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I hear you want to be healthy…is that right?

Why?

You want to? You have to? Is it to look good for someone? The doctor told you to?

This answer here is pretty important (read: extremely).

Why does it matter? Well, in my experience of coaching people through the start gate, it is a pretty solid indicator of your results. Can you guess why?

The person who “must” implies she is forcing herself to do something she does not want to.
The person who “wants” implies that it is their choice.

Why does this matter?

Well, think about a time you were forced into doing something. Remember those times when you had chores to do around the house? It was a drag and it took all of your willpower to do it. Right?

Now think about a time you wanted to do something – let’s say it was to beat the last level of a video game. Were you super into it and probably accomplished it?

See the difference? Pursuing a healthy life, whether that’s eating right, losing weight, exercising, combination, etc. will be successful if you WANT it.

What is driving this desire will almost always determine the success. This is why people who “must” lose weight because their doctor said so have a hard time doing it, why New Year resolutions don’t make it past January, and why things you feel you “must do” get lost in the mix.

Next time you think of doing something, ask yourself “why” and really reflect. If it’s not coming from you WANTING to do it, then reconsider what you are trying to do. If you do WANT to do it, go for it and get it!

We are all busy – jobs, family, friends, activities, etc. I hear you. We want to find out how to keep up with our fast-paced lives and still pursue a healthy life.

Enter, meal prep.

This has been a fundamental key that I cannot stress enough during this journey.

Think about it – you are running around all day and you suddenly get hungry. You go for the most convenient food at the time or slip to making a less-than-stellar choice because your hunger is really high and time to decide is really low. Imagine cutting out that decision making because you have already planned it out – your meal is ready and waiting for you because you took care of this decision some time in the past when you were not hungry & had time to process.

I take one day a week (Sunday), go grocery shopping with meals already set in my head. I buy the ingredients and spend a few hours cooking in huge batches and then portioning them out in tupperware and use my food scale. If you feel like you must switch up your meals everyday or something, then make smaller batches and come up with more meal options. I usually mix and match veggies and meats that I make in bulk to trick myself into thinking I am adding lots of variety when in reality, I’m not. I am OK with eating the same foods throughout a week – my food is fuel right now to help turbocharge my days.

This helps prevent me from making impulsive choices or selecting foods in the moment. I see meal prep as helping myself in the future and it is one of the most important habits that I have adopted!

Chocolate chip cookies are at the top of my favorite sweets and treats…I needed to try and make a fix for this that was a healthier alternative to what I find in stores, restaurants, etc. for when the craving came knocking at my door.

I went into my science lab (some people call it a “kitchen”) and went for it. The result? Protein packed goodness that will leave you feeling super satisfied after one – I kid you not!

What you need:
1 pack of chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup applesauce (use this instead of the 1 stick of butter)
2 teaspoons of water
1/4 cup egg beater (use this instead of the 1 egg)
2 scoops protein powder of your choice (I use one that is 90 calories for a scoop and 17g protein)

Set the oven to bake and 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and mix everything into a bowl. Next, scoop out cookies evenly on your baking sheet and pop them into the oven. Watch them until they start turning light brown and take them out to cool. I kept them in the oven for about 15 minutes.

I ended up with 20 cookies!

Cookie Math –
Normal Cookies: 195 calories each, My Version: 140 calories each, 3 grams protein

30% reduction in calories for each cookie and 300% increase in protein.

They taste awesome!! How do you say, “NO”? Must, must, must TRY!

The power of throwing down in the kitchen is so amazing! I was in my kitchen and just decided to mix some things together for some flavors I wanted and it turned out to be a bunch of super tasty treat packed with protein.

What you need:
1. Pumpkin Pancake mix (I used Trader Joe’s)
2. A can of pumpkin spice puree – generic brand
3. Protein powder
4. 1% milk
5. Egg Beaters

Optional: unsweetened cocoa powder & vanilla & cinnamon & sweetener (I use Truvia) – individually or combined. Read below for more.

Directions:
1. Take a large bowl and place the whole box of pancake mix and canned pumpkin puree in.
2. Take 5 measuring scoops of your protein powder and pour it in the bowl.
– Note on this: dependent on the protein powder – mine was 106 calories || 25g protein per scoop
3. Two cups of 1% milk into the bowl.
4. 3/4 cup Egg Beaters into the bowl.

Mix it all up and this is now your base for the pumpkin protein cupcakes. I added cinnamon right away to the entire mix. Also added one tablespoon of Truvia.

I took a muffin tin, sprayed some olive oil spray into each space and filled. I set the oven to 350 degrees on bake and put batch in for 20 minutes.

With the next batch, I made a round two of these baby cakes and sprinkled some cocoa powder into the muffins and mixed it individually in the muffin spaces.

That makes two different muffin types – pumpkin cinnamon & chocolate pumpkin cinnamon cupcakes.

With the batter that was left, I added unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla extract. I made a third round of muffins with this mix.

That made me three types of protein cupcakes now:
1. Pumpkin
2. Chocolate Pumpkin
3. Chocolate Pumpkin with a touch of Vanilla

The important pieces here are:
31 cupcakes total
105 calories each
7.2 grams of protein each

They look and taste great. Nobody would ever know they are protein cupcakes. Go try and enjoy. Let me know what you think because these are a big win for me and my pumpkin cravings!

Much love. Iris

Get ready…I kid you not – this birthday cake will taste better (yea, you read that correctly) than the normal birthday cake.

Story time!

We started this cute thing at work – in my team, each of us signs up for a team member and we are in charge of their birthday. So, my birthday team member came up and I decided to make something.

YAY.

