Don’t let the weekend become your weak end!

5 Tips to Prevent Your Weekend from Becoming a Weak End

During the week, most of us fall into a regular routine. Whether it’s work-driven or motivated by our kid’s schedules, most tend to do a much better job of staying on track with our health during the week. We make strides in our fitness, we make pretty good choices with our eating…

And then the weekend comes.

For some, it’s no big deal. But for others, those extra “free time” hours or bonus activities somehow can get us off track. If we’re not careful, a careless weekend (regularly, as a rule), can even undo what we worked hard to accomplish during the week.

So how do we make sure our weekend doesn’t end up being a weak end? Here are my 5 top tips:

Get outdoors.

Being inside typically leads to less activity. If you can get outside, even if it’s just in your yard playing with your kids, you’ll ensure extra steps in your day. Feel free to add in an extra traditional workout if that’s what you prefer to do on the weekends, but don’t feel pressure. Just enjoying His creation + time with our families is enough to make sure we stay moving.

Rest + Relax.

Make time to relax. Our weeks typically keep us on the go, and the only way we can ensure we’re ready to do it all again next week without feeling burned out is by taking some extra recharge time.

Also, aim to get in bed at a reasonable hour as often as possible. We often justify staying up later since “it’s the weekend,” but especially if you have young kids, you probably find yourself getting up as early as your normally do on weekdays. We still require the same amount of sleep on the weekends, and the last thing we need is to begin our week already exhausted.

Indulge once, not always.

I’m not one for restriction…but if we eat like calories don’t count on the weekend, we’ll find ourselves sabotaging our results…but more importantly, we’ll find ourselves feeling sluggish and even sick if we have more treats than our bodies are used to. One splurge won’t hurt you, but multiple indulgences will add up to more consequences than extra calories alone.

Get ahead for next week.

Hopefully, the weekends provide a little more freedom in your schedule. Use a little time to plan ahead. On the weekends, I like to plan our family meals, grocery shop, and prep whatever I can in advance as soon as I get home. (It’s amazing how much more likely we are to eat fruits and vegetables when they’re already washed + cut!)

I also schedule my workouts for the next week. I’m much more likely to do what has made it on my calendar, rather than leaving it to chance.

Keep Sunday special.

You know I couldn’t do a post on the weekend without keeping the main thing the main thing. 😉 His Word instructs us not to neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10:25). We need community, and we need to stick together. The encouragement and love we get from one another is always my favorite kick start to each week.

What about you? How do you stay consistent on the weekends?

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf

Alright! I’ve been asked to share more recipes so here’s another great one my whole family loves and it’s super simple to make.

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf 😋
Makes 5 servings
On my plan this will count as 1 lean, 1/4 green, 2 condiments

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 egg
2/3 cup low fat shredded cheese
6 tbsp sugar free BBQ sauce
2 tsp salt free seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground mustard powder
5 tbsp chopped onion
1 large jalapeño diced (2 oz)
Cooking spray
Pinch of salt and pepper

Spray skillet with cooking spray and add onions and jalapeños cooking over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper stirring often. Turn heat to low and continue to cook until onions are caramelized. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 425. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl mix meat, spices, garlic, and mustard. Mix thoroughly. Add beaten egg, 4 tbsp bbq sauce, onions, and cheese. Mix thoroughly. Divide evenly and place into muffin tin. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with remainder bbq sauce on top.

Element 12: Optimizing Your Success In Reaching A Healthy Weight

With the school year coming to an end for the summer, kids will have more free time and parents may hear the dreaded words “I’m bored”. 

However, it is important to follow the guidelines that are in Element 12 of Your LifeBook. In this element, Co-founder and independent OPTAVIA Coach, Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, addresses why limiting specific fruits and slowly introducing an exercise routine during this initial phase of your journey is important:

  • Fruit Most fruits have a relatively high glycemic index and deliver a high carbohydrate load, which can take you out of a fat-burning state, but this is just for the initial portion of your journey! Fruit will be reintroduced after the weight-loss phase to help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise During the first 2-3 weeks on Plan, your body enters a gentle fat-burning state.As it switches fuel sources, using fat as its primary energy source, you may incorporate mild to moderate exercise as your body adjusts. Over the following few weeks, you can add more activity to increase your healthy motion.

