Week 1 – Healthy Eating on a Budget

The great thing about being prepared is you don’t stress out about lunch and you know you are eating healthy.  I’m also saving a lot of money this week and it’s only day 2!  Beyond the groceries I have I would typically get a regular coffee for close to $3.  I generally would spend between $12-15 for lunch, at least 2, sometimes 3 days during the week.  For dinner, we always have a bottle of wine (averaging about $15-18) and for the past two nights we’ve been going wine-less.  In one day, I’ve saved over $30 which is pretty exciting!

Going back to my previous post on my groceries bought for lunch in my week 1 post, I had the following meals on Tuesday.

DAY 2 – Week 1

9:30 AM – Breakfast (at work post spin class)

1 pkt 365 Instant Original Oatmeal (150 cal/2.5g fat/27g carbs/4g dietary fiber/1g soluble fiber/<1g sugar/6g protein)

½ scoop Sun Warrior Blend Chocolate Protein Powder (which I keep stock in vanilla and chocolate at all times)

1 Tsp maca (I use as a supplement because it is rich in vitamin B, C, and E. It also contains calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids)

1 tsp PB2 ( I typically have in the house and this is just for flavor if I want to keep my fat content lower at a specific meal otherwise I would use the nut butter itself)

Mix in all the above ingredients.  Add approx. ¾ cup water (hot or heat in microwave for 1 min).  Stir & add in ¼ cup of almond milk until consistency is creamy.  Add more milk if needed.  Heat another 20-30 seconds, stir and enjoy!

12:30 PM  – Lunch

½ cup leftover homemade daal & ¼ cup brown rice (From Sunday’s dinner)

1 slice Ezekiel bread

¼ sliced/mashed avocado

1 bottle Kombucha – post meal.  During lunch I drink water

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3:30 PM – SNACK

Wallaby 0% Greek Plain Yogurt

1 Tbsp Almond butter

1 medium mango sliced

8:00 PM – DINNER

2 – Homemade Black Bean Sweet Potato Burger topped with ¼ sliced avocado & salsa (recipe to come tomorrow and will be linked)

*Made baked lemon pepper chicken for my fiancé so I’m including that recipe here since I don’t eat meat)

  1. Cut 2 large organic chicken breasts and divide into 2  (makes 4 pieces)
  2. heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in microwave for 20 sec or until melted.  Pour mixture over chicken breasts
  3. squeeze 1/2 lemon over chicken breasts and top with black pepper
  4. Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes or until cooked all the way through

1 Liter of water

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SNACK – post dinner

½ cup wasabi peas (not recommended for a clean diet by craving them!)

 

DAY 3 – Week 1

10AM – Green Juice

12PM – HU Kitchen

This was a last minute lunch with an out of town friend who was in the city for 1 day. I went outside of my grocery list to meet her because sometimes there are things that just come up and you have to make exceptionsJ

  • 1 paleo wild salmon cake
  • 1 paleo curried sweet potatoes
  • Cranberry Kombucha

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3:30PM – Vega One Spiced Chai protein shake with almond milk

7:00PM – Dinner

  • Homemade sweet potato burgers from the previous night topped with sliced avocado, sliced tomato and a side of salsa

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DAY 4 – WEEK 1

8:30AM Breakfast (post workout lifting)

2 hard-boiled egg whites

1 slice whole grain bread

¼ avocado smashed on toast

1 tsp hemp seeds sprinkled on top

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LUNCH 12:00PM

2 slices of whole grain toast

¼ avocado smashed on top of one piece and lemon dill tuna on the other

1 hard-boiled egg white

 

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SNACK 3:30PM (need extra carbs for spin class at 6:30)

Bowl of fruit drizzled in raw almond butter.  (1 small mango, 3 strawberries & ½ banana sliced)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we are leaving for Miami tomorrow morning the goal was to clean out the fridge and that meant getting creative and mixing a lot of sides to equal a main.  It ended up delicious and very filling!  Best part is we cleaned out the fridge before we left for the weekend to start week 2!

Dinner 7:30PM (empty out the fridge night)

Sauteed brussel sprouts & tempeh  + leftover homemade sweet potato & black bean burger topped with a slice of avocado

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Breakfast on Friday pre our 8am flight was 2 hard boiled egg whites, leftover avocado and a slice of sprouted grain bread.

