Are You Struggling with Nutrition?

Are you struggling with nutrition?

I COMPLETELY understand how frustrating it is to figure out the right foods to eat … and in the right portions!
The following tips helped me the most when I was starting out on my health journey. If you’re just starting out – or have been struggling lately – hope they can inspire you and help you get on the right track!

TOP 5 NUTRITION TIPS

1) Make a Commitment & Routine

Your body is your one and only true home – treat it right.
Okay, this isn’t necessarily about food directly, but it IS about setting priorities to keep YOU healthy and influencing your decision to eat healthy. So that’s why it’s #1.
You have to first evaluate where you are on a scale 1-10 when it comes to your nutrition (1 being horrible, and 10 being super clean, healthy foods). Once you determine where you’re at … think about how your health will be affected in 10 years … in 20 … in 30 years. Consider your family health history and how your current eating habits will either help prevent any issues or will increase your chances of having the same problems. Then take a moment and visualize how your life will be 10-30 years from now in one way or another. How will that impact your family? Your kids? And the relationship with yourself?
Based on this exercise (hopefully it motivates you to make some adjustments, if needed), the next step is for you to COMMIT to YOUR health. To make a promise to improve and make better choices. Preventive medicine is UNDER-RATED in this country. And preventive medicine starts with your commitment to eating healthier and exercising.
With that said … BABY STEPS my lovelies 😉  Avoid trying to make too many changes all at once. Slow and steady wins the race … and it helps you stay the course.

2) Food as Fuel

Learning the basics of what foods fuel my body the best.
Initially I was all about counting calories. And although part of it is about calories in/calories out, it’s more about the quality of those calories.
All calories are not the same. For instance, what’s the difference between a protein, carb and fat (macronutrients) and which foods are the good proteins, carbs and fat! That’s how it started for me, I became curious.
The key was finding a super easy way for me to portion out those macronutrients without having to know all the science behind it.
The beautiful thing, is I took the pressure OFF of my self to know EVERY SINGLE detail about nutrition. I initially learned the basics of what helped me lose weight and get healthier  – and went from there.
So, be curious about what fuels your body right! Find a system or a program that helps you portion out the good foods … and help you shop better at the grocery store.

3) Shop Smart on a Budget.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank.
Between shopping at farmer’s markets and co-ops to looking for $2.99/lb organic chicken type deals and shopping store-brand organic labels … you can still shop healthy while staying on a budget.
For more budget-shopping tips, read my 8 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget post.

4) Make Nutrition Fun!

Healthy eating doesn’t have to boring.
Finding new healthy recipes and experimenting with foods can be fun – make a game out of it. Explore options and keep your mind open. Visiting different websites with quick/easy recipes … and also taking existing family recipes and creating healthier versions can be a creative outlet. Plus, it shows you that healthy foods don’t have to taste like cardboard.
If you want a place to start – or add to your collection of recipes – get my For the Love of Foodies recipe ebook – FREE for a limited time! Click here.

5) Having a Support Circle.

Surrounding yourself with people who are on the same journey as you – or you are looking to become healthier and also need accountability. No one wants to do it alone. And I mean no one. Encourage your spouse, best friend or co-worker. Have them do a nutrition challenge with you – or a “up your water” challenge. Something that is fun, measurable and creates friendly competition and camaraderie.
If you don’t have someone in your inner circle, don’t fret! You can find free online groups, like my FitGirls Rock Community, that help encourage and motivate you throughout your journey. Make sure they’re a fun and #nojudugementzone kind of group!
These are just some basics to get you going. Have you tried any of them? Which one do you think would help you the most? Drop me a line in the comments!

Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle.

FREE ebook!! For the Love of Foodies

Easy to prepare recipes for a healthful lifestyle. There are yummy main dishes, fresh salads, smoothie, desserts and more! Also includes bonus information on how to get started, remain motivated, meal prepping tips and spices recipes!
[x_button shape=”square” size=”large” float=”none” circle=”true” href=”http://fitfoodie.vanessaaviles.com” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Start Cooking for FREE! Download Now.[/x_button]
 FREE Recipe ebook
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Save Time with Meal Prepping

Meal Prepping

 

Meal prepping might seem intimidating to someone who’s never done it before. Or it may seem super time consuming. However, it’s actually pretty straightforward – and ends up saving you a TON of time – once you get started!

As someone who used to hate meal prepping, but now actually enjoys it … I want to share the best tools that will help make you a meal prep MASTER!! These tools help make prepping food easy and fast.

I mean, no one wants to spend 2-3 hours meal prepping, right?

Make meal prep fast and easy with these 7 tools

Here are 7 tools that will make your meal prep fast, easy, and almost effortless.

1. Grocery List and Meal Planner

Never underestimate the power of writing out your food plan for the week and making a grocery list – AHEAD OF TIME.

It can save you a ridiculous amount of time at the store and will help you stay on track.

