Why would you Even Meal Prep your Food?


So, my life is back to super busy, as I’m sure all of you are experiencing as well!  Whether you’re a student, working, have a family of your own (or knowing lots of you – doing all three!) life is busy and can get stressful.  Eliminate the stress and time factor of having to scrounge to find something appropriate at each lunch-time and having to cook every single night by meal prepping!  It saves you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating!  You can prep and plan for just dinners, for lunch and dinner, or even all three main meals of the day and snacks too!  The amount of prep you do, depends on how much time you have to dedicate to prepping and your personal preferences.

I prep my lunches for the week, cut up my veggies for snacks, as well as all my dinners for the week.  At different times, I’ve prepped my breakfasts as well but I seem to have a bit more time in the mornings to make it now that the boys are a bit bigger.

So what exactly is meal prepping?  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the week.  This means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers!  For those of you who just groaned and are turned off to the thought of left overs, listen up, I used to hate left overs when I was younger, well actually up until I was at uni!  Now I rejoice in their existence and you should too!  Left overs are a wondrous time saver!

If prepping and planning can stop you eating off track and keeping you eating good wholesome and nutritious food one extra time each week – that’s a fantastic result and will certainly help you on your way to your goals faster!

And no, I’m not ‘preparing’ for anything special at the moment. Not competing, no shoots booked any time soon. This is just my life. And meal prepping is a life-hack I’ve really grown to enjoy and see the benefits of.

What do you do to keep your weeks prepped and ready to enjoy?

With hugs I prepared earlier,

Bella

No Check-in. But Magic Soup (18 weeks)

Nope, I haven’t skipped out on a check-in already! I’m sick.

This week I wasn’t required to formally check-in with Coach Adam so I skipped the whole kit and kaboodle. No jumping on the scales, no body-fat pinches with Kate, nothing.

Its half nice, half worrying. I was just getting back into the swing of it but I understand the rationale behind not doing a check-in while my body is all up in a hormonal flux (which is why this particular week each month is my assigned week off check-in). It makes sense.

Women’s bodies do some crazy stuff and if I was getting bent out of shape over the TWO KILOS my weight jumps up because I had to report it to my Recomp coaches or be worrying about Kate pinching my GIANT PUFFY TUMMY there’s a good chance I’d be tempted to throw in the towel for the week. Instead, I get some breathing space to know this week is more about my body doing what it does, rather than it doing what is a reflection of my actions.

And the sickness… Blergh. I am pretty sure it’s just a cold but I’m a coughing, sneezing, ball of yuck on the couch. So plenty of hot herbal tea, big bowls of veggie soups and early nights for me.

So, magic soup time!

I usually just grab one of these organic packs from the supermarket (or, if you are less snotty and brain-fogged you can save money and buy each vegie separately!)

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I finely dice the onion and soften it in the pot with some good olive oil, about 4 teaspoons of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger. When the onions go transparent, I’ll throw in a hefty pinch of dried chili flakes. And a decent shake of good quality Italian dried herb mix.

All the other vegies get peeled and diced and thrown in and stirred well to coat. Then I turn the heat down low, add water to fill the pot and I leave it alone.

About an hour later, I remember I was making soup. Depending on levels of ‘blergh’, sometimes I half-blitz it with a stick mixer but mostly I just ladle it into a comically large mug and eat/drink it like that.

It keeps me alive while I’m sick and I swear it’s making me better.

Hope everyone else is doing well!

With snot and hugs,
Bella

Gone Fruitcake!

Kids in the kitchen!  Making a healthy fruitcake for a family get-together tomorrow and kid#1 LOVES to cook! I’m not militant about how my family eat but this no fat, no refined sugars fruitcake just happens to be delicious!
RECIPE:

Ingredients

1 Teaspoon (Metric) bicarbonate soda
500 Gram dried fruit
1 1⁄2 Cup flour (self raising)
1 Teaspoon (Metric) Mixed Spice
2 Teaspoon (Metric) honey/golden syrup
1 Cup orange juice
1 Cup pumpkin or sweet potato (kumara) (mashed)
600 Gram dried apricots (chopped)
75 Gram fresh ginger (finely chopped)

Notes
This is an excellent recipe idea for vegans and vegetarians as it contains no animal fat or eggs.

If you want to increase the fibre content, think of substituting half of the white flour for wholemeal, and remember sweet potato is a good low GI option.  Simple changes, big differences!

