the star of the show – the real flavor is in the filling! Top with some guac and salsa but say no thank you to cheese, sour cream, and chips to keep it lean, clean, and green.

Ice Cream: Skip the creamery and cone and gather the gang for froyo! I love to fill a bowl (to the brim, TBH) with classic tart flavor (look for no-sugar added flavors) and top with fresh fruit, dark chocolate chips, and raw nuts. Leave sugary pastries, candies, and cereals behind – you won’t miss them with this sweet treat! Don’t forget a honey or peanut butter drizzle 😉

Happy, Healthy + Fit

“How do you do it?” I hear this question all the time. Whether it’s my coworkers questioning, “How do you say ‘no’ to the break room pizza?” Or acquaintances wondering, “How do you get up at 5 am almost every morning?”  I understand that my lifestyle isn’t the norm for everyone, but I also can’t ignore how this (albeit totally well-intentioned) question positions my choices as some sort of chore that imposes difficulty in my life when in reality, the opposite is true…

To answer this question, let’s go back to the beginning of my Fitness Journey. Through a series of decisions that did not benefit me – physically, spiritually, or mentally – I reached a point where I had surrendered my life to habit. Looking back – hello from the other siiiiide 😉 – I have a clear perspective on how my lifestyle was affecting me, but at the time, I thought I was following the textbook plan for my 20s – work, booze, grease, Netflix, repeat. But with each empty choice, I became a little more numb, a little more removed, a little more hollow.

I can pinpoint the choice to adopt a healthy lifestyle as the first truly intentional choice I had made for myself in years (a realization with a gravity that weighs heavy on me), and it reignited my passion for life. I never knew how good (I honestly can’t think of a better word than purely, truly “good” to describe this) it could make me feel to simply choose. To choose myself. To choose what benefited me.

 

So, how do I do it? It being all the choices I make day-to-day. I do it because it’s easier for me to get along with myself than it is to battle my reflection day-in and day-out. I do it because it’s easier than grasping for excuses in thin air. I do it because it gives me purpose, it makes me happy, and it represents a life I am proud of. So you see, these choices do not make my life more difficult to navigate, they make it easier.

Even better yet… not only easier, but more enjoyable. And that, sweat sisters, is key. Some people say that to get healthy on the outside, you have to get healthy on the inside. For me, that wasn’t necessarily the case. With roots so inextricably intertwined, where I watered one, the other would grow. As my muscles flexed and my body changed, so did my mind. As someone who spent the majority of her teen and young adult years trapped in the confines of anxiety and panic disorder (which was not properly self-medicated by the aforementioned textbook 20s plan), I can honestly say that my Fitness Journey has been paramount to my mental health. My lifestyle fosters an infinite list of positive side-effects including confidence, self worth, and the assurance that I am consistently making the best intentional choices for me. In short, my lifestyle fosters a sincere internal happiness that radiates outward.

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Allow me to elaborate. It’s not to say that this journey, like any, doesn’t have it’s peaks and valleys – it’s highs and lows. Sometimes I want to stay in bed when my 5am alarm sounds. Sometimes, I do. Sometimes I want to use food as an outlet for my emotions. Sometimes, I do. Not every day will be bushy tails and power-ponytails, but in the great-big-grand scheme of things, you should be able to matter-of-factly identify your lifestyle as something that brings you genuine happiness.

PSA: If you reach a point in your health & fitness journey where you aren’t enjoying your day-to-day choices, if you feel burdened or restricted (and I’m not talking about the weight of the squat rack in booty-huggin’ yoga pants 😉 ), it’s time to rethink the model.

Notice how I’m not telling you to abandon your lifestyle and sink into your couch with a bag of Lays and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s? That’s because instead of giving up on our goals, we should adjust our means. Let me break it down for you with a simple equation: Ideally, Goal + Plan = Achievement, but what happens when Goal + Plan ≠ Achievement? Letsbehonest, been there, done that! Consider the goal your constant, and the plan your variable. Meaning: When achievement isn’t met, change the plan, not the goal.

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A few words of wisdom from a self-proclaimed fit-girl (in training) who has tried, tested, and tweaked to build a lifestyle she loves. I mean, if you can’t laugh at yourself when you fall off an exercise ball in front of an entire gym of people trying to master ab pikes like Katrina Scott… are you even living?

