Lets talk: Life Update

Hey folks!

It feels like its been forrreevverrr since I’ve written on my blog. It has! Its been a couple months! I have had some changes but I’m ready to get back at it and also update you on some things that I have coming up in the near future!

For starters, a few months ago I started a new job as a Patient Coordinator at a pediatric dentist office. I love it. It fits my personality very well, plus I love seeing the children come in for their check-ups or treatments and I’m able to calm them if they are a little uneasy about the dentist. There are new adventures everyday. Also I have amazing coworkers and an awesome boss who always goes out of her way to show her appreciation. <3. I feel so blessed.

Given that, though, I am still wanting to be my own boss. I feel like the time is now for Girl Bosses and all these women entrepreneurs are seeming to be making a rise to the top of the ladder. I want a piece. I know it takes hard work and patience, so I have had to shift my way of thinking out of the “get rich quick” to “make wealth last”…Yes!! I know God has a lot of store for myself and my little family and we are definitely on board to receive it!

I have been writing in my journal and making plans going forward for 2018. Very immediately I have some things up my sleeve. Again, that’s where patience has to come into play. I have informed my boss at work of some of my goals and she decided to help with my dreams and give me 4 days a week so that I can actively work on them, as opposed to 5. See? She’s great.

Just wait and see for now.

xoxoxox-Erika

Meal Planning Effectively: Free Meal Plan Included!

“It always seems impossible, until its DONE..”

I know it seems like a time consuming task. But think about the time (and money) you will save. My best advice is to just grab a pen and paper and just START! It is really simple, as long as you have a plan.

Making a Plan

Let me explain. If you plan ahead what you will have each night then there won’t be a guessing game. Now your plan doesn’t have to perfectly set. If you planned to have Taco Tuesday but when Tuesday comes, you feel like having pizza HAVE PIZZA.

Here is a Plan I came up with prep ideas and also a free 7 day workout plan!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kxCccQtsj49TvV9q4Gaqg3JfEJl3Lc6Iu3ytXHa-84E/edit?usp=sharing

Get your Family Involved

Have your family sit down with you while you plan your meals. It will lead to more positive vibes if everyone is on one accord. Allow the little ones to add their input or even just include some sauces like “bbq chicken” or “ranch turkey chops”.

Pick a Day to Shop 

Pick a day to shop that works for you. If Wednesdays work best for you and Sundays don’t, do it on Wednesdays. I choose Sundays because that is the one dedicated day I know I’ll have all day to plan, shop, and prep. Do what works.

Leftovers are your Friend

Even though you have planned a meal everyday, there may be days where you have leftovers. Have them for lunch the next day OR use the meat from one dinner and incorporate the next night. If you have leftover bbq chicken from a dinner tuesday, shred the chicken up and add it to a flatbread with some red onions for a pizza!

Check your Calendar 

Before you plan every week, check the calendar for super busy days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays right now we have football practice for our little man. So we have quick dinners those nights.

Check amazon for containers to put your leftovers or even meal prep. Here are some awesome ones!

Practicing Self Care

“You’ve always got a new story to write, and it will look nothing like your past”

 

 

Self-care!! It is a thing folks. You must care about yourself. Put your goals first. Put your dreams first. I mean really go out and go after what your heart desires. In order to do that you must create a routine of caring about others and yourself. I came across the idea to write this blog because I am obviously wanting to make a career out of blogging. I stay up late every night and get up every morning doing research and learning more. There is money in this. I believe in this.

For years my Instagram Bio has said “Ask Believe Receive”. This is something I truly live by. I speak things into existence pretty often. And that includes negativity. One of the things I dislike is when I hear people speak negatively about their lives or those close to them. If you have a child, moms, and you constantly repeat “So-and-So is BAD”. WELLLLL mom!! So-and-so will be bad because you have spoken so terribly on their little life. I really hate that one the most. I’ll usually be like “aww they’re not bad!”. The term bad has so many meanings and I just don’t like it. I pray that I feel this way when I have my little so-and-so. My little one WILL BE A SUPER ADVANCED BABY. See what I did there? lol

Self-Care 101

I have put together a few tips on how to start practicing self care, which is really going to enhance your Mental Health. Which is just as, if not more, then your physical health!! So take notes!