The weekend consisted of eating and drinking whatever we wanted.  We enjoyed wine, mojitos, gelato, chocolate desert, sushi, chips & guacamole, tacos and whatever we wanted.  We also were very active walking, running, biking and dancing the night away in little Havana.  We enjoyed the food, drink, culture and spent time with friends.  Life is about balance and its not worth it if you can’t enjoy yourself once in a while.  Next week goes back to eating clean.

 

 

 

 

Health Food on a budget challenge Week 1

I decided to challenge myself to actually track how much I spend on groceries.  I love seeing how creative I can get with the groceries I just purchased for the week combined with what I already have in my cabinets.  Now I have pretty basic ingredients to start but if you don’t know what I mean by basics you will start to learn if you follow along throughout this challenge.

I always like to purchase groceries for my fiancé and I and plan meals for the week.  We give ourselves a weekly budget but let’s be serious, we never stick to that budget.  Of all places we live in New York City with the best of the best restaurants, happy hours and a very packed social and work calendars.  Some weeks eating at home can be challenging but to hold ourselves to this challenge we removed our wine budget, yes we have a wine budget, and challenged ourselves to really stick to what we purchased this week.  Here’s a log of what was purchased to be prepared at work for lunch, including total cost, and a breakdown of what I ate today.

Lunches

Every Monday I walk to Whole Foods at lunch and get a few groceries for the week.  I’m usually pretty good about sticking to what I purchase but usually 1 or two days I’ll opt to go get sushi, a bowl or something else that sounds more appealing that day.  Here’s an image and long of what I purchased for $62.58.

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Here’s the full list of food purchased:

Ezekiel Bread

Unsweetened Almond Milk

2 mangos

2 avocados

3 small bananas

2 pink grapefruit

.84lb lemon dill tuna salad (no dairy)

1 jar organic almond butter (no sweetener, just almonds)

12 oz raw organic pressed beet juice

2 wallaby 0% plain Greek yogurt

12 oz vegan carrot ginger soup

Engine 2 Tuscan White Bean Burger

Monday, April 4th Log

Wake up 6:15 – Hot water with 1/2 sliced lemon to start every day

Breakfast 10AM (not standard. Case of the Mondays = no workout and late arrival to work) – Juicy Cube fresh juice 12 oz Detox Expert (carrots, spinach, cucumber, ginger, apple, parsley)

Lunch 12:30pm – 1/3 cup lemon dill tuna salad + vegan carrot ginger soup 12oz + small homemade falafel brought in by colleague at work topped with tsp tahini.  I drink water with lunch but have my kombucha after to serve as my probiotic which is key in my diet.

snack 3:30 – 1/2 grapefruit + 1 tbsp almond butter drizzled on 1 sliced banana

*dinner 7:30 – baked sole & zucchini noodles

Tonight my fiancé and I were craving sweets so I had a ton of frozen bananas and made nice cream with what I had in the cabinets(cashew butter, cinnamon, coconut milk, coconut flakes & cacao nibs) Now these kitchen ingredients are not standard but I’m not normal so they are for me and I typically have a variety of foods like this hanging around:)

I also drink a ton of water all throughout the day.  Key to keep hunger at bay and maintaining or losing weight.

That’s about all I can write this evening because I’m just exhausted and need to get up early.   However, tomorrow I’ll share my dinner pics and groceries purchased from Fresh Direct and log my daily meals from that order.

 

 

It’s all part of the journey

This week I was reminded to take a step back and stop being so hard on myself.  Sometimes I get into this routine of thinking I’m not doing enough, I should be eating healthier, I should be working out more and it starts to stress me out.  I get into this downward spiral of negative self talk, which then projects outwardly into my relationships, my work and my overall daily outlook on life.  It’s not exactly pretty.  What I have found over the years is that negative self talk contributes to my stress and emotional instability causing me to dig myself into this hole, starting to eat more, not becuase I’m hungry but becuase that’s all I can focus on  In turn, I start becoming more depressed because I don’t have the energy to workout which then contributes to my stress of eating more and not working out.  Do you see what I mean?  It’s a downward spinning cycle and once you get sucked into the vortex it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and regain the positivity you once had.

