Sunday Eats + Putting Myself Out There

Happy Monday everyone!

Weekends just go by too fast, don’t they??

Im sharing with you today the foods I ate yesterday, and then going into my next project and what it means to me by putting myself out there.

Breakfast, along with the usual coffee, was 1 whole egg + egg white scramble (I added in spinach) and a side of sliced strawberries.

Went to church with Dad and enjoyed a great service of praise, and a wonderful sermon from our pastor.

Came home for lunch and heated up another chicken burger I placed on top of spinach, and had a side of sweet potato. I’ve been loving this combo lately and has been one of my meals the last few days. I’ll be switching things up this week.

I worked on some blogging, put together clients’ workout, worked on my new project, and took a break for some coffee + a banana with almond butter.

While I enjoyed my coffee, dad and I watched Men in Black on Netflix. It was my first time ever seeing it and I loved it! I’ll have to catch the second one now.

I didnt know what I wanted for dinner, do I threw some veggies and quinoa together in a bowl. It was good, but a couple hours later I was hungry again, so I got one of the Costco versions of the Quest bar before headed to bed.

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The new project I am working on is getting back into YouTube videos! Last year I tried my hand at a few videos, and while I was enjoying it, part of me felt awkward and a little scared putting myself out there like that.

It’s one thing to write blog posts for you guys, but it’s a whole other world when it comes to videos and vlogs.

I am nervous + scared, but super excited to try videos out again to provide more content for you guys. I will share videos on my blog, depending on what they are, but I won’t post every video on here (you will have to go visit my YouTube channel!) 😀

I plan on keeping my healthy lifestyle thing going, but with my videos, I will doing some random + fun ones, and even some “day in the life” videos.

Putting yourself out there with something you are passionate about can be an exciting + exhilarating, but also scary, uncomfortable, and even nerve wracking.

Someone important to me told me it’s good to do things that make you uncomfortable. It’s like conquering an obstacle and coming out better as a person after it. 😀

I sure have faced my obstacles, and I can say that what I’ve been through has allowed me to come out stronger, happier, and better as a person. Why not strive to keep that going?

emichelefit will be my YouTube channel name.  I plan on getting my first video together it upload by the middle of the week. So, be looking out for that!

Quick Sunday (partial) Meal Prep

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend despite the rain and dreary weather. It was more low key for me, but I was able to relax and get some things done as well.

Today I thought I would share with you a few things that I meal prepped yesterday. Normally, I am not a huge fan of meal prepping. I don’t like spending the whole afternoon cooking/baking and placing every meal in its own individual container. If you have an 8-5 job, then it may be handy for you, but it’s just too much for me.

Personally, I like to prep a few things for at least a few days of the week, just so it’s easier to grab. It’s quick, and it helps with your food choices when you have healthy options already made. I am in and out of the house during the week with the way my schedule is, so it’s nice to have certain veggies and other things ready.

I roasted cubed potatoes and brussel sprouts at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I drizzled olive oil and put a little garlic salt and cracked pepper on both of them. I like roasted brussel sprouts better…and can eat them warm or add to a salad for a little crunch!

I also boiled some eggs for the week. Normally, I prefer just cooking them in the mornings, or making my egg muffins with veggies in them, but yesterday I just decided to boil some for a quick breakfast or snack. My dad likes to take these to work too, so they are ready for him too!

Easiest way to boil eggs? Once water boils, keep on med-high heat for 13-15 minutes. Drain them immediately and run COOL water on top of them. This will allow the shell to ease away from the egg some. Once cool, tap them all the way around, and peel! 🙂

Boiled eggs are also great to put on salads too!

Who loves guacamole?! I am in love with guacamole, and I was in the mood to whip up a quick version of it to have over the next day or so. (Next day really, because it turns QUICK!)

I took 2 large avocados, mashed them, and added part of this guacamole mix packet. I usually don’t feel the need to have the whole packet in there for the amount I normally make.

For dinner I decided to go ahead and dig into the guacamole! I made a spinach salad, topped with leftover sweet potato and a kale + mozerella chicken burger I found at Costco the other day. It hit the spot!

