Yesterday in Arkansas it snowed for like half a second and the whole state lost its mind! In all seriousness, it was COLD. And all I wanted was a big bowl of soup. I normally go for a comfort food soup on […]
You're going on a trip out of state. It's somewhere you've been BEFORE, but it's still not totally familiar. You know the general direction you should head so you start driving. Some times passes and you've done alright, but suddenly you look around and realize this doesn't look familiar. Put simply, you're lost. You can keep driving around, HOPING you land in the right spot, but chances are you won't make it to your destination.
What went wrong?
You forgot your map. You didn't have DIRECTION.
Now let's translate this over to your goals:
You're ready to start your new healthy lifestyle. You've tried before and had a little success, but you've struggled to stick to it. Still, every week you tell yourself "this is the one!" Sunday rolls around and you realize it's time to prepare! You head to the store and you walk the aisles as you gather ingredients for a dinner here, a possible lunch there. Maybe this will work for breakfast! You get home and maybe Monday goes okay. You gathered enough things to get a healthy breakfast, an okay lunch, and a pretty good dinner. But Tuesday appears and suddenly you realize you don't have time to make that same breakfast as yesterday and you don't know what the plan is for lunch and you forgot an ingredient for dinner. Frustrated, you skip breakfast, head out to eat for lunch, and throw whatever frozen meal you can find in the freezer into the oven. Defeat.
What went wrong?
You forgot your map. No direction, no plan, no success.
If you're repeatedly struggling with your goals and you're not sure where to start - here it is. You have to start with a plan. Showing up every week HOPING you got enough fruits and veggies, HOPING you'll have enough time to get your lunch made isn't going to cut it.
It's like taking off for a road trip without your map.
Don't start off this week lost. Download my FREE blank weekly meal planner sheet (below). It doesn't have to be the perfect ratio of healthy meals. Build the habit of PLANNING and PREPARING. You can fine tune the rest of it later.
You've got this - you CAN and you WILL do this. Here's to a strong, healthy week!
This week I prepped one of my favorite recipes: Curry Chicken Salad.
I'm in the final weeks of my 5-week Organic and Biochem lab and have to pack my lunches. I don't want to worry about running to a microwave so I'm always opting for a no-heat lunch outside of a typical sandwich.
If you like regular chicken salad, give this tasty variation a try! I love it wrapped in lettuce cups or over whole wheat crackers. Truthfully though, whenever I make it, my 4 year old and I stand over the bowl eating spoonfuls of it because it's just THAT good!
Golden raisins are a bit more expensive than your regular raisins, but SO worth it and the peanuts, celery, and apple gives this salad a nice crunch. You could sub your favorite nut or seed in this recipe if you aren't a peanut fan (I sometimes make it with cashews but prefer peanuts when I'm prepping a batch for meal prep).
I use nonfat plain greek yogurt to cut the mayo amount in half. This lowers the fat content and calories, ups the protein, and adds a little boost of probiotics (make sure you get yogurt that contains live and active cultures to get this benefit). This still allows for the flavor of the mayo, but makes it a little bit better off nutritionally!
Check out the recipe below and let me know if you make it!
What You'll Need:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut to bite-size pieces
- salt, pepper, garlic powder
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 large apple, chopped
- 2 tablespoons toasted peanuts
What You'll Do:
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Add chicken to pan and cook until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink.
- Remove from heat and let chicken cool.
- In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and curry powder.
- Add raisins, celery, apple, and peanuts to bowl and combine.
- Fold in cooled chicken and combine.
- Enjoy over salad, lettuce cups, with crackers, or on bread!
Yield: 4 servings. 3/4 cup contains 222 calories, 8g Fat, 9g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 5g Sugar, 28g Protein
If you're anything like my family, we love a good dip or salad dressing.
I have a few favorite brands (Bolthouse Farms, Newman's Own, and Simple Truth), but as often as we use them, the expense adds up FAST!
Making your own dressings and dips is so EASY and so QUICK. Often times, you don't even need to buy anything - you already have a lot of the ingredients in your pantry!
Check out my recipes for my favorite dips and dressings:
*Some of these savings have a ~ because they're "around" this much. Depending on different brands, ingredients, and yield sizes, the price difference may be slightly lower or higher.*
Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk all ingredients in small bowl or add to jar with lid and shake.
- Serve over your favorite salad.
- Store in fridge.
♥ This dressing is so great over a leafy salad with dried cranberries, soft cheese, and pecans or walnuts.
♥ I love how easy vinaigrette's are to make - simply add all ingredients to an old, clean jar, shake, and keep in fridge!
♥ I used avocado oil because I love it's incredibly light taste. It's a little pricier, so you can save even more money by using your standard oil and it tastes just as great!
♥ If you don't have an orange sitting around, trade out the white balsamic for apple cider vinegar.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 2 tbsp buttermilk ranch dressing seasoning
- Combine first three ingredients in small bowl.
- Whisk in the ranch seasoning.
- Store in airtight container in fridge for 2-3 weeks.
♥ The fat content of the recipe will vary depending on what kind of yogurt, milk, and mayonnaise you use. Use what you like!
♥ I used homemade Greek yogurt, but the price difference reflects if ranch is made with Fage 0% plain greek yogurt, which I sometimes do.
♥ You can use a ranch packet and still save some money, but this is still slightly more expensive than using a jar of seasoning and you will need to buy more often. Invest in a good jar of Ranch Dressing Base - you will spend a little more upfront, but save money in the long run (especially if you use ranch a lot!) I LOVE Penzeys Spices [check out the link below to see more of their great products].
♥ This ranch dressing is great as a dip for veggies! If you like a slightly runnier dressing (like for salad), adjust the recipe by adding a little more milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach your desired consistency!
Honey Mustard Dip
- 1 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Whisk all ingredients in small bowl.
- Store in fridge. for 2-3 weeks.
♥ My family LOVES this honey mustard recipe. We have it with baked chicken strips often! It's also great to use as your condiments for a turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato wrap.
♥ You can also use the greek yogurt method above (3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt with 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise) to up the protein and lower the fat content.
♥ I love using olive oil mayonnaise. The calorie amount is the same as regular mayonnaise, but uses olive oil, which has those heart-healthy monounsaturafted fats!
♥ If you want to make this more of a salad dressing, skip the lemon and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste!
Give these recipes a try and save yourself a little money!
Penzeys Spices Link: