Costco is finally open here in Bonney Lake, WA! I am making a wild guess, I think most of you will do some (or a LOT) of your shopping there! For that reason I want to share a few of my favorite “clean” pantry items at Costco. I strive for the best option available and I am always going to go for organic, the least processed, wild caught, pasture raised, non-GMO foods. Are there better, cleaner options out there? Sure but there are not many options in Bonney Lake! Costco is right around the corner so let’s strive to find the best option available and feed our families as clean as we can.
Kirkland Brand Almond Butter - Almond butter is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. I use it in place of peanut butter for everything. I am not saying peanut butter is not ok to eat in moderation however I choose almond butter because of the nutrient makeup which is superior to peanuts. Peanuts are technically legumes and because of that they do have a higher protein content but if you get adequate amounts of protein from other sources, almond butter would be the better choice.
2. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil - This oil is a fantastic addition to your pantry. Hopefully you have heard that your cooking oil is super important to your health. Please ditch the vegetable oils now! It is important to consume a variety of healthy oils to maximize essential fatty acids. Healthy oils to cook with include olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil (there are more but this is my “go to” short list). Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil so it is great for stovetop as well as oven roasted meats and vegetables.
3. KerryGold Grassfed Irish Butter - when it comes to butter, I am looking for organic, grassfed and non GMO. Why grass fed? Because that is a cow’s natural diet and it is higher in Omega 3 essential fatty acids which we need for optimal health. Non-GMO means there are little to no genetically modified organisms present. GMO’s are not recognized by our body and can wreak havoc on our systems. KerryGold is not perfect but it is the better option at Costco. I use it in place of regular butter for everything. Best thing you can do right now is get rid of any margarine you may have, toss it now!
4. Whole Foods Guacamole Cups - this is more of a fun one to share! If you are catching on, based on this list, I like healthy fats and I want to encourage you all to embrace healthy fats in your daily diet. Avocados are excellent! Of course I want you to buy fresh avocados, however, these individual cups of guacamole are fantastic to have on hand for a quick and easy meal that boasts healthy fats. I love to crack open a can of the Wild Planet tuna, mix it with one of these cups, and a sugar free salsa for a quick meal or mix it with hard boiled eggs and salsa or throw on top of my eggs in the morning. Quick and easy!
5. Wild Planet Tuna - I love to have these on hand for quick meals. Wild Planet cares about the environment and about the fish. Wild Planet does everything it can to minimize mercury exposure and maximize the amount of omega-3 healthy fats in each can and it tastes great! For a great Tuna Cake recipe, check out my blog at www.kmaxfit.com.
Did you know if you eat 3 meals per day for the next 365 days you are looking at 1,095 meals! Coming up with that many healthy, home cooked meals probably sounds overwhelming. I bet you have 1,000 other things on your plate, from kids activities to work and finding time to exercise! However, it is important to realize health starts at home and our collective health depends on consuming quality, nourishing, homemade food. It is crazy, we don’t teach our kids to cook anymore. They are learning our bad habits and the generational decline happening is scary. It is time to make homecooking a priority and get your kids involved so they can teach their kids and on and on.
I am not saying homecooking is easy, it is a process for sure. First you need to shift priorities and consciously, mindfully, start planning ahead for your meals. Left to last minute meals, we are human, we grab for processed, microwaveable food or go through a drive thru. Both of which are silently causing inflammation and damage to our insides, weight gain, and sapping our bodies of essential nutrients.
I have 2 solutions to offer up and you may not like either but it is our reality. One, use a meal kit delivery service. You can find great options out there but it will cost you (cheaper than a personal chef:). Two, try meal planning and prepping, eating home cooked, nourishing meals. Hint: you could join one of my challenges where I do the meal planning for you!
Meal prep saves you stress, money, and ultimately time because the basic idea is to take a few hours on the weekend and get as much food prepped as you can which frees up time during the week. Ultimately the whole idea behind meal prep is to make your life easier, not harder!
Here are some tips for you to get started:
Start small, start with your most challenging meal. Get that right and build upon it.
Invest in a slow cooker or instant pot if you have not already, lifesaver! Also, food storage containers are a must for both the fridge and freezer.
Think simple, healthy recipes. Pinterest is a great place to find recipes (don’t get caught up in all the unhealthy recipes, search for clean recipes).
Cook one recipe and eat it 2-3x. Embrace leftovers, they are seriously a lifesaver! I recommend casseroles, slow cooker meals, one sheet pan dinners.
