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Lifestyle

Working Out is Not Hard and Hanging out in the Woods?

Shared some thoughts on my fitness page…you can find my page HERE

Had some thinking today during my workout… dude i was sweating my lady balls off (ha!), my heart rate was in the 160s and man was it challenging but it really wasn’t hard. Hear me out.

Working Out is Not Hard and Hanging out in the Woods?

This might be my favorite picture ever. Ok well one of them.

It’s almost BOW HUNTING OPENER Y’ALL! Ok. So I have a bow…but I don’t hunt that much..but B and I went out to the hunting land and practiced shooting our targets. And NON SCALE VICTORY for me was that I think I shot about 50 arrows before my arms gave out. DUDE. It’s hard. My bow is only set to about 35 pounds of pull? (somewhere in there – I know it’s just at legal setting) but still. I did it. 50 times. I remember last year getting tired about 20-30 shots in. So that is proof that my workouts are making me STRONGER!

Then me and B went into the woods and hung out watching for deer. Just a couple does and holy coyotes were calling. Seriously though those things are CREEPY. They were going NUTS! If you follow me on instagram you can hear them going nuts in my insta story!

The peace sign because why not… ha. ok I had to remind myself that I had two rounds down and just had one to go!

If you haven’t already you can read HERE about the workout I have been doing and the changes (for the better) I’m seeing.. not what you think)

Working out is not hard.
Brave statement right? – hear me out.

YES. your heart is most likely pounding out of your chest. You are out of breath. You are sweating. Your legs feel like jello. Your arms are shaking.

It’s challenging. You are tired. but it’s not hard.

Having someone close to you pass away…that shit is hard.
Dealing with heart disease, brain disease, cancer – you or someone else…that is hard.
Having your spouse deploy overseas…that is hard.
Losing a limb in an accident….that is hard.
Dealing with depression and anxiety. That is hard.

But getting out and challenging yourself and moving your body? That is not hard.

so get out there and do it girl. You are stronger than you think.

Wanna work on it with me? Fill out the form here and let’s get working on YOUR BEST YOU.
Strong AF.

Categories
Lifestyle

Girl Talk – hormones, birth control, seed cycling and other girl talk

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I’ve been seeing these topics floating around online – various blogs, articles and podcasts. And after listening to the JJ Virgin podcast this morning I wanted to share and get YOUR thoughts too! A lot of these things are “hush hush” like HELLO don’t TALK about your lady friend right? that’s so personal! – Well hello…I’m a nurse and poop and stuff is usually just lunch talk.. ha! ANYWAY! on to the good stuff.

Girl Talk – hormones, birth control, seed cycling and other girl talk

Your period. Fact of girl life right? But its so different for everyone! It can be irregular, on time and consistent or even sometimes it can go MIA – All depends on US – our hormones. And it turns out that these sucks are soooo heavily influenced by stress, nutrition, lifestyle habits, medications and others stuff. This article did a GREAT job explaining some things – so shout out to the Real Life RD – Read it HERE

She does a great job breaking down the signs and symptoms of low estrogen progesterone, and thyroid dysfunction also.

This morning I was listening to the JJ Virgin Podcast – seriously you guys FOLLOW her if you don’t already (awesome stuff about brain health, gut health, nutrition and everything is super interesting!) – She had a guest speaker on talking about the after effects of being on birth control pills – AND what happens AFTER you go off them and the effects they still have on you. It was amazing to hear what the percentages are of people that are currently on a hormone pills OR have been on one in the past! And most of the reasons that women are on them aren’t for pregnancy prevention but for things like clearing up your skin, regularity with menstrual cycles, side effects of menopause and much more. And sadly many times the pills are MASKING the symptoms and not providing a solution –

You can check out her podcast HERE and be sure to follow the JJ Virgin show on itunes or podcast addict is the app I use.

Seed cycling…Ever heard of it? I hadn’t either until recently! But basically it is adding specific amounts of certain seeds into your nutrition – you follow the plan according to what your cycle SHOULD be – super super interesting and you can read more about it HERE
Did you know there is something going on FREQUENTLY that people in the fitness world are silent about? Amenorrhea.  or the LOSS of your period. This can happen to people who are over stressing their bodies with workouts…not enough nutrition…too much OTHER stress.

Guess what. This HAPPENED to me. When I got more into running during college it went MIA for SIX MONTHS. You guys…this is a problem if it goes on for too long and DOESN’T get attention (no worries I’m all good now) – women are having issues with infertility, bone density loss and OTHER complications that come with amenorrhea.

Alright ladies … YOUR turn!

Have you heard of any of these things?
What did you find the most interesting?
Have you struggled with this in the past or struggle with it now at all?

Categories
Me

New series: confessions of a health coach

I’m on day 13 into a 30 day challenge I created for myself – I’m definitely a perfectionist that is determined to OVERCOME – It’s time to turn those so called “flaws” and weaknesses and just ADMIT to them. Then I can realize that maybe they are actually personal strengths.

