Food Prep Sunday!

Happy Sunday! Whoa, where did this weekend fly off to? Amirite? I got up late this morning, drank a ton of coffee and read in bed for about an hour and then decided I needed to get productive at about 11:30–Then I decided I should make this day EXTRA productive by FINALLY do a post on my food prep process. It’s pretty easy, not fancy and takes about 90 minutes from grocery to finish.

First I should tell you the entire process including:

Outfit: yoga pants, tank top I slept in (I don’t control the heat, so my apartment is either FREEZING or as hot as Arizona in July–today it’s pretty toasty)
Beverage: Rotating between water and coffee.
Playlist: The Devil Makes Three  PANDORA station (I’m going to see them for my birthday in a few weeks, so gotta get my hippie/bluegrass dance moves down before hand)

Oh Hiiiiii!

Oh Hi. I’m still sleepy and gross, but it’s Sunday so it doesn’t really matter.

So first things first. I went to the grocery store with a plan. I always do, because if you don’t have a plan you’ll for sure forget something, buy something you already have, or go hungry–and we all know that grocery shopping hungry is a terrible idea. I got all the stuff I needed for my lunches, I also cook dinner at home so I got different veggies and proteins for those meals, but I cook those fresh each evening so no need to prep anything.

What I got specifically for my lunches this week:

-1 onion
-3 large yellow summer squash
-a few large handfuls of green beans
-1 pound of lean ground turkey

(Note: I already have EVOO, spices, rice…etc. The basics were covered. Also, I generally each week just chose two veggies and protein, this is what looked good; it varies due to mood, season, how late on a Sunday I get to the store… and therefore how picked over everything is.)

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This is about as stagey as I”m going to get for these pictures–the filter makes this look way more fancy than it was. Just a rough chop you guys. Nothing fancy.

I throw on some tunes that match my mood–today it was bluegrass, mostly for above reasons, and it always puts me in a good mood. Then I start chopping. I turn on the oven, throw the veggies in a pan and spray with EVOO. I got a Mister Mister to keep my olive oil use under control–it lets you use the oil of your choice in a misting manner. You can buy one HERE. I’ve had mine for about a year and only spent like $6 on it, I highly recommend getting one.

Everything goes in the oven, they only have two jobs and it’s to cook and make my house smell amazing.
I tend to use a lot of spices instead of sauces, keeps me in absolute control of what I’m putting in my body. On the onions and squash I used a little salt, garlic powder (mostly because I’m too lazy to chop up garlic,) and cumin. The green beans get some lemon pepper and that’s about it.

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Cook little guys! You can do it!

While those guys are partying in there I start on the brown rice. I have to look up the ratios every time and usually still mess it up–today was half a cup of brown rice to a cup of water, I think? Now I’m second guessing myself–just look it up, that ‘s what google is for. 

Anyway, I cook the rice and the turkey on the stove top–I add turmeric to the turkey for some added health benefits  and about half a cube of veggie bullion to the rice to add some flavor. Today I decided to mix the two after fully cooking each and I like the flavor outcome–this will definitely be happening again!

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Turkey and brown rice party–looks like fun to me!

(Keep in mind, I snack all day–this meal is not high in calories, for most it is probably not enough for a mid day meal sans snacks. This meal contains approximately 330 calories and a good balance of your daily macros. )

So, everything cooks pretty independently for a while. While it’s hands off I tend to clean as I go, dance around the kitchen and sip coffee. Eventually I taste test everything, take the kids out of the oven and let it all cool before divvying it up in my mismatched Tupperware, take a couple snap-chats and throw it in the fridge with a proud grin on my face.

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Final product–Not as pretty as some of the other food prep blog posts. But it’ doesn’t have to be! You just have to do it.

I’m sharing all this with you not to give you a recipe, not to tell you what to eat, not even to give you nutrition advice–I’m sharing this because I want you to know that making 5 delicious, healthy, cheap meals for the week took me less time than this blog post took.

Don’t get intimidated by those “how to” posts that end up looking like a page or two from Real Simple magazine. The prep should take 90 minutes (on the high end) and the finished product doesn’t have to look perfect. Mine don’t. But my co workers are always jealous of my home made meals that were cheaper, are healthier and probably taste better than whatever they got from the place around the corner.

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Pretty ugly. But delicious.

Try it out and tell me how it goes! Sloan.personaltraining@gmail.com

 

Four Letter Words

To me
Coming from you
Friend is a four letter word
End is the only part of the word
That I heard
Call me morbid or absurd

I was obsessed with Cake when I was in high school. I wanted to be that girl in a short skirt and a long jacket–in fact, I think my friend and I tried that look and then realized it was way to ’90s fashion and not enough early 2000’s fashion and we gave up and just belted the music from my 1988 Grand Marquis as we drove around our small N. Michigan town. It wasn’t until she and I got into a fight that I really started finding meaning in some of the brilliant lyrics they were putting out there.

When I realized what “friend is a four letter word” meant it hit home, mostly because my best friend since I was 14 had just ditched me for a guy and I was left calling her four letter words alone in my car. And it clicked–friend is a bad word, coming from her, to me… it hurt.

