5 Simple No-Cook Snacks to Make this Week

No time for meal prep? (Not even a no-cook meal prep or one that you could make in 90 minutes or less?) At least you can be prepared with a few nutritious no-cook snacks to get you through hectic days, and keep you from hitting the vending machine or fast food window.

Make These Simple No-Cook Snacks

These no-cook snack boxes are easy to put together and are filling enough to pass for a regular meal, or you can snack on them throughout the day. Each has protein or healthy fats to help satisfy hunger, and fiber to keep you feeling full longer. We made sure they pack lots of color and flavor too, to appeal to your tastebuds when that mid-afternoon rumble in your tummy cries out for FOOD! Get more ideas for creative snack combinations.

How Do Snacks Fit Into Your Healthy Meal Plan?

If you’re working hard to eat healthy at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, don’t give in to temptation at snack time. Use these snack combos to up your snack game from a basic apple or bag of carrot sticks to something you’ll actually look forward to eating every day.  We’ve included the Portion Fix equivalent for each snack box so you can easily add it to your meal plan! Find out how Portion Fix can make losing weight simple. These container amounts can also be used if you’re following the meal plans for 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, CORE DE FORCE, 22 Minute Hard Corps, and The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

These snack box combos are great ideas for kids too! We know, kids are notoriously picky eaters (and some of you grownups are too!). However, so many snacks targeted to kids are light on nutrition and heavy on sugar and artificial ingredients. You may look at these snack ideas and laugh: My kid would NEVER. That’s OK! We know it can be tough to please developing palettes. Use these snack boxes as templates to create your own snack ideas based on foods they do like. Swap kiwi for blueberries or apple slices, trade guacamole for hummus. If celery is a no-go, how about baby carrots? Some kids will only eat celery when it’s cut into very thin sticks, or carrots if they are sliced into circles. Whatever it takes. A little bit of peanut butter makes both better.

Give Me Protein Snack Box

What’s in this snack: 2 hardboiled eggs. 4 oz. deli turkey, 1 oz cheese, 1 cup celery sticks with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
Portion Fix containers: 1 green, 2 red,  1 blue, 3 tsp.
Simple No-Cook Snack Ideas

Fruits and Nuts Snack Box

What’s in this snack: ¾ cup plain 1% Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tsp. honey and ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ cup strawberries, ½ cup nectarine or orange wedges, ½ cup green grapes, 12 raw almonds
Portion Fix containers: 1 red, 1 ½ purple, 1 blue
Simple No-Cook Snack Ideas

Easy Roast Beef Pinwheels

What’s in this snack: ¼ cup goat cheese, 4 oz. sliced roast beef, ½ cup spinach rolled up in 1 6-inch whole wheat tortilla and sliced into pinwheels, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, 1 kiwi (or plum, or small tangerine)
Portion Fix containers: 1 blue, 1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 purple
Simple No-Cook Snack Ideas

Chips and Dips Snack Box

What’s in this snack: ½ cup baked corn tortilla chips (or these homemade tortilla chipsmade from 2 corn tortillas), ¼ cup guacamole, ¼ cup pico de gallo, ¾ cup bell pepper sticks, ½ cup pineapple cubes
Portion Fix containers: 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green, ½ purple
Simple No-Cook Snack Ideas

No-Cook Snacks for the Sweet Tooth

What’s in this snack: 1 cup raspberries (or blueberries), 4 chocolate or plain Graham crackers (1 sheet), 1 Tbsp. cacao nibs mixed with 2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
Portion Fix containers: 1 purple, 1 yellow, 1 blue, 3 tsp.
Simple No-Cook Snack Ideas

As always, wishing you health & happiness 😉

-Ivy Johnson

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Survival Guide

Grocery shopping. Everybody’s favorite pastime, right? (Nope.)

Let’s face it, grocery shopping can be intimidating, challenging, and feel like a chore. And once you get there, how do you make sure you’re buying the “right” foods?

We all know the basic rules: Don’t shop when you’re hungry, shop on the “outside” (where they stock all the healthy stuff), and go with a list.