Confessions of a Health Coach

On a side note how do you like this? When was the last time you got out the sidewalk chalk? I’ve been doing a new workout program and instead of using the agility markers I’ve been drawing them on the sidewalk and writing my daily mantras out there too! Its fun to rise with the sun -if I get out there at 5:30 – I’m doing by 6 and then I get to LITERALLY rise with the sun –
I think as a health and fitness coach people think I have “it all figured out” – ha BUUUTT its so far from the truth – can we discuss the fact that I just melted my peanut butter jars because I turned on the wrong burner? ha!  Real life oopsies just happen.
or how about the fact that I STILL get jacked up about CLOSE parking spots… (I mean I “should” be focused on getting my steps in right?
or how about this post about being an introvert…

​”Coach confessions Day 11/30

Weeellll I hope this confession doesn’t get me in trouble!

Being in bigger groups is not my favorite and can even be anxiety producing for me. I’m about the biggest extroverted introvert there is and I’m also DEFINITELY an empath. I am one that usually has a wall up at least a bit until I get to know you…(then you may be blessed with a gangsta rap jam session of mine or talk your ear off)

This is ESPECIALLY true when it comes to girls. Let’s face it…there can be unnecessary drama and that just ISN’T my style (avoid that ish at all cost)

SO it maaayy seem crazy to you that I recently stayed with 9 girls ACROSS the country… and actually felt COMFORTABLE and at ease.

When you surround yourself with positive and empowering people that are just THERE for you and get you it’s just different. (And nooooo we aren’t all fakey happy full of 🌈🌈🌞🌞🦄🦋🦋🦋) let’s be real.

Life is full of 🖕👎💣💨

What’s my point? Find the people that
.embrace your weirdness.
.want to be better with You.
.will push you to go beyond your comfort zone (cough cough bourbon street)
.& SHOW UP on the days to celebrate and the days you don’t feel like anything but staying in bed with a pint.

If THAT is something you don’t have in your life right now… come join our tribe. But ONLY if you have a freak flag.”

A confession about missing the gym and my insecurities…

“Coach confessions Day 10/30

I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks.

In fact I havent done a workout longer than 35 minutes in over a month.

In the past I would have wigged out. “Omg I havent ran today so tomorrow I’ll probably lose ALLLL my fitness and tomorrow I’ll wake up obese!” Ridiculous right? But THOSE were some of the thoughts that started to creep in a few years ago. I thought home workouts were for dweebs and didn’t count as a real workout. I hated lifting because it made to too sore to run. Oh and I ALSO thought a treat meal had to be compensated by an extra few miles or HARD AF run the following day. I was basing my worth on miles logged.

Girl I hear You. And those voices are wwwroooonnnggg.

You are freaking WORTHY of happiness. You don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying yourself and a day off of running will actually make you stronger.
I’m sooooooooo not perfect and believe me that anxiety struggles do come around at times. But I’m learning that I’m freaking strong enough to overcome. Stop basing your worth on what you do…and focus on who you are and what you want to become. I can be a warrior. 💪

You are too.”

What are YOUR confessions?

What do you feel like are your “flaws” –

To follow my full 30 days of Confessions…Follow me also on Instagram and Facebook!

Categories
Me

Recap in a few Words per Pic

recap of the past week in a few words per picture! NOLA adventures, eats, moves, nurse life and such

Recap in a few Words per Pic

yyyyeeess! here is our big team of coaches the misFIT REPublic at Summit in New Orleans! – so many awesome people in ONE picture!
Random kitchen sink on a plate: chopped veggies, chicken, bloobs, cheez-its, and a pickle.
been taking my workouts to the outdoor world. LOVE it.
when you turn the wrong burner on and melt the jars and cover.
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SO PUMPED for this. all the veggies and tastes like orange julius OR the milk from cocoa pebbles.
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always be AUTHENTIC.
35 months of helping at least 3 people each month…are you next?
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zoodles, shrimp and veggies. simple yet so good.
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obsessed with this every night! vanilla shakeology (birthday cake recipe) with the lions choice edible cookie dough…
found my softball glove that has been missing for TEN YEARS! Tucked away inside a backpack from a box that has been in my parents’ garage since high school
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trying something new! ranch seasonings (there are many others from this brand too! Made for popcorn, but can be used for produce, rice and meat – was good! but wasn’t as “ranchy” as I had hoped for!
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simple meals with my favorite pairings – shrimp, grilled chicken, grilled potatoes and onions, side salad (pepper triscuits make great salad crunch btw)
flatout made panini style with venison and daiya cheese inside, side of crispy potato fries and ketchup – recipe for fries found HERE and side of seasoned cauliflower and green beans (steamer bag)
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sick of my food yet? Apparently I have actually cooked a lot this week! Venison – don’t remember the last time I actually had beef. #lifewithahunter
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Still amazed at my girl Jess’s results – this is the workout I’ve been doing! – JOIN ME.  I can already feel the MENTAL POSITIVE SHIFT happening in my life – FILL THIS OUT if you want to learn more …
Your turn!

