Sweet Potato Soup


Sweet Potato Soup, another yummy one that the whole family loves. I got the recipe out of the February 2017 Southern Living magazine but there were definitely some errors in the print so I’m getting partial credit for this one.

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

– 2 cups chopped Yellow Onion

– 1 cup chopped Carrots

– 1 Tbsp. chopped Garlic

– 3 lbs. Sweet Potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2″ cubes

– 2 lbs. Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2″ cubes

– 1-1/2 tsp. Salt

– 1 tsp. Black Pepper

– 1 tsp. Ground Cumin

– 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

– 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

– 7 cups Chicken Stock

*NOTE* I used my Dutch Oven to make this but any large pot will do just fine.👌🏼

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Chop everything first (Always. It makes this whole process a hellova lot easier!) I also measured out all my spices and put them in a small bowl so they’re ready to go as well.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch Oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, Yukon potatoes, salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute, stirring.
  3. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Strain potatoes BUT, save your stock so put a large bowl under your colander when you strain.
  5. Transfer your potato mixture back into the pot if using an Immersion Blender or put small portions into a blender at a time; blend your potato mixture until smooth. Slowly add the chicken stock to your potato mixture until you reach your desired consistency.
  6. If you’d like, top your Sweet Potato Soup with toasted chopped pecans and plain yogurt. If you’re like me, eat as is because you don’t need all that fancy shit!

ENJOY!

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BBQ Chicken Sliders

I’m not mad at this Meal Prep at all. Insanely easy and 🌺HAWAIIAN ROLLS🌺 Yes, please!

I threw 9 chicken breasts in the crockpot with some water and cooked the chicken low and slow for about 7-8 hours. I shredded the chicken and then added Sprouts brand Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce. The kids (and the hubs) are all over this.

If you don’t have a Sprouts store in your area or you’re not able to find that brand in your local grocery store, try to find the healthiest version of BBQ sauce that you can find. I use Sprouts brand because there is no sugar in the sauce.

You can also make your own BBQ sauce. This Whole 30 approved version is pretty good and can be found here.

MACROS for 1 Cup of Chicken & 2 rolls
Protein – 48g
Carbs – 45g
Fat – 9g
Calories – 435

If You’re Struggling with Your Fitness/Health Goals, or Starving, PLEASE READ!

Confused by the image below? I don’t blame you, it’s a little crazy looking; but scroll down and read the information below the image. You’ll be happy you did.

These printouts are from my personal body scan that I do at a local nutrition shop. I’ve been doing these scans since January 10, 2015 at the same location, using the same machine.

On November 12, 2016 (the left image), I discovered that my calorie counting alone was no longer working because I lost 3 pounds of muscle and gained 3% body fat since my previous scan on October 25, 2016. Please Note: Calorie counting is a GREAT way to lose weight and it worked for me for a very long time.

At the discovery of the fat gain and muscle loss, I decided that it was time to start counting my macros (protein, carbs, fat). I have avoided macro counting for a while for two very good reasons…

  1. I was progressing fine with calorie counting alone, losing fat and gaining/maintaining muscle.
  2. I know how tedious macro counting can be and if I didn’t have to, I wasn’t going to. Because sanity matters people. 😉

I calculated my macros for my protein, carbs and fat and since implementing this new lifestyle change a little over a week ago, I have done pretty good at hitting those numbers. Not perfect, but good.

The printout on the right is from today, December 1, 2016. There is less than 3 weeks between the two images and check out those numbers!!

From November 12, 2016 to December 1, 2016 I gained 2.2 pounds (that doesn’t matter and I’ll explain why below*), BUT my body fat percentage went DOWN from 25.2% to 22.1% and my muscle went UP from 74.5 pounds of muscle to 79.6 pounds of muscle.

In less than 3 weeks I put on 5.1 pounds of muscle and dropped my body fat a little over 3%.

