Every day can be Taco Tuesday with this easy one skillet meal

I’ve been rocking my single mom status this week while my hubby is out of town for a work conference. One week may seem like a long time (and at one point it was for us too), but being a military family we have gotten used to long stretches of being split up whether for training camps or deployments. Regardless of how long he’s gone, I am a big fan of easy and quick meals that my kids don’t fuss over.

I was scrolling Pinterest last week as I normally do to get new dinner ideas and came across a super simple one skillet dinner that was healthy and delicious. Plus, it took less than 25 minutes from start to finish.. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and here is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it and let me know how you change it up, because there are literally thousands of ways this dish could be made!

 

What you need:
1 lb ground turkey ( I used 99%lean, you could use chicken or beef too)
1/2 white onion
3/4 c salsa (Costco is my favorite one)
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/3 c shredded cheese
Cumin
Chili powder
Sea salt
Garlic powder
1 can rinsed and drained kidney, black, or pinto beans (no salt added)
And your toppings of choice

To make:
SautƩ onions until cooked (about 3 min)
Add ground meat cook, breaking apart and season with spices
Add salsa and cheese
Cook until meat is done and warmed through
Cut up tortilla into strips and add it into the mix (optional)

Serve with lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, and green onion or any other toppings you typically like on your tacos šŸŒ®šŸ„‘

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This beet and goat cheese salad is to die for..

Wine in the mail? A few years back I had signed up for one of those monthly wine clubs where they sent you new bottles each month to try out, and one of the extra perks was that you got recipes to go with each bottle of wine. This was an amazing service and is definitely something I would recommend if wine is your jam and you’re also on a budget. Hosting your own happy hour or wine tasting is so much fun and is likely more affordable than hitting the local spots.

Anyway, one of the recipes that came was a beet and pistachio salad. At the time beets were not a regular ingredient in my weekly meal prep as I hadn’t had too many pleasant experiences with them. But I am all about adventure and stepping out of your comfort zone, so I decided to give this salad a try, and as you guessed it by the title of this blog post a version of this salad has become one of my favorites.

I shared a picture of my hubby’s birthday dinner a couple days ago on my social media and had so many requests for the recipe I wanted to share it here too.Ā 28055983_1633104806726074_2528223352529088391_n

Ingredients:

Mixed salad greens (about 1-2 cups/person)

3 large beets (golden or red will work)

1/2 c shelled pistachios (roasted)

Goat cheese

Dressing:

1 T Red wine vinegar

3-4 T Olive Oil

1 tsp stone ground mustard

1-2 garlic cloves pressed or diced finely

pinch of sea salt

(you can play around with the measurements until you get it to your liking, my hubby isn’t too fond of vinegar/mustard so I go easy on it )

 

To make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. cut the stems from the beets and wrap in foil, place in the oven
  3. roast beets until done and easily pierced with a fork or knife about 45-60 min
  4. shell and roast your pistachios for about 5 minutes until you can see a little oil release. Remove from heat so they can cool.
  5. rinse your greens and add them to a large bowl, set aside.
  6. while beets are roasting, prepare the dressing and set aside. I like to use a small mason jar, add all the ingredients, seal the lid, and shake until it is combined.
  7. When the beets are cooked through, let them cool, peel them, and cut into small wedges and add to the greens.
  8. Chop the pistachios, add to the salad.
  9. Finally top with goat cheese and a little dressing.
Friday Favorites-three things that might change your life…

Friday Favorites-three things that might change your life…

Hello and happy Friday!

 

In the spirit of love with this week being Valentine’s day after all I wanted to share with you three easy and super simple ways you can show yourself some love.

  1. Take time to reflect, to slow down, and really be present. We seem to live in a time where the busier you are the more important you might feel. But I invite you to carve out some time to just be. Leave the phone in a drawer, get outside, or meet up with that one person you’ve been putting off.
  2. Treat yo’self. I don’t buy too many new clothes for myself, but when I do I make sure that I go for things that make me feel strong, empowered, and confident when I put them on. One of my favorite places to buy new workout clothes is Old Navy. And this week especially I have been loving my high waisted leggings since I was feeling a little bloated from that time of the month.
  3. Celebrate the small wins. This last one might seem a little counterintuitive, but again it gives me a sense of accomplishment and helps me celebrate the little wins–track your food or some other habit you want to focus on. There is something satisfying knowing that I am honoring my bigger intention of taking care of my body and setting an example for my kids as well.