Even though I don’t do any kind of meal prep every Sunday, and definitely not as intense as a lot of people do, I like it because you can do as much, or as little, as you need and want to make things easy and convenient for you during your week. I don’t like having the same meals every single day for every single meal…I like variety!

Questions for you:

Do you prepare any food for part (or all) of your week?

If so, what do you usually prepare? Do you have a go-to?

Haircut, Weekend Happenings, + Eats

Hello all!

My apologies for only one post last week. U-Verse (AT&T) was out so I couldn’t do anything online!

I figured I’d start this week with a quick little weekend recap, even though the weekend isn’t quite done yet.

Saturday morning started with the usual coffee while I watched the recent episode of The Alienist. This is a new show that started the other week on TNT and it is amazing! It is set in the 19th century (right up my alley), and is all about solving a crime/mystery. If you are looking for a new show, I highly recommend it!

I had a birthday cake protein bar for breakfast while finishing watching the episode, and I ate a banana with almond butter before I headed out for my haircut at 10am.

Before and after!

I was SO overdue for a haircut it wasn’t even funny! I just got it trimmed and had the lady add some long layers. It immediately felt 10x better! It may not be a huge difference to most, but it is to me and I love it!

For lunch I had leftover steak my dad grilled on top of some greens + a taste of turkey sausage he grilled with the steak as well.

In between some blogging and reading, I decided to try my hand at some protein donuts! I made some a few years ago, and I wasn’t crazy over the recipe I went by.

These chocolate protein donuts turned out great! Be on the lookout for this recipe soon!

For the rest of the afternoon, I did some more blogging, put up laundry, and got some things done around the house.

For dinner, mom and dad suggested Olive Garden, so I went straight for their minestrone soup…my favorite soup of theirs! I had half a breadstick with it too. It hit the spot!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and before bed I got into the bag of valentine Reese’s I bought myself. 😀

Reese’s are my absolute FAVORITE candy, and these little hearts did not disappoint, like all their others! I have already found the Easter eggs they put out…and let me tell you, I don’t know what it is about those, but they are the best out of them all!

Sunday morning I got up and did some light stretching, and enjoyed my morning coffee while catching up on some reading and other blogs. I had another protein bar for breakfast like I did Saturday morning.

I’m not very stylish, but on days where I don’t have to wear my workout clothes, I try to put more effort into my outfit. Sunday I wore my jeans (from Walmart), a light pink lacy top (from JCPenny), and a lightweight black cardigan on top (from old navy). As you can tell I am a skilled model…haha, not! Awkward poses are my thing…

I was excited to wear my new necklace I picked up after my haircut on Saturday. The salon I went to had a lady selling some clothes and jewelry and this necklace caught my eye. I’m not a huge jewelry wearer, but I do enjoy longer necklaces, bracelets, and rings.

After church, Granny and I headed out to lunch at Dale’s Southern Grill over in Hoover. I enjoyed their blackened tilapia with a side of squash and zucchini.

I also had a side of their carrot soufflé, which is so delicious, as my dessert.

When I got back home I had plans on meal prepping some veggies that I needed to cook before going bad.

I baked/roasted cauliflower and carrots at 400 for 30 minutes, and baked a spaghetti squash at 400 for 45 minutes.

I love spaghetti squash because you can pair it with most things: ground beef/turkey, chicken, etc. I plan on putting some pasta sauce on it later this week and adding some chicken!

As soon as those were done cooking, I wanted to get a low key jog in on the treadmill to move around a little, since it was cold, rainy, and dreary outside.

I ran 2 miles on the treadmill while watching an episode of Supernatural, and walked half a mile to cool down. Nothing fancy, but just what I needed. My lower back was still sore from some deadlifts I did the other day at the gym.

Post run was one of these chocolate protein donuts I made, with a little peanut butter on top. (I’m telling you, I’m a sucker for chocolate + peanut butter)

I made some fresh coffee for dad and I, and finished up with this post and plan to do some other work/reading I wanted to get to today.

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 Some good and positive changes are happening in my life, and I have been happier now than I have been in quite some time. Sometimes it takes hardships in life to realize what you are missing in life…as well as what ( or who) you need to get out of your life!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and be looking for a great post on Wednesday that will share more of my personal story! 🙂

Healthier Takeout Pizza?

