Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Grocery Haul & Weekly Meals!

Sunday, January 24, 2016
Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend :) I love Sunday's because I get to sleep in, get in a good workout, have a "fancier" breakfast (like delicious pancakes today), sip my coffee slowly, and grocery shop!

I love grocery shopping :) Healthy food makes me excited and I love cooking healthy meals that taste amazing and make me feel good. I wanted to share one of my grocery hauls with you guys to give an idea of what I buy each week and some of my meals. Although our biggest grocery haul is on Sunday, I typically stop 1-2x extra per week for a few more things we either run out of, or a last minute friday night dinner we want to make! The main two stores I currently shop at are Trader Joe's and Wegmans Supermarket. I will buy organic in 75% of my produce and 99% of the time in my poultry/meat/dairy. As long as my stores carry organic in the items I have on my list, then I will get it. If they do not have organic, I will typically still buy the regular produce that I need and I just make sure to wash it thoroughly.

I do not always meal prep, but I do make a list before I head out shopping which helps a TON. I make the list in my phone and erase items as I go. I honestly could not imagine shopping for the week without a list written down! I spend a little time each Sunday brainstorming what dinners/meals I will be eating each week, and then buy according to the meals. My boyfriend and I typically eat leftovers 1-2x per week and then go out to eat 0-1x per week so I factor that in. Lucky for me, he is not fussy at all and loves whatever I cook, so he eats what I am eating for dinner or some nights we do our own thing with whatever is on hand.

At the end of this post, I also talk about my take on "diet labels" and "cheat meals" and why I do not do them!

Every day I alternate between breakfasts. Breakfast is my favorite meal and it is sometimes my biggest meal of the day. I am always starving first thing in the morning, especially if I fit in a early workout. I eat based off what I am in the mood for, if I did a hard workout first, and however hungry I am. These are some of my breakfast staples that I alternate.

•   Oatmeal and/or Oatbran (fruit, non-dairy milk, nut butter, plant protein powder)
•   Smoothie (plant protein powder, non-dairy milk, fruit)
     AND sprouted grain toast (ezekiel grain + coconut oil & nut butter)
•   Hearty Smoothie (plant protein, fruit, non-dairy milk, nut butter, spinach, chia seeds, etc)
•   Pancakes (vegan buckwheat or coconut flour/protein + fruit, maple syrup & nut butter)

I include nut buter in 90% of my breakfasts because without this satisfying healthy fat I find I get hungry SO fast. Plus it's delicious! I love sweet breakfasts and have never been a big fan of savory in the morning. I find it keeps my cravings for sweets at bay, plus I have a slight egg intolerance so I have to stay away from those! :(

Lunches for me vary day to day and week to week. I like to switch it up so I don't get bored and go by whatever I am craving or feeling for that week. I often will use leftovers during the week for my lunch or as part of my lunch. Salads are a common one for me, but I make them filling and delicious, nothing plain here! Here are some common lunches for me.

•   Massaged kale/romaine/spinach salad + veggies + 1/2 avocado
     + crock pot chicken/grilled chicken/ground turkey/salmon + nuts/seeds
•   Turkey bean chili (recipe can be found here!)
•   Turkey lentil vegetable soup (recipe on my instagram!)
•   Zoodles + ground turkey & homemade sauce with veggies

I love to make A LOT of whatever I am making so that there are leftovers. Here are just a few of the dinner staples I make weekly or bi-weekly.

•   Grilled italian marinated chicken breasts/thighs + roasted veggies
•   Turkey/chicken burgers + roasted veggies + salad
•   Salmon salads (tons of veggies + avocado + sometimes feta)
•   Tacos (ground turkey or crock pot chicken + avocado, veggies, ezekiel sprouted corn tortillas
     OR a taco salad minus the tortillas)
•   Salmon + roasted veggies
•   Zoodles + ground turkey & homemade sauce with veggies
•   Turkey bean chili (recipe can be found here!)
•   Turkey lentil vegetable soup (recipe on my instagram!)
•   Chicken & vegetable stir fry with quinoa or rice
•   Whole wheat or Quinoa crust homemade pizza + salad

I eat breakfast early between 7-8am, lunch around noon, and dinner post-workout around 6-8. Therefore I need snacks between lunch and dinner to give me every if I workout after work, and to sustain me until dinner time (it is not good to go that long without eating!) If I am hungry, I eat. It is that simple. Never restrict yourself from food no-matter what your goals are! If you are hungry then your body is telling you it needs food. Even for those trying to lose weight, you should never starve yourself when you are clearly hungry. Of course sometimes after dinner I may not necessarily be starving but I may have a sweet tooth so I will have a clean snack or dessert as well!

