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. 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.

Overwhelmed much? It’s time to claim your victory…

“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and get excited about what could go right.”

Life rewards action. It also rewards those that are courageous enough to take a step without knowing exactly how things will work out.

I can tell you without a doubt, I’ve felt the most fulfilled and content in my life as a woman, mom, wife, and entrepreneur when I have stayed in my own lane, worked on my own stuff, and have simply focused on taking the next step.

Yesterday during my workout I started spinning out with negative thoughts. I started thinking about how inadequate I felt. How unprepared I thought I was to take the next step in my business. I quickly sank back into the spiritual slavery that I’ve been freed from.The crazy thing is that returning to that slavery is my choice. I have been freed once for all time, and so have you if you have believed in Jesus as your savior. It is time we start remembering that truth. Scripture paints the picture time after time. Let’s not be so easy to be overcome and defeated.

carry-onAs I started to feel defeated and overwhelmed, I was reminded that “He works all things for my good.” That little blurb of scripture was the only hope and reminder I needed in that moment to get out of that negative downward spiral and empower me to take the necessary action needed.

Overwhelm is a choice. And as a believer I always have the choice to overcome the overwhelm or let it consume me. The key is do whether or not I act despite of the overwhelm.

Will you be defeated by the negative chatterbox today or will you choose instead to start thinking about all that could go right in your life?

Be encouraged today. If you find yourself in that negative spin cycle of thinking. Stop yourself. Write out the lies (negative thoughts) and replace them with what you know to be true instead. Today is your day to be victorious!

I would love to hear your thoughts and what is working for you. Leave a comment with anything that spoke to you and let’s stay connected!

 

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)  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 that 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

Healthy Chicken Alfredo

 

When I started my clean eating journey I remember there were a few foods I was going to be very sad to see go (at least on a regular basis), and Alfredo sauce was definitely one of them. Since I am always on the mission to satisfy my inner foodie and experiment with healthy swaps for my recipes, you can imagine my joy when I found this recipe.

Cauliflower seems to be such a hot ingredient these days. I love how  versatile it is as an ingredient, and it seems that you can use cauliflower as a substitute in so many recipes  (including pizza crust). For this particular recipe, the combination of cheese,  cauliflower, spices, and milk gave this sauce all the high notes without any of the guilt or bloating that might come from eating the real thing.

And because I am always looking to boost the veggie content of most meals, I served it alongside some steamed broccoli.

What you will need:

  • 8 oz . dry whole grain fettuccine
  • 3 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
  • 1 medium cauliflower , chopped (about 1½ pounds) or one 16 oz bag of cauliflower rice (this is what I used)
  • 2 tsp . olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg or all spice
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk
  • ½-3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp . chopped flat-leaf parsley (for garnish; optional)
  • 1 pound chicken breast grilled
  • 1 pound of broccoli floretsHealthy

Here’s how:

  1. Cook fettuccine according to directions on package.
  2. Bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower. Reduce heat; cook, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft.
  3. While cauliflower cooks, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute, or until garlic is soft.
  5. Place cauliflower + vegetable broth in blender (or food processor) with garlic and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Blend in two or more batches if necessary; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until very smooth.
  6. Heat cauliflower mixture in same medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  7. Add  milk; cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 7 minutes. Consistency should be that of a thick soup. (Meanwhile, steam broccoli)
  8. Add fettuccine; mix well.
  9. Divide fettuccine evenly between four bowls. Top evenly with cheese and parsley (if desired); serve immediately.
  10. Grill chicken until it is cooked through, slice and serve with fettuccine.
Kale and Cookies

Kale and Cookies

This girl…she eats kale and cookies; drinks beer and superfoods; knows when to hustle and when to rest. Does she do it perfectly all the time? Nope. Does she feel deprived? Also, nope.
I’ve been down that road of “earning” that treat meal or in some cases that entire treat day. And I can tell you that cycle of restrict and binge was not healthy mentally or probably even physically for me. And it was most definitely not sustainable. Not to mention the results were mediocre at best. Every since making a pretty big change in my health and fitness routine last summer I have experienced so much freedom around food. Fitness no longer feels like a sentence so that I can binge. It also doesn’t feel like a “have to”, but more of a “want to”.
Are you that girl  that is SO good throughout the week, then the weekend hits and you let your diet go completely out the window, convincing yourself that you have worked so hard and deserve to let loose? This might not be a news flash, but you CANNOT out train a bad diet. You also aren’t a dog that needs to ‘earn’ your food. When I had the restriction mindset, I was food obsessed (sort of like my 9 month old pup). It took so much energy to think about what NOT to eat all day/week, that by the time Friday or Saturday hit, I went crazy.
 It’s crazy how much food you actually *get* to eat when you are fueling your body based on nutrient dense foods rather than just feeding it to consume calories. One of the biggest things I coach my girls on is to know your end goal and know that there might be certain seasons where you will need to or want to tighten things up a bit in your diet and be a bit more disciplined. There might also be seasons when your fitness  takes a bit more of a back burner so that you can give your energy to other important things in life. Fitness isn’t all or nothing.
In whatever season you find yourself in  LOVE yourself. Speak kind words. And treat this one precious body with some r-e-s-p-e-c-t. You are not a garbage can that needs to finish your kiddo’s plate or that needs to consume all of the snacks in the cupboard when life has you a bit stressed out. Finding ways other than food to cope has been a big component to this new found fit life that I am living. Often times when we are restricting and binging it has less to do with the food and weight loss and perhaps more to do with issues we are not wanting to deal with head on. I am by no means an expert in this field, just a girl that has had some pretty gnarly thoughts toward herself, her body, and food and who has found freedom.
I want to help you find this freedom too.

If you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, lose fat, etc and feel like you’re starving…we need to fix that ASAP. Hit me up in my inbox by emailing: findyourthrive@gmail.com