In addition to the points above, use this checklist as you work towards reaching a healthy weight:

  • Utilize Your LifeBook. Your LifeBook is filled with critical information intended to support your transformation and to help you to be successful! Utilize the tracking sheets and exercises to track your progress to optimal health.
  • Eat every two to three hours. Eating every two to three hours allows carbohydrates and protein to be spaced evenly throughout the day. Your body can better regulate blood sugar levels and support weight loss when you maintain a regular meal schedule. Plan your five Fuelings and Lean & Green Meal for the next day in advance, making it easier to adhere to a schedule. Check the OPTAVIA App for plan approved recipes to make in advance.
  • Get plenty of rest. During the first few days of fat burn, you may feel slightly tired as your body adjusts. Make sure you practice healthy sleeping habits such as getting at least eight hours of sleep in a comfortable environment, without electronics or other distractors like television.
  • Drink water. We recommend drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day to stay hydrated. Opting for water instead of other beverages reduces calorie and sugar intake.

Connect with me, your independent OPTAVIA Coach, to discuss how we can partner to define eating strategies that will lead you to a life of optimal health and wellbeing.

*Consult with your healthcare provider prior to changing the amount of water you drink as it can affect certain health conditions and medications.

Plan a Healthy Summer for the Kids

Now that school is out for the summer, kids have more free time and parents sometimes hear the dreaded words “I’m bored”. It’s important for kids to stay active and make the most of the summer months before heading back to school. After all, the best way for kids to learn healthy habits is by watching their parents as role models. Here are some healthy activities to keep your children or grandchildren active throughout the summer:

  • Visit a farmer’s market. Take a trip to the farmer’s market and stock up on fresh produce. When you get home, do a cooking demo and have your kids help prepare healthy snacks or your Lean & Green Meal with the items you purchased.
  • Plant a garden. Create a designated space to start a flower, herb, or vegetable garden. Aside from having fun, your kids can even develop self-confidence, a sense of responsibility, and a love for nature.
  • Summer journal. Bring out the inner artist or writer in your kids and encourage them to write or draw about their summer activities. Not only will this help keep their minds active throughout the summer, but they’ll also be creating memories that they can revisit in future years.
  • Go to the playground. Swings, see-saws, and slides are a great way for your kids to play while burning some calories. Use your walk to the playground, and simply keeping up with them while they play, as an opportunity to maximize NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
  • Outdoor activities. Plan a day for a family bike ride, hike, picnic, or combination of these! This is a great way to explore nature and your surroundings while getting in some quality time.
  • Play ball. Have your kids invite their friends over and organize teams for a friendly game of basketball, kickball, or soccer. Not only will they get their exercise in, but they’ll also maintain their social connections throughout the summer.
  • Book Club. Reduce screen time by making reading a daily habit. Ask their teacher for a suggested summer reading list, visit your local library, or come up with your own to keep your kids’ brains active while school is out.

Teriyaki Verde Flank Steak

IT’S GRILLING SEASON!! I can’t wait to try this! 😋

Teriyaki Verde Flank Steak

3 servings

Each serving provides:
1 lean
1 1/2 condiments

3 Tablespoons G Hughes teriyaki sauce
– 3 condiments
6 Tablespoons salsa verde
– 6 condiments

15 oz. (Tenderized) flank steak
– 3 leans

Marinate overnight. Grill and serve. Add 3 greens and you’re done!

Chicken Tikka Masala

We love Indian food….this is DEFINITELY going on my list to try this week! I love cooking and trying new healthy recipes! This one was developed by our partnership with the Culinary Institute of America so I know it’ll be delish. Let me know if you are going to try it too!

Chicken Tikka Masala
¾ lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
⅛ tsp salt
1½ tsp tikka masala or tandoori masala spice mix
2 scallions, trimmed and minced
1½ cups canned diced tomatoes
½ cup water
3 tbsp sour cream
1 cup cauliflower rice
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Toss the cubed chicken with the salt, tikka masala (or tandoori masala) spice mix and scallions.
Add the tomatoes and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the seasoned chicken and gently return to a boil, stirring frequently.
Simmer for about 15 minutes without a lid, allowing the tomatoes to reduce into a thick sauce. Stir occasionally and if needed, add more water during cooking.
Once sauce is thick, add the sour cream and mix well; set aside.
To cook the cauliflower rice, microwave the cauliflower rice in a microwave-safe bowl for 5 to 6 minutes. Alternatively, the cauliflower can be spread on a parchment-lined sheet pan and baked in the oven at 425°F for 20 minutes or sautéed for 3 to 4 minutes in a nonstick skillet.
For each serving, arrange ½ cup of cauliflower rice on a plate and top with about 1¾ cups of the chicken tikka masala. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of cilantro.

Tip: For a thicker sauce, puree the tomatoes in their juices.
Note: The color of the dish may vary depending on which spice mix you choose to use.

Makes 2 servings (1 lean, 3 green, 3 condiments per serving).
Nutrition Per Serving: 290 calories, 38g protein, 11g carb, 10g fat

Healthy Surf & Turf in Creamy Cajun Sauce

Gosh, this looks good doesn’t it? “Fancy” and good for you!

