Category Archives: Motivation

Baked lemon-butter salmon

I’m always stressing the importance of protein. Sometimes a protein shake is best, especially when you’re in a rush like at breakfast or after a workout. Shakeology even works well for dessert- a much more healthful option than ice cream or candy. But with proper preparation, you can have any meal ready within that 30 minute gap after a workout.

Besides foods like Shakeology and vegetables, protein usually comes along with fat. You can get lean beef, but beef still has more saturated fat than meats like chicken or fish. Fish is an awesome source of protein. You don’t want to overdo when it comes to eating seafood, but it is full of iron and protein and not much fat, and is therefore an awesome choice for a post-workout meal!

Here is my super easy 4-ingredient recipe & prep plan for my most frequent seafood dish- salmon.

Finished baked salmon

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

1 fresh salmon filet

1/2 fresh lemon

1/8 stick of butter

1 bunch fresh parsley

salt and pepper

 

Prep

1. Preheat the oven to 400* (if prepping to cook later, save this step until several minutes before you are ready to cook).

2. Rip off a small handful of parsley, stems on. Rinse.

3. Cut the lemon into thin slices. Leave a small wedge of the lemon for later.

4. Store the parsley and the lemon in airtight containers (if prepping to cook later).

 

Cook

1. Lay the filet skin face-down on a cookie sheet protected by a sheet of foil.

2. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the filet.

3. Squeeze the juice of the lemon wedge into a microwave safe bowl or cup with 1/8 of a stick of butter. Microwave for 10-15 seconds- not so long as to melt entirely.

Butter filet4. Pour the lemon-butter mixture over the salted and peppered filet. Start in the middle so it spreads over the entire filet.

Lemon filet5. Cover the salmon with the sliced lemons.

Parsley filet6. Surround the filet with parsley. Leave the stems on so that they are easy to remove later.

baked filet7. Place the filet into the 400* oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the salmon is light orange all the way through.

8. Remove the parsley and use a knife or spatula to lift the filet. The skin should peel off effortlessly. Add a fresh squeeze of lemon and serve.

 

Serve

Serve alongside vegetables and quinoa or brown rice. Serves about 4.

If you are meal prepping, cook the dish 1-2 days in advance.

filet meal served

Last note

Remember, you can save time by prepping your cooking ahead of time, but this recipe has a super short prep time as well!

Don’t prep fish too far ahead of time- it will start to taste too fishy!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to share!

Happy healthful eating :)

Eating healthy on vacation!

Eating healthy on vacation

When I don’t meal plan, I usually end up having to eat something unhealthy. So with Coach Summit 2013 coming up I knew I had to plan ahead for clean eating!

Shakeology1Eating in popular tourist areas can be expensive – especially Las Vegas! So save yourself the money on at least one meal per day, and pack your Shakeology. There will be free ice in your hotel (if one of your roommates is sweet enough to pack a blender, like mine!) and you can stop by a grocery store for milk, bananas, peanut butter, etc.

Stay hydratedDrink water all day long. Not only does water keep you more full, but thirst can often be mistaken for hunger… and in hot climates like Vegas, you need to stay hydrated, especially if you aren’t used to it.

Outsmart alcoholic beveragesOutsmart alcoholic beverages. Avoid beer and too many cocktails. But when you do drink, give a vodka and tonic with a twist of lemon or lime a try! It will usually be less than 100 calories.

Stock your hotel roomStock your hotel room. As soon as you arrive, visit the grocery store for Shakeology recipe ingredients, fruit, vegetables, nuts, protein bars, trail mix, granola, and other healthful snacks. This will help you eat at restaurants less often, and save time between events! Also keep a snack or two in your pocket or purse.

Avoid fast food restaurants. I would give you the healthiest options for these places, but why not just leave them out all together? There are better things around.

Restaurants can be your friendRestaurants can be your friend. The prices can get a little scary, but you budgeted to travel, right? Check out the low calorie menu, or aim for healthier options like salad, wraps, and grilled chicken. Try to find a lighter salad than a caesar, and ask for dressing on the side. Focus on lean protein and vegetables.

image-3Skip dessert! Make sure you ate enough protein for dinner, and that you aren’t just hungry or bored. If you absolutely need to satisfy your sweet tooth, whip up a small mint chocolate Shakeology or grab a good protein bar.

Never skip breakfast. It may be free at your hotel, and it will help you boost your metabolism and get through the day!

 

Any more tips you think I should add? Feel free to post comments, and questions, below!

Coach summit 2013

Sources:

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/eat-healthy-traveling-1556.html

http://nutrition.about.com/od/foodfun/a/healthyeating.htm

Setting realistic goals and rewards.