What are some of your eats from the week?
Any quotes strike a cord with you?
What date nights or adventures have you been on this week?
Interested in making some mental changes?

Categories
Health

Why I Don’t Work Out Every Single Day and Why it’s OK You Don’ t Either

But I’m a fitness coach. Aren’t I suppose to be GO GO GO and giving it my all 150% in my workouts each and every day? Aren’t I supposed to be “hard core.”? Aren’t I supposed to be PERFECT in my eating habits too? Am I not supposed to be PUSHING you to go HARDER, GO FASTER, STRONGER?

Maybe that is the style of some coaches. But I’m going to be openly honest with you guys and share something that might be surprising. I do NOT do a workout every day. Whoa. What? and to be honest…I don’t know that that is the healthy way for YOU to go about it either… Whoa…say what?

Why I Don’t Work Out Every Single Day and Why it’s OK You Don’ t Either

Yeah. You read the above paragraph correctly…did I catch you off guard? Are you surprised?

My opinion on this has changed dramatically over the years. During college and immediately after I was REALLY into running. Like I ran every day. A day was NOT complete unless I got in a run…and I even often felt GUILTY on rest days or days that I wasn’t running at least an hour. Is that healthy? Looking back…not at all. Did I mean to have an unhealthy mindset? Absolutely not. I was addicted to the high of the accomplishment of finishing a run. It felt GOOD to escape the stressors of life and just hit the pavement or the treadmill. Finishing a long run feels like a fresh start.

Today it is different. I still do love running and it was ALWAYS be my first true love with fitness. It’s something I still enjoy and always go back to. But I’m doing other workouts too! and I’m also not doing a formal workout every day. For me it is NOT how my body functions best.

I do think programs that require a workout every single day for a short period of time are a great start. Especially ones that incorporate a mix of strength training, cardio and stretching. Mixing it up where it works different parts of your body really is best so that your body feels BALANCED. AND by working out for a stretch of time also helps create a habit of getting active.

I do not think this is sustainable over time. At least not for me!

I’ve been working on this whole listening to my body thing.
Eat when you are hungry.
Stop when you are full.
Eat what makes you happy and fulfilled.
Move your body in ways that feel good that bring you joy.
Rest when you are weary.
Get sleep too.

This does NOT mean that on the days that I don’t do a home workout or gym workout I just sit around all day. Not at all! Most days I’m at my job I’m on my feet all day. I’m pushing, lifting, walking – etc. If I’m at home I’m using my rest days to stay active by working outside, working inside cleaning, going for a walk. I’m learning more and more each day and each week that the miles you put on do NOT determine your worth. The pounds you lift also do not determine your worth.

As long as you never give up on yourself and continue to always be working on you…THAT is a victory. It’s not WHAT you do …it’s WHO you are!

That is my philosophy as a coach and I would love to help you find your way to your goals too. We are all so different…and that is a beautiful thing. Please know and and realize you CAN make your life a healthier one and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I would love to hear from you and let’s work on it together!

Now you tell me..

How often do you work out?
Are you a runner?
​What are your thoughts on this?

Categories
Lifestyle

When you aren’t Sure Where to Start, Deep Thoughts and Thinking out Loud

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Hey all. To be honest I have been putting off this post…because I wasn’t sure what to write about. Gut Check. Plead me guilty for worrying about waiting for a “perfect idea” before sitting down to blog. You and I both know that perfection doesn’t exist – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle with it. I’m still a recovering perfectionist. I feel like I’ve had a LOT of thoughts lately…so maybe what I’ll do is break it down by topic so you don’t end up with one big ramble.