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 160oC.
Grease a 20cm square or 22cm x 12cm cake tin with a little spray oil, and line base with baking paper.
Remove skin from pumpkin or sweet potato. Steam until soft (about 10 minutes depending on the size of pieces). Allow to cool.
Place dried mixed fruit, chopped apricots and honey/golden syrup in a saucepan together with orange juice. Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Add mashed pumpkin or sweet potato and mix well.
Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and mix spice together and add to fruit mixture. Add ginger and mix well to combine.
Place in cake tin and bake in oven for 1 ¼ hours.

Enjoy and remember to tag me in your results!

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#recipe #food #foodporn #vegan #healthy #instagood #cleaneating #yummy #foodgasm #nutrition #good #sharefood #fitspo #tasty #lunch

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – Crazy Easy, Crazy Tasty!

I’m not a great cook. If it has more than five ingredients or more than five steps in the recipe I can be pretty confident I’ll make a mess of it!

The issue is, that I love food. Argh, so I spend my life looking for ridiculously easy, tasty recipes that also need to fit my particular/perculiar dietary needs (many intolerances and preferences for high protein foods).

Well, these were a total winner!

Stuffed Portobello Mushroomspotrobello-700

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Spray 1 large portobello cap lightly with a good quality olive oil.
    In a bowl, shred/grate 1 small zucchini and toss with about 1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta.
  • Place mixture inside mushroom and bake until mushroom is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Approx 230 calories!

Enjoy!

Bella

Stuff I Tried this Week – Alkaline Extreme Protein

Something new for the blog – stuff I tried! I try a lot of things. Partly because I’m a curious cat, mostly because I have a problem with internet impulse purchasing. So I’ll blog regularly (lol, I’ll try!) about some of these and my thoughts. Mostly these will be things that I have bought for myself however, I have been approached by a few groups to try their products and give them feedback. I will ALWAYS let you know if I have been given a product and even if I have, my thoughts and opinions on the product will ALWAYS BE MY OWN. That’s sorta how I roll. If you are a company or have a product that you want me to try, feel free to have a read of this page here. And yes, I did just blatantly suggest that I will accept free stuff. Don’t judge me. Everyone loves free stuff.

Anyway!! This week I tried….

alkalineextreme

ALKALINE EXTREME PROTEIN

(Not a free product or sponsored post!)

What is it?

I’d heard quite a lot about it and whenever I’ve asked my facebook friends for suggestions on protein powders and flavours to try, it’s ALWAYS been suggested. Mostly with wacky but amazing sounding flavours like lemon cream pie and cinnamon roll! What??

Why alkaline? According to their website, the protein has been mixed to buffer lactic acid and push it out of your system and is supposed to therefore do all sorts of magical things. I honestly have NO idea if that is a real thing but it sounds good and as lots of my friends love it and the proteins/carbs/fats breakdown of the shake were great I thought I would give it a go.

As far as ingredients go, they are pretty good. I can read and understand all of the ingredients and I’m no scientist 🙂 To give you an idea of the nutritional breakdown, here is the panel from one of the ones I tried:

v3_-_mochaccino_114

What did I get?

The problem with buying protein is that it tends to come in HUGE packets which is a problem if you’ve never tried it. And you hate it. Been there, done that, still having shakes I despise or trying to hide that powder in cooking. The very cool thing about Alkaline Extreme Protein is that they do have some sample tubs and I found a couple of ‘take n shake’ type singles serves. I was going for a maximum amount of flavours to try for minimal expense. I ended up with:

alkalineextremechocpeanut2 x 114g sample tubs. I got 1 x Chocolate peanut butter and 1 x Mochaccino

2 x single serve ‘shake & take’ bottles. 1 x Lemon Cream Pie and 1 x Cinnamon Roll

I can’t recall exactly, but I think these cost about $35 or so including crazily fast delivery.

So whaddya think?

I really like this stuff! I’ll preface it by saying that I’ve been living a very low sugar/carb diet for a very long time but the only issues I have is that they taste SO SWEET to me. Like crazy dessert-buffet sweet. But it’s awesome.