I know as women, moms, and wives we can sometimes get caught up in doing for everyone else, but it is okĀ  necessary for you to take a little time to recharge your own battery or do something for yourself so that you can continue showing up in a big way for the ones you love the most.

 

PS. I’d love to hear what you are loving this week and how you are showing yourself some care. Leave a comment below, I always love seeing what you think and what you are up to!

 

XO

Alisha

 

 

Clean eating for beginners-learn how to meal plan/prep like a pro

Whether you are brand new to the healthy lifestyle or consider yourself a seasoned vet, it can be challenging to stay the course when you are completely confused or bored with your options. I found when it was just me, things were pretty simple. I could just eat the same thing day in and day out, make whatever I wanted, and no one really complained.

However, throw in a husband, a couple of kids, and a business.. the game changes quite a bit. One of the things I think we have done a pretty good job with is exposing our kids to a variety of flavors early on, and we always have the “try it one more time” rule…yes, even I abide by that rule (which sometimes comes back to bite me)Ā  Still to this day (almost 33 years of trying) I can tell you I do not like olives. My kids like being able to pull the card on me when there are olives around. Paybacks.

I remember when I first started my health and fitness journey it took me a while to find a groove with my weekly menu planning and grocery shopping, and it was easy to fall off track if I got lazy or life got buys. One thing I noticed was thatĀ not planning when life was busy, just made things feel that much busier and worse.

However, over the years I’ve been tweaking and refining my system, and I feel like I have created a pretty simple system that I am able to use every single week to nail my meal plan all while keeping it healthy and on track with my weight loss/fat loss goals or any other fitness goal I might be pursuing at the moment.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to you is to keep it simple. If you don’t have a lot of time during the week because your weeknights are busy, then opt for crockpot or instant pot meals, and experiment on the weekends with new recipes to throw in the mix. If you have picky eaters in your family then find some staple recipes that allow you to hide a ton of vegetables in it without being detected (I shared more about picky eaters here).

Over the last six months as my fitness and coaching business have begun to take off I have had to streamline our family’s system even more. We’ve switched over to online grocery shopping almost 100% exclusively–this helps us save money and stick to our budget because we aren’t randomly tossing items into the cart, and it also helps me stick to my meal plan and my portions. If it isn’t in the house, I won’t eat it.

Clean Eating.pngMy current nutrition plan still follows the clean eating principles, but has also introduced timed nutrition (eating certain macro nutrients at certain times, it is a technique that is often used with athletes and/ or body builders/ fitness models.) This has required more focus on my end. Which if you have learned anything about me, you know I am always up for a good challenge! So, what are my biggest life hacks when it comes to meal planning on a budget? Let’s get into it..

  1. Pick one day to do all of your shopping for the week (I order and pick up my groceries on Saturday). Schedule this on your calendar. If you are serious about creating a healthy lifestyle, you’ve got to treat it like it matters to you.
  2. Meal plan. Again, I sit down Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and plan 6 dinners. I think about breakfasts, lunches, and make sure I have healthy snacks on hand (Shakeology is one of our daily staples) for the whole family. My go to places for healthy recipes are Pinterest of course, or I use the Beachbody blog (beachbodyondemand.com)
  3. Set aside some time to do a little prep when you get home from the store. I typically will hard boil eggs, make egg cups, and pull out any protein that needs to thaw for dinners that week. If you are super short on time throughout the week, I would suggest making up a big salad and portion it out or at the very least cut up some veggies for quick and healthy snacks. You can also cook up some chicken breast on the grill or in the broiler. If you only season with salt and pepper you can use it in a number of recipes. You can also cook up some rice, quinoa, or sweet potato for some easy to grab carbs. *Whether you are on a low carb diet or not, having these slower digesting carbs will help regulate your blood sugar throughout the day.
  4. Keep it fresh by incorporating new recipes throughout the week/month. I usually eat the same thing throughout the week, but try to add variety throughout my days. For example, I don’t eat the same vegetable or fruit all day, but may have the same vegetable over a few days that week.

There are tons of apps available now to help you get organized with your grocery shopping. A lot of them will even keep your previous lists which can be helpful and make grocery shopping even more simple. I know how overwhelming it can be to make changes. I’ve been there! Believe me though, it is absolutely worth it to create these good habits. If you are new to clean eating or even just want to refresh your skills, I’ve created a FREE 5 day challenge. I’d love to see you there! Each day you will get some of my tips sent right to your inbox and you will be able to hang out with me and many other ladies just like you in our Facebook group.