But we all have those days when we end up at the grocery store, starving, wandering around aimlessly, without a list.

Don’t panic; here’s how to survive the grocery store, one aisle at a time.

How to Shop for Fruits and Vegetables

First up, fruits and veggies. Make this your first stop. When you fill your cart with colorful produce, there’s less room for things that shouldn’t be in there — like everything in the chip and candy aisle.

When selecting produce, dig deep. If you want your fruits and veggies to be fresh and perky all week long, pick from the back of the pack — the ones front and center are nearing their expiration date and may spoil faster.

And if your pocketbook calls the shots (like the rest of us), spend your dollars wisely by going organic only when necessary. Buying fruits and veggies in season will save you even more dough. But if you’re not in the right season, head for the freezer section: the frozen versions are just as nutritious.

Here are the basics that are always good to have on hand:

How to Shop for Meat and Seafood

In general, when it comes to protein, choose cuts of meat with “loin,” or “round” in the name; these are the lean cuts. For ground meats, choose at least 93 to 95 percent lean. Ground turkey should be 99 percent lean. Keep in mind beneficial fats in salmon and tuna are on the good list!

Here are some other in-the-know tips from the pros:

  • Talk to the butcher and ask questions; you may just find yourself privy to VIP treatment. Find out what cuts are super fresh and ask for the best way to cook them. You can even request for meats to be ground fresh for you.
  • Serving a family of one or two? Cut down on food waste by getting it cut to your preferred portion.
  • Stay away from textured soy protein products and stick with tofu and tempeh — and make it organic to avoid GMOs.
  • If you want deli meat for a quick lunch or snack, choose nitrate-free, low-sodium, and less-processed varieties.
  • In a rush? Pick up a rotisserie chicken — just make sure it’s a plain version instead of one with sauces that could be sweetened with sugar. To keep things lean, discard the fatty skin.
  • Canned tuna and salmon are a bargain when it comes to seafood. They’re easy to prepare and rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Buy tuna and salmon canned in water instead of oil.
  • Fresh-caught fish shouldn’t have an odor, so if it’s super smelly, pass it up or go for frozen, which is often a better price, too.

How to Shop for Eggs and Dairy

The options in the egg and dairy aisle can be dizzying: cashew milk, almond milk, grass-fed, free-range, brown/white, extra-large eggs, and on and on. For both eggs and dairy, there are plenty of arguments on both sides of the organic vs. conventional debate, but here are some general guidelines:

  • If you’re a dairy drinker, choose whole or 2-percent milk, which can be more satiating than skim or nonfat; the same goes for cheese.
  • If you’re looking for protein without the dairy, soy milk is your best friendbecause most other nut milk alternatives are actually poor sources of protein. Nut milks are tasty and lower calorie, but make sure you go with the unsweetened versions.
  • When it comes to cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and ricotta cheese, 2 percent or low fat can help keep protein high and your overall fat intake low. When it comes to yogurt, avoid brands with added sugar and go for plain and unsweetened.

How to Shop for Pantry Items

  • Go for raw, unsalted nuts. All nuts are a great source of heart healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Skip the packaged nuts and head for the bulk aisle to save money and only get as much as you need.
  • Stock up on brown rice, quinoa, faro, or {insert your favorite whole grain here}. These healthy basics can be used in an endless number of recipes.
  • Peanut butter or almond butter, take your pick. But check the ingredient list: It should only list nuts. (A little salt is OK.) Many store-bought butters contain added sugars and hydrogenated oils. Better yet, buy some nuts and make your own nut butter at home.
  • Any and all kinds of dry or canned beans (unsalted, please!) Toss them into a stir-fry or make a comforting soup because beans just may be the secret to longevity.
  • If you’re cooking with heat, coconut oil, sesame oil and regular olive oil do the best job. Extra virgin oils have a lower smoke point (translation: They burn at high temperatures), so save them for dressings and as a finishing oil. Check out this essential guide to oils.
  • Skip processed white sugar and pick up raw honey or 100-percent pure maple syrup are where it’s at. But remember: They’re both still pure sugar, so moderation is key.