Set aside 2-4 hours on the weekend to prep the meals or prep staples. Any prep is better than no prep. I guarantee during the week you will be so happy you did!
I am definitely not perfect at meal prepping every weekend but when I really spend a better part of an afternoon in the kitchen prepping, my week is a piece of cake when it comes to choosing clean, healthy food! It is so worth it!
See below for 3 easy freezer recipes that take little prep and are super tasty! I did a meal plan prep party with these 3 slow cooker recipes, enjoy the grocery list too!
Here is what I like to prep each week as a general rule:
*6-8 Hard boiled eggs (great as snacks or part of a quick meal on the go)
*Taco meat with grass fed ground beef, my kids favorite, I always try to have some in the freezer
*Chicken - I throw about 2 lbs of chicken breast and thighs in my Instant Pot and shred it to have for any meal during the week
*Freeze banana chunks for smoothies
*A soup, right now we are way into chili so I make at least 1-2 pots of it for the week or to freeze. If not chili we love minestrone. Basically in the winter I like to prep a soup each Sunday.
*Breakfast is either preparing egg muffins or a frittata which can also be a dinner
*Paleo loaf of bread or banana bread (my kids love to just take a slice of bread to school)
I am so excited to announce my upcoming challenge which started out as a challenge for my neighborhood in WA called Tehaleh (means The Land Above) but has quickly become a challenge for anyone who is in need of some clean eating accountability.
I wrote an article in our local magazine (The Land Above) that describes the challenge and spells out a bit more of what to expect. I would love it if you read the article and then checked out my website for more information. to read the FAQ's & testimonials, and to register if you so desire! It will be a GREAT introductory challenge, just 2 weeks, to check out how I do these clean eating challenges and to hopefully motivate you to make some healthier choices come Thanksgiving.
Thanks for reading!
Happy Friday Friends!
I will be honest, blogging has been my nemesis. I so want to do it but I am afraid I can not stick to a consistent schedule so I have just not even tried. Well, no more! I am going to make a plan and do my best to stick with it. I love to share, teach, inspire, and coach people to make healthy habits a reality and I can not think of a better way then blogging (well in person would be the best but that is not my reality these days:).
I am still formulating my blogging schedule but I hope to blog at least 2 times per week. I promise to commit to the day(s) I will publish once I get going with this again. I want to be able to deliver what I promise!
So on with today's post......I get asked all the time about my workouts so I decided to spell them out for you and link up the video workouts I did this past week in case you want to check them out.
My week was pretty typical in that I had a plan and it did not work out exactly as hoped so I did have to improvise. I did however stick to my goal to get back to early morning workouts and walk every day for at least 30 minutes.
I love early morning workouts, love the feeling of being done and feeling accomplished before 7am! Don't think I am superhuman, I do have days when I absolutely do not want to workout but I usually suck it up and get it done. This particular winter has been tough to get up early. See I workout in my garage here in the Seattle area because it really does not get super cold (usually). In fact, my treadmill is in my garage. I love it because I do not like to workout on carpet and my whole house is carpet and I also love it because I feel like I am leaving the house in a way and am alone. The problem this winter has been the crazy cold mornings we have had. It has been just one of those winters and my weights are so darn cold in the morning I can not lift them without my hands freezing. That is not ideal when you want to lift heavy! I was delaying my workouts until 9 or 10am and sometimes 3pm, the worst part of my day energy wise. I did my workouts but it was harder at those times. My body wants to workout before the sun comes up! Anyway, I was able to get back to that schedule this week because of the above 40 temps overnight. Yeah! It felt so good!
I should also tell you I do not have time to fit my walk in each morning. I always do some form of cardio on strength days following my strength session. It might be a quick 5 minute finisher like 30s of burpees on the minute every minute for 5 minutes or a 10 minute finisher where I just do whatever cardio move comes to mind in a tabata format (20s of work, 10s of rest). My walk is during the tough part of my day, around 3:30-4:30PM. I like it there because I am usually low on energy and craving food (I swear I am always hungry) and walking at that time wakes me up and distracts my mind from thinking of food!
I do not eat before I workout at these early times. I do have a few sips of coffee (I have cold coffee everyday all year so it is easy to just take a few sips and put it back in the fridge until my workout is complete). That is it though, I take my dog for a quick walk to warm up and I go straight to the garage.
I use either my IPhone or my laptop for the workout videos. I am pretty blessed in that I have a husband who works from home so we have the absolute best internet. It is so fast so I never have issues with YouTube videos. I know that can be a cause for frustration for many who workout at home.
