Monday, September 15, 2014

Food and Fitness Plan // September 15-20

I want to start sharing my weekly meal plan and workout schedule so I can hold myself accountable and give you a glimpse of how I set up my week! If you're trying to eat healthy or lose weight, going into the chaos of Monday with at least some sort of plan is critical to avoid the pitfalls of unexpected situations (brownies in the office, happy hour drinks, forgetting to pack a lunch...) and the same goes for workouts. 

It's so much easier to stay motivated when you can wake up and know exactly what you need to do, otherwise you give your brain a chance to talk yourself out of it! Motivation is a mind game and it takes a little bit of effort and focus to get into a consistent routine of planning, but once you start dedicating aside time every week to set yourself up for success, all of a sudden it will be a habit.

My mantra for this week is "no excuses" because Ben and I are finally heading into our weddingpalooza season! I can't believe it's mid-September already. Between the two of us we're either standing in or attending four weddings within the next five weeks! Plus our own anniversary is in the mix as well. It's officially crunch time to look fabulous in my bridesmaid dresses (and counteract all the wine, champagne, cake, and pie I'm going to be consuming)!

So here's my MASTER PLAN for this week! I'm going to be following the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan with my Challenge Group that starts today, but I'm mixing in my own workouts because I'm currently participating in the Tone It Up Frisky Fall Challenge and also doing Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide circuit program! I love to mix it up to keep myself from getting bored.

I tend to get into routines and eat the same or similar things every day for all meals except dinner. The 21 Day Fix containers are listed as colors.

M1 || 7:30 am
Shakeology blended with unsweetened almond milk, ice, and possibly banana (red, purple)

M2 || 9:30 am
Muffin and eggs (yellow, red) OR yogurt, fruit, oats (yellow, red, purple) OR protein pancake (red, purple)

M3 || 12:30 pm
Dinner leftovers OR a salad with tuna, apple with almond butter on the side (2 green, red, purple, orange, 2 tsp)

M4 || 3:30 pm
Veggies and hummus (green, blue)

M5 || 6:30 pm
Monday: Zoodles with marinara and chicken (greens, red)
Tuesday: Butternut squash soup with turkey sausage (greens, red, yellow?)
Wednesday: Salmon and quinoa salad (red, green, yellow)

Thursday/Friday/Saturday is where it gets fun: we're heading to Michigan to celebrate my beautiful sister-in-law's wedding! I'll do my best to make healthy choices but I am for sure going to relax and enjoy the weekend with my family. I'm planning to bring my workout clothes and weights with me so I can sneak in a workout here and there!


Monday: 1 mile jog + Kayla Itsines Week 5 Legs/Cardio Circuit + Bikini Arms
Tuesday: 45 min power walk + Bikini Abs + Love Your Abs
Wednesday: Kayla Week 5 Arms/Abs Circuit + HIIT
Thursday: 3 mile run + Thai Tush
Friday: Kayla Week 5 Abs/Cardio Circuit + TIU Quickie
Saturday/Sunday: Rest/Run/HIIT, going with the flow!

Let's make it a great week!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Self Employment || Week 2

My first full week of self employment is in the books! 

Feeling: I'm definitely in the transition phase, but I'm starting to settle into a routine and figure things out. I still feel like I'm on some weird extended vacation, and I really miss my zoo coworkers. It almost feels like a breakup, and unexpectedly emotional! But life moves on and new reality is sinking in more and more each day. I've set some hard deadlines and am doing a lot of "visioning" and planning. I'm struggling to find a balance between thinking/planning and doing/making, and I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety but I think everything will start to come together and feel more legitimate as I polish up my creative brand and work on treating my businesses as actual JOBS, not just the things I do for fun.

Doing: I'm trying to set consistent daily habits that will keep me on track with my Beachbody business. After I workout in the morning, I brew up some coffee, blend a shake, and tackle a "power hour" of Challenge Group check-ins and communications while my energy level is high.

Around 9:30 I take a break for a larger breakfast. This was 1/3 c raw oats, 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt, a splash of almond milk, and cinnamon all stirred up and then topped with a drizzle of maple syrup, microwaved frozen berries, frozen banana slices, chia seeds, and hemp hearts. I've been loving cold oat bowls all summer but I think we're officially heading back into hot oatmeal season!

Something exciting that happened this week was my first team webinar with my coaches! We're going to start having a virtual hangout every week focused on training, personal development, and goal setting. I love my team so much and I'm so excited to see how we grow and develop in the months ahead!

I'm also taking advantage of my flexible schedule to meet up for coffee, lunch, dinner, and workouts with my Chicago clients, coaches, and friends! So fun. And I finally got a much needed hair cut.