Don’t force it. Listen up sister, I may LOVE kale with the burning passion of a thousand suns, but you may… not. I ain’t judgin’! If you don’t like something, don’t force it into your routine. Don’t get it twisted, we can’t confuse not liking with not trying, and I absolutely encourage you to try new things. If I wrote off all the things I thought I didn’t like before even trying them, I would never have this love affair with kale, or brussels sprouts, or sweet potato, or almonds… who would I be, even?! I’ll be honest with you, for as many times as I have tried spin, I just can not get into it. So guess what? I don’t subject myself to it. If running isn’t your thang, and spin is your jam – spin, baby, spin! It’s all cardio in the end. Forcing your health and fitness practices will only lead to frustration, so please, do what you enjoy.

 

 

Let go of comparison. Just because someone on the gram is a long distance runner, a vegan, a heavy weight lifter, or a macro counter, doesn’t mean that you have to be. Comparison is the giant red self destruction button of your life, don’t push it! Instead, practice celebrating your own personal accomplishments and giving them the recognition they deserve. Show ’em off and be proud! Check out this blog on being your own Fitspo 🙂

 

 

Intuition, Baby. Just like your fave pair of denim, health & fitness practices are not one-size-fits all. Read it, repeat it, believe it. There’s a lot of hype surrounding methods and tracking: caloric intake, macronutrient intake, workout cycles, cardio, and rest days. While these practices are often yes, scientific, and often yes, produce specific results – they are not the only way to navigate a health & fitness journey. Before logging into an app or following a predetermined plan, I challenge you to get in tune with your body, and learn how to treat it intuitively. Listen to your satiety cues, your energy levels, your cravings, your muscles, and your mind. Feed yourself when you are hungry, eat what sounds tasty and satisfying, determine your max reps, rest when you are sore, and match your workout to your mood. This practice will promote a sustainable, maintainable lifestyle that is founded on flexibility and tailor-made to your body. (P.S. You might be thinking, “Hey, Al, I know you track all of the above!” Did you know that I only track my macro & caloric intake M-F? Measuring out individual cacao nibs on a Saturday is not fun for me, so I don’t do it. Eating intuitively on the weekends helps me to keep a healthy relationship with food and works best for me 🙂 )

Get Social (IRL). If you have a social media account dedicated to your health and fitness journey, I say AMAZING! I hope that it fosters accountability, motivation, and encouragement. Now, I challenge you to use this platform to connect, I mean really connect, with someone from your area and plan an activity sans keyboard and emojis. Another great idea is to engage a LBF (Life Before Fit) galpal to experience a piece of your lifestyle you can enjoy together.  How about a meet up at your newest local salad shop or a free community yoga class? These tangible memories will support more than one of your wellness centers.

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TL;DR: I’m not just here to preach a healthy & fit lifestyle, I’m here to preach a happy, healthy & fit lifestyle that supports all of your wellness centers and is as  unique to you as your body is. Moral of the story: Do your own thang and make sure you love it.

Meal Prep Tips n’ Tricks

If you follow my Fitness Journey on Instagram, you know that each week I dedicate 3*ish* hours to Meal Prep n’ Chill. Sometimes I marathon-prep on a Sunday afternoon, and sometimes I break it up throughout the weekend. Either way, it’s marked by a big messy bun, Say Yes To The Dress, and a lot of battered up spoon lickin’ 😉 Recently, I’ve received tons of requests seeking my Meal Prep tips – from planning to efficiency – so I’ve rounded up some of my best kitchen-wisdom for your preppin’ pleasure. Before we get started, click here to read my initial Meal Prep 101 post for kitchen essentials.

 

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

Roll up your sleeves and repeat after me, “I am a meal prep goddess.” Think you’re ready to take on the kitchen? Not quite yet, sister. First things first, we have to make a plan. I plan my meals in two ways: 1) On weekly scale, hand-written, held up with a magnet smack-dab in the center of my refrigerator and 2) A daily, more detailed digital plan in MyFitnessPal. See below for my at-a-glance weekly meal planner.

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Consider the Big Picture. I’ll admit, planning 5 meals per day across 7 days can seem overwhelming. Take a deep breath, and view the week ahead as a whole to better understand your needs. What do your workouts look like? A heavy lifting sesh or SoulCycle double header might call for some extra pre-workout carbs or recovery protein. Late night meetings creeping into M5? Add a meal that’s easy to prepare, store, and microwave to the menu. Busy day away from your usual setting? If you’re on the move during M2 or M4, pencil in a protein bar. Grey’s Anatomy mid-season finale? Plan for a craving compromise, you know you’ll want it! Make this practice a habit – it will spare you from scrambling over last minute adjustments and letting meals go to waste.