So I warm up, do the strength part of my workout, then the cardio finisher and I am done within 30-45 minutes.
The graphic outlines my workout this week. I was not terribly specific and if you wish to get more info. please comment below this or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do want to share the videos I did this past week. They were all good and from You Tube Channels I use for workouts all the time.
Tuesday I did a Pilates Glute Focused Video (10 minutes) - https://youtu.be/C8X96ItgyOg
Thursday I did a Cardio Video - https://youtu.be/tbbZBtdd20U
Friday I did a Lower Abs Video - https://youtu.be/zQLPMsV0Kgc
I did not add that I stretch a lot these days! I either stretch, foam roll, and/or do a yoga video almost everyday. This particular week I did not have the time to do a yoga video but I have done so many now that I incorporate many yoga poses in my stretch routine. I stretch anywhere from 10-20 minutes just about every day. I find stretching/mobility work a MUST at this point in my life! I am starting to think about getting old and how I want to workout till I die. I truly think the only way I will be able to do that is if I take care of my body with restorative exercises like yoga and stretching daily. Make time for it, I insist! Once you stick to a consistent schedule of stretching or body work and reap the rewards you will wonder why you have not been doing it for years!
Make today great and dream big!
It is time for our NEW Fall Challenge! I am calling it the Athena (or Spartan if you want to drag your hubby along with) 900 Club Bootcamp Challenge! Drag a friend along, remember they get a free week! I am sure they would love this workout!!
There are 12 exercises, 25 repetitions of each, 3 rounds to be considered the Awesome Athena or Spartan. You can challenge yourself however you wish, go for all 3 rounds, go for 2 rounds, come and push yourself to go hard for only 1 round, it is up to you! I will time you for however many rounds you decide to set your goal for. We will do this same challenge again in December to see what progress you can make.
300 = Oh Yeah! Good Job!
600 = Rockin Bootcamper
900 = Beast!, Awesome Athena or Spartan
Here are the exercises and you must complete them in this order and the full number of reps. to complete the challenge.
25 Jump Squats
25 Jumping Jacks
25 Russian Twists (2=1)
25 Skaters (2=1)
25 4 pt. Bridge
25 Bicycle Crunches (2=1)
25 Lunges (forward or reverse, 2=1)
25 Tricep Dips
25 Low Squat In and Outs
25 Belly Blasters (plank position on elbows, lift hips high in air and look at your feet, return to plank)
25 2 Arm Rows with DB
Hope you eat a good breakfast on Saturday and come prepared to kick some butt!
This concept, something is better than nothing, has got to be one of the hardest principles to adhere to. We tend to think of a workout in terms of length which is not necessary. Research shows that intensity is the key and it does not have to be hours long! We/you can get a great workout in 10 minutes if you do it right. Interval training is the ticket. Workout hard for a short period of time (10-45 seconds) and rest for a short period of time (10-30 seconds) and repeat for the length of time you have available. The work phase has to be a solid near 100% effort.
This is such great news for us busy moms! We do not have to go out for 30+ minutes or do a video for 30-60 minutes to see results. On those days that are just packed with activities and you don't know how in the world you will fit in your workout remember this concept and try out one of the 2 10 minute workout ideas below. One is a running workout (you can also power walk) and one is a bodyweight full body 10 minute workout.
Carry this principle with you, remind yourself, SOMETHING IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN NOTHING! Make it count ladies!
Running Interval Workout
Picture a straightaway on a high school track. Go outside your house and look up and down your street and see if you can mark off close to that length (no measuring just eye ball it). you may have to use a block if you street is not that long. This is so simple. Perform repeats running hard for 20 seconds (some of you can sprint others need to practice a hard jog, pump your arms, think hot sand, pick those feet up). Walk for 20 seconds, repeat for 10 minutes. Easy to implement, yet will be tough on your cardiovascular system. An easy way to time this is with a Gymboss timer or you can download the Gymboss app on your Smart Phone (this one is free).
10 Minute Full Body Interval Bodyweight Workout
15 seconds of all out, 15 seconds of rest - each exercise listed below perform twice in a minute and move to the next exercise so 10 exercises total.
High knees (minute 0-1)
Power Pushups (minute 1-2)
Mtn. Climbers (minute 2-3)
V Ups (minute 3-4)
Squat Jumps (minute 4-5)
Tricep dips (minute 5-6)
Power Jacks (minute 6-7)
Burpees (minute 7-8)
Bicycles (minute 8-9)
V Jacks (minute 9-10)