  1. Start every day with a smile.
  2. Smile at your self in the mirror! You are truly created by God and you’re beautiful!
  3. Create a to-do list in the mornings. Map out what you have to do, and hold yourself accountable!
  4. Stretch! Loosen up those muscles and make your body move!
  5. Care for yourself. Take a milk bath, hydrate your gorgeous skin, paint your nails and toes, do a hair mask.
  6. MAKE YOUR BED!!! Seriously, this is something that BOSSES do everyday and it makes a difference, trust me!! Every day. Make it a habit!
  7. Treat yourself with your favorite meal. Sometimes it feels good to eat alone and splurge. You deserve it honey!
  8. Turn that phone off. Disconnect. Very self-explanatory.
  9. Detox your body. Add lemon to some warm water to get rid of toxins. I do this at least 4 times a week. It’s life changing.
  10. Have gratitude! A grateful heart will be abundantly blessed!

xoxoxox-erika

 

 

 

Vegan Meal Prep

“Start everyday with new hope, leave bad memories behind and have faith for a better tomorrow”

Vegan Meal Prep   

Vegan Meal Prep??!! Yes! I have switched to the green side hahahaa. No, but seriously my boyfriend and I have decided to cut back on eating meat. Or to incorporate more meatless options into more of our meals. Now we are going to keep seafood (I LOVE MY CRABLEGS). When we are out to dinner we will stick with shrimp and salmon on salads. This is only Day 3 so keep up uplifted haha.

Anyway today I meal prepped using Gardein Chickn Strips and Veggies and of course Jasmine Rice. I chopped up some multi color mini peppers and a half of a sweet onion. Sauteed in olive oil and minced garlic first.  Once the veggies start to soften (2-3 minutes) then I added the “chicken”. Of course I season my food pretty liberally. Reduced sodium soy sauce and my homemade veggie season is what I used for the everything. Then stir fry for about 5 minutes until the “chicken” is heated through.

While the stir fry was simmering, I had my rice on low on the stove. I also had my broccoli spears roasting in the oven on 350. The broccoli only had my veggie seasoning and of course olive oil for a little slip.

I filled my containers starting with the steamed rice, then the chicken stir fry, then the broccoli.  I hope you try this out and tell me how it goes!! If you are more of a visual learner or just love a video, I recorded a Youtube video as well. Here’s the link —–> https://youtu.be/RuU7Cuwg0q8 

I get tons of comments and inboxes asking where are my containers from. I suggest amazon! These are the 15 pack BPA free, microwave/dishwasher safe containers. Only $16. Plus they throw in 5 bonus sauce cups for dressings and dips!! I’ve ordered 2 sets. Click the Amazon picture below to browse these and plenty other containers for great prices!

 

xoxoxoxo-Erika

Vacation Pounds

“Life is too short to worry about what others say or think about you, so have fun and give them something good to talk about”

 

 

Vacations are great right?? They can be so relaxing and of course adventurous. If you’re like me, you love Pina Coladas and Champagne and eat health food because its healthyWhen I’m on vacation, all bets are pretty much off. I start off with the right intentions. You know, ordering water, salads and fruit. But depending on your vacation partners, they are probably completely going all in at sweets buffets, fried chicken joints, Italian and Mexican spots, and convenient store snacks and slurpees.  All this can be hard on your waistline but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some reasons why people gain weight on vacation. You can tweak it and figure out what you can do to avoid feeling fat when you return.

 Your hotel lacks in its amenities

Flat screens and a microwave are cool, but what about a fitness room or a safe walking track?To get around this, you can fill your mini fridge with bottled water, hummus, fruit, and fresh juices. Run around the hotel a couple days and do some ab workouts in your room until you can get back to your normalcy of home. Next time you should make sure you choose a room with a workout room.

All inclusive really means All Fat included

Whether you booked a cruise or went with an all inclusive resort, these packages usually include all-you-can-eat/drink options, which give you access to unlimited calories. For free! If you want to look good in that bikini stick to 3 meals per day and fit in some fruit in between.

You drink at every meal

Bottomless mimosas for breakfast, margaritas by the pool with lunch, martinis with dinner, and sangria for dessert. Of course you are free to relax and do your thing. Not only are you consuming empty calories but you are going to get tired and hungry. Possibly end up dehydrated. Be sure to drink water in between beverages and keep some nuts like almonds or cashews to snack on.

You sleep in every morning or stay up late 

According to recent studies, those who woke up around 10:45 am consume about 300 more calories per day then those who wake up earlier. They consume less fruits and veggies and usually opt for fast food options. You’re also likely to skip a workout if you sleep in.

Conclusion

Whether you pack workout clothes or not, make a little time to do it every night. Eat a little healthy while on vacation. I can speak for myself when I say, its hard. Accountability is everything though. Keep a food diary or phone app to track what you eat. When you get back you will be glad you did it.

xoxoxoxoxox-Erika

 

 

 

Superfoods

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step” 

 Superfood? When I first heard the word Superfood I assumed it was a genetically modified piece of meat that was the size of a microwave or something. It really gave me that mental picture. I mean come on.

I decided to get on Pinterest and do some more research on it. Superfoods are foods or spices that can be added to a meal or as a snack and they do different amazing things for your body.