When you aren’t Sure Where to Start, Deep Thoughts and Thinking out Loud

On the Home Front
1. Getting the plants in! I’ve always wanted to be a gardener – I think there is something super rewarding about being able to grow your own produce. For some reason though I struggle! Last year I didn’t have much that grew, but I tell myself that every year is a new start and every year I’ll learn more by trying. You might laugh, but for some reason planting scares me. I always feel like I’m going to mess it up! Yes I know it’s just dirt and just plants and it’s not a big deal (like B tells me) but still… He got me TEN strawberry plants for my birthday! We put them behind the house and are hoping to get at least a FEW berries. In my raised bed I planted carrots, peas, onions and lettuce. On the side in planters I have some peppers, tomatoes and herbs. So cross your fingers!
2. Been totally feeling a new house project. I seriously CAN be creative I swear, but I need an idea to get me started! Got any ideas for me anyone? I LOVE pinterest, but talk about TOO MANY ideas…
3. Rabbit Control. Brendan has been on the hunt for rabbits…literally. Those little buggers TRY to eat my plants! We have put some “pest guard” on the plants, but if anyone has any other suggestions I’m all ears. (no pun intended)
Friends and Events
1. Last week some good friends of ours had us and another couple over for a bbq! Matt grilled up his “duck poppers” and we all brought a side to share. I whipped up some buffalo ranch deviled eggs! Have you had them? I definitely liked them better than the regular ones! It was fun to hang out and see their little baby too. Can never go wrong with baby snuggles.
2. Lake season is upon us! We are lucky enough that both Brendan and my family have places to go to the lake. This Friday is Memorial Day weekend and I’m planning to head to my cabin to CLEAN and B is headed to his – I’ll be joining him this weekend eventually and praying for SUNSHINE! We have been lacking that lately around here!
3. Wedding season! Kicked off the season last weekend by going to a wedding reception for a coworker. It was ABSOLUTELY stunning! I think we only have a FEW this summer and to be honest the next wedding I really want to go to is my own…I’ve been to so many!
Fitness and Exercise
1. Last weekend was the Fargo Marathon! Kudos to all the runners! I know how much time, dedication, discipline and hard work it takes to train and just SHOW UP to the starting line. But there is NOTHING like the feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. So many people asked me “Why aren’t you running this year?” Well -I haven’t ran any events since 2011 when I ran the full there! Crazy right? This sounds totally dumb, but I’ve never had a great race here in Fargo and it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe next year I’ll see out to change that? Maybe…maybe not. Right now I’m enjoying just doing what I feel like for workouts and enjoying the feeling of not “having” to do a certain type of training.
2. Last week in workouts:
Monday: quick 3 mile run to warm up and then a leg lifting circuit
Wednesday: run 3.2 miles and half of total body chisel
Friday: run 2.52 miles and some Core de Force abs on on demand
Monday: run 5.12 miles – maybe the runners inspired me? I haven’t ran that far in probably six months, but it felt great.
3. I’m still loving a combination of going to the gym and running and lifting and mixing it some workouts from my beachbody on demand. Following the trainers on there has taught me SO MUCH about form and what moves to target certain parts of the body. If you want to learn more about beachbody on demand, I made a video about it giving you a tour HERE
Food
1. In this world of everyone striving to lose weight and eat less I’ve been focusing on eating bigger meals. Being a health coach does not mean that I have it all figured out. So often I’m focused on the habits that have helped me get to a more fit state: food substitution, cutting out junk, etc – that by looking at myself OBJECTIVELY that I don’t often indulge in the real thing. Do I eat ice cream, cocktails and cookies? Absolutely. But most of my meals if not all have been super clean. Is that normally a good thing? YES! Lean proteins, veggies, good fats are the things that I enjoy most! Carbs I struggle with – unless its in the form of sweets. I don’t fear eating “regular” foods for the same reasons most people do – for the fear of “gaining weight” or the fear of “getting fat.” My stomach is SUPER SENSITIVE and I tend to stick to foods that I know won’t upset it. BUT also on the other hand it’s important to get a variety of foods in your diet, I need more carbohydrates to fuel workouts and I don’t want my metabolism to get STUCK on a conservation mode – it needs fuel to generate the energy of my motor. I’ll go into more details of this more in another post if you are more curious how I’ve been doing this and more to my why.
2. Favorites: OBSESSED with Joseph’s Pitas and stuffing them with EVERYTHING that I have in the fridge. Oh. and you should ALWAYS put some chips on your sandwich! (I highly recommend spicy doritos), Fresh blueberries! They are so good right now and you can’t go wrong with them ANY time of day. Oatmeal is having a moment also. Add some eggs to it to help it keep you full for longer. Also don’t forget to add all the peanut butter and chocolate is amazing too.
3. Made this cookie dough balls this weekend. I have made them before but it’s been a “coon’s age” (what does that mean anyway?” ha! Find the recipe HERE
Coach Moments
A client of mine is blowing me away – She has lost 11 lbs since starting her journey to better health. What has she been doing?
1. Daily Shakeology added to her day for nutrition
2. Being ACTIVE by using her recumbant bike most nights while watching TV and exploring the workouts on Beachbody on Demand
3. Cooking meals – NOTHING crazy – just simply making cleaner choices, using portion control and checking it with me with her progress.
Want to join me? Even if your reason is weight gain, increased strength, cross training with your running or gaining energy – would love to help you! Reach out here: marti.hoekstra@gmail.com – your reason does NOT have to be weight loss!

ps. check out my girl Vicki who is in the test group for a new workout coming out? Results after ONE week? OMG.

Personal Development and Deeper Thoughts
Don’t punch me…But have you ever thought about your purpose? Why you are here..what is your calling? What brings you joy and leaves you fulfilled.

This is something I’ve been thinking a LOT about. I think that to an extent your purpose DOES tie into your career, but I do think that there are OTHER ways to live your purpose that does not relate at all. “Finding your purpose” sounds stressful…doesn’t it? It feels like you have to have just one. But here is what I’m figuring out.

