For the last two weeks we pre-made these amazing “Pepper Boats” on Sundays and then ate them all week for lunch. It’s been EXTREMELY helpful in staying on track in the midst of a busy or stressful day. We keep a tray in the fridge and pop 1 or 2 in the microwave at lunch. Last week we filled them with just rice, beef and cheese but this week we tried to clean it up a bit by taking out the rice, adding broccoli, and using ground turkey instead of beef. FAB-U-LOUS.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe. Cook them up and you’ll thank yourself every day til they are gone!
Stuffed Pepper Boats
Time: The whole recipe should take about 30 minutes max.
Sliced Portabello mushrooms
Crushed Red Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook Turkey in pan w/ Taco Seasoning until fully cooked.
If you want to make your own taco seasoning, we added:
Make Veggie Mix:
Sliced Portabello mushrooms
Add Veggie Mix and crushed red pepper to the ground turkey and cook for another 5 mins.
There is no better way to get more veggies and less carbs into your meal than via a Zoodle dish! (AKA zucchini noodles).
The other night, in an effort to get back on track with our eating habits, my husband and I decided to test out a new zoodle dish. It was DELICIOUS! A group of 6 people were all very pleased (and amazingly satisfied without feeling that regretful pasta hangover!)
We also used an outdoor grill to grill the chicken
Cutting board, knife
Large stovetop pan for sauce
Medium stovetop pan for sauteeing mushrooms
-Zucchini (1 per person should be plenty, but do more if you like!)
-Heavy cream (medium sized carton?)
-Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-Minced garlic (jarred)
-Baby Portabello mushrooms (sliced)
-Artichoke hearts (jarred)
Aside from grilling chicken, which we did ahead of time, this will take you NO LONGER than 15 minutes to make. So cook your chicken ahead of time!
Grill chicken, dice, set aside
Spiralize zucchini, set aside
Lightly sauté mushrooms in oil (in medium sized pan)
Pour heavy cream into separate large pan (no heat)
Toss chicken into heavy cream
Add tablespoon of minced garlic and oregano
Simmer cream/chicken/mushrooms/garlic for ~5 minutes
Add parmesan cheese to your liking
Stir/add cream til desired consistency
Toss a helping of zoodles on a plate, cover with alfredo sauce
Decorate with artichokes + pepperoncinis + cilantro on top
Add salt/pepper if needed
This dish tastes just like a delicious Italian bowl of comfort food without the heaviness, carbs and calories of all that pasta! Sure, a bunch of parmesan and heavy cream isn’t the *healthiest* option but it’s surely better than putting it on pasta!
Alright! I’ve almost made it through Day 2 of the 3-Day Refresh!! To be honest, I am SO proud of myself so far! I have not strayed, AT ALL, from the program plan. This is probably a first for me in a long time. I feel like in recent years and months I often find myself giving up, quitting early and not finishing what I start- so this is already a big accomplishment for me. I’m definitely ready to finish Day 3 strong tomorrow!
This Refresh has also honestly been a great thing for my mind. I’ve already decided this winter is going to be a “season of change” for me… no more bad habits, no more excuses, no more disorganization or unnecessary splurges, it’s time for a new me!! A me who follows through, stays positive, and makes beneficial changes in my life where needed. For some reason this 3-Day Refresh has been a good start for me mentally! It’s helped me get my head in the right place, feel focused and eager to take on my life. These are definitely side effects I was not expecting! 🙂 So without further ado… my thoughts on Day 2!!!!
Day 2 Measurements:
I weighed in at 137.4 this morning-2 lb difference. I think we can all agree, seeing the numbers on the scale drop, definitely keeps you motivated!
Day 2 Menu:
Water: 32 oz x 2 (as of 630pm), trying to get in more before bed.