  1. Almonds or Almond Milk–Lower in Calories, No Cholesterol, Low on the Glycemic Index
  2. Spinach–Low in calories, High in Fiber and Nutrients, Help prevent cancers and diseases
  3. Honey–A natural sweetener, it protects cells against free radical damage 
  4. Raspberries– Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
  5. Bananas–Loaded with potassium with will help lower your blood pressure and boost metabolism. ( I eat at least 1 banana a day because I definitely notice a change in my metabolism.)

 

 

 

These are just a small amount of foods that I’ve added to my diet and I’ve seen a major change. I love it. This is for my health right?

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter guys. And let me know what you want me to talk about next, in the comment section!

xoxoxoxox-erika

 

20 Flat Belly Tips

“Your life gets better when you do. Work on you and the rest will follow”

 In most cases, especially women, our bellies are a problem area. And its something that doesn’t have to take much thought to keep fat down. If you make a few small changes you will start seeing major changes. I always say I notice when my belly has a little bloat by the way my seat belt sits on my lap. I don’t like looking down and having that bulge over my jeans. I’ve come up with some tips to share with you that I’ve implemented to ensure that I’m comfortable in my skin.

  1. Drink a large glass of water before every meal.
  2. Eat 4-5 small meals a day.
  3. Really chew your food and eat slowly.
  4. Have good posture at all times, to strengthen your muscles in your tummy.
  5. Do cardio at least 3 times per week, 20 minutes per day
  6. No sweets.
  7. Eat breakfast every day.
  8. Get your rest at night.
  9. No soda. No fast food.
  10. Add fiber to your diet.
  11. Eat vegetables with every meal.
  12. Reduce your salt.
  13. Have a colorful plate of food.
  14. Cut down on your alcohol consumption.
  15. Find a hobby to de-stress.
  16. Do planks every day.
  17. Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  18. Do leg lifts.
  19. Do wall sits.
  20. Remember to hold in your stomach while doing all exercises. You will feel it!

**STAY INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED** 

xoxoxoxoxox-erika

How to Eat Healthy at a Restaurant

“My confidence grows when I step outside of my comfort zone”

  I had an awesome talk with a woman the other day about healthy eating and this question came up, “how about when I am out to eat?” I think this is something that tons of people struggle with in the beginning of their journey because it can be intimidating looking at the all the “good” food on the menu and seeing what you have to choose from. Stick with your goals. You are obviously here because you have goals, I’m assuming, so I am going to help guide you.

I will always stress the importance of meal prepping. I even have an amazing offer from Amazon for 15 reusable containers, plus 5 sauce cups, for just $16!

Just click the picture above and browse these and tons of other super affordable containers! 

But what about times when you can’t? There’s a business meeting, or a family birthday dinner, or you have friends and family in town. I understand! I am going to break down how you should handle the situation.

Appetizer:  

I would suggest choosing a side salad or even a bowl of soup. If you order a salad, be sure to start asking for the dressing on the side. That way you can control how much is added. I know when my boyfriends family goes out to dinner, they order a platter of 3 or 4 different appetizers for us all to choose from and I avoid the fried options like Potato Skins or Cheese Fries. I would rather have a buffalo chicken wing as long as its grilled or smoked and not fried. Also try to avoid dipping everything you eat in Ranch. Those calories from fat add up as well because ranch dressing is made up primarily of dairy products (*I will explain my dislike for all things dairy in the very near future*).

If I really want an appetizer I will try and share something with someone like a shrimp or crab cake appetizer. And get them to eat most of it. LOL. Hey don’t judge me, I’m trying to save my calories for dessert!!

Stay away from the complimentary Evil Bread. Stay Away. It is a trap. Take a bite and ask the waiter to remove the tray from your table. I do it all the time. Or I will ask them not to bring it at all. Its to tempting to eat one and then 3 pieces later you’re feeling miserable and beating yourself up.

My boyfriend, Jamil, loves going to Cheddar’s because they have these super flaky, honey butter croissants. Before we know is the basket they brought is gone and he’s ordering 6 more to take home. UM HELL NO!!! So to avoid all of this, simply ask the waiter to not bring it. And don’t look when they bring it to the table beside you. Even though they are so delicious LOL.

Now for the Entree.  What you really came here for. You can really blow it by choosing the wrong things. Entrees with lots of creams or sauces can shoot your balance to 1500 calories OR MORE. Just for one meal people. Are you really willing to do that? Maybe you are. Orr you can hit a home run by choosing the right things. The play is on you. If you are willing to go extra hard tomorrow in the gym then maybe you can afford to splurge a little here. My problem about splurging at dinner is that I feel so guilty afterwards, that it ends up not even being worth it. Yeah it tasted good for those 15 minutes you eat it. But am I really wanting to feel so down on myself afterwards? My answer is no.