Your purpose and thoughts about it are going to change as your live your life.
You don’t have to have just one.
:”You were not just put on this earth to die” – heard this quote on a podcast this morning

So start thinking about what your purpose means to you. and Start LIVING. Don’t keep your life on pause. I’m so guilty of doing the same. Waiting for the perfect time to try something. But I’m sick of living that way….who’s with me?

Categories
Me

Weekly Recap

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I can’t believe it’s already Sunday! Where do the weeks go  – just a weekly recap of what I’m loving this week, what my thoughts are and of course some fun stuff coming up!

Weekly Recap

Can we just discuss how TASTY this looks – and it’s true because it is! I have ordered various flavored peanut butters from the company The Lion’s Choice in the past but it had been a while! Their peanut butters are all made fresh and have no creepy ingredients and contain a superfood and probiotic blend also. My favorite is the birthday cake flavor! They also have pancake mixes, powdered peanut butters and when I heard they had EDIBLE cookie dough I knew I had to place another order! It was hard to decide which to try first…but I went for “monster cookie” and it was definitely a good choice! It even has those little sprinkle/m&m type candies in them that remind me of cosmic brownies! haha I have been making my favorite protein ice cream and topping it with 2 T of this stuff and it tastes like a blizzard! I have the oreo flavor edible cookie dough coming soon! You can find it HERE

my only complaint is trying to decide which product to try first!

In case you missed it – last week was National Peanut Butter Day – something I celebrate daily. My favorite way lately it topping my Shakeology fluffy pancakes! Have you tried them yet? and if not WHAT are you waiting for!?
New swimsuits thanks to Target – and thank you buy one get one half off! Our trip to Punta Cana is coming fast and becoming real! It’s a success club trip that I was awarded for helping three people each month get started on their health journey! YES It really is that simple. I got our flights booked…can’t wait for paradise with my man! Have you been to the Dominican before? We were there in 2012 and LOVED it! -Hopefully the suits looks just as good ON! How can YOU earn a free trip? Find out more by shooting me an email!
Speaking of health – I’m getting my group for my clients set up to start March 12th and I’m doing things a bit different this month. EVERYONE will be reading a personal development book of their choosing while going through the 21 days. ALSO in the group I will be really focusing more on meal planning and keeping it simple. Breaking down prep work and stretching the foods so that they can be used in various meals throughout the week! Personally I don’t like to eat the same thing every day and like to have options according to what I’m in the mood for! I’m definitely not an expert in food prep but I will say I’ve come a long ways and my clients always like these groups best! The picture above shows a sneak peek into one of the recipes – Just on day one I have SIX posts lined up guiding you through four different options for proteins to prep, three treat ideas and six veggies/side dish ideas. ALSO there will be a list of my grocery lists for the week and a list of my typical favorites that I stock up on! If you would like the complete details please email me at marti.hoekstra@gmail.com with the subject line “march madness” and include your name, email and what makes you most curious about the group!
I have always been a gym goer – It wasn’t until I started coaching that I started doing home workouts! I thought that home workouts were lame and for the weak -I pictured my mom’s leotard-wearing lady videos with them hopping around… well things have changed since then! During my time in the gym I would also stick to the cardio machines..because I often felt intimidated and lost in the weight room. Or what I considered a workout (aka doing like 10 squats and calling it leg day) was NOT effective and more so a waste of time. In the last two years I’ve been using my beachbody workouts and more so recently really liking my all access pass on beachbody on demand. It allows me to stream ANY SINGLE WORKOUT from anywhere – I can bring my tablet, phone or other device with me while traveling, to the gym or to a friends house and do whatever workout I feel like that day! No need for a dvd player. The best part about this? Is having the trainers in the workouts actually TEACH me FORM so that I don’t get hurt – I have learned a lot now that I sit back and think about it. Now I can even go into the weight room and make up my own workout to follow! For example like the one I made up above for a total body weighted workout – and I picked these moves from a VARIETY of workouts I have done in the past! – like 21 day fix, 21 day fix extreme, Hammer and Chisel, Core de Force, Joel Freeman Exclusive and various ab workouts that are on the on demand. And you can get access too now for all the workouts for about eight dollars a month…How insane is that? I would love to help you get started – Its awesome to have so many options!!! Drop me an email here: marti.hoekstra@gmail.com with the subject like BOD and include your name and email -If you want to see what the on demand looks like for yourself check out my video here: youtu.be/jnT8NiaSL54

There are a TON of recipes and meal plans also -and even a cooking show. All the nutrition programs that accompany each workout can be downloaded as well as the calendar that follows each workout. Pretty sweet huh?