For Grocery Lists, there are two tools I found really helpful:

  1. The free family app called COZI. With COZI, you can not only create and share Cozi.Shopping-list-1shopping lists with family members, but also calendars and to-do lists – keeping you all on the same page and organized! Nice, huh?
  2. The 21 Day Fix grocery list is also another super helpful tool. Click here to download it.

For Meal Planners, I also have two tools I love:

  1. Here’s one that’s super easy to use and FREE! It’s my FitGirls_Weekly Workout & Meal Planner, you can download here.
  2. Also, if you want something a little more robust, you can use this online meal planner by clicking here.

FitGirl Tip for any program: Write out your meals for the week first before writing your grocery list.

2. Slow Cooker

Meal Prep Monday Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are an easy way to make flavorful dishes, like chili, stew, soup, a roast and oatmeal, in large quantities. Slow cooker meals also usually freeze well … so you can make extra portions to freeze for another week!  With the holiday season in full swing, now would be a great time to invest in one (or request it as a gift 😉 ).

3. Sectioned Containers

Meal-Prep-Monday-Containers

Having the right containers for your food is essential for staying organized. These ChefLand containers from Amazon.com come in all different sizes, are dishwasher safe, and are awesome for re-use!

What I love doing is using my 21 Day Fix containers to actually portion out my food and then I store my meals in containers like these.

4. Mason Jars

Meal Prep Monday Mason Jar

Mason jars are super cute right?! Especially when you use them for tea, lemonade, cocktails … or even as flower vases. On top of that they are SUPER practical when it comes to food prepping! Plus, they are pretty inexpensive and can be purchased by the dozen at stores like: Target, Walmart and online on Amazon!

5. Spices

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Chicken breast and asparagus are a meal prep masters go-to, however, it can get boring quickly if you don’t add flavor to it. Use spices and salt-free seasoning mixes to add loads of flavor without adding any calories. Mrs. Dash and Flavorgod have many different flavors to choose from and I love both!

6. Insulated Cooler

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You can now easily bring your food anywhere and everywhere when you have a proper (and cute!) insulated bag. Whether your schedule is full of traveling, you’re going somewhere for the weekend, you want to replace your current old school lunchbox … or you just want to avoid temptation at events, coolers like Jaxx FitPak or 6 Pack Bags change the game for all meal preppers!

BONUS TIP!

Order your groceries from Shipt (or a similar company).

It’s a “bonus tip” because it’s actually a service and it’s my new favorite tool! This is a fairly new service in the southeast but it’s RAIDLY expanding! Think of it like a Lyft or Uber for grocery delivery. It’s $99 for the entire year and all orders over $35 have free delivery. Dang! That’s a deal.

This saves me SO MUCH TIME and my time is well worth $99!

If you want to give it a try, use my link and get $10 back when you sign up! Click here to get your $10.

……………………………

I hope these tools help you stay on your meal prepping A-game!

If this helped you out, I would LOVE to see your meal prepping photos! Comment below with your new skills or email me at vanessa@toughknockouts.com.

OR find me on Instagram! @vbaviles

 

<3 Vanessa

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The top 4 Vital Ingredients in ShakeologyWhen Shakeology was being co-developed by Darin Olien, he asked himself a series of questions, which would ultimately determine what does, or does not, go into Shakeology.

Questions like:

  • What do most bodies require in this day and age?
  • What’s not being delivered in food today (even in high-quality, organic food)?
  • Where are the gaps in nutrition that need to be filled for the majority of people?
  • What’s wrong with the food we currently eat? And why do we even need a shake with that much nutrition anyway?

The nutrient density of our food has continued to plummet over the years due to the fact that the value of money has completely trumped the value of quality. So sad but true!

So when it came to developing Shakeology, the goal was to create something that not only tasted incredibly delicious, but also nourish the body inside and out. And beyond the mere instant gratification of something tasting good on your tongue, everybody really desires to be fueled with more nutrition. And getting more nutrition cures the need to have more energy, better digestion, feeling amazing and getting healthy and fit!

The result—a supercharged, multivitamin- and protein-rich health smoothie called Shakeology. As important as the ingredients in Shakeology are, what drove their inclusion was the body’s need for five vital ingredients.

These 4 vital ingredients are the cornerstones of Shakeology’s creation:

1. Whole foods – So many supplements on the market are just fragmentations of the complete matrix of real food. Think of it like taking the most popular scene from a 2-hour movie and calling THAT the movie. It’s incomplete without the character development, plot, and nuance that make it a holistic experience. The same goes with food. On a biological level, your body needs the whole “movie” to get the complete benefit of the vitamin or mineral that is the star.

You just cannot replace or re-engineer the incredible balance and creation of whole foods. That’s why only high-quality, potent foods, herbs, grasses, and ingredients were selected … and then processed minimally to preserve their integrity, phytochemicals, natural vitamins, minerals, alkaloids, phytosterols, etc. This was a HUGE aspect of Shakeology getting the whole, deliverable nutrition in bioavailable ways.