Tea: 1 Chamomile-Ginger tea, 9:45am
Coffee: 1/2 cup coffee, 7am
Breakfast, 730am: Chocolate Shakeology with cinnamon, 1/2 banana
Dinner, 6pm: Coconut Steamed Veggies from Guidebook, Vanilla Fresh Shake, 1 cup chicken broth
Dinner was much more tasty than I was expecting!! I scarfed it down pretty quickly, not quite savoring things like I was yesterday!
DAY 2 HUNGER LEVEL: MODERATE
Day 2 was definitely different! I was a little more hungry but most importantly took MAJOR notice of how much I STRESS EAT!! I work from home so it’s very easy for me to leave my computer and go straight to my fridge for a quick brain break when I’m feeling overwhelmed..which is often. Don’t worry though- I didn’t give in!! BUT I definitely had several urges throughout the day where I literally felt myself about to get up from my seat to go to the fridge and within seconds realized what I was doing! This is something I totally would have followed through with on a normal day and now I’m wondering just HOW MANY CALORIES have I been eating each day, just because I was stressed?! A piece of cheese here, a spoonful of peanut butter there, leftover chicken nuggets… you name it and I’m probably stress-munching on it! So glad to be aware of that terrible habit now! Today, since I couldn’t go for food, I would just drink water or breathe or just stand up and take a step outside for a sec.. whew!
TAKEAWAYS FROM DAY 2:
Eating is often emotional! Are there areas of your life that cause you to stress eat? A relationship, a job, a recent failure, etc? Next time you find yourself walking mindlessly toward the fridge- ask yourself, “Am I ACTUALLY hungry?” “Is it ACTUALLY time for a snack or meal?” “Have I drank enough water today?” Then shut the fridge, take a breathe and find something else to do to relieve the pain!
I realized another problem I might also want to watch out for is using food to reward myself. Today also made me realize how often I like to reward myself with food and drinks…. I LOVE food so if I do something good (exercise, work hard all day, etc) then I feel like I “deserve” a treat. Like recently when I ran a marathon…
“I’m running a marathon tomorrow, I can drink a margarita and eat lots of bread and pasta!”
“I ran a marathon today, I can drink lots of beer and eat pizza!”
“I ran a marathon yesterday, I can eat more pasta!”
“I ran a marathon last week– surely I deserve to keep eating pizza!!”
Where did that land me? 10 lbs heavier than I was… Anyway- Today was a major realization for me that I need to be good to my body ALL the time and that treating it well by working out or working hard, doesn’t mean I should reward it with junk food. Maybe next time I’ll reward myself with some delicious chicken and spinach salad or maybe grilled shrimp & asparagus- things I totally LOVE that would also seem like a treat!
DAY 2 BIGGEST TEMPTATIONS:
Cheeeeeese staring me in the face.
Veggies! I had already cut up avocado, tomato and peppers from yesterday and man I just wanted to scarf those down. Decided to stick to my plan though, only 1 more day!
I babysit a 4-yr-old sometimes… don’t get scared, I didn’t want to eat him…. hahahha… but I did want to eat his popcorn!!
But guess what, temptations have nothing on me today! I’m still on track with Day 2. Going to try to down more water and get to bed before any frozen pizzas hop out of the freezer and start chasing me around the house 😉
DAY 2 HELPFUL TACTICS TO STAY ON TRACK
THINK before you eat.
Drink water! Sometimes you aren’t hungry, you’re thirsty!
So there it is- my experience on Day 2 of the 3-Day Refresh. Not nearly as horrible as I expected. Just need to get through day 3 tomorrow and I’m done! Can’t wait to share my final results!
Would love to hear if you can relate to any of my emotional eating issues. Maybe we can help each other navigate that challenge together 🙂
So after ANOTHER gluttonous vacation, I’ve decided to try out the “3-Day Refresh” from Beachbody. I definitely already know ways I can kickstart my body on my own, without the help of an outside program, BUT I’ll be honest- this time I really felt like I needed a bigger push and more structure to force myself back into my rhythm. If you don’t know, the 3-Day Refresh program is intended to be a jumpstart to better health & nutrition habits. It’s advertised as a great way to make a clean break from bad habits, jump-start a healthier lifestyle, and see real weight loss in just 3 days– without starving yourself! Well guess what- I will be the judge of that! This is the first time I am trying this program and I want to document what it is, how it works and how I feel throughout the process. Read on for a description of the product + for my experience on Day 1!!