Creating changes can be hard, but not impossible! Especially if you do it with your tribe..For more details on the 5 day challenge or on working with me fill out the contact info and just indicate how I can best serve you!

 

xo,

Alisha

The power of positive thinking in long-term weight loss and other life goals

Happy Wednesday! I am three days into my new home workout program and I am feeling strong, inspired, and so motivated. Isn’t that kind of how it is whenever we embark on a new journey whether it is related to our health and fitness, starting an online business, or just looking for happiness in the day to day life. Once we get over the fear of change and take the initial steps toward that new, better version of ourselves we get excited at the possibilities. However, not too far into the new journey does the self-doubt start to creep back in. The chatterbox gets going, and you question every.little.thing you do. The excitement is quickly replaced with self criticism and perhaps even an unhealthy striving.

If you are like me, the attempt at perfection is a place where you find false comfort. If you can just do it perfectly and not mess up, you will surely reach your goals and manifest the life you truly desire. The problem with this approach is that we aren’t perfect, and failure is an absolute necessity to growth. I mean think about it, when you look at a baby their whole existence is comprised of tryingĀ and failing. Even as children we accept failure as a part of growth and learning. When my kids try something new and don’t totally crush it on the first attempt, I never think to myself “I can’t believe they didn’t get that just perfectly the first time. Huh, maybe they should give up.” However, when I look at myself I rarely, if EVER show that kind of compassion and grace.

I am learning. It is a slow and painful process albeit, but I am learning to be more gracious, accepting, and compassionate towards myself in the same way that I am to my coaching clients, to my kids, and to the others in my life.

I remember when I first started on my weight loss journey I was so obsessed with the numbers. I was constantly looking to the scale (primarily) to validate my efforts and myself. If the number went down from one day to the next, then I would celebrate and be proud, but, if on the other hand, the number went up even just a little, I was defeated and upset with myself. This crazy focus on this arbitrary number robbed me of the joy of learning how to create a new, healthier lifestyle I could maintain long-term. It stole my ability to experiment and be curious about myself. And ironically I found the more fixated I became on the numbers, the less success I was having. I hit plateaus, I went up, I got frustrated, I gave up, I started over.

I rode this roller coaster until one day it occurred to me to just quit focusing on that number. I remember having this moment of clarity where I realized that there were SO many other ways to track my progress. It worked. The less I focused on the number, the quicker it went down. It was easier, and so much more enjoyable. This process became fun.

I realized that by focusing so much negative energy and attention on my weight going down it was affecting my action. The more pressure I applied, the less I actually felt like doing what needed to be done to create the success I wanted. When I gave into freedom and grace my actions just started to change because my thoughts had started to change. I began to feel better about myself while on the journey.

I’ve been reading a book over the past few weeks in my personal development by Brooke Castillo that focuses on a certain model that ties our feelings to our results via our feelings and ultimately the action we choose to take (or not take). I had done some of this work without even knowing it. In some ways this model is close to the law of attraction and manifestation. The one big difference that can sometimes be overlooked is that you cannot simply sit there and think about something coming into your life, creating it out of nothing more than a thought. Sure the thought my inspire you to see what is actually possible for yourself, and without vision you will perish, but you must take the appropriate action. When you change your mindset around success, weight loss, money, love, fill in the blank, you begin to changeĀ how you show up and the kind of action you take. This is incredibly powerful. This is when you become unstoppable. Not because you are perfect, but because you are on fire.

This, my friends is where the real magic begins to happen because we begin to have fun on the journey rather than focusing on the end point. I attribute this positive mindset shift to my current mood and motivation about this new workout and nutrition program. I’ve approached it with an abundant mindset versus a lack mindset. Instead of thinking “I can’t have……” I am focusing on how well I am fueling my body and how good I am feeling already seeing results only three days in.

Using the (1)

Because I want to see you have this kind of success in your life whether it be in fitness, business, or whatever I am going to leave you with some action items you can start incorporating today. You ready? Ok, good!