 

Plan in Patterns. After considering the big picture and making note of any must-have menu items or predetermined meals, I plan in patterns. Start with one mouth-watering want. Protein packed donuts flooding your Insta-feed? Better bring out the mold. Body begging for some fresh greens? How about a big ol’ kale salad for M3? Once I identify a craving, I build my menu around that meal. Typically, since I track both caloric and macronutrient intake, I experiment in MyFitnessPal until I hit all my magic numbers in a way that satisfies my taste buds. But, you can totally plan intuitively! In fact, I recommend it! It’s so important to get in tune with what your body needs and how it reacts to certain meals. A few intuitive planning tips: Can you find any overlapping ingredients to maximize your grocery spend? Does a super carb’d out breakfast call for a lighter, leafy lunch? To make things easy, I divide my menu into a 2:3 day split, where M1-M4 will follow a pattern on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and again on Wednesday and Friday. I like to leave some wiggle room with my M5s, because I enjoy some – albeit simple – cooking after a day in the office. Saturday and Sunday are for special breakfasts, meals with friends, and on-the-go snacks, so they usually look a bit different than my weekday menu. But, nonetheless, they are always planned. I find that this technique allows the perfect balance between keeping Meal Prep simple without sacrificing variety. It doesn’t have to be rows and rows of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli, sister!

 

Make a List. Lists aren’t just for grocery hauls any more! Using your at-a-glance weekly meal plan for reference, jot down all of the items you want to have cooked or prepped by the end of your session. Check items off as you go for a major sense of accomplishment (and a guarantee you aren’t forgetting your fave dish!) Check it twice. Cross reference just before the dishes are all cleaned to avoid any last minute mishaps or scrambles.

Now that you’ve planned, it’s time to prep!

I think Meal Prep gets a bad rap of not being “worth it” – the time, the precious Sunday, the money, the energy… the dish cleaning 😉 I’m here to set the record straight. Meal Prep is the most worth it thing you can do if nutrition is a major part of your healthy lifestyle goals (which, it absolutely should be – but that deserves a whole blog of it’s own). I could champion the benefits of Meal Prep for paragraphs and paragraphs but I’ll sum it up with this: Meal Prep saves time, saves exponentially on expenses (picture me gawking at the price of restaurant-made salads), and makes success easy to achieve. It’s a nutritional triple threat. What more could you want?

Ready, Set, Strategize. Just like anything in health & fitness – waking up early for an #amwo or the first mile of a 5k – the hardest part of Meal Prep is getting started. I like to begin by prepping all of my low maintenance dishes to go into the oven (or their corresponding appliance – read more on that below). I’ll assemble my egg muffins, whip up my blondie batter, and season my protein, then pop them all in the oven at once. While these dishes do their baking thang, I maximize time by prepping the attention-grabbing meals, chopping veggies, and cleaning dishes. Tip: set timers on your phone for reminders to peep your dishes!

Love the Oven. The oven is my favorite low maintenance tool for prepping in bulk. No need to hover over the stove monitoring 4 pans on a fickle cook top. Simply preheat to a universal temp (350-400 is my sweet spot), stack in the pans and trays, and let ‘em bake. Be mindful to adjust suggested cooking times based on your temperature. Think egg muffins, protein, and baked goods for those M2s and 4s.

Get Low (Maintenance). Close cousins to the oven, a rice cooker and crock pot are equally low maintenance kitchen appliances that maximize a Meal Prep timeline. If you’re serious about Meal Prep n’ Chill, invest in these tools! More time for Netflix… amirite? Tip: my favorite use for the rice cooker is quinoa. No more measuring out the perfect amount of water only to have too-firm quinoa stuck to your no-stick pot. SMH. The rice cooker will heat the quinoa long and slow while you whip up all your other meals! The result is perfectly fluffy and golden.

Wash, Chop, n’ Store It. I’ll let you in on a secret… Meal Prep doesn’t have to mean all of your dishes are completely cooked, packed, and ready to microwave come Sunday evening. If you’re anything like me, you happen to enjoy some simple stove-top action after work and you happen to despise soggy roasted sweet potatoes. What do these preferences have in common? If you’re looking for fresh-out-the-oven freshness without a labor intensive cook sesh, use the *very official* partial prep technique. Store portioned baggies of washed and chopped veggies so that come dinner time, all you have to do is season, assemble, and bake or sauté.

