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.

 

 

How to Meal Prep! The Easy Way

What type of food you eat is really going to be essential in your weight loss and maintenance journey. One thing I learned quickly was that lean protein was best, dark green vegetables leaned me out and healthy carbs gave me energy and kept me feeling full longer. Fruit acted as my “sugar” and helped my sweet tooth. I made sure to incorporate all these foods in my everyday eating. I also drank about a gallon of water a day which helps flush out any toxins or fats in your body. Water also keeps you feeling full so drink your water! Its ZERO CALORIES!! LOL.

Choosing a Protein:                             

LEAN chicken or turkey were my go to proteins for my weekly meal prep. I would either Saute, Grill, or Oven Roast these. At the time I didn’t really care for a crockpot, but now that I’ve grown to LOVE my crockpots (i have 3!) I use them weekly as well. I’d usually season my meat with Mrs Dash Salt Free seasonings, pretty heavily for flavor. While those were cooking I’d get my veggies chopped and prepped. If I wanted a carb that week, have those on the stove or oven as well. On weekends, when I was tired of poultry, I would have seafood for dinner. Either oven roasted Salmon or Tilapia.

Vegetables:                                              

I went for dark green often because I quickly learned that they leaned me out. Fresh Green Beans and Broccoli are my favorite vegetables. Add some minced garlic and soy sauce and stir fry and that’s a meal for me! I also like Spinach, and Asparagus. Drizzle some lemon juice and garlic on some asparagus before you pop it in the oven and its delicious… I would load my containers with more vegetables then anything to try and lean out.

Carbs: 

Now I didn’t always have carbs for meal prep. If you are trying to lose weight, honestly you should limit your carb intake. The healthiest carbs or fats I chose were Sweet Potatoes, Jasmine Rice (its white so 1/3 cup will do), Avocado, Whole grain brown rice pasta.

Fruit:                                                                 

I always had fruit on hand as a snack. Strawberries, Blueberries, Peaches, Nectarines, Grapes and Bananas were some of my favorites. Berries especially, because they are high in antioxidants and promote flat bellies! Fruit is high in sugar though so make sure you know this. I would keep a serving to no more than 1 cup as you notice in the picture above. Sugar goes to my midsection.

Example of how a weekly meal prep looked for ME. 

Prepping is Key to Success folks. You don’t want to be tempted to make bad choices and by not having healthy foods on hands at all times, you will be. It’s just our nature as humans. And with all these fast food chains ready to take your money, this is a much cheaper option. I’d rather spend 25 bucks a week on preparing my own meals and knowing what’s in them, than going the cheap route and eating processed food and artificial colors. Doesn’t sound appetizing at all.

xoxoxoxoxox-erika