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

Oh my gosh, have you tried this yet?

Oh my gosh, have you tried this yet?

I’ll admit, I feel a little slow in joining the online grocery shopping craze, but I hoesntly kind of enjoyed it…well, more like was too much of a control freak to not do my own shopping. In all honesty I thought I was saving money too by going to different stores for different items. I’m sure you can probably relate to that thought process a little too, am I right?  However, I have entered a new season and realize I simply need more time. I want more time for the people and things that matter in life. And frankly, grocery shopping and doing chores are not where I want to be spending my time, and are not tasks that are going to bring me short or long-term fulfillment.

I tried click list (a Fred Meyer brand) for the first time 2 weeks ago (getting ready to submit my third list after I hit publish), and I am hooked. I was done with my grocery shopping from clicking to picking up in about 30 minutes. One of the nice things as well is that  my Rewards card is already linked to my account, meaning it stores items previously purchased to streamline the shopping experience that much more.

Clicklist may not be available in your area, but I know there are other options out there it might just take a little research to see what the grocery stores in your area offer. I am eager to try other online markets and meal services like Thrive Market, Sun Basket, or Green Chef. Initially I thought that using services like this would end up costing our family more money and wouldn’t even try to justify the cost to my hubby.  After using Clicklist for a couple of weeks now I we are saving money because we aren’t tossing in those spontaneous purchases. The added bonus? I am sticking with my meal plans and therefore my fitness goals as well. Which who isn’t into that?

 

Want to get the most out of your online grocery shopping experience? Here are some of my top tips:

-Meal plan and have your grocery list on hand when you sit down to the computer

-Listen to a podcast or personal development book on your way to pick up your groceries instead of the radio

-Schedule it during a time you can run other errands in that area  and look for off peak pick up time slots to save time

-If you have friends that use it too, maybe you can take turns picking up the orders

-First three pick ups are free, after that it’s a flat fee (this is at least true of Clicklist, Thrive Market offers free shipping on orders over $49)

 

If you have questions about my meal plans, workouts, or fitness in general email me at findyourthrive@gmail.com and if you’ve got some tips of your own I want to hear from you! Leave them in the comments below.

It’s time to shred the excuses.

May 8 2017I don’t know about you, but I have spent far too many summers feeling insecure in my own skin. I’ve opted for pants over shorts, skipped the tank tops, and cute summer dresses all together in lieu of something that would mask my insecurities a little more. This summer that’s going to change. Life is too precious to feel self-conscious in your own skin.

I’m ready rock this summer with confidence. I’m ready to shred the pounds and inches that leave me feeling less than, insecure, and running for cover. But more than anything, I’m ready to shred my excuses and my self-doubt. Does that sound like you too?

I am looking for 10 ladies to join me this May who are ready to look and feel their best not just for this summer, but forever.

Registration is OPEN for my Summer Shred Fitness Group!!!

What you will get:
– An entire year’s worth of exercise programming.
– A dense superfood nutrition shake that will help you fight cravings and curb hunger.
– A portion control meal plan to help you learn how to fuel your body using clean foods and the correct portions for your body.
– An accountability group with other women who are on the same journey as you.
– One on one coaching with me and weekly check ins

Space is limited. First come, first serve!

To register, click the link to fill out an application : http://tinyurl.com/k6dmafp

Brownie Bites

This has been an easy snack that satisfies my occasional chocolate craving and doesn’t derail my progress. Doesn’t hurt that they look pretty and my kids will wolf them down. I’d say that’s winning right there in and of itself!

These brownie bites only take about 6 minutes to whip up and about half as long to eat.

-1 scoop chocolate Shakeology

-1 tsp (heaping) PB

-1/2 c oats

-1/4 c water —Add in slowly while mixing so you can get the consistency right

-dried unsweetened coconut or unsweetened cocoa powder

*This recipe yields 1 serving and is the equivalent of: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 spoon for those following the 21 Day Fix meal plan16730588_10202796340707332_3464316222197247883_n-2

Add all ingredients except coconut/cocoa powder to a bowl and mix until combined.

Form into little bite sized balls then roll in the coconut or cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container in your fridge (if they last that long).

90 Days to my best life?

So last week I decided to commit to a P90X3 in its entirety… I can honestly say, this will be my first P90X experience. I got a bootlegged copy of the DVDs a few years back, but didn’t have the entire program, and didn’t really use the videos all that much. They were more like “fillers” among the myriad of other things I was trying at the time in a desperate attempt to get healthy and lose some weight.

Over the past ten years I have been on somewhat of a fitness rollercoaster. Throughout high school and even into my very early 20s I didn’t care too much about being healthy. Sure, I was unhappy with my body, but I kind of figured that was normal for women. I ate and drank whatever I felt like and secretly swore at myself for being fat or pudgy. I would commit to something, but only partially, and only for a short period of time. This was a dark and hard time in my life. And one I never want to go back to, or worse yet have my own daughter experience.alishabefore

Fast forward a few years and I was no longer the “fat” girl I used to be, and in fact I had arrived at a place in my life where looking good was what mattered most, and I was willing and prepared to spend as much time necessary to obtain the perfect body. Even almost at the cost of my marriage and my family. I became very selfish with my time and felt like I owed it to myself to be the best looking I could. I tried to tell myself it was for my husband or that it would somehow make me a better mom, but the reality was, it was only for me. It was so that I could feel good about myself. The sad part is, even at my leanest I was miserable. I thought about food all day long. I would stress out if I missed a workout, and my efforts were never good enough.

Here I am today. These are my before pictures. At this point in my life I am not worried about being super lean or even rocking 6 pack abs. I am comfortable (for the most part) in my own skin, but do feel like I would like to make a few small changes here and there. I would like to see a little more definition again, I’d like to increase my athleticism (balance, endurance, flexibility, and power), but most of all I want to feel balanced and I want to be a good leader and example for my kids, my friends, and my family.

I am committing to this program 100%–the workouts, the nutrition, and my Shakeology everyday. I want to see just how far I can push myself. I’ve seen the results for other people, and now I am ready to see the results for myself.

I’m just a mom and wife who wants to be healthy and happy, I want to be able to play with my kids and grandkids (someday). I have done a couple of programs before in the past, but haven’t been fully committed. I would start strong, and then I would fall off. And no, probably not all the way off, but I would allow myself more leniency than I should have.

I don’t believe in being perfect, because I don’t believe perfect exists. But I do believe in leading by example, and I do believe whole-heartedly in Beachbody, their mission, and their products. I guess I am making this public declaration for myself. I am putting myself on the hook in hopes of inspiring even just one other person to step up for themselves. alisha_p90x3before

Over the next few months I will be blogging about my journey and my experience. I’ll be sharing recipes and meal plans. I will be transforming and becoming more the woman I aspire to be. Not just on the outside, but on the inside too! I invite you to join me on my journey, who knows, maybe you will decide that now is your time to shine as well?