Finding my Meal Prep groove took several Sundays spent bouncing between the stove and the cutting board, but I stuck with it and have mastered a technique that works for me. Keep at it, sister, I promise this will pay off! Any questions I didn’t answer? Leave me a comment!

 

 

Be Your Own Fitspo

Type in fitspo, short for Fitness Inspiration, on Google and you’re catapulted into millions of tanned & toned images. Just like us, fitspo comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s your favorite trainers, beachy babes, runway models, Olympic athletes, zen yogis, balanced Insta-personalities, and even… yourself.  I said it, sister. YOU are your best fitspo.

Before we begin, I’m not here to knock fitspo. In fact, it’s a major part of my life! When I began my Fitness Journey, I decided – after much internal debate – to create an Instagram account that would document my personal experience with adopting a healthy lifestyle. What I found was much more than an endless grid of hashtag fitspo photos. I found motivation, encouragement, support, education, and friendship – and I truly believe it had a major impact on my success (where I define success as committing to and sustaining a major lifestyle change).

But, I am here to encourage a healthy relationship with fitspo. that My girl KP wrote an awesome piece on the comparison game, and I’ll let her take it away – read it here. You see, everybody – literally, every body – is different. From physical attributes like height and composition and beyond, like personal goals and motivations. My point? Do not confuse fitness inspiration with attainable results. I admittedly went through a fleeting phase where I thought if I ate kale for a month I would look like Gigi Hadid. Okay. Well, I am 5’2” (did you know that?), short-limbed, pale as all hell, and also hungry (you definitely knew that). Move over Gigi, I’m my own fitspo now!

Engagment in fitspo is positive when:

  1.  It connects you to like-minded individuals
  2.  It promotes total wellness (mental, physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing)
  3.  Your inspiration and motivation is first and foremost self-driven
  4.  It’s encouraging, accepting, and uplifting
  5.  You feel comfortable being fully transparent about your personal successes and challenges

Engagement in fitspo may become negative when:

  1. You constantly measure your progress against others
  2. It focuses solely on aesthetic qualities and attempts to define a beauty standard
  3. You feel guilty or anxious over your specific habits or lifestyle choices
  4. It takes on a negative or shaming tone
  5. Your goals and motivations are driven by others

Channel your inner bad ass role model and connect with your inner glowing goddess with these simple tips:

Measure Your Progress: Before you go any further, I’ll clarify. Measure your OWN progress. Click here for a blog all about progress and my favorite ways to track it. Guess what? Not one involves a scale 🙂 I’m most inspired by myself when I notice progress in weight training, whether it’s going up in weight (ya girl finally squatted her plate!) or going up in reps. It’s so very rewarding. Let’s hear it for the #NonScaleVictories

Playlist: Power up the wireless headphones and let a new beat push you out of your comfort zone. When Beyoncé tells you to “get in formation,” go for the extra rep. For me, exercising is a cathartic and therapeutic activity, and music helps me to draw on those emotions. Yes, I’m telling you I’ve cried uncontrollably to Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods on the treadmill.

Weight Training (Females Are Strong As Hell edition):
Pass That Dutch – Missy Elliott
Partition – Beyoncé
No Scrubs – TLC
Desperado – Rihanna
7/11 – Beyoncé
Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott
Feeling Myself – Nicki Minaj
Needed Me – Rihanna
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Cardio:
Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
Run the World (Girls) – Beyoncé
Good For You – Selena Gomez
Side to Side (feat. Nicki Minaj) – Ariana Grande
Green Light – Lorde
My Body – Young the Giant
Drunk in Love – Beyoncé
Sleepyhead – Passion Pit
Dancing On My Own – Robyn
I Love It – Icona Pop

Yoga (from power flow to savasana):
Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap
Take My Picture – Filter
Holiest – Glass Animals
Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
Breathe Me – Sia
Halo – Beyoncé
How Far I’ll Go – Alessia 😉
Soul Meets Body – Death Cab for Cutie
Calgary – Bon Iver
Razzle Dazzle Rose – Camera Obscura

Apparel: From motivational graphic tees to photo worthy athleisure combos, an outfit can set the tone for a killer workout. I reserve a tank that reads “Don’t wish for it, work for it” for days when I’m crawling out of bed. It’s a simple reminder that I am in control of achieving my goals, and it really works.