*Let’s talk Body Composition. The number on the scale doesn’t tell me how much fat or muscle I have or even how heavy my bones are and how much my organs and blood weighs. And in addition to that, it also doesn’t tell me how hard I work in the gym, how smart I am or what my worth is on this planet. DON’T GIVE THE SCALE SO MUCH POWER! Because I gained muscle and lost fat, my body composition has improved and physically I will appear leaner because although muscle weighs more than fat, it takes up less space. So that increase in the scale doesn’t bother me one bit!

When figuring out what my macros should be, I ended up with an additional 600 calories a day that I could eat. I don’t know anyone who’s on a fitness journey who would hate to hear the words, “Eat More Calories”. I’m sure those words may be scary but it works! And the proof is in the paperwork.

I knew immediately what changes needed to be made in order to correct my muscle loss and fat gain but you may not know what to do. If you’re frustrated and struggling, if you’re hungry and on the verge of quitting all together – DON’T! I can help you. And me helping you doesn’t mean that you have to start counting macros and buy a food scale. Me helping you may just mean that you need an adjustment to your caloric intake. 

Let’s fuel your body with the nutrients it needs and with exercising and patience, you’ll be on your way!

Contact me TODAY!

 

31-day Challenge

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Why am I posting a New Year’s Challenge in November? For one very good reason…

This challenge is for those looking for a Personalized workout plan. That means that I will review your current health and fitness level, daily living and personal activities, equipment availability and your goals to create a custom workout plan designed specifically for you.

Because of this, I need time for you to provide me with all the necessary information so I may create your 31-day workout plan. We have Thanksgiving and Christmas and lives to live between now and January 1st so let’s get a jump on those resolutions and get you ready to change your life in the New Year!

If you can only workout at home and you have zero fitness equipment, that’s ok! If you belong to a big box gym and have all the equipment in the world, great! If you’re male, female, interested in fat loss, striving for muscle gain, or if you just want to be able to bend over and tie your shoes again, whatever it may be, I can help you!

WHAT YOU GET…

– Custom 31-day Workout Plan designed to fit your needs, goals and equipment availability
– Trainer Approved Food List and Nutrition Advice
– Meal Prep Guide
– 50 Healthy Snack Ideas
– Unlimited Support and Guidance throughout the duration of the challenge

Email SarahJonesFitness@gmail.com to join or contact me here!

Protein

How important is Protein? It’s so important that without it, we could die or become severely malnourished.

All of your enzymes, cell transporters, blood transporters, all your cells scaffolding and structures, 100% of your hair and fingernails, much of your muscle, bone and internal organs and many hormones are mostly protein.

Makes sense now why Protein is so important.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Protein is 0.8g per kg of body weight (0.4g/lb) for the sedentary adult. For strength athletes that number increases to about 1.2-1.7g per kg of body weight(0.5-0.8g/lb) and for endurance athletes the RDA is 1.2-1.4g per kg of body weight (0.5-0.6g/lb).

There are many different factors that play a role in how much protein you should be consuming each day. Some of those factors are…

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Activity Level
  • How many total calories we eat/need
  • Our carbohydrate intake

Finding the right amount of protein to consume can involve a bit of trial and error. The RDA’s provided above are a good starting point. Determine which category you fall under and begin there. I personally consume a little less than 1g of Protein per pound of body weight.

For those who have a plant-based diet (Vegetarian or Vegan), you’ll have to work a little harder to get more protein from a mix of different sources in order to meet your protein needs.

6 Meals a Day vs 3 Meals a Day

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Is one better than the other? Nope! Surprised? I was too. As it turns out, there is no scientific backing to prove that we are metabolically better off eating 6 smaller meals a day compared to 3 meals.

Many people believe by eating more frequently we would somehow increase our metabolic rate. Not true. Or at least, not proven.

It all comes down to personal preference and what you’re eating in those 3 to 6 meals. Eating healthy, quality foods should be your main focus, along with staying within your caloric goals.

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