In a follow up of my post last Sunday of my food prep I thought I would show you how I used the prep in meals throughout the week! You find the post of my meal prep HERE
Chicken nuggets, steamer broccoli with butter and salt and pepper, pita bread with melted daiya cheese and a avocado hummus! (for my fixers this would be: 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue (half hummus half cheese), 1 yellow and 1 teaspoon
1 cup roasted spaghetti squash (seasoned with chopped onions, garlic powder and crushed red pepper) with a serving of steamer pack green beans and for protein an egg white omelette. drizzled in siracha sauce
​2 greens, 1 t, 1 red
1 cup roasted spaghetti squash topped with a serving of steamed asparagus and green beans and topped with leftover chicken nuggets!
1 red, 2 green, 1 tsp
These stuffed peppers were SO GOOD! Served with honey chipotle beanitos chips and salsa and avocado hummus!
For my fixers:  1.5 yellow (beans in the stuffed peppers), 2 green, 1 blue (half for melted cheese and half for hummus), 1 red
I LOVE these peanut butter monster bars! I honestly don’t remember where I found the recipe, but it was somewhere online! This is how I make them
1 1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup oat bran
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
chopped chocolate chips (i prefer dark chocolate!)

Mix together and press into an 8×8 pan and store in the fridge!

Starting my day with my favorites: personal development in the form of a daily devotion and COFFEE! Have been reading Jesus Calling each day as well as Michelle Meyers’ Famous in Heaven and at Home – ALSO reading Get Over your Damn Self by Romi Neustadt – I love having a couple books that are spiritually based and one that is business based. Perfect combo to keep me grounded AND focused.
Categories
Food

Meal Plotting this Week

I feel like I’m always doing things a bit different as I plan for the week but I know eventually I’ll find my rhythm and groove. I really am not one to have things plotted out to a T because sometimes you just change your mind..you know? (it’s a woman’s right you see) I do like to have stuff on hand and at least SEMI prepared so that when I get home I have an idea in mind and have the ingredients on hand or even ready to go already! I’ll show you how I’m doing things this week and we will see how it works out!

Meal Plotting this Week

Like I said above I usually have a ROUGH estimation of what we are having for the week but I like to keep my options open! I’m not a HUGE on specific recipe person, but more so like to pair things together always making sure I have a protein + veggie + fat + starch at each meal – 
I stared by taking a look in the fridge and cupboards to see what we had on hand. B also mentioned recently a few things he is requesting so that gave me a few ideas too! Usually on Sundays I do some preparation for the week. Taking some meat out of the freezer to thaw, preparing some meat so it is ready to go, clean veggies and I may even pack a couple lunches for the week. It all depends on the given day and what I’m in the mood for.
For example in the meal above: Homemade Chicken Nuggets, roasted beets, zoodles and steamed broccoli all topped with a bit of sprinkled on daiya dairy free cheese. Protein + Starch + greens + Fat (butter on the zoodles) – oh and ketchup. Because well…ketchup.
So after taking inventory I got to work! I had a spaghetti squash that I picked up at the grocery store (on a major sale) so I roasted that badboy last night! I hadn’t have one in so long and it was soooo good! Some good tips for how to roast a spaghetti squash HERE
There are multiple ways that this can be used throughout the week!
Stirfry! – Just add a protein, veggies, fat
Top a chopped salad with it and eat it cold
Top with marinara and a protein and eat like spaghetti
Serve as a side dish with your meal and season it as you wish – also great topped with parmesan or if you are dairy free nutritional yeast is a great substitution!
Here is how I ate mine last night! I took one cup of the spaghetti squash and seasoned with garlic powder and butter and mixed in leftover chicken nuggets, steamed green beans and asparagus and leftover pea pods – and can’t forget to top with a bit of siracha too! (in case you hadn’t noticed I LOVE anything spicy!)
So why the spaghetti squash and not just straight up noodles? For someone that is looking to UP their veggie intake, increased their fiber and cut sugar this is a great substitute. Just to give you an idea in 1 cup of spaghetti squash there are 5 net carbs (mean 6.9 total carbs subtract 1.5 grams of fiber) and 31 calories total. In comparison even whole wheat linguine pasta (one cup) has about 30 grams of carbohydrates and about 170 calories. I have NOTHING against carbohydrates AT all and by no means follow a super low carbohydrate diet, but this is just an EASY way to get in my veggies and I prefer the texture over a squishy blah noodle. (i’m weird I know….but YOU try working at the OG for three years…ha!)
So what are some of the other starches that I have on my list and or in my pantry this week?

Looking to pick up: potatoes, sweet potatoes, joseph’s brand pitas, tortillas/wraps, chips (yup! chips!)

