Category Archives: Food

DAY 6: The “Cutting” Struggle is Real | Starbucks

Sorry, not sorry...

The verdict is in-

I absolutely have to have my iced coffee or vanilla chai tea from Starbucks. One thing that I love about Starbucks is the option to add sugar free flavors to my drink. My favorite sugar free syrups include: SF Vanilla and SF Cinnamon Dolce. Opting for a sugar free sweetener is a better choice for flavor if you are seeking to eliminate excessive sugars and calories from your diet.

I know I made a commitment to refrain from coffee over the next 30 days but I enjoy coffee entirely too much. Plus, hubby has started drinking Starbucks iced coffee again and I absolutely love our weekend coffee dates.

(What have you found to be the hardest item to cut out of your diet over the course of the next 30 days? Is it a specific food, sweet, or beverage? What appeals you about this particular item? Does it make you feel good? Describe the feeling you get when you consume it.)

Iced coffee excites and jolts me with every sip. I honestly feel like after I consume my coffee I am capable of conquering anything ahead of me for that day. I definitely would say that the caffeine makes me feel good. Also, the flavors are delicious!

If you enjoy Starbucks and are looking for a low carb beverage I will list a few of my favorite drink options below that are “keto-friendly”.

Starbucks Keto-Friendly Drinks

Iced Coffee: Iced Coffee, heavy whipping cream, SF vanilla, SF cinnamon dolce

Caffe Mistro: Caffe Mistro, 50/50 heavy cream and water

Low Carb Americano: Americano, heavy cream

Comment below if you would like for me to create a post specifically for low carb Starbucks drink options.

Choosing to live a healthier life does not have to be torture. It all starts with having the discipline to make better choices. I am here to support you as I continue on my journey to health and wellness.

FLWE ❤

DAY 4 OF 30: 2 Cakes are Better than 1: Having my Cake and Eating it Too | Chapter 26 | Motivational Monday

Hello Readers,

I am checking in. Today is day 4 of 30 of my “strict” meat & veggies only challenge. Welp, for all of you who follow me on social media you know today is my Birthday. My momentum was high and consistency was even more on point, until today.

My amazing friends surprised me with a beautiful and delicious cake. What kind of friend would I have been if I had turned down a slice? I am a advocate for spreading goodness and positivity. Therefore, no way was I going to spark negativity by turning down a opportunity to socialize over a slice of cake, in celebration of yours truly (ME). Those calories were calling my name. Rest assured I only indulged in one slice, even though that’s no excuse and does not make things any better.

Oops, correction “two slices”.

Side Note: Hubby surprised me with a mini carrot cake when I arrived home. He knows me best and to make things even better he was extremely thoughtful and considerate of my goals by picking out a mini cake rather than a traditional sized cake. The mini is a perfect size to enjoy and satisfy my sweet tooth while not falling victim to “over” indulgence.

But, guess what? Tomorrow is always a new day and I can always hit my “reset” button and start again.

[ Motivational Monday ]

We wake up each day with the power to change what we do, and what we eat. We have choices and the ability to chose our path. The power of choice is the message I am seeking to convey to all of you reading this post.

I am will not allow a slice of cake succumb my goals. No indulgence should. Just know that if you do cheat, make it a cheat “snack” aka “sample”. Not an entire meal, or a day. Never, get in over your head. If you have goals you have some sort of self discipline and know your limits. Cheat “snacks” or “samples” can happen. You should be able to enjoy and treat yourself every so often. As long as you know you limits, a slice of cake won’t hurt or set you off track from your goals.

For those of you following me on this challenge. Share with me your progress. Comment what is working or not working for you. Have you had a cheat snack? If so, what was it?

FLWE ❤

DAY 1 of 30: MEAT & VEGGIES ONLY CHALLENGE

I have been challenged by my husband to commit to consuming meat and vegetables for the next 30 days, effective today 01|02|2020. With meat and vegetables I am able to add any condiments and/or toppings. For example: ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes (I hate tomatoes), and pickles. For beverages: water and tea (tea counts towards your water intake). Now, when I mention tea I am not referencing “sweet tea” or any tea beverages with artificial sweeteners.

Most importantly, this challenge involves me eliminating iced coffee. I am one of those avid iced coffee addicts and this 30 day challenge definitely will be a challenge for me as I eliminate coffee. Aside, from a caffeine headache which will probably occur with my sudden stop of caffeine, I am going to miss the social part of enjoying my iced coffee in the mornings.

During the next 30 days I hope to successfully transition from coffee to tea. There are so many different tea blends that have multiple health benefits (reduce bloating, curve cravings, cure upset stomach, relax).

I will keep each of you updated with my progress over the next 30 days and post pictures of my meals throughout the day.

Take a look at my lunch from today:

Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons) from Panera Bread

Sunday Meal Prep: Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken, Asparagus, Lentils, Green Beans w/ Peppers & Onions

Menu Items:

  • Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken Thighs
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils
  • Green Beans w/ Peppers & Onions

Ingredients:

  • 8 Boneless/ Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 bag of frozen Asparagus
  • 1 bag of frozen Green Beans
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peppers & onions
  • 1/2 bag of dry lentil beans
  • Lemon Garlic Marinade
  • Chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Seasonings: Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt with Parsley, Black Pepper, Mediterranean Sea Salt

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone had a well rested and relaxing weekend. I was very undecided about this weeks meal prep and did not have it planned like I typically do. It wasn’t until Saturday morning, when I was browsing around Wegmans when I decided what I wanted to prepare.