2013_04_14 image_goalsandrewards1To me, working out is a reward in itself. You have more energy, your overall health improves, and if you eat well, your body looks awesome! Exercising releases endorphins that make you feel happy. But when you’re just beginning, it can feel like a task that you have to push yourself to complete, and the “happy” effect is not as evident. A good way of keeping yourself motivated during the beginning stage is to encourage yourself with tangible goals and rewards.

2013_04_14 image_goalsandrewards1. WRITE THEM DOWN.

It will make an amazing amount of difference if you visually write out your goals and rewards. You can use words, phrases, and images to represent them. This also helps you remember and track your goals.

At the end of each day/week, sit down and review your goals from the past day/week and whether you met them. Then, map out your goals for the coming week. You can write goals to do each day of the week as well as things you’d like to have done by the end of the next week. These goals may be under a larger (monthly/yearly) goal such as Training for the Hot Chocolate 5k.

2. DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY, YEARLY.

Creating short and long term goals for yourself is extremely important. It helps a lot if your short term goals will inevitably help you meet your long term goals. For example if your long term goal is to get into great shape and feel confident in a bikini, your short term goals could be things like Lose 5% body fat, Run first 5k marathon, or Stop dining out every day.

2013_04_14 image_goalsandrewards2
Categorize your goals!
Green – Workouts. Pink – Personal. Purple – Pets.

I like to create daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for myself. My daily goals are basically my schedule for the day (yoga, dog training, zumba) plus tasks I need done at anytime by the end of that day (shopping, run, create a new blog entry, respond to e-mails). I do program my daily tasks into my phone so I can view it on the go, but I always write down goals that are not planned for an exact time, plus my daily tasks, on a notepad that I keep in plain view on my desk. If you have an iPhone, the iCalendar and Notes apps are amazing tools for tracking your goals and rewards. Also see my time management entry for advice on planning out your day.

Rewards can be assigned to each individual goal, or you can reward yourself at the end of a “phase” of goals, such as at the end of the week if you completed all of your daily goals every single day that week.

3. BE REALISTIC.

Your goals, especially short term ones, need to be specific. A goal of “start exercising!” or “get fit!” is not as strong as a specific goal. When are you going to do that? What are you going to do? Are you going to do it more than once? For example my goals today are to lift heavy weights at 6:00pm, drink my protein shake, then go swimming, and go to sleep by 11:00 PM.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard about making goals for yourself was “Don’t set yourself up for failure.” Set attainable goals. Don’t set goals that you aren’t going to reach.

4. PLAN SMART REWARDS.2013_04_14 image_goalsandrewards4

The best rewards will be the ones that will help you reach future goals. If you are training for a 5k (monthly goal), your reward after running it might be a spa day (monthly reward) to refresh your body. For not missing any runs (weekly goal) you might reward yourself with new running shoes (weekly reward). If your goal is to run 3 miles (daily goal) a good reward would be go to to bed early.

5. FOR THE STRUGGLERS.

As I mentioned, for those of us who are just starting to work out, working out can really feel like work. If you are overweight it can take a lot of energy and motivation to get you into the gym and on the treadmill to warm up, weight lifting for 30 minutes, and staying late for that 30 minutes of cardio you had planned. IF you have trouble following through with your goals, another effective rewards system is to remember not to “reward” yourself with indulgences when you haven’t yet met a goal to earn it. Finish that hour workout and reward yourself later. Remember how amazing it feels to finish a workout and then still have a prize to look forward to.

2013_04_14 image_goalsandrewards56. NEVER GIVE UP.

A lot of people give up just before the magic is about to happen, because that is when it is the hardest: you have been putting days of time and energy into working out, and you are eating twice as much, and you just don’t see any difference in your body yet. But it will help motivate you to keep going if you remember: It takes 4 weeks for you to notice the difference in your body. It takes your friends and family 8 weeks to notice. And it takes the world 12 weeks to notice.

The way your body looks is only one reason to exercise. Once your body is accustomed to working out, you will have tons of energy and feel happier. It is a scientific fact that exercise is a healthier and more effective treatment for anxiety or depression than any prescription medicine.

Until working out becomes as fun for you as it is for me, use these simple tricks to get yourself up and going. Remember, you need to stick with it even when it is hard or boring, or you will have to start from scratch again later. But if you don’t give up, pretty soon you will look forward to your workouts.

Thanks for reading! Now I want to know, what are your goals? How do you reward yourself? Do you consider your daily workout a reward? Comment below with your comments and questions!