I choose to indulge after my dinner. As far as the entree goes, I recommend trying to pick the healthiest option there. Most restaurants now have a section like “lighter fare” or “healthy options”. Stick with this if you are trying to lose weight. It may seem like you are missing out but trust me it will be worth it in the long run.  You can even get some pastas that aren’t loaded with empty calories on this lighter menu.

I pretty much feel the same way about Desserts as I do entrees. This can make or break your whole day. I personally have a weakness for sweets though so this is mainly where I will indulge. Once a week only.

Be mindful that cheesecakes and most desserts are loaded with sugar and can add up to be 700 or 900 calories per slice!! So if that’s what you are wanting to do I recommend drinking water, having a light but filling dinner, and having your dessert. And plan to go hard tomorrow at the gym or on the track.

Let’s talk Cocktails, shall we? I love a good cocktail every now and again. I really do. You have to watch them though. They are usually loaddded with sugary mixers and can also add up to be lots of calories. Some of my tricks are to stick with a couple glasses of champagne and I’m good. Or have a Vodka Tonic or Gin and Club Soda.

That way you get your kick. When you start getting into those Strawberry Daquiri’s (easily 600 calories for 1 drink!) or Sex on the Beaches (775 calories) that’s where you can ruin your intake. And again, sugar sits around your belly and no one wants that. Especially if you are trying to enjoy a night out with friends and family and want to indulge. Choose wisely.  I even sometimes have vodka and water. Enjoy safely!

Do’s and Dont’s of Eating Out

  • Don’t do Buffets. Just avoid the temptation.
  • Don’t eat more than one piece of the free bread.
  • Don’t order the extras like Bacon and Cheddar Cheese
  • Don’t order the creamy dressings like Ranch and Caesar
  • Don’t order sugary drinks like Sweet Tea and Flavored Lemonades
  • Do load up on Veggies and Vinaigrettes
  • Do order grilled or smoked
  • Do have an idea of what you want to eat before you go
  • Do try to be the first to order, that way you won’t hear tempting options
  • Do feel free to get it your way. If you don’t want something on your plate, even if it traditionally comes with the meal, ask the waiter to leave it off. Order what you want, your way.

ENJOY AND KNOW THAT IT GETS EASIER OVER TIME, BELIEVE ME! 

xoxoxoxoxox-erika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calories and Losing Weight

“Success is defined by my ability to keep going” 

Hey everybody!

People often ask me if calorie counting is effective or not. I say yes. But the answer isn’t that simple. Its more effective if you are willing to stay consistent and map your diet out to make sure you are getting all the proper nutrients required. How often you eat, the amount, what you eat, and the times also play a role.

I’m going to give you a tip here and please never forget.

IF YOU WANT TO LOSE POUNDS:  YOU MUST BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU ARE TAKING IN. 

 

This is why so many people stress the importance of working out. Yes you can lose weight without working out. But that’s when you end up with lots of lose and sagging skin. If your goals are to look tight and trim then you want to workout in some sort of capacity. Whether you prefer cardio, plyomotretics, weight training, yoga, pilates, or even some resistance, you are going to want to add working out to your weekly routine. I myself love to run until I get tired and then walk and I repeat this until I complete 3 miles. Getting your heart rate up and then dropping it, is a key in losing weight and raising your metabolism. I also lift weights once or twice a week to switch it up and to keep my abs and arms toned.

As far as diet, in the beginning of your journey; drinks a lot of water, limit your fat and sugar and up your protein, fruits and veggies…you will be fine. And let that soda go!! I know its hard at first but your body will surely thank you later!

xoxoxoxoxoxox-erika

 

 

 

 

Stir Fry Green Beans

“I have the freedom and power to create the life I desire” 

Hey everybody! Yesterday I gave you some ideas for Meal Prep. Today I am going to give you one of my favorite, super simple,  recipes for Stir Fry Greens. In this recipe I am even using frozen green beans!! How much simpler can it get????

 

This is what you will need: 
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil

1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic

1 tablespoon of Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

2 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce

Green Beans (i used frozen for sake of time but fresh is even better!)

 

Add your Sesame Oil to a skillet or wok over medium high heat. Next add you garlic and fry for about a 45 seconds to a minute.

Next, you want to add your washed green beans, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir fry for a few minutes! Doesn’t it smell delicious?? That garlic does it! Turn your heat down to low and and let the sauce thicken a little bit and VOILA! You’re all done! I even used up all my oyster sauce so I’ll have to buy more cause I have to have this stuff at all times! I hope you have enjoyed this super simple recipe and try it soon!

Tag me #beingerikaj if you try it so I can look at your pictures! I love doing that! Also, let me know if there is another healthy recipe you would like me to try and blog about. Maybe I haven’t had it before myself!

Here are some pictures to help you get along if you get lost, cause that happens to me sometimes when I’m following a recipe. I’m like okay, did that, now what??! Hahaha.