I tried the Lemon Cream Pie shaker first. It mixed super beautifully in the little bottle (like an OJ bottle). The powder smelled crazy yum. From first sip, I recoiled a bit at how sweet it was. Again, keep in mind that I have so little sugar that I can’t tolerate fresh apple juice anymore as it freaks my tastebuds out. But the flavour was awesome. Surprisingly, I gave the Captain a sip and he wasn’t a fan at all. He was heading out so didn’t elaborate but I think it was also the sweetness that got to him. The issue I have with really boutique flavours is that it’s harder for me to ‘hide’ my protein powder in real foods when I am trying to have them as something other than a shake. I couldn’t really imagine Lemon Cream Pie in a brownie mix or similar, but as a shake it was great.

I mixed up a shake from the Chocolate Peanut Butter sample tub the next day. Texture was great, chocolately-ness was good. Weirdly, I think I don’t personally like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Love chocolate, love peanut butter – not sure I like them together. But the shake was good.

I tried the Cinnamon Roll shaker at the gym after a workout. HOLY SNAPPING POOP – I loved it. Seriously loved. Yes, it seemed crazy sweet but the flavour was amazing. I was immediately transported to a world where I would make cinnamon roll pancakes, cinnamon roll overnight oats or just have this shake a dozen times a day. That good. Kid#1 said it stank out the car and that he hated it. He wasn’t drinking it, just sniffing me. What can I say, the kid’s a bit weird.

This afternoon I’ve tried the Mochaccino. Coffee and cofffe-type flavours are hard to impress me with and the powder smelled a little weird. But.. It’s good, and strangely was more good  better after I left it for a few minutes (not intentional, kid#2 did this with a vegemite sandwich:

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Would I buy it again?

Yep, I think I would. Especially that cinnamon roll. ZOMG I loved it. I’m not 100% sure on the alkaline benefits (only because I haven’t researched it)  but do know that I like the way they taste and I can make them fit my macros and meet my nutritional goals. Which for a protein powder is about all that I ask 🙂

You can find out more about them here – http://www.alkalinesuperfoods.com.au/

Talk soon,

SV

Sailor Vee eats Pudding for Breakfast

I do. It’s true.

It’s getting fricking cold here on the island. Really cold in the mornings especially. I do like porridge but have about reached my boredom level with it and (given it’s likely to make a pretty big place in my competition preparation diet if I compete later this year) am giving it a rest. But where does that leave me for a healthy breakfast?

  • Love oats – but over porridge
  • Love eggs – but chronically too lazy too cook much at breakfast time
  • See above point, must cook in less than 3 minutes, preferably without me touching it
  • I know that I need a good balance of carbs/protein/good fats in my morning meal to keep me awesome all day
  • Must be warm. Maybe even hot. Some mornings it must be liquid magma hot to counteract our freezing island climate

Enter, the latest breakfast invention.

Breakfast pudding

Sailor Vee’s Banana Oat Breakfast Pudding

  • 1 x small banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbs chia seeds (black or white is fine)
  • 1/2 cup of quick oats
  • (If the mix is looking super dry I sometimes add a tiny dash of low fat milk)
  • (I find the banana makes it sweet enough, but you could add a little stevia if you wanted)

Method:

Mash banana, mix in egg, throw in oats and chia, mix until combined. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until set.

(Calories 353, Carbohydrates 50g, Protein 16g, Fats 16g)

**As the picture shows, I fairly frequently mix up what I throw in here. Sometimes I use sultanas instead of banana, and really you could use whatever makes you happy. To increase the protein percentage without upping the calories too much you could easily add another egg white or two.

ENJOY!!

Warm regards from the frozen island,

SV

Giving it away for Free! Competition TIme!

Double passes that is!!

Exciting news guys, the promoters of the Australian Fitness & Health Expo (fitnessexpo.com.au) have asked me to giveaway 3 x double passes for the Saturday or Sunday (20th or 21st of April 2013)!

So I’m running a ‘post your workout pic’ competition this week and will randomly choose three winners.

Feel free to share and encourage people to be involved! I’m actually flying over for it so I’m keen too! People can enter here – http://www.facebook.com/sailorveeblog/app_79458893817

Not sure what a blatant fitness/gym selfie looks like? Have you met my friend Sarah? http://instagram.com/sarahmcgee

My other friend Cathy? http://www.iphoneogram.com/u/256060414

See, it’s easy! Get your gym gear on, get your workout on and get snapping! Post it on the competition link and you could come and hang out with me and a million other (well, lots anyway!) people at the biggest fitness expo in the Southern Hemisphere.

Why wouldn’t you?

Come on – post them here – http://www.facebook.com/sailorveeblog/app_79458893817

YAY and talk soon!
Sailor Vee