Do You Need to Meal Prep to Get the Body You Want?

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Do you wish that your meal prep looked THIS good?

I don’t.

ba87400863c5063c5f305c170a6b0062I’ve noticed Amanda Meixner’s blog photos on meal prepping with 21 Day Fix being featured on Beachbody’s website and what I initially felt looked really cool, soon turned into some serious anxiety.

“I could never do that!” “My food will never look that organized and cute.” “That food looks disgusting (reheated TROUT for the next 5 days?? NO THANKS”. “Is this what it takes to get the body you want?” “My husband and kids are going to STARVE!!!” 

To me this is a fabulous VISUAL, and I honestly love it – so don’t get me wrong. But in the REAL world – this just ain’t happening for the average, working family. (And you have to remember that this is her JOB. She is a Social Media Strategist for Beachbody!) 

I think it’s really important that we differentiate between diets and lifestyle changes because someone who is just starting on this journey may look at the 21 Day Fix EXTREME diet and think that this is how someone has to eat all the time to be lean. I cannot stress enough how important it is for someone who is overweight, or struggles with eating disorders, or just getting into exercise (or starting back up again after several years!) to adapt small, concrete and manageable habits that CAN be kept up for life – not just 21 days!!!

That being said, NO ONE in this world (ok, I bet there is that one odd person) could keep up the above for life without going absolutely crazy!! The 21 Day FIX Extreme is meant to be only 21 days and is meant to be a CHALLENGE!! So, if you are feeling like you want to push your body in a way you never have before or are looking to get “competition” lean – 21 Day Fix EXTREME may be right for you. Another option is starting out with the 1st 21 Day Fix, to ease into it.

Want to take the Extreme Challenge? {CLICK HERE}

Want to ease into it first?? {CLICK HERE}

MAIN POINT – Your week does NOT have to look like the above to lose weight. Getting into shape does have challenges, but it needs to be enjoyable to make a lasting impact. DO buy the 21 Day FIX Extreme if you are already in moderate to good athletic shape to push your body even further – but if you are just starting out contact me. I’d love to help you find what will be the best fit for you and help you be successful for the LONG RUN.

So, do I meal plan??

Actually…YES!

But not like that.

I usually plan out 4 healthy 90/10 dinners for my family per week and prep THESE 4 foods at the beginning of each week to make salads for lunch. I almost ALWAYS have these foods in my fridge at all times. The combos are endless and roasting veggies makes them taste AmAzInG + they can be reheated all week long. My favorites are sweet potatoes, butternut squash, summer squash, carrots, radishes, cauliflower or red pepper. You really can’t go wrong.

Meap-PREP

And let me tell you…I don’t eat bad salads…ever.

i typically like to have something warm on my salad. Sometimes I pop the entire salad in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm the veggies and wilt the spinach. Get creative with your salads and make them DELICIOUS!

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Asian Chicken Salad with Orange and Flax

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Parisian Salad with a Provencal Dijon Vinaigrette

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Italian Tabouleh Salad

Now, after all that… I’m kinda tempted to try the 21 Day Fix Extreme Challenge… hmmm. Even still, I promise you I will not be eating re-heated trout.

LESSON: Before buying a Beachbody program, find a coach you trust. They will help you from everything: your order, finding special discounts, helping you accomplish your goals and even make money as a coach if you are interested.

If you would like for me to be your coach contact me!

kristinicole.fit@gmail.com

If you are not into dieting and would like to just learn how to make better choices by learning how to avoid foods with additives, such as added sugar and start making healthier habits TODAY – try 90/10 Nutrition! You can now use the 21 Day Fix containers with 90/10 as well! We have free groups running each month – so you have NOTHING to lose! Go to 9010nutrition.com/free

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Baba’s Homemade Matzo Ball Soup – (and how to make THE BEST simple chicken broth)

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(When I made Matzo Ball soup this last time, I added the Dill too early. I also did not have parsley. It was still really good, although not as colorful.)