WHAT is included in the 3-DAY REFRESH?
The 3-Day Refresh consists of 3 daily shakes, a fiber drink, plenty of water, plus a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy fats throughout the day to keep your energy and metabolism going. The kit itself comes with the 3 nutrition shakes for each day, plus a “Fiber Sweep” shake for each day. It also comes with a super handy guide to help you navigate your way through the 3 days without really having to think much at all about what you are supposed to eat next.
Here’s what you’ll eat and drink during the 3-Day Refresh:
Wake-Up: Drink 8-12 oz of water
Breakfast (within 1 hour of waking): Shakeology + Fruit Option*
Mid-Morning: Fiber Sweep (digestive health drink)**
Dinner: Vanilla Fresh Shake + a meal from the Dinner Recipes list + optional organic vegetable broth
Also aim to drink at least 64oz of water per day in addition to water added to drinks above
*FRUIT/VEGGIE/HEALTHY FAT OPTIONS
The first thing I’m loving about the Refresh is that it’s not a starvation diet or complete fast. While you will be consuming less calories and food than you normally would, you are still getting at least 900 calories per day and all the essential vitamins and nutrients you need. You also get to consume ACTUAL FOOD. Included in the guidebook are approved lists of FRUITS, VEGGIES, SEASONINGS AND HEALTHY FATS along with the appropriate serving sizes to use. There are also approved Dinner Recipes to follow so it really takes the guesswork out. Here is a pic of my approved dinner from tonight:
3-Day Refresh Spinach Salad:
2 cups baby spinach or salad greens
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced (I had an orange bell pepper on hand so used that)
1/4 cup of Alfalfa sprouts (or sub radish or broccoli sprouts)
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp EVOO
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds
This salad was actually fantastic and I honestly found it hard to finish all the veggies in it. Though within about 20 minutes I was ready for my dinner shake.
This is a scientifically formulated blend of soluble and insoluble fibers that is supposed to help gently and naturally eliminate waste from your digestive system and help promote healthy intestinal flora.
Some of the ingredients include whole-ground flax, chia and psyllium seed husks. The psyllium fiber is supposed to help naturally lower cholesterol and support healthy blood sugar levels as part of a healthy diet. Psyllium fiber husk may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when used as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Flax and chia seeds are also sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Ok, now that I’ve gotten most of the explaining out of the way, let’s move on to how Day 1 went!
As with any diet/exercise program, if you really want to see what your results are over a period of time then you should be measuring some stats. Here’s where I’m weighing in and measuring at the start:
I was 142 lbs (!) the night before I started. That probably sounds like a great weight for a lot of people BUT I was just 132 lbs a little over a month ago… so you can imagine my surprise (or lackthereof) when I hopped on the scale the night I returned from vacation…. a vacation I RAN A MARATHON during! But… I also ATE & DRANK more than I care to share. That’s what vacation is for, right?!
My measurements may or may not be a little off since I measured myself but I’ll be measuring myself again at the end for consistency. Also to explain my “Belly” measurements in the photo… you are supposed to measure yourself across your belly button, but when I let it all hang out, the spot BELOW my belly button is pretty big- I call that my “Big Belly”…haha. So I measured both spots just to see if there’s a change in the end..
Day 1 Experience:
You are instructed to start your day by immediately drinking 8-12oz of water upon waking to help get your system going. I did this within a half hour of waking as I was sidetracked by toothbrushing, showering and taking care of my 4 dogs (feeding, letting them out, morning love cuddles, etc). I then followed the rest of the daily instructions pretty much on schedule.