So the next time you find yourself at the grocery store without a plan, stick with these basics and you’ll never go home with bags of junk food ever again.

As always, wishing you health & happiness 😉

-Ivy Johnson

10 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

Most of us spend a lot of our lives at work.

An estimated 10.3 total years, actually.

That’s why it’s so important that we try to keep healthy while at work. This not only means making sure we don’t dig into the donuts in the staff kitchen too often, but also making sure we stay active and create a healthy workspace.


10 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

1. Pack your desk with superfood snacks

Oh, those treats in the staff kitchen — they’re hard to resist. And while there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, delving into those donuts everyday isn’t the healthiest choice.

Keeping healthy snacks in your desk will help you resist temptations. Nuts and coconut flakes are both great options since they’re packed with healthy fats that will keep you feeling satiated through the day. Also, packets of Shakeology are also healthy alternatives too.

2. Keep an air-purifying plant near your desk

Indoor air can be up to 7 times more polluted than outdoor air! Clean it up with an air-purifying plant.  Golden pothos is a great option since it’s really sturdy (i.e. hard to kill), doesn’t require a ton of light, and removes formaldehyde, monoxide, and benzene from the air.

3. Schedule alerts to get moving

Sitting for long periods of time at a desk is not healthy, regardless of whether you get your sweat on at the gym for an hour each day or not. So if you have a desk job that includes a lot of time sitting, schedule an alert to get up and moving every 30 or 60 minutes. Of course, you can’t take a 5 minute break every 30 minutes! But standing up, moving your arms in circles, or doing a few squats for just 30 seconds will get your blood pumping and do your cardiovascular system good.

4. Make the most of your lunch break

Take the opportunity to get out of the office and MOVE during your lunch break. If you can’t go for a quick walk outside, find a stairwell to climb up and down a few times — anything to get your heart rate up and blood moving!

5. Invest in a balance ball chair

I have one of these and absolutely love it. The Balance Ball Chair was developed to strengthen core muscles and improve spinal alignment — it’s really helped my back. Plus, the ball can also be removed and used for exercises on or off the chair if you have a few minutes to spare throughout the day.

6. Bring your own hand soap and sanitizer

Chances are the hand soap and sanitizer supplied by your office or building manager is filled with some unhealthy chemicals. So bring your own!

I really like these CleanWell natural antibacterial soaps. And if there’s nowhere in the bathroom to store your soap and you feel silly carrying around your own bottle, these 2-oz Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps are small enough to slip into your pocket or discretely carry to the bathroom (since castile soap is very concentrated, use a small amount — this 2-oz little bottle will go a long way). This natural hand sanitizer smells great and keeps germs away naturally.

7. Pack your own lunch

Not only will packing your own lunch save you some major moolah, but homemade lunches are often much healthier than whatever you may pick up at the office cafeteria or local deli. Batch cooking your meals over the weekend will help save you time in the mornings before work as you’re rushing to head out the door.

8. Keep your desk clean and dust-free

Dust is more than just dead skin cells (ew) and carpet fiber — studies have shown that most dust contains a lot of unhealthy chemicals.

Most office cleaning companies don’t touch the desks, so be sure to keep your desk space clean and dust-free.

9. Amp up the lighting situation

If you can, turn off the fluorescent lighting and instead use lamps with full spectrum light bulbs. Fluorescent lights are known to increase stress and mental fatigue as well as strain your eyes and cause headaches. Full-spectrum light bulbs can help remedy this, increasing mental clarity and reducing eye strain. Better lighting can also make your office feel more cozy and inviting, improving your happiness while in the office (always a good thing)!

10. Stay hydrated! … with a filtered water bottle

OK, this one is a must at all time — whether you’re at work or not. But it’s especially easy to get wrapped up in tasks at work and forget this vital healthy habit. Keep a large water bottle at your desk and refill it throughout the day (it’s a good excuse to get out of your chair and moving a little bit). And if your office doesn’t offer filtered water, invest in this filtered water bottle — it’s glass and removes over 99% of bacteria, lead, and chlorine.