My point to all of this is to help people though my experience and what I have learned through trial and error, what I have learned from teaching others so therefore they are real life examples of things that people struggle with on a daily basis when trying to be healthy.   You have to go into a healthy lifestyle with positive thoughts and a focus on an end goal.  Is your goal focused on physical attributes or emotional?  It should be a combination of both.  Most people go into most things with an idea of goal and it ends up spitting out byproducts of so many more benefits than you originally intended.  Take losing weight for example.  If you decide you want to start eating healthy to lose weight you immediately start thinking about the physical attributes.  Maybe you will think about the emotional stuff like “I want to feel better” or “I want to have more energy” but generally speaking there is an end physical goal.

Let’s go with that.  Let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months.  A completely realistic and safe goal that is attainable at about 1-2lbs/week.  You immediately imagine yourself at that weight to give you inspiration.  We are visual people so it’s easier if we can see ourselves at that goal so we can give ourselves the inspiration we need to succeed.  Now we start to think about all of the things we need to change.  For instance, “I need to go to the gym 3-4 days a week and do X”, or “I need to start eating X calories a day”, or ” I need to remove all processed foods from my diet”…..the list goes on.  Rather than thinking about all of things we need to change, why not embrace where we are today? By taking into account your current fitness regimen, which may be non existent, why not focus on a first step rather than taking a giant leap and committing yourself to 3-4 days a week when maybe you don’t remember the last time you were in a gym ?  Why not commit to a daily, attainable goal?  For example, committing to take the stairs everyday at work, or walking during lunch or just being more active?  If you start out with too big of a commitment and tend to lack the motivation, this can be the ultimate reason you give up because the task at hand seems too large.  For this very reason you see gym hikes by 60-80% in January and within 8-10 weeks the drop off is virtually the same as the spike.  It’s astounding to see and it all comes down to setting goals based on the individual.  These are small, attainable goals that eventually get you to reach your larger goal.

97103594-1089-4334-8375-D24900EDE417When people ask me what to do to lose weight, how to eat healthier, what to do at the gym I always ask the same question.  Tell me where you are currently?  What do you currently eat?  What do you do now to stay active?  What is feasible within your work/home life schedule?  All of these things NEED to be taken into consideration or you are setting yourself up for failure.  There is not a quick fix.  It takes time, dedication, preparation and a positive attitude.  Sure there will be days when we have one of but not all of these things but the important thing is to stay focused on your goal, have a plan, stick to the plan and stay positive.  The rest will fall into place.

 

 

Get your fitness on and reduce your risks

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2014 and I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I felt this type of cancer could have been avoided.  I’m a firm believer that fitness not only prevents obesity, illness and depression but it can heal in many ways.  The picture below is my mom and I planting flowers this summer on one of her good days undergoing chemo.  But there were a lot of bad days that went along with the good.  Fortunately having caught the cancer at an early stage she was able to stop it before it grew with chemo.  Now she is taking medication for the next 5 years that will help to stave off the cancer from growing back.

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My mission with this page is not only let people know what I learn along the way about health and fitness but to help those who need motivation, advice and inspiration.  I don’t want anyone to have to go through what my mom and many others have gone through.  If this type of cancer or other cancers have the slightest chance to be prevented, why not take every measure of action to prevent it?  Let’s be proactive and take control of our own health and destiny!

More and more studies are being published about how regular exercise not only helps with obesity, depression, anxiety, immune function, inflammation and etc. but it can actually help prevent certain types of cancers!  Imagine that?!?  I’ve recently come across this article that I had to share below!  My passion for health and fitness will continue as I continue to share with the world about how we can live better lives day in and day out.

http://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/prevention-and-healthy-living/physical-activity/physical-activity-and-cancer-risk

Until next time…..go out and get some exercise!

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Why is breakfast to important??

We hear it time and time again from scrolling through our social media feed, numerous studies published on the benefits of breakfast on our health to memories of mom saying as a kid why we HAD to eat our breakfast before we left for school.

Why does breakfast get all of this hype? Why do the breakfast freaks swear by this and non breakfast eaters can’t imagine downing a bowl of oatmeal to save their lives.  Its an endless debate and I believe if anyone attempts to incorporate a healthy breakfast into a daily routine for 2 weeks, you will see for yourself why this magical meal is the kickstart to your day.

Here are just a few benefits us breakfast lovers enjoy on a daily basis.

1.) Energy Boost.  According to studies published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, consuming a breakfast high in fiber and low in carbohydrates will make you feel less tired during the day.”