•   Raw veggies + hummus
•   Clean protein bar (brands: Square, Raw Rev, KIND, Rx Bar, LARA are some favorites)
•   Fruit (apples, pineapple, clementines, etc.)
•   Rice cake + nut butter
•   Dark chocolate (72% or 80% or 88%...darker the better + more satisfying!)
•   Healthy & clean baked good (clean banana chia muffins/bread, vegan brownies, vegan choc chip blondies, etc. these recipes can be found on my instagram!)
•   Banana ice cream (frozen bananas in the food processor + PB or cacao powder)
•   Plain greek yogurt + nut butter & dark choc chips
•   Nuts (love cashews, pistachios & almonds!)
•   Stovetop popcorn (made with coconut oil...fiber packed & a great volume food!)

This week's Sunday grocery haul:
The haul below does not include the food bought for all of my boyfriends meals. I chose to show only what I also consume along with him. Although we eat the same dinners, his lunch/breakfeat meals vary).

Frozen mango
Frozen blueberries
Frozen strawberries
Butternut squash
(already had - spring mix, kale, carrots, celery, lemons, limes, clementines, potatoes, pineapple & brustle sprouts at home)

Chicken breasts
Ground turkey
Salmon fillets
Canned tuna

Raw almond butter
Rice cakes
Fage greek yogurt
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Coconut oil cooking spray
Chick peas
Ginger kombucha
(already had - oatmeal/bran, nuts, peanut butter, ezekiel sprouted bread, vegan protein, cashew milk, oils & vinegars, hummus, etc meal components at home!)

As I said earlier, I try to buy most of my produce organic as long as it is in stock, and 99% of the time I buy organic meats. I have learned more over the past year how important organic is especially with meats due to the hormones and harmful substances inside the meat that cannot be washed off like so with produce. To me, it is worth the extra $ since your best investment is your health! Eat good = good health = longer life & less disease.

For more meal ideas scroll through my instagram, @stefliafit as all of the meals + recipes mentioned above are on there! Hope this helped some of you trying to meal prep or plan groceries for the week, as well as give some ideas to those who want to switch things up :)


My take on "diet labels" & "cheat meals".
I strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle and I believe moderation is key in this. I do not cut out any food groups, I simply listen to my body and what it wants. I listen to what foods make me feel good and what ones make me feel bad. I choose to nourish my body with clean, whole foods instead of processed foods. Also, what works for one person may not work for another person. ( For example, one person may thrive off oatmeal in the morning, while it may make another person feel sick. Kale may be a superfood for one person, but cause stomach discomfort for another person. ) One person's healthy is not necessarily your healthy. Learn what works for YOU and own it! There is not one cookie-cutter way to be healthy. You do not need to be vegan, gluten-free, paleo, ect. in order to be "healthy". You actually do not have to have a label at all! Just live your best balanced, healthy lifestyle and you will do great. :)

Okay, I honestly dislike the term "cheat meal" and I do not do them. This is because my goal is to live balanced and with everything in moderation. I understand that planned cheats may work for some people, which is great, but not for me! I personally believe you can reach all of your goals and be a very healthy individual without planning cheat meals and without restricting yourself completely. When I do have cravings, which admittedly isn't very often, I will honor them. Simple as that! The truth is the more often you eat clean/healthy and stick to whole foods that nourish you, the less often you crave the other stuff. Plus, I have learned many ways to honor those cravings when they do strike, in a healthy way. There are healthy substitutes for literally anything your heart desires! Examples: (banana ice-cream, healthy or vegan blondies/muffins/brownies, dark chocolate, whole wheat homemade pizza, whole grain pasta, healthy nachos, homemade fries, ect.) I prefer to satisfy my cravings this way (half of the time) because it leaves me feeling better! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely still indulge in processed foods and "not-so-healthy" meals every once in a while, especially when special occasions & holidays come around! Sometimes in life these meals/treats are more often, while sometimes they are weeks apart. I just always keep moderation in mind and to not go over-board to the point where I feel sick. BALANCE is key. Restriction is no way to live your life. Find the balance that works for you & never let food hold you back from enjoying people/experiences/memories because life is short!

Friday, January 15, 2016

My Top (Everyday) "Detox" Tips

Friday, January 15, 2016
Hey guys! TGIF. I am so glad its finally the weekend. I don't know about you but this week seemed to drag on for me. Now that the holidays are over with, I hope to get back to posting more regularly. I would love to hear from you guys about what topics and posts you would like to see from me! All suggestions are welcome :)

Anyways, I wanted to write this post for anyone who needs a quick "reset" for their body, or a "detox" if you will. Our bodies naturally detox 24/7, however these tips will simply assist in the detox of your liver, digestive system, and your mind. Maybe you partied too hard Friday night, fell off the healthy train for a week or two, or over-indulged at a holiday party! These things can leave you feeling fatigued, bloated, tired, and unmotivated. Or maybe you just got over a nasty cold, or simply want to feel refreshed, lighter, and clean out your system! These "Detox" tips I swear by, and are based off my own experiences and results.