How do you stay healthy at work?

Have any other tips? Please share with us in the comments below!

ST. PATTY’S SHAM-MOCK SHAKE!

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I present to you something so creamy and delicious you’re never going to want to go back to the bad stuff again. McDonalds puts something called the “Shamrock Shake” out each year. And I beg of you not to drink it. Why? Well… a large Shamrock Shake has 820 calories and a list of 54 ingredients. (54 McDonalds? Isn’t a milkshake just ice cream and milk?) So… do this instead, it’s much better for you!

This version has protein, probiotics, super foods like maca root, and the vitamin equivalent of 5 bowls of salads. Much better! Plus, it isn’t full of sugar and artificial ingredients. Also, I’ll be honest. I didn’t think I’d like a smoothie made with avocado and mint but oh my gosh you guys it tastes like mint chip ice cream. Try it and let me know what you think!

For the smoothie:
➳ 1 c. vanilla almond milk
➳ 1/2 ripe Haas avacado
➳ 1 scoop vanilla Shakeology
➳ 1/4 scoop Power Greens
➳ 8 ice cubes
➳ 2 drops of peppermint extract
For the chocolate syrup garnish
➳ 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
➳ 1 tsp coconut butter, melted
➳ 1 tsp organic cocoa powder
How to:
Combine all the smoothie ingredients in a high powered blender until completely combined
In a small bowl, mix the melted coconut oil, coconut butter, and cocoa powder until syrupy in consistency
Drizzle the chocolate syrup into a glass and then place in the freezer for a few minutes
Garnish with fresh mint leaves and maybe a piece of dark chocolate.
xo-Ivy

Crock-Pot Paleo Chicken Taco Bowls

 

PREP TIME: 15 mins

TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 15 mins

Serves: ~6 servings

 

Make these clean eating crock-pot chicken taco bowls at the beginning of the week to meal prep for the days to come! This recipe is gluten and preservative free!

 

Ingredients

For the Chicken

6 large chicken breasts

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons tomato paste + ¼ cup water

juice from ½ lime

salt and pepper to taste (generous)

For the Sweet Potatoes

3 large sweet potatoes (or ~5 medium-size)

2-3 tablespoons EVOO

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

For the Rice

2 cups short grain brown rice

4 cups water

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed

juice from 1.5 limes

½ teaspoon sea salt

 

Instructions:

For the Chicken.

Place 6 large chicken breasts and 2 tablespoons of minced garlic in a large crock pot and set to high. Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.

Remove chicken breasts from crock pot and use two forks to shred it. Place shredded chicken back in crock pot (leave the liquid that is in there). Then, season with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

Mix together tomato paste and water and place on top of chicken. Mix.

For the Sweet Potatoes.

First, preheat oven to 400ºF. Then, dice sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and pour on about 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO. Place sweet potato pieces on baking sheet. Then, season, and toss with your hands. Roast at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes or until desired texture.

 

For the Rice.

Place 2 cups of brown rice and 4 cups of water in a medium-size pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and cover. Let simmer until all of the water has absorbed. Once the rice has cooked, add in black beans, lime juice, and sea salt.

 

Notes.

Feel free to omit the chicken spices and use an all-natural taco spice pack!

Toppings for this bowl included:

  • gluten-free corn tortilla chips
  • avocado slices
  • sprouts
  • fresh lime juice
  • cilantro

You could also add in some Greek yogurt/sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc!

If you are feeling lazy or don’t have all the taco spices for the chicken, feel free to use an all-natural taco spice pack that has as many real ingredients as possible. I know some of those packs have some preservatives in them, but I’ve also seen some really great brands!
xo-Ivy Johnson

WANT TO WORKOUT FOR 14 DAYS WITH ME FOR FREE?! STARTS MARCH 15TH!

Hey friend!

I wanted to give you the opportunity to TRY the workouts that I do DAILY for FREE!!

Are you intersted in doing that?!

