Back to school: my favorite healthy snacks

I’ve found a few go-to snacks that I can keep in my purse that fill me up if I need something quick. If you’re a busy student, mom, or working babe, it’s always good to have a little something on hand for extra busy days!
I’ve separated these by if they need to be refrigerated/be in a lunch box with an ice pack or if they can just go in your car/purse.  I usually use a lululemon bag to pack my lunch in- it’s the perfect size to put in my purse and I can throw in an ice pack to keep things cool for long days.

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Here we goooo….

Non-refrigerated items:
Emerald roasted almonds (I like the cocoa and vanilla flavors)
Skinny pop
Boom Chicka Pop
Celery + carrot sticks
Apple slices
Celery + pb
Questbars (white chocolate ras is the way to go)
Pretzel Crisps

*the fruit/veggies may only hold up a few hours in your purse…depending on AC conditions or if you’re outside, etc.

I got the individual sized bags of skinny pop and boom chicka pop at target. They are great because I have a hard time controlling myself with an open bag of skinny pop in the house 😉 but obviously you could also portion it out of the big bag.

If you have an ice pack and can keep a few things cold, I love:
Chobani greek yogurt
Cheese sticks  (with my apple)
Cottage cheese + fruit

What are you snacking on these days??

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Grocery List Basics

I thought I’d share my typical grocery list. I always love to see what’s in other people’s carts…maybe I’m just nosy though 🙂

I usually re-stock produce weekly, and then fill in the meat, eggs, etc. when needed. I don’t really follow any type of “diet” per-se, but I’d say I eat mostly “clean” [I hate that word], and then fill in with some fun foods…which is basically the definition of flexible dieting according to me. For example, you can see some sour gummy worms in this photo.

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Meat/protein:
flank steak
lean beef stew meat (I use this for stir fry)
tuna (I like the tuna packets)
eggs
egg whites
chicken breasts
Ground turkey
lunch meat

Dairy:
almond milk
cottage cheese
sliced Tillamook cheese (sandwiches, omelets)

Produce:
apples
bananas
frozen berries
cucumbers
lemons/limes
red peppers
frozen edamame
romaine lettuce
avocados
little red potatoes
onions

Grains:
english muffins
cream of rice
Kodiak pancake mix
rolls for hubby’s sandwiches
popcorn
garlic quinoa/brown rice (seen here)

Other:
Arctic Zero/Halo Top (gotta have my night time snack!!)
Kombucha
olive oil/balsamic
peanut butter
PB2

My other fave toppings/condiments can be found in this post.

Produce varies depending on the time of year. In the winter I eat more steamed broccoli, roasted veggies, and apples. Now, I’m eating more salads, melon, berries, etc. Shopping in season = tastier and cheaper produce.

With this list  I’ll typically make:
Dinners- stir fry, fajitas made with grilled flank with grilled onions/peppers, turkey burgers, some type of large salad with grilled steak or chicken, and we also usually will do breakfast for dinner once a week.
sides- green salad, roasted potatoes/onions, quinoa/brown rice
lunches- sandwiches, tuna salad, leftovers
snacks-cottage cheese + fruit, apples + pb/rice cake w/pb, boiled eggs, popcorn, arctic zero
breakfasts- protein pancakes, omelets, breakfast sandwich

I split most of my grocery shopping between Costco and Sprouts, and fill in a tiny bit at the regular grocery (tuna, soy sauce, etc)

What are your favorite weekly meals? Does my list look much different than yours?

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10 Minute Meal Prep with Costco

In my opinion meal prepping can make or break you when it comes to staying on track during a busy week. It can also be intimidating to spend an hour or 3 on Sunday/Monday night. Enter my beloved costco. With 3 products and 10 minutes, a weeks worth of lunches can be prepped!

Meal Prep with Costco3 products:
Frozen steam-able broccoli (frozen veggie section)
Seeds of Change brown rice/quinoa packets (dry rice/pasta section)
Shredded Rotisserie Breast meat (deli section)

broccoli: 6 minutes
rice: 90 seconds
portion chicken: 3 minutes

While the broccoli is steaming, portion your chicken. I usually do 3 or 4 oz servings, but this depends on you and your goals/daily caloric intake you are aiming for. Any chicken you/you’re family won’t use in one week can be frozen. After the broccoli is done, allow to cool for a moment. While rice is in the microwave, portion broccoli. During this time you may also want to chop some extra fruit or veggies for snacks. After the rice is done, allow to cool and measure it into your containers. All done!

