How I Plan My Meals

While I usually do lots of posts on the topic of meal prep, today I’m flipping it and writing about my before-the-prep work: meal planning! I’ll be going over my general thought process with an example to help readers get an idea. HOWEVER, it is important to understand that there are so many different ways to plan and prep your meals. This works for me, but make sure you find and do what works for you–trial and error process.

I used to write out a chart with every meal of every day of the week planned and written out. I would easily spend an hour stressing out about what to plan and make for the week–trust me it was not fun. I’m not saying write out your plan is bad, it’s actually a great thing especially if you’re new or have trouble planning and sticking to plans. However, with my obsessive control during my ED and even now in recovery I took it over the top. Now, I still plan out my meals however I think of it out in my mind, and create my list from there. 1) It’s much easier this way and 2) I eat more random bowls or plates of food thrown together rather than actual meals. I’ll still cook 1 maybe 2 meals a week such as spaghetti squash, pasta, or stir fry; however, most of my lunch and dinners consist of random bowls with the different components I’ve prepped.

The first way I go about it is to think ahead to my week and decide if there are any meals I won’t be preparing. This may be I feel like going out, going home so I won’t need to cook, or another event such as an intern BBQ or lunch meeting at work. So let’s say that I have an intern BBQ Sunday lunch and am going out Friday for dinner to treat myself; that’s 12 meals I still need for the week. From there, I break that into meals and the different components I want. I’ll decide on zucchini and broccoli for my veggies in my bowls, turkey lunch meat for lunch (5 days), ground chicken for dinners (4 nights), etc. Typically ground meats come in 16 oz packages creating, for me, 4 meals. Then, I’ll leave 2-3 meals open per week because I’ll make eggs, protein pancakes, oatmeal, etc. as I feel it that night.

I’ll do the same breaking out my carbs, healthy fats, etc. I typically just estimate how much I’ll need (3 large sweet potatoes for 5 days) or buy potatoes in bulk, boxes of rice, bread, etc. I’ll also add other veggies in such as bell peppers, tomatoes, or spinach to add on the top of bowls or put in my eggs as well as fruit and other snacks. From here, I’ll make my grocery list. This is very important. Creating a list and sticking to it ensures that you have enough food for the week and that you don’t over indulge and splurge on other items you don’t need, not on your list.

With meal planning, you can be as strict or specific as you want or as free as well. I would recommend doing some sort of planning to create a shopping list and to make sure that you have plans for dinner. This will help you resist eating out or grabbing fast food so often, and stick to your healthy lifestyle. For meal prep examples, ideas, types, etc. search “meal prep” on the blog!!


What to do after Overindulging?

I bet a lot of you know the feeling, you grab a handful of a snack at a or just a bite and suddenly it turns into many, many, many bites, handfuls, etc. and you realized you have overindulged. Or maybe just going out to eat you have overeaten a lot or just eaten too much. It happens. I’m not going to lie and pretend it doesn’t happen to me–it just did this past weekend with lucky charms. (Also not going to lie and pretend admitting that was easy, hey I’m human). But when this happens people often think they need to restrict the next day or rest of day, starve themselves, workout for hours, (especially if you’ve ever struggled with an ED) etc. when instead there are a few things that are crucial to do to help you! I want to share some of those tips today to help you realize that you didn’t “fall off track” or “lose anything”. I want to help you make choices to continue a  healthy happy lifestyle no matter what!

1. Return to your normal eating routine

The biggest thing you DON’T want to do is restrict, starve, or not eat the next day or the rest of the day. Since a lot of this happens at night, it’s most likely the next day, but it could be the rest of the day too. I’m not saying you have to force food down your throat if you aren’t hungry, but restricting only puts you and your mindset in a bad place. Keep eating, eat like you would filling yourself with wholesome, nutritious foods and go on like normal. Hopefully you’re choosing to eat healthier foods anyway, but if you did overindulge you do want to try to get your micros in (fruits and lots of veggies). Also, protein helps keep you feeling fuller as does complex carbs (brown rice, whole wheat, sweet potatoes,  oatmeal, etc.) so try filling most of your diet with those.