2.) Eating breakfast helps you jumpstart your metabolism and burn more calories. “The key: eating a breakfast that’s high in Resistant Starch (RS). Found in foods like bananas and oats, RS actually signals your body to use fat for energy.” Shaun Chavis, Health Magazine

3.) Improves Concentration. In one study, Jianghong Liu, an associate professor in the School of Nursing, has found yet another benefit of eating an early morning meal: higher IQ scores.  Eating a well balanced breakfast–such as eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit–keeps “blood sugar levels steady and allows optimal cognitive function throughout the day.”

4.) Improves overall health. For example, Harvard conducted a 16-year study of 26,902 American men aged 45 to 82 and found that those “who skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of CHD compared with men who did not.  There are numerous studies on the overall improved heath benefits in relationship with eating a well balanced breakfast.

5.) Improves your memory. There was also a study released in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior that discovered that eating breakfast, such as oatmeal, improved the spatial and short-term memories of elementary school children.

Here are some examples of a well balanced, healthy breakfast that you can start incorporating into your daily regimen.  It takes planning and preparation to eat clean and the saying goes…”if you fail you plan you plan to fail” so start planning!  Cheers to a healthy day!

At home or at work staple: 1/2 grapefruit + 1 slice Ezekiel bread + 1 tbsp raw almond butter + 1/4 sliced banana
Awesome post workout fuel when you are starving! 1 slice Ezekiel bread topped with 2 egg whites + 1 slice of Ezekiel bread with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1/4 banana sliced on top.
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Quick and easy high protein breakfast. 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (no sugar) topped with raw granola (as clean as possible with low sugar), fresh raspberries, 1/4 sliced banana and drizzle with raw honey for added flavor if needed.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

I work in a beauty office where everyone is constantly on diets.  Whether it’s trying to cut out sugar, count calories, remove carbs or whatever the latest fad I try to keep my colleagues excited about eating HEALTHY food.  By doing so, I have them focus less on what they shouldn’t eat and more of what they SHOULD eat.  Healthy, raw food does taste good you just have to learn how to make it work for you.

Today I made raw vegan chocolate mousse parfaits for everyone and made one batch with a natural sweetener(honey or agave) and one without.  Working within the constraints of no sugar, yes not even a natural sweetener like honey or agave, I was able to make it work.  As it turns out the non sugar crew, along with the sweetener crew, LOVED the mousse.  So much in fact they commented it was not only satisfying but tasted great and was extremely filling.  Below is a pic of some of the parfaits I made for my office crew along with the recipe.

Happy mousse making!

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Unsweetened Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

Makes about 5-6 parfaits:

2-2.5 frozen bananas

1 refrigerated avocado

1/4-1/3 cup raw unsweetened organic cacao powder (add more if you want to make darker)

1/4 cup raw almond butter

1/2 cup almond milk (add more if texture is too thick to mix)

Mix in a food processor or NutriBullet until smooth

Topping:

Top with 1/2 banana sliced into 5-6 pieces

Sprinkle Raw organic cacao nibs

Sprinkle Raw unsweetened coconut flakes

Drizzle with raw organic almond butter

Getting started is the hardest part….

People are always asking me how I stay on track with my eating and how I get motivation to workout so consistently.  The answer is you need the discipline, simply stated that’s the trick.  You need a goal, whatever it may be.  You want to start with a small goal and gradually add to it or set more goals once you have achieved your initial goals.  Start with working out an extra day a week or an extra 30 minutes or just simply starting.  Sign up for a new physical activity that you’ve never tried in addition to your regular workout routine.  You need to mix it up in order to stay on track.  no one wants to get bored with a fitness regimen, that’s the quickest way to give up on your goals.

I’ve counseled many friends and family and how to get started, that’s the hardest part.  Making that decision to actually start moving forward is the biggest step.  Once you decide to get started you can start making goals and checking them off.  The more goals you achieve, the more motivated you will be to stay the course.   Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.) Choose a time of day to workout and stick to it.  Some of us are AM fitness freaks and some of us are PM fitness owls.  Whatever your preference, set a time of day that works in your schedule so you can ensure you stick to it.