I didn’t have oodles of time to figure out how to make a cake from scratch and didn’t have the energy for all of that. So, I decided to modify a birthday cake box. What I got was purely delicious. I can say that confidently because all of my coworkers that tried it said it tasted delicious (wanting seconds, thirds and scraping the bottom of the pan tells me it was not fake ;) ). I told them that it was modified in the following way and they were impressed.

What you need:
Your birthday cake mix – I used the confetti box

Read the back of the box. It called for 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and when a coworker later Google’d the calories on that, it was 560 calories. It also called for 3 eggs and at 70 calories a piece, that was 210 calories.

That would be 770 calories in your original birthday cake mix on top of the mix and all that.

I swapped out the eggs for egg beaters 1:1 and cut down the calories from 210 to 75.
I swapped out the 1/3 cup vegetable oil for 3 tbsp applesauce and cut down calories from 560 to 41 calories.

That reduced the extra birthday cake calories from 770 to 116. That is an 85% reduction in calories…

HOW DO YOU SAY NO TO THAT? It tastes the same (if not better) and it’s just a modified version of what you already love.

This is exactly the sort of thing I am talking about when I say lifestyle change. Just figure out where you are today and what you want to change and make the moves to do better. One step at a time.

I added the water and mix as it called for and baked normally. Nothing special. I used the light whipped chocolate frosting (the “healthiest version” I saw for what I needed to accomplish – did you want me to say I used some nasty zero calorie replacement that you will never want to have? No? Ok, glad we are on the same page) and put some sprinkles on to make it official!

Look at those deliciously colorful peppers…yum!

Now that I have them, what shall I do?

Well, first step is clean and chop.

Why? Well, pretty much any way I use them will need them cleaned and chopped so in order to not worry about it later, I take care of t right away.

Next I put all the colors in a Tupperware container and I have done more than half the work to getting these into my body.

Quick ideas for your peppers which are now a staple and regular item in my fridge:

1. Grill them and you have a sweet, veggie side.
2. Grill and mix them with a meat and you have a meal-to-go.
3. If you are making a breakfast quiche, omelets or anything with egg, throw them in.
4. If you have other veggies grilling for a side or main course, throw them in.
5. If you have a salad, throw them in.
6. If you are making my turkey chili, throw them in!

Get it? Prep them in Twp minutes to have plenty of QUICK options later…

Away from the, “I have to chop the pepper and figure out what to do with the rest…nevermind, I’ll save it for another time” (that won’t come, it’ll rot and you want want to “waste” money on it again).

All about making life for my “future self” easier!

What do you use your peppers for? Would love to know some recipes! YUM!

Want something to take on the go for breakfast, a light lunch, or even a snack?? Well I’ve got the answer for you!

All you need is some non-fat greek yogurt, agave syrup or honey, and any fruit you enjoy! It’s really that simple!

The only thing you need to do before assembling is mix the agave syrup or honey with the yogurt and then you’re ready to layer it up.

How much syrup/honey you mix into the yogurt is totally up to you because it depends on how sweet you like it. Some days, I like it more tart but when my sweet tooth is kicking, I add a tiny bit more to satisfy my craving.

When you put it all together, feel free to do it whichever way you like — you can mix the fruit with the yogurt or you can keep it separated in actual layers (like in the picture).

To add some texture, I love to add almonds and dried cranberries/cherries/raisins and mix that in. You can prepare it the night before but it’s so simple and easy to make that you can make it right before you’re ready to eat it!

Also, yogurt is great after a workout because it has a lot of protein, which have amino acids that are great for building muscles!

So no matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, check out this nutritious and delicious fruit and yogurt parfait!

So for my very first post, I’m going to give you a healthy and filling breakfast recipe (first of many)! Here’s what you’ll need in order to replicate what’s in the picture:

3 slices of Canadian Bacon
3 egg whites (2 eggs whites and one full egg works, along with egg substitutes)
1 Bagel Slim

Simple right?! Exactly! Nothing better than a quick and easy breakfast recipe that’s super healthy at the same time.

For the eggs, I usually chop some onions, peppers, tomatoes and sometimes even add spinach, kale, or mushrooms, depending on the ingredients I have. Basically, feel free to substitute anything I used and add the veggies you like.

The Canadian bacon is delicious, filled with protein, AND low calorie (~20 cals per slice) but if you’re not a fan, use turkey bacon!

The bagel slim satisfies your bagel craving with less than half the calories. So not only is this a low calorie breakfast that will fill you up, but it’s also easy to make and delicious!

Disclaimer: This is my attempt at taking a nicer picture than my other meal ones! Hope it works!

This is an awesome and easy meal prep I did. It took under 10 minutes to prep 10 days worth of breakfast for me! That sounds worth it to me.

Extra bonus: I can throw this in my bag and bring it wherever – work, gym, etc. All I need to do is add water when I want to eat!

Dedicated to my busy bodies who have a hard time making time for breakfast. Literally breakfast in a jar. How do you say no? ;)

What you need:
Your oats – I use oat bran :) packed with protein, low on the glycemic index and it’s my preference.
PB2 – powdered peanut butter – packed with protein, and at 45 calories for 12g (that’s the equivalent of 2tbsp of peanut butter in ‘normal’ form that has 190 calories) it has been KEY with me making healthy meals!

Anything else is BONUS – that is the foundation. In my picture above I used a variety of my spreads and in a few I crushed up some cashews, too.

Hope you try it – Enjoy! Let me know what you think – what do you put in your breakfasts on-the-go?

Origin

EVOLUTIONARI' noun, often attributive : ([evolve = to develop slowly into a more advanced state in english] + [ri' = brave spirit in Taino]) a brave person who is known to tap into their inner warrior in order to become the best version of themselves possible.