We are starting March 15th! and we will be working out together for the following two weeks! Yes, you will be able to do all the 400-500 workout programs that I use daily for free during this time! (if you haven’t taken advantage of this BOD trial before of course)

This is for ANY level of fitness…whether you are a fitness pro…or just starting your journey or just had the baby 6 weeks ago or are preggo lol(cleared from doctor of course)…there is something in here for everyone! We have weights, cardio, HIIT, yoga, pilates, PIYO, kick boxing, dance…etc etc etc.. lol TONS to choose from! Most workouts are 25-30 minutes a day so short, effective and to the point!

Are you in?!

If so you can scroll down for the details on how to get into that group and all set up! Because we short on time it’s important to take ACTION on this ASAP and not wait!

 

 

Details on how to JOIN us!!!

  1. Fill out this appliation and info here : APPLICATION
  2. Do you already have another beachbody coach? if so, Email me here asap @ coachivyjohnson@gmail.com
  3. Please get set up with the 30 day FREE BOD trial aka Beachbody on Demand TRIAL!
    • You do have to sign up for our beachbody on demand TRIAL offer …but i’m gonna give you all those details…it’s super simple to do and only takes a few minutes of your time!
      First you will go to this LINK here
      And you will click on the 3 month BOD TRIAL offer…-this IS in fact the 30 days of the bod trial. It says on there 3 months but that is what you will be charged at day 30 for **IF** you do not go in the next few weeks and CANCEL that.

      I recommend that if you are worried at all, go and cancel it immediately if that makes you feel more comfortable because honestly if you want to continue on with this BOD workouts, and have access to all 700 workouts plus our 3 new programs that launch in 2017…we have a MUCH better deal than that 3 month offer!

      The info on how to cancel that AFTER you sign up is below just so you have it on hand! We do this because before when people were signing up for the free 30 days…they didn’t realize they were being CHARGED on day 30 without cancelling so we wanted to be SUPER transparent!

 

  • But first you will pick that 3 month BOD TRIAL offer i mentioned above and then add your CC info there..and check out…there is nothing charged at this time…again you will cancel any auto charges… and so now all you are left with is 30 days of all access to 700 at home workout programs…and we will put together the perfect game plan for you during our two week FREE countdown to summer group!!!!

 

Info to cancel the auto payment on day 3 info here: 

    •  you will go HERE https://faq.beachbody.com/app/chat/chat_launch/lob/coach/4AFTER you sign up to LIVE CHAT which takes 1 minute to CANCEL any automatic charges that would happen in 30 days from today…just so you have that and can get that done. They are really good about it. You can also call at 800-470-7870 too!

— Again, I hope that all made sense for you!!!!! Do you have any questions for me?! Email me and let me know!

Once you do get set up…please email me back so I can get you into the group!! It is pre kick off week this week! So everyone is going to be downloading their meal plans if they choose and their workout calendar! All workouts are 30 minutes! So makes it super short and simple to follow!!!! I know you will love it!

 

There may be some of you like me….you dont like to TRY something…you just go ALL IN lol… and that’s a beautiful thing as well…. and if that is the case and you want to work with me for the next YEAR for less than $15 a month….

Please fill out this application asap! CLICK HERE  and I will get back with you on these details!
Definitely a RARE opportunity that you wont want to miss!!!

Can’t wait to talk more.
xo-Ivy Johnson

SPRING CLEANING for the mind.body.home

Doing a little twist on the whole SPRING CLEANING thing and running a group focusing on cleaning up your mind + body + home!