Pizza is one of those popular foods, that just about everybody loves. At a young age, we see pizza serves in schools, at classroom parties, birthday parties, sleepovers, trips, etc. It is just one of those staple foods that is such a good go-to and is usually delicious.

Even as I am older, I still love me some pizza, but I don’t always feel like eating the classic pepperoni + cheese, Hawaiian, or meat lovers.

Some days I am craving pizza, but just want a little bit healthier version of it, and I don’t always want a frozen pizza, either.

Never fear, though! Pizza places are offering more and more options where you can make your pizza just a little bit healthier.

The pizza above is from Pizza Hut, and is thin crust, no cheese, lighter sauce, spinach, onions, and pineapple. I made my own and customized it to how I wanted it.

When a pizza can be that customized, you know the pizza company wants to accommodate what you need/want. Some people are lactose intolerant, and can’t do cheese. I can’t do a lot of it, so I opted for none.

You can pick and choose what you want as your toppings. Don’t like pineapple? No problem! Want only a certain meat and one veggie? Or maybe regular crust? Go for it!

Over the weekend when pizza was ordered at my parents, they got a regular pizza meat lovers and I ordered my (above) pizza. You bet I enjoyed a slice of that too, along with 2 slices of my own…and maybe half a cheese stick! (Balance, am I right?)

So don’t feel like you should take out pizza all together if you are on a healthy lifestyle journey, because you can definitely keep it involved!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

-what’s your all time favorite pizza?

-if you were to customize a healthier pizza, how would you make it? 

3 Reasons Why Diets Don’t Work

We are not even one week into 2018 and I am already so sick + tired of seeing all of these diet + weight loss ads being advertised.

Yes, a lot of people have goals at the first of the year to lose weight, tone up, or just be healthier; but with all of these companies promising you quick weight loss if you eat this, count this, or buy their product, it’s no wonder people get confused and/or fall off the bandwagon shortly into the year.

(Strawberry smoothie from Neighborhood Brew, off Valleydale)

I’ve fallen into diet traps before in my lifetime, researching different approaches, eliminating certain foods, and of course, calorie counting. All of these got me in bad places and was NOT good for my health, both physically and mentally.

Our bodies are incredible machines. I mean, God made us, how could they not be?

Food is fuel to our bodies. We need it not only for energy, but for our bodies even to be able to function. We must feed our organs too! Food is also meant to be enjoyed.

(Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings + bacon cheese fries)

It is important we have a balance of exercise, feeding our bodies nutritious food, but also feeding our bodies food for pleasure. It can confuse our minds if we fall into all of these diet traps. I am practicing every day to follow more of this healthy balanced, intuitive eating lifestyle, and each day with each step forward, I am finding it more freeing

(night time cereal combo of Vanilla Chex + Fruit Loops)

So, why do diets NOT work?

I’m here to give you 3 reasons why.

1.Diets essentially slow down the process of losing weight. 

But, wait! Aren’t diets supposed to help us lose weight faster? NO. When we put our bodies through any kind of “diet”, it is actually a stressor to (and on) our bodies. Our bodies tend to fight against us when we are going through something like this. That should be our first clue! Extreme dieting, eliminating food groups, and being so restrictive is not what our bodies were made to do or be put through. Dieting just causes our stress hormones (adrenaline + cortisol) to increase.

So, all this time you were thinking going on a diet would relieve some stress? Think again.

(Salad I put together with leftover chicken tenders + orange pieces)

2.They usually don’t work long term/Aren’t always sustainable.

If someone goes on a diet to lose “X” amount of pounds, and they had to eliminate a food group, be restrictive, sacrifice going out with friends + family, and maybe even had a to take a certain company’s product, what happens when this person reaches their goals?

Are they going to continue to miss out on enjoying dinner out with family + friends? Are they willing to continue to pay for the product or eliminate a certain food group the rest of their life?

Realistically, it doesn’t always work.

In many cases, people end up gaining weight back after reaching their goal and getting off the diet, but their happiness may be through the roof if they are able to enjoy things they missed out on before.