This one was a new one for me – I decided to make some stuffed peppers for the fridge! Easy meal that can be packed for lunches OR heated up for at home! Inside the peppers is ground venison, black beans, onions and brown rice. I plan on topping them with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes/rotel and whatever other taco fixings we have on hand. A complete meal in a pepper!
Simply start by browning burger! I used the ground venison we have on hand – all I used was a pound. I browned it and made taco meat using the seasoning that I normally use. NOTHING fancy by any means! I then added some chopped onions, a can of black beans (don’t forget to drain and rinse prior to adding!) I also used a brown rice packet (Uncle Ben’s brand) that all you do is nuke it for 90 seconds. Cut corners where you need to! After adding it all to the pan I simply mixed it all together. Clean and hollow out your peppers, stuff with your stuffing, add about 1/2 inch water to your 9×13 pan, cover and bake for 40 minutes! You can top with shredded cheese too before you bake. Totally up to you! I had some meat/onion/rice/bean combo left over and plan on using these for burrito bowls this week!
Another protein I made up quick and easily was hard boiled eggs! I used the baking trip. 350 for 30 minutes in a muffin tin. DONE. These will be used as a snack on the go, could be paired for a breakfast or will be topped to a chopped salad this week!
-I plan on picking up some chicken so I can make some more of these homemade chicken nuggets. They were SO GOOD! Ways to eat them: served with a starch + fat + veggie, on a pita/wrap, on top of a salad. I shared this recipe with my VIP group this week and am looking forward to hearing what their kids think too!

Other protein on the agenda:

-Pheasant! So we can make some poppers! (aka jalapenos + cream cheese + bacon) – more to come on that!

– Deli ham – for lunch sandwiches for B OR in an omelette – which is our often go to meal when we don’t want to cook

​-Turkey – still digging a favorite from Costco! Its a low sodium, no nitrates basically no added BS and it is REAL meat! I love it on pitas, on a salad or rolled up with guac inside of it!

Here is another throw together lunch! Cauliflower rice (starch) + baked chicken breast (protein), steamed broccoli and snap peas (greens) and butter on my broccoli (fat) – not fancy just keeping it simple! and STILL delish! You can find my recipe for cauliflower stir fry rice HERE
Here is another one of my favorite lunches -a chopped salad. It’s super easy to throw together and a good way to use up the produce that you have in the fridge! I believe in this one I had a kale salad mix, raw broccoli chopped, chopped onion, chopped radish and carrots, cilantro, peppers and either chicken or turkey. I always make sure to bring along a starch too! Usually it is something like chips, a pita or a wrap!
So what about veggies! You might be surprised at the corners I cut in this department! I don’t buy everything organic, fresh, needs to be chopped and cleaned etc – but instead I take a few short cuts! Here are some examples
– premade veggie trays from Costco are amazing
– steamer veggies! I like broccoli, green beans, asparagus
– pre chopped onions and peppers – i’m willing to pay fifty more sense so I don’t have to do it myself!

And vegetable wise I usually just grab what is on sale! A bundle of asparagus was this week’s excitement. Some of my other favorites include: salad mixes like the sweet kale salad, any other kind of greens, a veggie tray, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas

A quick side dish is roasted veggies! SO EASY and you can use whatever it is you have on hand like potatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, beets – you can find the instructions HERE.
Here is another one of my latest obsessions: putting everything on one of these pitas! I’m loving the Joseph’s brand that you can find in the deli location of your local grocery store! They are lower in sugar and higher in protein and hold up well baked, microwaved or on the stove top. Here is what I have been doing with them.

Choose a protein – ex: chopped turkey, chicken, egg omelette, ground venison, cut up venison steak
Choose some veggies! ex: onions, peppers, greens, broccoli, steamed asparagus chopped
Seasonings – ex: garlic powder, any of the flavor god brands, pepper

Take your pita and sprinkle a small amount of cheese on it (in my case dairy free!)
top with your veggies – then meat – then more cheese
Microwave for 45 second to a minute
Sprinkle on your seasonings and if you are me you add some buffalo sauce and anything spicy! Guac or hummus is amazing too! and DEVOUR.

So here is my list/braindump/food prep list for the week all summarized!

Meal Ideas
Meat
Stuffed Peppers (already prepped)
Burrito bowls (use up leftovers from stuffed peppers)
Chicken tenders
Pheasant Poppers
Hardboiled Eggs (already prepped)
Ham
Turkey

Sides
Steamer veggies (broccoli and green beans)
Spaghetti Squash (already prepped!) – can be paired with chicken for stirfry or as a side
Greens (for a chopped salad with hard boiled eggs)
Potatoes for roasting (both sweet and russet)
Veggie Tray

Lunch Ideas
Chopped salad with a protein
Pita “pizza”
Stuffed pepper
Leftover from supper