WHY am I talking about Cake when it’s New Years Resolution time? Or four letter words when ‘friend’, F-R-I-E-N-D is clearly a 6 letter word–Yeesh, Sloan, get with it–amiright?

Well, I want to blow your mind–I have news for you–D-I-E-T is a four letter word. Both literally and in the message I want to convey to you and your friends.

“Wait, wait, wait. Sloan–you are a personal trainer, a health coach AND know more about nutrition that most people I know… Aren’t I supposed to go on a diet January 1st? Well, January 2nd actually–I’ll be too hungover and needing carbs on the 1st. But all the magazines tell me to do a juice cleanse, a raw vegan, sober, high protein, with the lunar moons and my hormonal cycle DIET. This is what we do EVERY YEAR!!!”

I get you. Most people’s New Years Resolutions made every year have to do with losing weight, getting into shape and making this year the best year EVA! However, how often do we fall off the wagon, only to get super down on ourselves by mid February, drown our sorrows in post Valentines Day candy sales and say “next year”?

Image result for resolutions calvin hobbes

Here’s what I propose: Don’t make resolutions. Make a commitment to one or two small health changes in your day to day. Here’s what that can look like:

-Get a skim latte instead of a full fat one.
-Get off a stop earlier and walk a little bit more.
-Wake up 20 minutes earlier so you have time to do some yoga or gentle stretching.
-Pass on that hump day glass of wine.
-Swap brown rice for white rice.
-Order the fish instead of the steak.
-Try a new class at the gym.
-Do research on hiring a personal trainer or a health coach. Ask questions about who they are and what they do.
-Set an alarm for once an hour to get up from your desk and walk around, do 10 squats and stretch your arms in the air, (this feels really good, I promise!)

DIET’s set us up to fail. They set us up to do xyz for XX amount of time and then when cabbage soup is falling out of our ears it’s over. The 30 day cleanse is no longer a constant after February 1st and guess what? We lose everything, errr or we gain everything back. By making small manageable changes we develop habits. Life long skills that don’t encourage an end point. There is no end point to a balanced lifestyle.

Resolutions give us the idea that we accomplish this one thing and then we’re done. But guess what? Living a healthy life, walking your daughter down the isle at her wedding this summer, playing with Legos on the floor with your grandson, keeping up with your marathon running significant other–these are all things that will not happen with a ‘resolution’. They will happen when you make sustainable, maintainable changes in your life. 

One. Step. At. A. Time.

So. As we kiss 2016 goodbye (FINALLY), let’s start 2017 not with a list of huge resolutions. Let’s break that habit and start small. Start with manageable. Start with a 20 minute walk and some extra stretching at our desks. Let me help. Email me. Leave a comment. I want to hear what you’re doing in 2017 and beyond. I want to know how I can help you!

What Is Your Time?

I wish all day was the morning time, until it was dinner time and bed time and then it would be morning again. I don’t wish it was morning so that I could drink coffee all day, though that would be a perk! But the am hours are the hours that I am most productive.

Things Sloan is good at in the morning:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Working out/running/swimming
  • Opportunity hunting
  • Training clients
  • Writing workouts for said clients
  • Working at work
  • Meditating

So, pretty much everything. My brain power starts at about 5am and gets a little foggy mid morning, I power up with a snack and I do pretty well until about 2:30pm. It’s not to say that I don’t get things done later in the day–I have to, it’s life. But I definitely prefer and produce better work early.

With that said I obviously can’t fit everything in in those hours. So I have started assigning hours. I take each day individually–Lord knows no day is the same–I approach the day with a list of things that absolutely need to get done. And I start filling in time slots:

Wednesday:
630am: Client
7:40am: Client
8:40am: Find coffee shop and write this post
10am: Be on time for work
10-1145am: Emails, client work outs, check in with boss
12-12:45pm: Teach a kick ass class (this is my work out for the day)

So at this point my morning is gone and I’ve yet to have more than 45 minutes to myself. I’m literally at said coffee shop writing this. Feeling like I’m racing against the clock because I have 36 minutes until I have to clock in at work. Then POOF, my morning is gone and I won’t be home with my own time until 7:45pm with a 4am wake up call. So what is a girl to do when mornings are reserved for other people? The time that I’m most productive is literally bought every week.

This is something I’m working on currently. I know that at 8pm I’m not going to want to work on my personal writing, or this website, or stage some beautiful instagram photo. I’m going to want to veg in front of the couch with a jar of peanut butter and turn my brain off.

I think there’s a lot to be said for finding your most productive time, however, I also know that we don’t all live the life of leisure to be able to do what we want when we want. We have to work around our jobs, kids, partners and other life obligations.

So, new goals for these coming weeks. I’m going to resist the TV brain mush urge. I’m going to play music and read instead. Or maybe I’ll do the dishes that have been piling up for three days. I’m going use myself as an experiment to shift my productivity hours to the afternoon or evening.

This may take a lot of coffee and will power–I would love any tips you have. Have you done this? How did you succeed? Will I be sad that I’m missing my favorite Netflix original series premier?

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Good morning Chicago