Surf & Turf 🥩 in Creamy Cajun Sauce

1 tsp olive oil
5 ounces steak
7 ounces shrimp
10.5 ounces cauliflower
1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup veg broth
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
2 TBSP reduced fat parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
Sprinkle parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the steaks and sear until lightly browned on both sides and cooked to the desired level of doneness, before setting aside.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the butter and let it melt before adding the shrimp and cooking until just pink on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side, and set aside.
In a separate small pot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Add the vegetable broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon as the broth sizzles.
Add the almond milk, mix in the dijon mustard and cajun seasoning, bring to a low boil and let simmer for a minute.
Mix in the cheese and let it melt into the sauce.
Mix in the lemon juice, parsley and shrimp then set aside.
Place cauliflower florets (uncooked) into blender or food processor. Once riced, add to frying pan and steam with a small amount of water.
Plate the rice then add steak and creamy shrimp sauce and serve!

Serves 2, per serving: 1 lean, 3 green, 3 condiments

Emotional Eating

The yo-yo cycle of gaining and losing.

It’s exhausting. Frustrating. Embarrassing.

Celebrating Shandi who is down 63 lbs and MOST happy about what she’s learning and the tools provided with our program to help her MIND. She’s breaking the patterns and chains and creating new responses.

Here is her story as she shares it:

“At my heaviest, I weighed 211 lbs. I tried everything from counting points to intermittent fasting and every fad diet in between. I’d lose some weight, go off plan, gain it back plus some. Classic yo-yo dieter. 🙄

I am so glad I said YES to 1 more plan. It changed my life! Not everyday has been perfect, but I stayed focused and I reached my goal of 148 lbs. My BP & A1c improved. I started sleeping through the night and waking up rested and ready to go without pain! My energy level is through the roof. This time, I’m confident I will be successful in maintaining my weight. The difference is a new healthy mindset and an amazing support system.

I’m setting new goals now and enjoying my healthy lifestyle! I’m looking forward to all the amazing opportunities that are going to happen for myself and my family all because I said YES to this program!”

This is why I love sharing this gift!!!

I have a savings of almost $300 available through the end of the month if you are thinking this might be your time.

Virtual Coaching, Behavioral & Lifestyle Education, Community, Nutrition Plan.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is about using your awareness to reach a state of full attention to your experiences, cravings, and physical cues.

To master eating mindfully takes practice. Our Community of encouraging, like-minded people are here to help you navigate any challenges you might face. Eventually, you will develop new habits that can help you overcome your eating challenges.

Try the following tips to work towards mindful eating:

  • Eat slowly. Slowing down your eating is one of the best ways to get your mind and body to communicate what you truly need. When you slow down, you can give your body a chance to catch up to your brain and hear the signals to eat the right amount.
  • Listen to your body. Often, we first listen to our minds. However, like many mindfulness practices, we might discover more wisdom by tuning into our bodies first. Too often, we eat when our mind tells us to, rather than our bodies. Mindful eating is listening deeply to our body’s signals for hunger. Ask yourself: What are your body’s hunger signals, and what are your emotional hunger triggers?
  • Cultivate a mindful kitchen. Another way that we eat mindlessly is by randomly searching through cabinets and eating at odd times and places, rather than thinking proactively about our meals. Having a mindful kitchen means organizing and caring for your kitchen and pantry space, so it encourages healthy eating and nourishing gatherings.
  • Attend to your plate. Multitasking and eating are the recipe for not being able to listen deeply to our body’s needs and wants. With your next meal, try single tasking and just eating, with no screens or distractions. Instead, share a meal and have a good conversation with your eating companion.

Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken & Cauliflower Rice Bowls

Looking for some healthy options for Cinco de Mayo? I’m here to help! This is a fun one and think you could use a slow cooker for the chicken if don’t have an Instapot!

Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken & Cauliflower Rice Bowls
1 Leaner | 1 Healthy Fat | 3 Green | 3 Condiments
Yield: 4 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

1, 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/3 cup salsa
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + 1 tsp sauce
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp salt
1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 cups frozen riced cauliflower
1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
½ medium-sized avocado, sliced

1.Combine first six ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
2.Place chicken in Instant Pot, and pour sauce over top. Secure lid and close pressure valve. Set to 20 minutes at high pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally before opening. Remove chicken and shred, and then toss back in sauce.
3.Meanwhile, microwave riced cauliflower according to package directions.
4.To serve: Divide riced cauliflower, chicken, cheese, and avocado evenly amongst four bowls.

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