Value your time

Time is money, right? …Time is a lot more than money. Time is commitment. Time is motivation. Time is energy, work, play, health, relaxation, slumber. Time is everything.
If time is everything, planning is everything too. When it comes to fitness, how likely are you to commit to a workout if you don’t find time for it? Stuff happens. You might lounge around all day, and then be donning your sports bra when your friend calls and invites you out. It’s really easy to think “Yeah, I’d rather go out than work out tonight!” You might be overwhelmed with work, cleaning or homework, and consider that a legitimate excuse to skip your workout. But that can be avoided if you plan your time wisely.
Time management is an important skill that can affect your job, your relationships, your school performance, your fitness, your diet, and your sleep. Here are some of my best tips for honing your skills of managing time.

How to schedule your time:

1. Go day by day, and start big. Don’t schedule your classes around what TV show you like to watch. Start with the stuff you consider most important: work, school, business, sleep, meals, working out, doctor appointments, etc. Then fill in the spaces with other things you need to get done that day but are more flexible: shopping, relaxation, homework, cleaning, chores, time with friends, family, or pets, etc. Also make sure you schedule time to work on your schedule, if you need it. However, it’s important to keep ALL of your plans in mind as you schedule. For example, I can’t schedule working out without thinking about sleep.
2. Leave time for travel and prep. If your work day ends at 5:00 and you live 20 minutes away, don’t plan your workout for 5:00! You want time to get to where you need to be, set your stuff down, and get dressed for your next plan. Leave a little room for error (traffic, etc.) too.
3. Plan “me” time. If you feel too busy and overwhelmed you are likely to drop things off your schedule. Instead of doing that to yourself, plan time to relax or leave open time to do whatever you might feel like at that moment.
4. If it isn’t working, fix it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. Don’t stress if your schedule just doesn’t work or if something changes. If you just couldn’t drag yourself out of bed at 5:00 AM for your morning workout, make it an evening workout. Schedule it for after work, or an hour before bed. Do what works for you so that you will commit to it. This could take weeks or even months of editing. Life is dynamic; planning is always a work in progress. But the effort will be worth it when you have time for everything you need to do, time for everything you want to do, and some time left over!
5. Commit. Once you find a routine that works, stick with it. Everyone needs a rest day every now and then, but you can plan those too. Don’t let a lack of time management alter your success in life. You are capable of doing what you want to do- all it takes is commitment.

My actual schedule this week!
My actual schedule this week!

If you still don’t know where to begin, here is an example. This is legitimately how I schedule my time.

I start with my day job, which has primarily static hours.
some Mondays, and Tuesday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Next I schedule my evening job, which is 100% flexible, but requires 20 hours per week. I leave time for my 15 minute commute as well as room for error so that I will be on time for my clients. I also keep in mind that I like to do Zumba class on T&Th. I can run straight into there and it’s OK if I’m late, so I don’t leave any prep time. I like to get off early on Fridays so I can have a social life, and Saturdays are very flexible for me.
Monday and Wednesday, 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM.
Tuesday and Thursday, 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM.
Friday, 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM.
Saturday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

My third big thing is my workout/meal schedule. I plan it for before work most days so that I can skip a shower or driving to the gym, and so that I can walk my dog. During the week I make sure it is early enough so that I can eat breakfast directly afterwards, then shower and drive 20 minutes to work. I also try to include my favorite fitness classes. I schedule my heavy lifting for Saturday because I have enough time to do it at the gym (I can’t lift heavy at home) and then go home for a run and a big meal. Meal planning is directly related to workout planning. Scheduling workouts is actually a very fine art, if you are not already following a schedule. I will talk more about workout scheduling and meal planning in another post, so stay tuned :)
Monday, cardio (TurboFire and walk my dog), 5:30 AM.
-Breakfast,
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Tuesday, warm-up (walk my dog), light strength, cardio (TurboFire), 5:30 AM.
-Breakfast,
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Wednesday, cardio (TurboFire and run my dog), 5:30 AM.
-Breakfast,
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Thursday, warm-up (walk my dog), medium strength, cardio (TurboFire), 5:30 AM.
-Breakfast,
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Friday, cardio (TurboFire and walk my dog), 5:30 AM.
-Breakfast,
6:30 AM. Shower, 6:45 AM.
Saturday, cardio (TurboFire), 7:30 AM.
-Breakfast,
8:30 AM. Shower, 8:45 AM.
-Heavy strength,
2:00 PM. Snack, 3:00 PM. Run my dog, 3:30 PM. Lunch, 4:00 PM.
Sunday, REST DAY.

Lastly I add the other things I need to do- work from home every night before bed and during my off time at my evening job, shopping at lunchtime or on Sundays, and training my dog (without a run or walk) on Sundays.

Hope you learned something! If you still have questions or could use some help with planning your schedule, please feel free to reach out to me. Stay tuned for more motivation and advice!