You didn’t think I forgot about the sweets did you? Well if you know me at all you KNOW I have a love for dark chocolate, cookies and sweets in general! Here are a few things I pick up to have on hand, prep in advanced or throw in my purse just in case!
Protein bars aren’t a super clean food..but oh well! I have a few favorites I keep on hand so that I can have something in my purse if hanger strikes! Remember MODERATION people! I cherish the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time eat pretty clean – 20% treat yo’self!
My favorite bars: Combat Crunch Cinnamon Crunch, Oh yeah Cookies and Cream or Cinnamon Bun – these cake bites were just ok –
I have a batch of Shakeology balls in the fridge too! So easy to make and a great treat to tie you over! They are also super super good in how I make Shakeology ice cream! I’ll use a half a scoop of vanilla, 1 tsp pb2, 1/2 cup non dairy milk, ice and blend like crazy! sprinkle in a few Shakeology balls and it’s like eating a healthier blizzard… you can’t tell me that that doesn’t look incredible –
Some of my other favorite snacks I’m digging lately
– Angie’s sea salt popcorn with a few shakeology balls or dark chocolate chips mixed in
– Dark chocolate dove promises (I usually have a couple in my purse for that afternoon sweet tooth!)

and a couple or few nights a week I have my favorite – a giant chocolate chip cookie, ice cream or both!

Ok so now that I talked your ear off with the longest post to date…it’s YOUR turn!

I’m putting together my next health group for March! I host the accountability groups each month and run them through an app. The focus is a generalized health group with recipe ideas, food prep tips, fitness motivation and a few circuit training ideas and also some mini positivity and emotional health challenges. (because let’s face it – you can’t be healthy if your head isn’t in the right place!) I want to mix things up a bit in March! While I plan on keeping all the valuable tools I give my clients now I would like to hear what YOU struggle with and what YOU would be interested in in a group! Vote HERE and you will be placed in a giveaway for my favorite nutritional supplement and smoothie mix – Shakeology!

How do you meal prep?
What do you struggle with most?
What did you learn (if anything) from this post?
What would you like try?

and as always I love to hear from YOU! Email me here: fitwithheart@gmail.com

Categories
Lifestyle

THAT NIGHT SHIFT LIFE…

Being a nurse is awesome. The night shift is not. At least it’s not for me. Kudos to you straight night shifters…When I was a new graduate I started off by working 12 hour shifts in the ICU – a mix of day shifts and night shifts. It was either 0700-1930 or 1900 to 0730 – and I OFTEN switched back and forth a LOT. Having opposing sleep “schedules” within the SAME week sucks. Especially if you are a morning person like me! Anywho…now that I’m working in the PACU I work day shifts! Yay for me! I do however work some on call – which to you who don’t know…means you carry a pager overnight and you are paged for any emergencies that go on during the night. Well this past week I ended up pulling an all nighter..and while visiting with some nurses on the floor we were talking about how hard working nights is on your health. BOOM. Post inspiration! Sharing with you today a few tips that helped me survive (barely) while working overnighters..AND for recovering from them

That Night Shift Life…

1. Pack snacks focused on whole foods – I’m one of those that prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day. ESPECIALLY while at work. I get waaaaayy too sleepy with a super full stomach. Sitting down at 3 am to eat a big meal would mean my coworkers finding me napping under the lounge table… Some of the things I would pack: chopped salads, scrambled eggs with veggies, oats with added protein powder and peanut butter, protein bars, smoothies, apples and peanut butter, almonds, wraps – these are just a few of the lunches I would pack!
2. Eat a good meal before heading into work! When I worked the night shift I always made sure to go to work with a good meal in my stomach! Seriously…you just DON’T know when you will get a break…if you will even get one! Hence the snacks – make some of them things you can munch from a pocket or a Shakeology you can shake up quick if needed.
3. Caffeine. Coffee is my bestie. But don’t drink too much! I would bring a travel mug with me on the way to work and then sip on it throughout the night. Every once in a while I would treat myself to Caribou on the way in (hello it was HAPPY HOUR = half price!) – but working a night shift does not give you an excuse to get a seven shot, triple whip, extra syrup sugar bomb…
4. Drink water and stay away from soda. It’s NOT easy to get all your water in when it’s a crazy night in the nurse life. So bring a water bottle with you and chug chug chug every chance you get. You will feel soooo much better. You’ll feel less of that night shift “hangover” when you wake up the next afternoon!
5. Break the soda habit. Seriously. It makes you feel bloated, thirstier and will give you a headache. For reals.
6. Don’t skip all of your workouts. You are going to be overly tired some days and its just NOT going to be worth it to stress yourself more by overdoing it in your workout! Try yoga or something relaxing. Go for a walk or shakeout run. Dance if that is your jam. (Pun intended) – but if you are TRULY exhausted take a rest day. Stressed body = weight gain = more tired = more likely to end up run down and sick. Just hit it hard on your days off!
7. Find a sleep routine that works for you! I would get home and crawl into bed. The end. Some people I worked with hit the gym right after work and then went to be. Some had breakfast. Oh and black out curtains are a necessity.

8. ONE SHIFT AT A TIME. This too shall pass. You got this!

Now your turn..Are you a night shifter? or Do you know someone that is? How do you survive? What are your tips to share?