Turkey Taco Bake 

The recipe below makes TWO 9×13 dishes because one serving is 1/4 of the pan. Say what!?!? I made this “mini prep” and since being a parent means I have to feed all these children 😉 I made 2 pans worth so they could enjoy too. Thumbs up all around BUT, I thought is was pretty bland. Next time I may use a pre-packaged taco seasoning pack and add more jalapenos and hot sauce.  This recipe does freeze well.

INGREDIENTS:

▪️2 cups uncooked Brown Rice

▪️2 Yellow Onions, chopped

▪️6 Cloves of Garlic, minced

▪️2 Jalapeños, chopped

▪️48oz (3 pkgs.) Lean or Extra Lean Ground Turkey

▪️2 Bell Peppers (any color), chopped

▪️3 Limes – Squeezed for fresh juice

▪️4 Tbsp. Chili Powder

▪️2 tsp. Oregano

▪️1 tsp. Thyme

▪️Hot Sauce to taste (you’re gonna want to use this if you like a little kick)

▪️2 cups Shredded Mexican Four Cheese

▪️2 – 15oz cans of Tomato Sauce (no added sodium)

DIRECTIONS:

1️⃣Cook Brown Rice according to box instructions and set aside.

2️⃣Let’s get everything chopped, minced and juiced so it’s ready to go! Chop/Mince onions, garlic and jalapeño and set aside in same bowl. Chop peppers and set aside in same bowl. Juice limes and set aside.

3️⃣Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9×13 baking dishes with cooking spray.

4️⃣In a large pot set to medium/high heat, sauté Onion, Garlic and Jalapeños until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.

5️⃣Add ground turkey to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add peppers and continue to cook until the turkey is no longer pink.

6️⃣Drain turkey mixture and return to the pot. Add lime juice and seasonings stirring to combine. Then add tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of cheese and hot sauce (if using), stirring well.

7️⃣Split the turkey mixture into the two baking dishes and top both with the remaining cheese. Cover each dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

8️⃣Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and the edges are bubbling. Let it cool 10 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

 

MACROS for my exact ingredients…

46g Protein

29.5g Carbs

14.4g Fat

439 Calories

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Baked Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms

Baked Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms

The credit for the photo to the left goes to Better Homes and Gardens, this recipe is out of their Skinny One-Pan Recipes magazine from 2016. All other photos were taken by me.

This recipe is incredibly easy and delicious! I’ve made it a few times and the only tweak I make is that I add more chicken because I prefer more protein in my Risotto.

TIP: Use a Fresh Roasted Chicken from the grocery store and save time. I prefer the “no salt added” chicken if available.

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 6oz. Fresh Portobello Mushroom caps, halved and sliced (2-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 – 14.5oz cans Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked Arborio Rice (hidden amongst the others in the rice section)
  • 1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Italian Parsley (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 2-quart square or rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Stir in rice and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake, covered, 35 minutes or until rice is tender.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients, chicken and parmesan cheese, and top with parsley if preferred.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS (1-1/4 cups each)

MACROS (for the exact ingredients I used, pictured below)

  • 268 Calories
  • 28g Carbs
  • 16.2g Protein
  • 10.3g Fat

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!

 

Meal Prep Monday

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This weeks meal prep looks a bit different but it’s DELICIOUS! It will last quite a while too because I was able to make 22 total meals for the hubs and I PLUS 7 meals for the kids.

Here we have BBQ Sloppy Joe Cups with Brussels Sprouts (recipe link below). Mine look a bit empty because I’m only eating 2 cups per meal (they’re very filling) and Jonesy (the hubs) is having three. He has 1 cup of brussels sprouts and I have 3/4 cup.

After spending $55 on 5 meal preps last week because I was too tired to prep myself, I thought I would tally this one up and see how much each meal costs when I make them myself.

I am including the 7 meals for the kids because those count too, right? I spent $81.04 on everything and that includes the foil muffin cups, the milk, eggs, of which I have extras of all.

$81.04 / 29 total meals = $2.79

Crazy huh!? If you were ever unsure about whether or not meal prepping was worth it or if you could afford it, here’s your proof.

For my serving size (2 BBQ cups & 3/4 cup of Brussels Sprouts) the macros are…

447 Calories
59g Carbs
14g Fat
23g Protein

!!IMPORTANT NOTE!! I make my Sloppy Joe Cups with a sugar free BBQ sauce which I was able to find at my local (healthier) grocery store, Sprouts.

The recipe (for 12 sloppy joe cups) can be found at the link below.

https://sarahjonesfitness.com/2016/05/29/bbq-sloppy-joe-cups/

ENJOY!