Mind

  • Take inventory on all the old thoughts that aren’t serving you and vow to change them. You can even write them down and then re-write them with a positive spin.
  • A new season is a great time to start a meditation practice. Check out my easy meditation guide.
  • Commit to a new self care practice. Taking care of yourself works wonders to keep you feeling refreshed and stress-free. Schedule some down-time into your day or week, take a relaxing bath or shut-down all technology and social media for one day each week.
  • Use lavender essential oil. Just one whiff can leave you stress-free and relaxed

Body

  • Spring is the perfect time to detox your shopping cart and clean up your diet. Opt for more spring veggies like leafy greens, choose bitter foods like radishes, add raw, lightly cooked and sprouted foods and go easy on the heavier foods like soy, dairy and grains.
  • Switch up your exercise routine to give your body a boost. If you’ve been sticking to indoor workouts, take your sweat session outside.
  • Supplement your healthy eating. This is the only one I would recommend
  • Update your everyday household essentials. Choose products that you love but that are also safe. Since we cook at home a lot and generate a lot of laundry, we have to make sure our detergents are safe and effective.  Unfortunately, most common, store-bought laundry detergents are filled with unhealthy chemicals. I will share DIY all natural laundry powder detergent.

Home

  • Clear out clutter. Your home is a reflection of you, so a cluttered home means a cluttered mind. Give closets and drawers a once-over. Throw away and recycle junk and donate valuable items you no longer use.
  • Burn white sage. White sage is a sacred herb that is said to have purifying energies. Give your home or office a spiritual cleansing by burning a smudge stick which will remove any negative

We’ve got a full 4 weeks of tips and tricks up our sleeves! • stress management • decluttering tips • meal plans and recipes • organization techniques • scheduling & planning • clean products & more energy!

Does this sound like something you would like to do?

If so, take the time to complete the application below.  I will contact you within 24 hours to discuss whether this would be a good fit!  I am accepting a small group of customers for this group and I would love to have women who are seeking wellness!   So let’s get started 😉

xo-Ivy

Fill out my online form.

How to Create a Meal Plan For Your Week

meal planning

One of the things I love to do on Sundays is meal plan. Why on Sundays? Sundays are my day for rest and self-reflection. I plan my week of workouts, food, and business on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to FAIL! I’m telling you that from personal experience. When I started my transformation, I was super excited about the workout and put the nutrition aspect aside. I thought I could out-exercise my diet!! I thought if I ate whole grain bread instead of white bread that I was going to get results. Guess what?? At the end of thirty days, I didn’t actually get the results I wanted. I was frustrated, but smart enough to know that nutrition was going to be 80% of my actual results.  I realized I was missing a key piece in my personal transformation.

I began to plan and prep. What I’m sharing with you is what I do and what works for me. It won’t be the same for you. You might choose to plan on your day off, and that might be a Monday or a Tuesday. Maybe you only want to plan one day at a time, instead of 5 or 7. The bottom line is that you’re planning ahead and you find out what works for you. If you don’t, things will come up, you won’t feel like cooking, or you’ll be missing ingredients. That’s when you’ll end up making bad choices.

So let’s dive into this. You can get on the meal plan wagon with me!! Start by creating a meal plan template in Excel. It’s super easy, I just make a chart with the days of the week and my workout, breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and evening snack. Below is an example of my blank meal template.

 

When you’re first starting out, don’t make all new recipes. You are going to burn yourself out by cooking a new recipe every day of the week. Think of what you can repeat and what you can create extras of!!

One of the most important parts of meal planning is thinking about your obstacles for the week. If you’re leaving for travel, think ahead. If you have a date scheduled, it’s okay to schedule in one cheat meal per week. Cheat meals are not meant to be over the top, but you can say “I’m going to have my glass of wine, say no to the bread, have a salad with a healthy meat and side and then have my dessert.” Pick and choose your battles. If you have too many cheat meals, you’ll sacrifice your progress and find yourself frustrated that it’s taking longer to reach your goals.

Let’s get to planning! For me, I have shakeology every morning for breakfast. I add only water to mine, so I have a grocery list that I’ll start making with the ingredients I’ll need for the meals I’m planning out. A lot of times I’m meal planning and in the kitchen checking out the pantry or I’ll make my grocery list and then go look and see what we have in the pantry. When you’re done, you’ll have a week of meals planned and a grocery list with every item that you’ll need.

With clean eating, the goal is to eat every 2-4 hours in order to keep your metabolism fired up. For a snack, I usually pair some sort of protein or good fat with a carb or fruit or veggie. For example I’ll have an apple and 12 unsalted cashews.