Psst: I am obsessed with these Refocus Bands from La Clé!

Affirm: I guarantee that if you post a selfie on the ‘gram, comments will start flooding in about how gorgeous you are (and its true, you are). Support and acknowledgment from your peers can be a fab motivating factor, but it does not define you. I encourage you to empower yourself through positive affirmations. Build yourself up. Tell yourself how gorgeous (and strong and fast and smart) you are. Tell yourself you can do what you set your mind to. Stop negative thoughts in their tracks and correct them. I challenge you to start each morning with a positive affirmation. Being kind to yourself will become a habit, and it will make all the difference.
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Journal: Whether you have an open platform on Instagram like me or a private notebook (also like me), documenting your journey is an amazing way reflect with clarity and honesty. In my previous attempts adjust my lifestyle, I can pinpoint dishonesty as the determining factor that held me back, left me frustrated, and ultimately lead to my defeat. I had myself convinced that I was taking care of myself when, if I had documentation to look back on, I would see a clear pattern that would surely prove otherwise. Using a journal to reflect is an excellent tool to both acknowledge room for improvement and set goals accordingly, and to see how far you have come and how your habits have changed.

Recipe: Soft Baked Egg Muffins

I know this may come as a surprise, but what I’m about to tell you is 100% true. Not so long ago, there was a time when I didn’t “like” (read: didn’t try) eggs. Unless maybe if they were scrambled with about an entire bag of shredded cheddar melted in. I had this weird thing that “egg whites tasted like metal” and was a firm believer that yolks were unhealthy. Don’t worry, I’m shaking my head at me, too. But, such is life, we eat and we learn.

Now-a-days, eggs are a staple ingredient in my grocery cart and meal on my weekly menu. You’ve seen me snap pics of them hard boiled in salads, fluffed into omelettes, and over easy on toast. But my favorite egg-licious dish of all? The soft-baked egg muffin.

These soft-baked egg muffins offer up protein packed whites and all the benefits of the nutrient dense yolk. (That’s right – don’t fear the yolk! Read more here. Thank you, Jillian Michaels for breakin’ it down). They are among the easiest meals to prep, and they look dang pretty in a healthy food flat lay if ya ask me 😉

Instructions:
Prep. Preheat your oven to 350. Pop silicone liners into your fave muffin tin and lightly coat with cooking spray. Tip: If you’re going to bake eggs, silicone muffin molds are a kitchen essential. I bought this set from Amazon and they are eggcellent. 😉 Eggs slide right out of the molds, no more sticking to the tin!

Choose your filling. When I prep egg muffins, I like to fill them with two ingredients –  typically one green and one colorful, flavorful veggie! Tip: I wilt or steam leafy greens prior to baking so that I can fit more into the molds (#mofoodlessproblems). I spare on any extra oils or spices during this step, and just let the veggies do their flavor thang! Divide up your filling into equal portions and place into the silicon molds.

My fave combos:
Wilted kale + heirloom tomato
Wilted spinach + mushroom
Sauteed bell pepper + onion
Steamed broccoli + bell pepper

The main event. You’ve never seen true love like when egg + filling collide. Totally optional, but I often will add 1/8 cup liquid egg whites to the base of my molds. I find that it makes the muffins just a bit more robust and I’m always looking for ways to get added protein in my diet. Give an egg a careful crack and slowly release into the silicon mold. Voila!

Season it. If your palette calls for some extra flavor, sprinkle your favorite seasoning directly atop the raw egg bites. I can’t get enough of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Just a dash and I’m in breakfast heaven. The hype is real, gals.

Bake it. Into the oven they go! Bake egg muffins at 350 for about 17-20 minutes. If your whites are still runny, keep on baking until they’re firm and plump. The perfect yolk will be a little jelly on top.

Serve it. You can’t go wrong any way ya bite em, but I pair one egg yolk muffin and one egg white muffin (simply 1/4 cup liquid egg whites poured into the mold) with one slice of sprouted grain toast topped with 1/2 tsp EVOO.

Save it. Refrigerate the remaining servings in a tightly sealed tupperware for up to 5 days. To avoid condensation, allow your muffins to cool completely before stacking and sealing in tupperware. To reheat, pop a serving into the microwave for about 60 seconds.

That’s all, yolks! 😉 I crack myself up.