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.

Crockpot Paleo Turkey Meatballs and Garlic Parmesan Zoodles

This weeks meal prep is Crockpot Paleo Turkey Meatballs and Garlic Parmesan Zoodles. This meal is full of flavor and really filling!

I used a recipe from Pinterest to make the meatballs. Link below.

Crockpot Paleo Turkey Meatballs

I saw a video on Facebook of the Garlic Parmesan Zoodles and quickly jotted down the steps so I don’t have a real recipe for that but I’ll share what I did.

 

 

Garlic Parmesan Zoodles

1. Zoodle your Zucchini (I use a spiralizer).

2. Add Ghee (clarified butter) and chopped garlic to a pan set on medium and allow Ghee to melt.

3. Add Zoodles to pan and cook for a few minutes before adding the shredded Parmesan, tossing Zoodles to help melt the Parmesan.

4. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Here’s the problem I had…the Parmesan didn’t melt very pretty and was kind of clumpy. I think next time I’ll prepare the Zoodles the same way but only add the Parmesan once the Zoodles are done. The kick provided by the red pepper flakes was perfect!

I “plated” the food in my meal prep containers sans tomato sauce and additional Parmesan. I’ll only add those two elements when I’m ready to eat, as seen in this photo above.

Lunch. Easy. Healthy. Good. A quick tip…


Lunch. Easy. Healthy. Good. A quick tip (which ended up being a long tip, sorry) for those who are struggling to eat healthy while at home or when you’re in a hurry and starving.

PLAN FOR SUCCESS

I don’t just mean meal prepping but that helps A LOT! I also suggest you have healthy foods that you enjoy in your home at all times. Don’t run out!

I always have tuna, hardboiled eggs, ready-to-eat salad and a light dressing, protein bars, fruit, rice cakes, all natural peanut butter, protein sweets i.e. ice cream & cookies, no sugar added fruit popsicles and Smartfood or SkinnyPop popcorn.

When I meal prep, that’s usually just for dinner so what about breakfast and lunch?

Breakfast is easy! Eggs, egg whites, oats, frittata, protein pancakes, English muffins, fruit, etc. Lunch can be tough for me. I’m usually coming home from the gym and a few errands and have a cranky baby and (during the summer), two older children who would happily agree to any form of fast food. I CAN’T CAVE, I HAVE GOALS!

That’s when the foods I mentioned above and what you see in the photo, come in handy. I make the tuna when I’m not rushed or starving and I make enough to eat for lunch for 2 or 3 days. These can be done with other foods that are your favorite.

When I’m out and about and I know we may be eating dinner later or maybe I’ll get hungry while driving around or end up stopping for ice cream for the kids (that happens a lot), I ALWAYS have a protein bar with me. My healthier option. My favorite, Oh Yeah ONE in Peanut Butter Pie flavor. I HATE protein bars and it took me about 3 years of trying different ones until I found something I could stand.

If you think you can’t do it, if you think you’ll never like healthier options and always feel like you’re suffering for your goals, it does NOT have to be that way. There are ways to conquer your goals without the misery. Trust me.

My children ate Bagel Bites for lunch today. I LOVEEEEE Bagel Bites! But oddly enough, I was not tempted and I enjoyed my healthy lunch. This is a strange feeling for me still which is why I was inspired to write this insanely long post. (Sorry again)

Lastly, if you need help, accountability, or you want to bounce ideas off of someone, I’m happy to help.

London Broil w/Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts

It’s August!! One of my favorite months because I was born in August. Yay!!

We have a delicious Meal Prep this week…

London Broil that was marinated for 24 hours and grilled to a beautiful medium-rare (the picture makes the meat look a bit more pink than it is in person). This was my first time (successfully) cooking on the grill. The last meal I attempted to grill was turkey burgers and they ended up becoming burnt turkey crumbles because they fell apart and into the fire.

Ingredients for the marinade per 2 pounds of London Broil are:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

 

Easy Meal Prep – Turkey Patties with Sauteed Asparagus and Mushrooms

 

Another easy Meal Prep idea for you guys. Here we have Turkey patties with sautéed asparagus and mushrooms. These are His and Hers, mine have the 3 patties (bottom of the photo) and my husband has 5 patties.

I honestly do not go into the grocery store knowing exactly how much of everything I need. I go in thinking, “I need a lot!” This prep made 16 meals and it included everything that you see in the ingredients photo.

Have a question or comment, I’d love to hear it. Let’s Chat!