When I married into my husband’s family I inherited a very large, loud, and LOVING Jewish family from his Father’s side. Every week, it was dinner at a family member’s house and Hanukkah and Passover were traditions which got everyone together. Now that we live all the way across the country, I DEARLY miss those family get togethers. So, now, every year, we celebrate Passover and invite all of our friends and I make Baba’s Matzo Ball Soup. We like to keep our Passover Seder pretty simple (usually this soup, some latkas and Kosher Wine along with the other symbols to go along with a simple and short Haggadah). Although I am not Jewish myself, I love the traditions and FOOD that these holidays bring – even more I love the celebration of those we love, both family AND friends.

This soup has become a symbol of the warmth of family. Make this soup with care! It inexpensive to make and will make your entire house smell like happiness. (Sorry, I know I’m getting sappy… I can’t help it!!! We MISS you Baitcher Family if you ever read this!!!)

Traditionally, this is served as the first course in the Passover Seder. It will feed 5-6 as a meal OR up to 12 as a first course (one matzo ball per person).

Also, Thank YOU Baba, for letting me watch you make this soup so that I could take your recipe, make it every year and then put it on my blog. I imagine you are ok with that….

Ingredients

Drizzle of olive oil/vegetable oil

1.5- 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken (I like white meat so one GIANT chicken breast or two smaller ones is good. You can actually use whatever chicken meat your would like!)

1 tsp, mixed kosher sea salt, pepper and garlic powder (House Seasoning)

2 Carrots – cut into large pieces

2 Celery Sticks/fronds

1/2 onion , quartered

1 bay leaf

12 cups water

1-2 tsp kosher sea salt

4 Parsnips, peeles and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces. (You want this to look rustic)

1/2 cup FRESH dill

1/4 cup FRESH parsley

1 lemon

For the Matzo Balls

1 Box (2 packets) matzo ball mix
1/4 cup homemade stock
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, divided

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Directions

For the Chicken Broth

Wash and pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle with house seasoning.

Drizzle a large soup pot with oil 1/2 tbs of oil. And get it HOT over medium-high heat. Now, add the chicken skin-side DOWN and cook until browned 2ish minutes.  Flip the chicken and add the carrots, onions and celery and brown the other side. Take in the AMAZING smell! (Browning the chicken will keep your broth clear later!! Most people do not do this and then end up with cloudy broth!!) Give it all a good stir and cover with 12 cups of water. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the stock simmer on low for at least 30 minutes. Use tongs to extract the chicken pieces and set aside in a bowl to cool. (COVER WITH FOIL so it does not dry out!!)

Now, strain the broth with a WIRE strainer (Yes, you will need another large pot!) and rinse the pot out to keep the broth nice an clear. Return the broth back to the original pot and throw away the cooked veggies (or find a use for them? Dog food? idk!)

(If you don’t have one of these, you need one. I use it to make broths or anything else I need a fine strainer for)

strainer

Now, lets make some Matzo Balls…

In a large bowl, separate the egg yolk from the egg whites (put the whites in another bowl! Whisk the yolks and add the matzo meal, 1/4 cup fresh stock,  and vegetable oil. In the other bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy.  Fold the egg whites into the matzo meal mixture. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. EASY!

– While your matzo balls are chilling start the soup. Pull the chicken and set aside. Return the pot to a boil. Add the parsnips and let it simmer on medium.

Now, Shape the matzo mixture into golf ball size balls (the will blow up!) while occasionally dipping your hands in cold water. (BE CAREFUL NOT to over pack. Be gentle or you’ll end up with dense, not awesome balls.) Carefully add the balls to the simmering soup as you form them. Now add your fresh herbs. Cover and cook for 20 min.

Squeeze the juice of 1 small lemon into the soup and stir. Take a taste test and add salt/pepper to taste.

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Baba would be proud!