Day 1 MENU:
Water: 32 oz x 3, throughout whole day
Tea: 1 Green Tea, 10 am
Coffee: 1 coffee 7am, 1/2 coffee 3pm
Breakfast, 8am: Chocolate Shakeology with cinnamon, 1/2 banana
Mid-morning, 11am: Fiber Sweep
Lunch, 12pm: Vanilla Fresh Shake, 1/2 banana, 5 baby carrots, 2 tbsp of avocado with cumin
Afternoon snack: 1 medium tomato w/ italian herbs and cumin, 2 tbsp avocado with cumin/italian herbs
Dinner, 6pm: Spinach salad from Guidebook, Vanilla Fresh Shake, 1 cup chicken broth
Day 1 Hunger Level: Mild
I felt slightly hungry most of the day but it was never overwhelming. The good news was that each time my hunger felt the strongest, I’d look at the time and realize it was time for another meal, snack or drink.
I didn’t start getting hungry until 10 am (I woke up at 6am). By the time I downed my wake-up water + almost 32 more oz of water + my morning coffee I wasn’t even ready for my breakfast shake and fruit when it came time to have it- but knowing the meals are strategically spaced out during the day, I went for it anyway. Like I said, I felt slightly hungry around 10am so i had the optional morning tea which held me over until the Fiber Sweep around 11am. Then downing more water helped me get through til lunchtime.
I definitely felt a bit hungry after lunch and before dinner, but like I said, once it started becoming “intolerable”- I’d realize it was time to snack or have tea. “Intolerable” is probably not the best word to describe it since none of the hunger I experienced was intolerable by any means… #firstworldproblems
Takeaways from Day 1:
Eating less throughout the day definitely helped me focus on eating slower. Since I only had a few bites of food during meal and snack times, I really had to savor them! We all know that taking TIME to eat your food, actually makes your body realize you are fuller, sooner. Added bonus- you actually get to ENJOY the food you are eating because you are not shoveling it down your throat but really focusing on savoring each bite! Yum! And each meal and snack, when mixed with the shakes and a bunch of water, was definitely enough to get me through the day without getting hangry (and I get hangry pretty damn easily).
day 1 Biggest Temptations:
Leftover pizza in the fridge!
Autumn Ale in the fridge!
Unopened bottle of tequila!
These were no match for me! A 10-lb weight gain and feeling gross after vacation has me keeping my eye on the prize 🙂
Day 1 Helpful Tactics to Stay on Track
Drink water! I always say it, but it’s true.
If you start feeling too hungry, have some tea/coffee. My afternoon tea turned into an afternoon coffee just because I knew that would mentally make me feel less hungry. Even though I only had a couple sips anyway, it definitely helped curb my appetite!
So there it is- my experience on Day 1 of the 3-Day Refresh. I’ve heard from some friends that Day 2 is the absolute hardest!! I’ll keep you posted tomorrow !
I love eating healthy food but I’m horrible at doing so because I hate cooking. I hate cooking because I’m bad at it and it takes too much time and creates too much mess! So the easier cooking can be for me the better my eating habits. This Sunday morning I finally said hello to Meal Prepping 🙂
I’ve thought about meal prepping a million times before. I’ve even kind of done it a couple times by cooking enough chicken & asparagus to last for 3 days. However, I’ve never full on prepped a whole week of food in one sitting, nor have I done it so healthily or easily!! I couldn’t believe all the food I was able to make with things I already had in my fridge. Long story short, I made 4 different types of meals that I will use for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the next week.
Keep in mind, I’m not a fan of calorie-counting so if you are being strict with your calorie intake, this post won’t disclose that info. Not only am I breastfeeding, I also hate feeling restricted in my eating habits. So what I’ve been doing as of late is working more on quality instead of quantity. Don’t get me wrong, I try to use good discretion by limiting my snacking, eating slowly, drinking lots of water and dishing up reasonable portion sizes (1/2 plate veggies, 1/4 plate healthy carbohydrate, 1/4 plate protein). Also if I eat all my food and still feel hungry, I’ll try to wait 20 minutes and see if that’s still the case. Sometimes it’s not!