Lunch for me is usually leftovers. Last night we made salmon, so I’ll have some of those and then half a baked sweet potato and maybe some steamed green beans.

For an afternoon snack, I’ll have 1 cup cucumbers and 1 blue container of hummus.

Dinner is where people get stuck. People freak out and think they have to research fancy and complex recipes which leads people to feel overwhelmed. In the beginning, don’t worry about fancy recipes with lots of ingredients. Keep it basic. I’m going to have Mahi Mahi seasoned with olive oil and lime juice, half a baked sweet potato, and grilled asparagus. I’ll bake extra potatoes tonight to warm up throughout the week.

After dinner is usually when my sweet tooth hits. My kids might want to go out for ice cream, so I’ll drink another Shakeology to curb my cravings.

There you have it! It’s nothing fancy, but it’s done. Maybe you’re a creature of habit and can eat the same snacks every day. Maybe tomorrow you want celery or red peppers. For dinner, you could have stir fry shrimp for dinner with carrots, peppers, onions, broccoli and brown rice.

shrimp fajitas

 

If you’re ready to start trying new recipes, check out the clean recipes on my site!! A lot of times I’ll use my own blog as a resource for recipes. You can even print them off or download them as a PDFs. Another great resource is Pinterest. Search for “clean eating recipes” and see what you can find!

When I meal plan, I’ll sit down and do the entire week. Then I’ve got my grocery list and my completed meal plan. The plan goes on the fridge and I head to the store to get the ingredients on my list. Sometimes I’ll prep and cut veggies or portion out containers so it’s easy to grab snacks throughout the week.

Is it always going to go as planned? Definitely not. You can switch meals around and eat them on different days. I’m flexible enough to go with the flow but know that I have a plan and food is already in the house. If I don’t want flank steak tomorrow, I’ll swap it out for Tuesday’s shrimp stir fry and feel comfortable knowing I have all the ingredients at home.

Meal planning is one thing that took me a little while to get the hang of. Now it only takes me 5 or 10 minutes to get my planning done for the week!! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section and happy meal planning!

 

If you would like more support and accountability with starting your fitness and nutrition journey join my next group!  Complete the application below and I will contact you in the next 24 hours with the details.

Slow Cooker Dog Food

I started cooking for Rocco and Teddy because each time I fed them, they always seemed like they were choking the food down, and when they weren’t all that hungry, they preferred to just skip their meals together. I brushed it off and  I did the human-like thing and blamed it on taste.  More and more they begged and begged for their treats.

So, to cut costs, and provide them with completely healthy, all-natural food, I decided to make my own. {Please consult your veterinarian to discuss what specific dietary and nutritional needs your dog has before changing his diet}.

Ingredients:

* This can be made using many many variations, this is what I chose for this specific recipe but I’ve also make it with pork and beef. I’ve added broccoli and spinach in different batches as well. You can check out one of my alternate recipes here. It makes 1 week of food for my 50lb and 14lb dogs, who get fed twice a day, and together with their multivitamin and treats, they get all their necessary protein, carbs, and fats.

– 2 1/2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts
– 1 sweet potato, cubed
– 2 carrots, sliced
– 2 c. frozen green beans
– 2 c. frozen peas
– 1 large or 2 med apples, cored and cubed (no seeds!!)
– 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 tbsp coconut oil

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Directions:

1. Place meat in the crockpot and add water so that it just covers the chicken. Then, add potato, carrots, kidney beans, green beans, and apple.

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2. Cook on low for 8-9 hours, when it is about finished, add the frozen peas and cook for another 30 minutes.

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3. When finished, drain off excess liquid, add coconut oil, and stir to mash.

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4. When cooled, scoop daily servings into individual ziploc bags and freeze. Each night, remove one bag from the freezer and place in the fridge to defrost overnight.

This batch makes 1 week of food for my dogs. I mix in a multivitamin as well, for some added calcium.

If your dog loves this recipe, check out an alternate version here!