On Wednesday I pushed myself out of the good old comfort zone for an adventure with my incredible wedding photographer Christy. She's trying to build her portfolio for her Beautiful Sessions, which are geared towards making women feel gorgeous and confident in their own skin, so I decided to jump at the chance to celebrate and document this moment of my life. It was definitely a confidence boost and fun to connect with a different side of myself from the usual leggings/frizzy hair/low maintenance Anna. Who knew that there was a Glamazon just waiting to emerge?

Making: Lots of yummy dinners! I'm so happy the weather is cooling off, because it means that comfort food season is here! I tried two recipes from PaleOMG this week and they were both hits. This was the Chicken Bacon Rice Bowl, and we also loved the Pizza Spaghetti Pie

I've also started knitting again! I'm making some gorgeous striped chunky cowls for the shop. Knitting + wine + fall candle burning is perfection.

If wine goes with knitting, then tea most definitely goes with sewing. This is a comfy, stretchy, knit infinity scarf that will be in the shop next week. Can you tell my theme for fall is cozy comfort?

Planning: Next week I'm hosting my first "coach preview" group on Facebook for anyone who's interested in learning more about the Beachbody coaching opportunity. I'm planning to make this a monthly thing and I'm excited to stretch my boundaries and put myself and my team out there to connect with other motivated, driven, and passionate women! Still can't believe I've clicked so hard with this network marketing thing. 

I'm also launching my re-branded Etsy shop and Fall 2014 scarf line this coming Wednesday the 17th! I can't wait! So much floral, lace, flannel, cozy cowl goodness is headed your way. 

I'm testing out my first email subscription campaign, so if you want to stay up to date on my new products and adventures, you can sign up here! I'm going to be sending out an exclusive promotion on Wednesday to all my subscribers! 

So that's what's new with me! Just trying to find my footing in this crazy life, and constantly pushing the boundaries. Don't ever settle for less.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Raspberry Oat Protein Pancakes

Have you ever tried a protein pancake?

It's kind of a health and fitness cult thing, a pancake made with protein powder instead of flour. It sounds weird at first, but you mix the protein with some smashed bananas and egg, and it actually works! I was introduced to the recipe when I joined the Tone It Up community last summer.

Breakfast is hands-down my favorite meal of the day, and I'm always trying to find something that fills me up for at least half the morning. Protein pancakes have become a staple in my rotation, and I usually make one (or a waffle version!) at least once a week. Brown rice protein powder seems to work the best since it has more of a flour consistency than other proteins, and my favorite brands are Perfect Fit and Sun Warrior. They're both kind of pricey, but a bag usually lasts me a few months since I don't eat protein pancakes everyday. I also prefer the consistency, flavor, and ingredients of Shakeology for smoothies, so I save my brown rice protein for these pancakes!

I'd say that protein pancakes do an 80% job of satisfying my pancake cravings (they're definitely not as good as the real thing), but they keep me full and energized for so long without the carb coma and sugar crash of the real deal!

The basic protein pancake recipe calls for 1/2 banana, egg whites, 1 scoop of protein powder, cinnamon, and a small splash of almond milk. I think that recipe turns out a little dry, but they're good if you top them with fruit and Greek yogurt.

I like to add a little bit of oat flour to the mix to give the pancakes a more satisfying, cake-y texture. This is my current go-to recipe that I've been eating a lot lately!

Raspberry Oat Protein Pancakes
Serves 1

-1/2 ripe banana
-1 egg
-1/4 cup almond milk
-1 scoop brown rice protein
-1/4 cup oat flour (literally just oats pulverized in a food processor)
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp baking soda
(optional: vanilla or other flavored extracts)

-2/3 c fresh or frozen raspberries, warmed in the microwave
-1/4 c plain Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia

Mash the banana and egg together in a bowl with a fork until the banana is almost smooth. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly. Preheat a pan while you're mixing your batter (I've discovered that cast iron works the best!) and coat it with coconut oil or non-stick spray. Once the pan is nice and hot, turn the heat down to medium-low, pour in your batter, and let it cook for 5-6 minutes until the edges are starting to solidify. Use the biggest spatula you have to flip the pancake and cook it on the other side for 2-3 minutes.

You can make one giant pancake or two to three smaller ones. Smaller pancakes are easier to flip and good to start with until you get the hang of the technique! It's important to make sure your pan is really hot, and then cook your pancake long enough so it's more than halfway done before attempting the flip. It's easy to end up with a "pancake scramble" if you don't let it cook long enough, but luckily a scramble is just as tasty.

[21 Day Fix: 2 purples, 1 1/2 reds, 1/2 yellow]

Top your pancake with the Greek yogurt and berries, and enjoy!

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