2. Vitamins and minerals – Shakeology includes quality nutrition from potent and varying whole-food sources. And then it’s backed up with a well-balanced vitamin and mineral profile since whole foods fluctuate from crop to crop.

3. Enzymes – Enzymes are critical for optimal health. But since enzymes flood the food only in the last days of ripening before harvest, enzyme supplementation is critical for the majority of people. Even if you eat all raw foods, the enzymes are still low. And cooked food has zero active enzymes.

Why enzymes? Enzymes have been called “the Fountain of Life”! They are behind every single process in the body! Yes, everything requires enzymes! The labor force of the body that digests, absorbs, allows for signals to be sent, creates new blood cells, etc., is all governed by enzymes. You would be shocked at how starved your body has been for enzyme support. That’s why the addition of these vital forces to Shakeology was so critical.

4. Prebiotics and Probiotics – We’ve all heard about foods with additive probiotics, like yogurt for instance. But did you know that your body can actually manifest its own probiotics if you feed it prebiotics? With the way people eat today they have created a thriving environment for unhealthy bacteria in the body. The prebiotics of the amazing yacon root is food for the “healthy” bacteria, and in turn creates an environment for healthy probiotics to flourish. By getting our internal “ecosystem” in balance, you have the potential for a vibrant, thriving body and life!

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These mini vegetable egg cups are a delicious and QUICK to prepare breakfast recipe from the 21 Day Fix EXTREME Nutrition Plan.

They’re easy to make and are a great grab-and-go breakfast. Extra egg cups can be stored in the fridge and reheated in the microwave.

Two egg cups are equivalent to 1 red container and 1 green container.

Mini egg cups | quick breakfast recipe

Ingredients:
12 large eggs
Himalayan salt
ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
1 bag (10 oz) baby spinach, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
Nonstick cooking spray

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 350° F.
2. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add spinach, pepper, and onions to egg mixture; mix well.
3. Lightly coat a twelve cup muffin tin with spray.
4. Evenly pour egg mixture into muffin cups.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cups comes out clean.

*If you have a convection oven, you may want to cook at 325° F.

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I’m all about treating yourself and having a balanced life. I’m not one of those extremists when it comes to my diet. Yes, I like to eat healthy, avoid crappy foods, drink lots of water and exercise – daily. This is about 80-90% of the time. But I also understand the importance of having some food fun. BUT… during the holidays people tend to have a little too much fun with the eating festivities that some mild depression can onset come Monday because of the over over over indulgence.

8 Tips to NOT Overeat during the Holidays

It’s okay to have some gravy. Just don’t get CRAZY! Here are some tips that will help you not overdo it:

1. Visualize your plate.
It’s easier to keep control if you have a plan. Decide in advance how many spoonfuls of corn casserole you’re going to have AHEAD OF TIME. Visualize yourself having just one plateful of turkey with all the fixings—without going back for more. And for dessert, imagine a small piece of pie afterwards.

2. It’s an ordinary day with ONE cheat MEAL. That’s it.
Wake up, have breakfast, eat a snack, eat a healthy lunch, and snack. And then have your holiday dinner – free pass. BUT … and here’s what’s really important … don’t fast just so you can eat more at dinner! That will just cause you to overeat that night—and it won’t help your diet. Dumping all your food into one huge meal ruins digestion.

3. Make it a buffet.
If you’re hosting, avoid putting all of the food out on the table and instead make a buffet. A variety of different reports indicate that if you need to get up to get seconds or thirds, you’re less inclined to make the trip.

4. Wait 30 minutes before dessert.
Did you know that the body takes about 30 minutes to figure out it’s full?? Yup! So put that fork down between dinner and dessert, and give it the 30-minute rule before diving into that pie. When you feel full, you’ll be less inclined to serve yourself a pie slice the size of limo.

5. Drink lots of water.
Staying hydrated not only helps you stay full, but it also helps you clear yourself of toxins. I’m guessing the Turkey day festivities will be full of sodium, so you’ll be ahead of the game of ridding yourself of that by drinking lots of water throughout the day.

5. Moderation is the key.
Relax. Take a breath. Pace yourself, and enjoy every single little bite. You’ll enjoy the food better and it will be more worth it, rather than just shoving it down your throat and not remembering how it tasted.

8. If you blow it – don’t obsess over it.
So, despite all this wonderful advice – lol – you might still pig out. And yeah, that happens. It’s happened to the best of us. I mean try your hardest to avoid it, but if you do, don’t torture yourself, starve yourself or try to do Turbo Fire for 8 straight hours to make up for it. That won’t work!! The body doesn’t work well when you try to overcompensate. It just leads to poor eating and overtraining. Which is the opposite extreme. Just get back into your routine and don’t look back.

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