2. Drink water

If you overeat, especially things with lots of sodium like chips, processed foods, or most things at a restaurant, you will likely retain water and look and feel a bit more bloated. This can scare people into thinking they’ve gained a lot of fat/weight overnight when in reality most of it is water. After overindulging, make sure you continued drinking lots of water (at least 8 glasses or more) to stay hydrated and flush your system out. This will help you feel much better the next few days.

3) Movement

While I mentioned that it’s important to not think you have to go in the gym and run for hours, it is a good idea to get some movement in. For example, the morning after my lucky charms indulgence, I went for a 20 minute easy walk around my area. Nothing big, I didn’t run until I had burned X amount of calories, I just let my body move a little to help me feel healthier and help my body digest and get things moving. Whatever that may look like for you, a little bit of exercise and movement will do you good.

4) Don’t feel guilty

This is probably the biggest piece of advice I could give you. Coming from a place where every “treat” and indulgence (even if it wasn’t “too much”) left me feeling guilty, and overindulging was an even worse feeling, feeling guilty makes it worse! Then, your mind and body makes you feel bad, over-exercise, under-eat, etc. and it is an unhealthy mindset to get into. The best thing to do after overindulging is figure out why, and what you can do next time to prevent it. Were you bored? Next time you feel bored/hungry, go outside and do something or occupy your mind elsewhere. Emotional eating? Try talking to someone or finding another way to cope. Restricting yourself during the week? Find the balanced way to enjoy treats during your everyday life. At a restaurant? Practice choosing smaller portions, boxing up half your meal, not ordering an app, dinner and dessert, etc. Find a way to help yourself in the future without feeling guilty because guess what, crap happens! It’s life, you live, learn and move on.

Those are my top tips for when you overindulge. It happens, but it’s important to know how to take care of your body afterwards so that you can continue living a healthy and happy lifestyle that works for you!


A Weekend of Eating

Okay so from the title, you may think, no duh, you eat on the weekend but I promise it has more to it than that. When I was planning meals for the week, like I do every weekend, I decided to treat myself out to a “date night” dinner on Saturday because I was really craving this certain thing and I hadn’t been out in a while. Plus, I love having some me time and enjoying time to treat myself. I also knew that I had a BBQ on Sunday that my company was throwing for new interns. So I thought I would do a blog post on my weekend of eating and how I handled these two situations differently on each day.

So the first one like I said was going out because I was craving Luna Grill, a really good and fresh greek/mediterranean restaurant. I absolutely love it and the dish that I get there. Luna Grill is relatively healthy which is always a nice choice when eating out and still wanting to fit into your macros–which was the case here. I don’t always fit eating out into my macros, but I do the majority of the time because that is what works for me and makes me feel best.

Now, usually I like to pick places with nutritional information online. And while Luna Grill doesn’t have the nutritional information online, I’ve eaten there a few times and guesstimated macros for my dish which are probably pretty close to the real thing. Even if I am off it is probably small amounts and since I am not cutting, and I’m actually trying to gain muscle, being off is okay. But, even with that I still made sure that at the end of the day, after putting in all my other foods, that I still had some fat and carb macros leftover to help with underestimating. I hit my protein because I don’t mind going over my protein, but I try not to go over my fat or carb macros. So even if my guesstimates are off, I will either hit my macros or go over only by a few grams.

On the other side, Sunday’s BBQ would not be tracked. That is because I have made the decision to challenge myself and my fear of not tracking and being in control, by not tracking on Sunday. I don’t use this as an excuse to go crazy overboard on food, but I do decide to eat intuitively and listen to my body. I also generally check out my meals to make sure I have a good amount of all 3 macros still. So before the bbq I still ate like normal and afterwards I did the same. Ahead of time I decided that I would fill my plate with meat, fruits, and veggies with maybe some baked beans for carbs. I knew that this would make me and my body feel best as well as allow myself to still have room for maybe a dessert. For  me, I would rather not gorge on the chips, potato salad, rolls, etc. during the meal and instead save it for a dessert. I ate until I was full, not stuffed, but still enjoyed myself.

So there is a quick overview of 2 different ways that I decided to handle eating out this weekend. I know that there will be people who disagree with me on both sides–saying I should be more lenient or more controlled–and that’s okay! This way of eating works best for me, allowed me to eat good food, and still feel good and healthy. For anyone who was wondering, struggling with this, wanted a new way, or was just curious, I hope that this helped give you some ideas and tips for you to try when you eat out. Life should be about balance, eating mostly healthy, nutritious, whole foods while still enjoying treat foods 10-20% of the time. This weekend showed a good balance of that for me and my life and I hope helped you too!