2.) Try something new.  Start by trying the pilates or yoga class at the gym you’ve always wanted to try.  Not only will this mix up your routine, but it will hold you accountable to show up to class:)

3.) Be active in some way at least 3-4 days a week.  Even if its for 30 minutes, try to get in some type of activity.  If you can’t go the gym, take a walk or try an online workout class.  Get your body moving and you’ll start to build up that motivation little by little to continue.

4.) Try cooking at home.  Rather than going out to eat for every meal, try eating at home and preparing your own meals.  This is the only way to ensure you know what ingredients are being put into your meals.

5.) Be conscious of what you eat.  Starting a food journal is probably the easiest way to get started.  Whether is downloading a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal or even if its just tracking what you eat in your phone or in a notebook.  This will start to hold you accountable and give you a better idea of what you are consuming daily, which can be extremely eye opening to some.

Start with these easy steps and you’ll be well on your way to transitioning into a healthier lifestyle.  Stay tuned for more tips!  Enjoy!

 

Raw Green Smoothie

This is my ultimate favorite pre-workout protein packed smoothie!  I thought I would share the recipe for everyone to enjoy!

For the base, I really love to eat my breakfast with a spoon and like it a bit thicker.   However, you can make it in more of a smoothie form and drink it.  Whichever consistency you choose, its simply delectible.  Below are the ingredients.

Raw Green Protein Smoothie

Smoothie Base:

1 Frozen Banana (I peel, cut and put these into freezer bags so I can quickly access them during the week)

2  Handfulls of fresh organic spinach leaves

1 tbsp maca powder

1 scoop of RAW protein powder or your favorite protein powder.

1/2 – 1 Cup of Unsweetend or vanilla almond milk (depending on how thick you want the consistency)

1-2 Ice cubes to add thickness to the consisency

Topping: Fresh Berries + my RAW Chocolate Granola mix

Angie’s RAW Chocolate Granola

In a saucepan mix the following to a liquid state:

2 tbsp organic coconut oil

2 tbsp organic natural peanut butter

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp organic brown rice syrup

Add in the dry ingredients:

2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp raw unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp RAW protein powder or Nutrilite All Plant Protein powder

3/4 cup organic oats

*Add a sweetener of your choice.  You can use Stevia or I prefer Raw Agave syrup and I use about 1-2 tbsp depending on how sweet you like it.

Mix it all together and put in a pan or tupperware and freeze about an hour.  You can crumble pieces off as needed to add to your shakes or just break off and eat alone.  Either way, its delicious and packed with superfoods and protein.

The end result is simply delectable as a pre-workout/post workout or just a snack!  I hope you all enjoy!

My journey to achieve a healthy life

Welcome to my Blog!  I’m happy you decided to take a few minutes out of your busy life to read about my journey.  Hopefully by reading this you will find your own inner drive to be the ultimate you.  My goal is to share with you things that inspire and motivate  me while in turn, it reflects on to you to be able to provide the inspiration you need to accomplish your goals.  I will try to provide relevant information about what I do to live a healthy life from my food journal, recipes, workouts, travel, skincare and overall beauty tips.  My passion in life is to help others find what inspires them and to help you reach your goals.  To truly love yourself and radiate love, confidence and a passion for a healthy life it starts on the inside. 

I’ve really come to the realization that in order to make a difference in your life, or anybody else’s life, you have to be proactive.  Being proactive is a choice you make, every single day.  Things won’t change unless you make it happen.  This requires an extreme amount of self motivation and/or encouragement from friends and family.  The reason I mention this is because a lot of people complain about their current circumstances, but really have no drive to change direction.  Its like they want it to be magically “fixed”! 

 What is your motivation?  What drives you to be successful?  What motivates you to be the best you can be?  For me, it’s a lot of things!  For me it’s a combination of extreme self coaching, support from friends and family, a positive attitude and a drive to accomplish a goal.  Some days are definitely harder than others, and you will have days you fail.  Its ok to fail.  You pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep going. 

People are always telling me they can’t workout like I do or eat like I do and I tell them that I’ve not always been this way.  I too had my days of eating Oreos, pizza, drinking soda and putting unlimited amount of bad, proccessed foods in my body.  Its a decision to make a change, followed by daily action steps towards your goal.  Some days you will take a step back, but you keep moving forward and eventually your steps forward will overtake your steps backwards and you will begin moving the the right direction. 

So, think about what you want to accomplish, what steps you need to take to get there and start by taking the first step TODAY.  Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow, but TODAY!