  1. Write down 1-2 words or phrases of how you want to feel each day. I choose to write these in my planner where I will see them all day long. You can journal them, put them on a post it. Just write them out somewhere.
  2. What kinds of thoughts do you need to thinkĀ and believe to produce those feelings? We can’t just try to feel the feelings without giving proper attention to the thoughts that will produce those feelings.
  3. Practice grace and compassion for yourself. I use the word practice intentionally, because it is going to be practice. We are hard wired and conditioned to look for the reasons something isn’t going to work. So you have to be intentional about being ok with learning again. Forget trying to be perfect or being the best.
  4. Put your blinders on. You were given a race that was created just for you to run. No one else can run your race and likewise you are not meant to try to run anyone else’s race either. Use others to inspire you to see what is possible for yourself, but be aware of when you start to feel threatened by them or jealous.

Comparison is the thief of ALL joy.

Our thoughts are can be tricky to change, and you may find that some will be easier than others to reprogram. But you can get there! Focus on being aware and consistent in trying to make the changes. When negative thoughts creep in, pause and think about what might have triggered that thought. Explore it andĀ choose a different thought–one you can believe and feel to be real.

 

As always, I love hearing from you! Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email letting me know how you are changing your life today by incorporating these mindset exercises. And if you are looking for a place to belong I want to invite you to join my tribe on Facebook. Search Find your THRIVE, and request to join! Sorry, it is only for the ladies!

Goal setting how to in 2018, you’ll be ready to rock this year in no time!

Here we are almost one week into 2018. If you are like me and probably a majority of other women out there you are thinking ahead to this year and some of the big or little goals you want to accomplish. Perhaps you’ve already started setting goals for 2018, in which case give yourself a pat on the back. Today I want to show you how to set goals and achieve them this year. There are so many different strategies out there it can be overwhelming. One thing they all seem to have in common though is an emphasis on planning ahead.

I’ll admit my strong suit does not tend to be planning ahead, and in complete honesty How to set goals and achieve them this year (2)that has been something that has come back to bite me in the backside more than I care to admit. However, since we are blessed with another year to work on the things that have held us back in the past, one of my personal goals for the New Year is to get my booty more organized and less stressed.

If the mere thought of goal setting makes your head spin a little, don’t sweat! I’ve got you covered. I’ll even have some free goal setting worksheets you can check out to help you get those goals on paper and into reality. In my workbook I’ll show you how to set goals using a few simple exercises. The exercises will help you evaluate your life as a whole and figure out the specific areas of life to set goals in for these first 12 weeks.

But…just in case you don’t want to download the FREE workbook, I’m going to share some tips to help you get a start on setting your fitness goals for 2018 as well as all the other goals you’ve got in your heart.

Let’s get into it!

First things first, you want to start with a plan. I’m sure you’ve heard the analogy of taking a road trip without a map, well this is pretty much the same thing. If you got in the car and just started driving in a direction without knowing where you are going and the route to get there it is doubtful you will end up where you wanted to go.Whether it is fitness goals you are working towards, relationship goals, or any other goal you set for yourself you want to have a plan. Habits and routines will be the foundation of your plan, and those can take some time to create. So remember to be patient and consistent.

Keep it simple. I’ve noticed overcomplicating things comes easily and almost always leads to frustration and perhaps eventually evenĀ  quitting or giving up. Once you’ve got your plan outlined check it a couple of times to see if there is a way to simplify it even more (without taking out any of the necessary steps of course).

Implement the buddy system! Find a friend or a group of people that support your journey and are perhaps even on their own similar journey to help hold you to your goals. As sexy as it is setting and crushing goals, the journey will undoubtedly get rocky, and if you don’t have your tribe behind you it is really easy to quit on yourself. Plus, life is just more fun when we do it with each other.

Remember there will be ups and downs on your journey, and failing is not the end. If you fall off track or get distracted that is absolutely ok. You can always get back on track, and usually the quicker you course correct the easier it is. I am a huge fan of grace, self love, and curiosity. Your journey is just that, your journey. It isn’t going to look the same as anyone else’s, but that is part of the magic. Your journey has been created just for you, and you are the author.

Goal setting is a skill, and it can take time to master. Be patient, dream big, and get ready to crush your goals in 2018! Let’s stay in touch, you can find me on Facebook at Find Your THRIVE, on Instagram @alishacarlson_ , or for recipe inspiration and fitness tips I’m on Pinterest – Alisha Carlson.

PS If you’re looking for that tribe to belong to I’ve got an amazing group of ladies that I think you’d really love! Make sure you fill out the contact form and I’ll make sure you get plugged in.

xo Alisha