Protein Ice Cream Comparison and Review

With summer right around the corner, I wanted to give you guys a little review of some healthier ice cream options (although let’s be real, ice cream is good anytime of the year). I’m sure you’ve heard of Halo Top and Enlightened ice cream by now (and arctic zero, but I’ve only tried one flavor of theirs and I wasn’t a fan so I’m gonna omit them here) and know that they are protein ice cream–essentially healthier options when it comes to ice cream. Both brands have many different flavors so to help you out before buying, I’ve tried quite a few and will relay my thoughts and opinions here.

Halo Top vs. Enlightened

Before I begin, I wanted to give an overall comparison of the two brands before I get into the details on individual flavors! In my opinion, Halo Top has the best and most pieces in their ice cream (chunks of chocolate chips, cookie dough, cookies, etc.), but Enlightened has the best overall flavor and texture of ice cream between the two. It’s a hard decision to pick because I love my chunks, so I don’t think I could pick a favorite between the two brands. I love and will continue to eat both!

Now on the fun part–reviewing and grading of flavors!!!

Halo Top

I have tried…

Birthday cake (5/10): I usually love birthday cake/birthday batter flavors, but not this one. The first bites were okay, but it got really sweet, really fast on me and I began dreading having to finish the pint off. There were sprinkle pieces in it which added nice flavor and texture, but overall very sweet.

Red velvet (9/10): I was a bit nervous to try this flavor because I mean I like red velvet, but I don’t love it. I also don’t like chocolate so brownie pieces in the ice-cream and being chocolate-y worried me. But, complete 180!! The brownie pieces made the whole pint and this has been my favorite ice cream of Halo Top and a close second to my favorite “healthy” ice cream (the first will be mentioned later). The flavor of this ice cream is so amazing too! Highly recommend!!

Cookie dough (7/10): I love cookie dough–it’s my favorite flavor of ice cream in general (mostly due to the chunks lol). The cookie dough chunks in this one were really tasty, but sadly, few and far between. This flavor was “just fine” to me, nothing too bad about it, but nothing exciting, amazing or stand-out about it either.

I plan to try peanut butter cup, s’mores, and oatmeal cookie sometime in the future.


I have tried….

Sea Salt Caramel (9/10): This is the first ice cream I tried out of all the “healthy” brands, and it did not disappoint. They really pack in the caramel flavor and swirl all throughout the ice cream and the texture is on point! This tastes like actual ice cream, just a slightly healthier version. No pieces in this one like I usually want, but very good choice!

Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Crunch (10/10): This one is the best enlightened flavor so far! And my ABSOLUTE favorite out of all the ice creams so far! Again, the texture of the ice cream is perfect and the it tastes exactly like oatmeal cookies. There are pieces of oatmeal cookie among the ice cream and caramel–aka the perfect bite!

Cookie Dough (9/10): SO GOOD! The chunks are legit on point although few and far between sometimes. Nice ice cream taste, like literally the bite of it all tastes exactly like ice cream and it’s perfect! It’s my 2nd enlightened favorite, and tied for 2nd overall with Halo Top red velvet.

Red Velvet (3-10): Although I loved Halo Top’s Red Velvet, I did not like Enlightened’s version at all! To me, it was too chocolate-y—not enough true red velvet flavor. I know red velvet is chocolate, but I like red velvet cupcakes and Halo Top’s wasn’t as chocolatey. I also couldn’t notice any chunks in there! But if you like chocolate then you’ll like this.

Strawberry Cheesecake (6/10): Cheesecake ice-cream with strawberry swirls—very tasty!! Although the flavor is spot on and I really liked the strawberry swirl bursts you get, this ice cream was nothing outstanding. I would rank it 6/10 just because not as amazing of flavors as some of the others.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (7/10): Really good! The chocolate chips were many and the taste of the peanut butter ice cream was spot on!! Every bit I took I truly got peanut butter chocolate chip taste!

Hope this little review helped! Let me know what flavors you’ve tried and what you do/don’t like about them!!