The great thing about these simple meals is that they can be seasoned in anyway and of course you can use any veggie you’d like. I like to put Franks on mine, or sometimes will make a quick peanut sauce with PB2 to throw on top.

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This is why I meal prep… (and progress pics)

I thought I’d share a little anecdotal evidence for why it’s important to be prepared! I’ve had a busy week with (who hasn’t) and am leaving at 8am and getting home around 8pm. I’m usually well prepped with plenty of food to keep me going throughout the day because 12 hours is a long time to go-go-go without enough food.

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But yesterday, I didn’t bring enough with me. I ended up getting a huge sandwich on campus around 3pm (pretty healthy-turkey, cheese, tons of veggies on sourdough with mustard. NO mayo). Not bad at all, but I couldn’t track the macros. I wasn’t too worried, and figured I’d be able to stay full til 8. But I got home and did a few things around the house and all of a sudden I was ravenously hungry. It’s been a looong time since I’ve gotten to that point. I made a quick flat out pizza, and while it was in the oven I was shoving my face full of skinny pop popcorn (my new weakness) again, not a bad snack, but I felt out of control. Even after my dinner I still kept snacking. Ugh.

Anyway, today is a new day- but it was a great reminder why I do what I do. It works!

Annd here are some progress pics 🙂 working on getting lean and STRONG. Finishing up my 6 week program this week, and trying to figure out my plan for staying on track during the holidays. I’ll keep you posted on that. [i’m kind of embarrassed to post these on here, but hey it’s my blog haha.]

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and this was from September. Even though they don’t look that different, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my strength and energy, so I’ll call that a win.

Happy almost Friday! I’m so excited for the weekend 🙂

Do you have any tips for staying prepared during long days? Any go-to meals?

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Grocery List: Condiments and Toppings

Just because you’re eating a lot of chicken and veggies, doesn’t mean your diet has to be boring. (and I really do hope you’re eating more than chicken and veggies). Here are a few of my favorites when it comes to getting a lot of bang for your [caloric] buck.

low-cal-toppings
Sriracha: everyone’s favorite chile sauce- use on eggs or in asian sauces (hint: mix with PB2 and braggs for a kick-ass thai-inspired peanut sauce)
Franks: on eggs, chicken, veggies, anything. I like it on flat-out pizzas too.
PB2: mix with greek yogurt and SF/FF cheesecake flavored jello pudding for some serious yum. Also makes a great low-cal peanut sauce (see above). And you can just mix it with water too, for a PB alternative.
Braggs Liquid Aminos: great for stir fry!
Stevia: anything you want to sweeten up a bit. I have been known to put stevia and cinnamon on my egg whites and cream of rice. Weird, but delish.
BBQ Sauce: (I like Stubbs brand) again, use on meat, veggies, and my BBQ chicken pizza.
Mustard: lots of flavor for like, 10 calories. My favorite way to use it is in tuna salad.

What are your favorite ways to pack a flavorful punch in the kitchen?

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Recipe: Low-cal BBQ chicken pizza

Happy Tuesday! Here is an easy “recipe” aka throw it together and wait a couple minutes while it’s in the oven…I love making this for an easy lunch or dinner and my husband loves it too…it’s customizable which makes it great for picky eaters, also.

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1 flat out wrap
2 Tb BBQ sauce (I love stubbs)
handful of chopped red pepper and red onion
3 oz shredded chicken
slice of Monterey Jack cheese, in pieces- I used Tillamook brand

mix BBQ sauce, peppers, onion, and chicken and place on top of wrap. place sliced cheese on the top. Bake at 400* for about 5 minutes.

(Macros will change depending on brand of BBQ sauce and brand of cheese- this is calculated using Stubbs and 2.7 oz chicken)

Macros: 359 calories 37 carbs/11fat/34 protein

Have a great day!

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