Not only is it all-natural, healthy, and fresh, they LOVE it! They race to the bowl when I set it down and licks it CLEAN!

xo-Ivy Johnson

5 SIMPLE RULES FOR WORK FROM HOME SUCCESS

For so many of us, it’s the holy grail.
 
We dream of leaving our day jobs and pursuing our passions. We envision a world of instagram-worthy vignettes… of lattes and lunch meetings, of yoga pants and a perfectly styled home office. Then reality strikes. Our dream comes true and we’re left on our own, in a messy house, with 2 dogs taking ownership of our furniture (“THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!”) and a spouse asking why the laundry was left wet in the washer for two days. (Whoops.) You haven’t showered in 36 hours and your email inbox is overflowing. This is not the life you imagined and now you’re left wondering if you made a huge mistake.
 
Work from home warriors… I’ve got your back. Press pause on the negative track that’s looping through your mind. Just because Pinterest lied to you doesn’t mean all hope is lost! Working from home can be tricky, add in a roommate, spouse, pets or kids and you’re bound to feel like there’s no hope for any productivity. I’ve been working from home for almost 4 years now and I’ve put together 5 simple rules you can put into practice today to help you find some serenity now. Here they are, in no particular order:
 
1. Create Office Hours and Stick to Them: There will always be times when you’re on a deadline or when you get behind or when something urgent comes up that you must attend to late at night but for the most part, anything that comes in after 7pm can wait till 9am the next day. While quick responses are an important part of customer service, setting boundaries around yourself is an important part of maintaining your sanity, cultivating healthy client interactions, and avoiding long term burnout. You cannot be available to your clients and customers 100% of the time. It’s not healthy for you or for your business. Set boundaries. I personally like to work late at night because it’s when I feel creative. But I take weekends completely off and I have family time from 7-9pm every evening.
 
2. Phones and Email OFF, Not Away: If you can hear the *ding* of your work email every 2 seconds while you are trying to enjoy dinner with your family, you are going to be distracted and eventually your curiosity (cough, anxiety, cough) will get the best of you. You’ll want to go see what’s come in. It’s better to turn your email program completely off after hours. My phone lives on silent actually because I have set times to work on email/messages and if I hear the dings all day it distracts me from my other tasks. If the thought of this sends your heart racing, remind yourself that there’s always room for emergency exceptions but for the most part, being “on call” to your messages will kill your productivity and your creativity.
 
3. Manage Expectations Like it’s Your Job: Almost every time I have any sort of bump in the road with a client or customer, it is because I didn’t do a good job of managing expectations with them. What does that mean? It means that you need to be very clear about what people can and should expect from you and what they cannot expect from you. Be up front with what they can expect, what you expect, your availability, etc. And if something goes off track, keep them in the loop! People are always happy when they know what to expect. They get nervous and frustrated when they feel left in the dark. Communicate expectations effectively and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.
 
4. Create a Harmonious Space: Whatever your workspace is, whether it’s a loft straight out of Dwell magazine or your perfectly worn in favorite spot on the sofa with your laptop on your lap, make it a harmonious space. You will work better and more efficiently, you will feel less stressed, and you’ll get more done in less time. I’m telling you, it works. What does that mean for me? It means cleaning up clutter for 5-10 minutes before I sit down to work. It means having coffee or a cup of ice water nearby. And it means lighting a favorite candle, opening windows for natural light, or listening to a relaxing playlist.
 
5. Get Good at Being Interrupted: If you work from home, chances are you’re going to be interrupted. A bunch. And if you work from home with a spouse or kids around this goes from “chance” to “inevitability”. While it can be super frustrating to deal with, if you can practice being good at getting interrupted you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. What does it mean to be good at being interrupted? It means that you are able to roll with what each day brings you but also that you can be interrupted, deal with it positively, and then jump back into focused tasks. Babies, roommates, spouses, pets, and life all throw interruptions at you all day long. The better you are at dealing with them, the less stressful your day to day life will be. Be thankful that you have the lifestyle and ability to let you experience and handle these interruptions and practice gratitude instead of frustrations. Everyone (including you) will be much happier!
xo-Ivy Johnson

IVELISE JOHNSON