Of course, I say everything in moderation, but we must also consider our happiness. Want to enjoy a date night with your significant other and enjoy a good meal + dessert? Go for it!

A lot of this falls under intuitive eating, which I will talk more abut in future posts. All in all, think about going through a particular “diet” for the rest of your life. I’m sorry, but I don’t want that for my life!

(Panera Bread: Side salad, Butternut squash soup, and baguette)

3.Diets usually are NO FUN!

Let’s be real…when has a “diet” ever been rainbows + unicorns? NEVER. There may be some excitement in the beginning, because, hey…I have goals and I want to reach them…but soon that dies off when you are craving a piece of bread, a glass of milk, or even a piece of chocolate. Nine times out of ten, when you eliminate something and tell yourself you aren’t allowed to have it, the cravings for that will only get stronger and stronger. So much strong, that you just might give in, ruin your “diet”, you get down + frustrated with yourself, and you feel you have to start over.

Who wants to live like that?

I used to think I ruined things if I gave in to eating something that I truly wanted. I no longer want to be like that. It DID stress me out, I got frustrated with myself, and it’s not worth it. If you want a food, it should be enjoyed!!

Having a balanced lifestyle of both healthy + nutritious foods, and those foods that give us pleasure, is what it’s about. I am 4 year out from 30 (oh lawd) and I am at the point where I want to give my body the nutritious food it needs to function, but also enjoy foods I love, try new things, and NOT be stressed about it.

(Ice cream of all kinds is good. I have always enjoyed Arctic Zero for a healthier option)

So before you sign up for this “diet” or buy this product, think twice about long term and your happiness and health.

If you need someone to guide you through it, or need someone to help reach your goals without going on a diet, please contact me! I am starting this year as a health coach and I want to help you get where you want to be without falling for these gimmicks and false hopes.

Whether it is for personal training or health coaching, you can always email me at toloveandliveblog@gmail.com.

My 2018 Blog Intentions

Happy Saturday!

Today is the first official day since Christmas I am longer sick sick. It’s the worst being sick around Christmas, but it seems a lot of people have been dealing with it. I’ve been drinking plenty of fluids, taking my meds, and getting more veggies in my body since that’s been slacking lately!

In my last post I talked about how you can be SMART when making your 2018 goals. I even ended that post with some of my own goals for the new year.

Today, to end the year, I thought I would share with you my blog intentions for 2018.

For those who are true readers and keep up with my blog, I thank you for sticking around even when I would have my seasons where I would quit or just didn’t blog for a while. You keep coming back and I love you for that!

Let me share with you now my intentions for my blog, and what you can expect from it in 2018.

weekly newsletter: this is something I’ve always wanted to do and build up. At the start of each week, I will send out an email to whoever wants one, and it will be a word of encouragement, an update with life, or simply something I feel the Lord is wanting me to share. It’s a way I can keep connected with you guys on a more personal level, and you will know first hand about blog happenenings.

If you want to be a part of the newsletter, contact me with your email, or simply email me at toloveandliveblog@gmail.com letting me know you do!

-more recipes: i plan on cooking more this new year and experimenting more in the kitchen, so watch out for more recipes! (I think I’ll throw some “what I eat in a day” posts too!)

video Q+A: I’m planning on once a month (at the end) to post a video answering questions I will ask you to send in or ask me. These can be health or fitness related, or any other topic you want, even if it’s something you want to know about me!

more honesty: I don’t want to sugar coat things for you guys or talk in circles avoiding the inevitable. This is on any topic. Of course, if it’s a product review, I always always will post on what I believe in, what I use, and what I truly enjoy! What works for me may not for someone else, though, and that’s understandable. All in all….more honesty, more reality, and more of who I am and the struggles I sometimes face, even as a personal trainer/health coach. More Matt too! ❤️

DIYs: I’m starting to miss creativity in the form of painting and arts and crafts, so be ready for some DIYs/tutorials that will be easy and fun, whether it is gift ideas or decor! 🙂

I may have a few things up my sleeve and things I am still thinking on, but for now, this is what you can expect coming to the blog in 2018, and I am so excited! 😁

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and ring in the new year with friends, family, and/or loved ones. See y’all next year!