Try incorporating the following tips into your regular routine for a few days, and see how much better you feel inside and out! These are all safe to do daily, and are meant to accompany a healthy lifestyle.

1. Sweat it out

This may be an obvious one, but it works every time. I always think of the saying, "you never regret a workout". It's so true, when have you ever thought "ugh I wish I didn't do that workout"? Thats right, never. Even if you feel sluggish/tired/hungover it will make you feel better once your finished.

Exercise promotes circulation in our bodies and allows organs such as the lymph nodes and liver to cleanse those bodily fluids. It flushes out our lungs and assists in the passing of food through our digestive system quicker, while also opening the sweat glands and cleansing our skin through sweat.

Sweating will help release endorphins, as well as aid in removal of excess sodium in the body. If you feel bloated from over-indulging, sweating it out is key. Not only does it put some of that stored glycogen to use, but it will make you feel so much better after. It doesn't need to be strenuous exercise, either. Jog or incline walking for 30-40 minutes, or enough to get you sweating, will help.

2. Epsom salt bath

This is one of my favorite "detox" tips. Epsom salts are bath salts that reap tons of detoxifying benefits and also relax you like crazy (Oxymoron??). Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bath triggers "reverse osmosis" which actually pulls salt from your body and removes harmful toxins along with it!

I buy a large bag at the grocery store or drug store, often one that contains lavender essential oil like this one here. I add 1-2 cups of the salt to a steaming hot bath, make a mug of tea, and sit back and soak for 20-30 minutes. You have to soak for at least 20 minutes to reap full benefits. Make sure to keep water or tea by the tub so you don't get light headed!

Some of the amazing benefits:

  • Draws toxins from the body
  • Replenishes magnesium in the body
  • Soothes pain and muscle aches/soreness
  • Heals cuts/blemishes
  • Cures skin issues
  • Treats colds & congestion
  • Relaxes the nervous system (great stress reliever!)

After the bath, it is recommended to take a cold (or at least lukewarm) shower and use only natural products on your body. Make sure to use an all natural soap and moisturizer, since your skin is still sensitive and detoxing so it is absorbing things fast. I use Dr.Bronner's Fair Trade Organic Castile Liquid soap which you can find here. It is an amazing all natural soap made of oils and is the best thing you can put on your skin! It smells incredible too, and a tiny bit goes a long way (so its worth the steep price).

As for lotion, I always use coconut oil for my moisturizer. It makes my skin so smooth and silky, and absorbes really fast as long as you don't over-do it. Coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. I have used it in the past when skin issues or infections have popped up and it has healed them all within a week. I even use it as makeup remover because it works better than any store-bought kind and is nourishing for the delicate eye area. And despite what people think, using oil on your skin will not make you break out or cause you to have oily skin. It's amazing stuff!

I recommend taking the salt bath in the evening as you tend to get very sleepy from it. It relaxes your entire body & mind, so if you suffer from stress or anxiety, this will help you!

3. Dandelion root tea with lemon

This is another one of my favorite tips! As I'm sure you already know, you should already be consuming more water, which is the easiest and fastest way to flush out your system. Dandelion root is an amazing herb, that is a natural mild diuretic and liver detoxifier. It also regulates digestion and eases an upset tum. I will drink this herbal tea 3-4x per day when I need to "detox". I will then have it once a day most days throughout the week. I recommend one cup first thing in he morning, two in-between meals, and another before bed. If you have bloat then this tip will work wonders for you because it helps your body release the water it is holding onto (it's diuretic property). Also, It detoxes the liver which is crucial if you had a big night out drinking! Squeezing some fresh lemon in the tea will also help speed up the process and help "get things moving" if you know what I mean! Lemon water reaps many similar benefits and is an amazing addition to every diet no matter if your trying to "detox" or not.

Benefits of Dandelion Herb:
  • Nourishes the liver
  • Boosts immune system
  • High in iron & zinc
  • Helps maintain regularity
  • Aids skin problems
  • Detoxifies toxic waste
  • Mild diuretic
  • Aids in digestion
  • Blood purifier

Benefits of Lemon:

  • Boosts immune system
  • Balances ph levels in the body
  • Flush out unwanted materials
  • Cures throat infections
  • Blood purifier
  • Aids in digestion
  • Mild diuretic
  • Hydrates lymph system
  • Purifies the liver
  • High in vitamin C

Aside from the above tips, make sure to be eating a clean, balanced diet and do not give in the the urge to skip meals or restrict. That only does more harm than good! Nourish your body with high amounts of vegetables, especially leafy greens, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and sprouted grains. See my Instagram for lots of healthy meal ideas! I am a firm believer that if you eat good you will feel good. A healthy lifestyle + balance is key!

Stef Lia Fit © 2014