Anyway I know myself and I will definitely eat like crap if I don’t have healthy things on hand. When I get hungry, it’s eat or die mode and I start shoving things in my mouth fast, no matter what they are. Luckily I’ve helped that bad habit recently by having apples and almonds on hand. Those are a great, quick go-to snack when I’m feeling famished or to tide me over while I’m waiting for my next meal. However, this week I’m taking things a step further. I realized I spend a lot of my evenings trying to make myself dinner (with a 3 month old on my hip) and I spend a lot of my days, not eating enough or not eating appropriately because I don’t have time to make breakfast or lunch. I always feel like I don’t have enough time in my day to do the things I want, so I’m knocking out cooking dinner, breakfast & lunch with meal prepping it all on Sundays. And I have to thank J+Fitness for inspiring me to get off my lazy a** and give this a try this week! Also the egg bake and apple crockpot dishes are slight modifications of recipes they shared on their page- go check them out!
Here’s what I did today- all with things already in my fridge/freezer!
Egg, Veggie & Quinoa bake (Breakfast)
Apple & Oats Crockpot (Breakfast)
Ground Turkey & Veggie Pasta Sauce (Dinner served over zucchini noodles)
The Veggetti is hands-down my new favorite cooking utensil. Buy it now! Seriously. It’s amazing.
The last couple days I’ve been turning my zucchini into “noodles” and topping them with delicious things like pasta sauce, pesto sauce, chicken, veggies, etc! I’m more of a warm food person, so salads aren’t my favorite thing in the world. But now zucchini is my new lettuce. Here’s what I whipped up off the top of my head today and man is it good! Try it out and let me know what you think! If you do, tag @mamaburnsfat and hashtag #MBFrecipes on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
This will only feed one hungry person so make sure to double according to your needs.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup pasta sauce (go organic if you can!)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 small, precooked, boneless, skinless, chicken breast (I just used scraps from a whole chicken we cooked earlier this week)
2 hearty handfuls of fresh spinach & kale
Crumbled bleu cheese
Heat oil in shallow pan on low-med heat
Veggetti your zucchini!
Slowly place zucchini in pan, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes
Remove zucchni from pain, strain excess liquid, set aside
Add a little more oil, if needed
Add onion, chicken, spinach & kale to pan. Stir, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes (until onion is cooked through)
Add pasta sauce, stir and continue heating
Remove from heat, toss on top of zoodles (zucchini noodles!), top with bleu cheese crumbles & Enjoy!!
Feel free to toss any veggies you have in there! Think mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes!
Let me know what you think! I could eat it every day!
I love carbs! But carbs that are lacking nutrients can be a waste of space in our body. What you really want are carbohydrates that are rich in nutrients and leave you feeling fuller longer.
Quinoa does just that and is a great alternative to rice or pasta. This gluten-free, plant-based protein is pretty much bursting at the seams with nutrients- so much so that it’s often referred to as a “super grain”… even though if you research it, you find it’s not really a grain, it’s surprisingly in the same family as beets, chard, and spinach. But believe me, you wouldn’t know. Quinoa dishes out fiber, protein, amino acids, & lots of minerals. It also has a low glycemic index which means it is a food that helps you stay fuller longer and will curb your appetite unlike the empty carbs we love so much (white bread, white rice, etc). So next time a recipe calls for rice, try switching it out with quinoa for a nutrient-dense alternative. Quinoa is SOOOO easy to make too!
I always have lots of quinoa on hand and love to use it as my carb for dinner. I was looking to spice things up a bit recently and I found a delicious Mexican Quinoa recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com Try it out and let me know what you think!