As many of you know there is 16 days left until my due date. However, my contractions are getting closer and more frequent so hubby and I are kinda on standby. Therefore, I wanted to prepare something quick and easy. Also, I didn’t want to prepare something that can easily go to waste if baby does decide to make his appearance this week.

This weeks meal was perfect under the circumstances. Last night I marinated the chicken thighs in a lemon garlic marinade. I also seasoned the chicken thighs with Italian and garlic parsley seasonings. When it was time to prep this evening the chicken was seasoned and ready to be placed in the air fryer. The chicken thighs air fried for 30 minutes on 370 degrees. While, the chicken cooked I mixed the green beans and some peppers/onions in a pot on the stove top with some melted butter and allowed them to steam for about 15-20 minutes. In another pot on the stove top I had my lentils cooking in some water with a chicken flavored bouillon cubes and a little pepper and Mediterranean sea salt. Lastly, I tossed my frozen steam-able asparagus in the microwave for a quick 4 minutes. Voila! – another successful meal prep.

Tips & Recommendations:

Meal prepping does not have to be hard. I despise spending hours prepping dishes and slaving in the kitchen to prepare various dishes. I personally like the convenience of frozen vegetables since they don’t spoil and are ready to go (requires no cutting). I also dislike washing a lot of pots and pans. Thus, the air fryer comes in handy when cooking meat. The air fryer is also very easy to clean afterwards. I typically aim to only have 1-2 pots to wash and I clean up as I go in the kitchen and load our dishwasher as needed. I strive to keep the sink open and clear. These are just some quick tips and recommendations to make your meal prepping experience more successful.

What are you cooking for this week? Share below in the comments below-

FLWE ❤

Sunday Meal Prep: Chicken, Broccoli, w/ Rice & Cheese Casserole

Menu Items:

  • Chicken Breast
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Chicken Flavored Broccoli Rice
  • Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 bags of frozen Broccoli Cuts
  • 2 packs of Chicken Flavored Broccoli Rice
  • 1 medium bag of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 stick of Salted Butter
  • Seasonings: Black Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Parsley, Garlic Salt

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter Sunday! This weeks meal prep was simple and did not require much prep. I used our steamer to steam the chicken and broccoli and I cooked the rice on the stove top. Once everything was finished I mixed everything together for the week. This meal only took about 60 minutes to make. I have really been craving broccoli and cheese and wanted to incorporate some protein and fats into my diet as well. It is a nice casserole styled dish that will only require heating up throughout the week. The key ingredient is the butter which will keep everything moist throughout the week.

Hubby and I have started a new habit of waking up early on Saturday mornings and completing our grocery shopping. We absolutely love it! We are out shopping while people are sleeping in and we are back home with a full day ahead of us before 7:30 am. I even look forward to taking a mid morning nap on Saturdays now.

Do you have a particular day when you complete your grocery shopping and meal prep? Please share your routine.

FLWE ❤

3 Tips on How to Deal with Coffee Cravings

While you may classify your love for coffee as an “addiction,” it more than likely is just a dependence. It is really not that difficult to kick your coffee habit to the curb or at least have more control over your coffee craving.

One aspect to keep in mind is that caffeine withdrawal does not last that long and your body will naturally reset itself after a free weeks of abstinence from consuming coffee. Yes, you may experience some side effects such as: headaches, tiredness, irritability, and trouble concentrating are all are temporary and will resolve on its own. The longer you successfully refrain from coffee, your tolerance for caffeine will also decrease.

3 Tips on How to Deal with Coffee Cravings:

  1. Quit Cold Turkey: Remind yourself that symptoms of withdrawal are only temporary. Symptoms can range mild to severe and will very individually. Some people may find it challenging to function normally and others may be able to work through the sudden transition. Withdrawal normally occurs within 12-24 hours after your last cup of coffee. The majority of withdrawal symptoms will peak after two days without caffeine but could potentially last up to ten days.
  2. Gradually Give it Up: If you are not willing to quit cold turkey, fearful of the symptoms you may encounter- slowly begin to reduce your coffee intake each day. You can even replace coffee with another caffeinated beverage that has lower caffeine. For example, the average cup (8 oz.) of coffee has about 95-200 mg of caffeine; a cup (8 oz.) of tea has about 14-60 mg of caffeine. Making a simple change, tea over coffee can assist with weaning you off of coffee.
  3. Break your Coffee Routine: If drinking coffee has become a daily routine breaking your habit is as simple as altering your routine. Instead of enjoying a cup of regular coffee you may want to opt for decaf in the morning. Another option, would be to replace your morning coffee with another beverage (tea or breakfast smoothie).

If you are struggling to break your coffee craving please share what you think causes the setback in your life? Is it the taste that you crave or the experience? Do you drink coffee for social reasons? I would love to learn more about your thoughts and experience with coffee cravings.

If you have successfully overcame your coffee dependence please share what worked for you.

FLWE ❤

Sunday Meal Prep: Teriyaki Steak Stir Fry

Menu Items:

  • Petite Sirloin Steak
  • Onion and Peppers mixed
  • Broccoli Cuts
  • Asian Stir Fry Veggies

Ingredients:

  • 6 Petite Sirloin Steaks
  • 1 bag of frozen Onion and Peppers mixed
  • 1 bag of frozen Broccoli Cuts
  • 1 bag of frozen Asian Stir Fry Veggies
  • Wegman’s Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
  • Salted Butter
  • Seasonings: Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Steak Seasoning, Onion Powder, Garlic Salt

Prep Time: 40 minutes

I hope everyone had a productive Sunday. This post will be going up kind of late since I postponed my Sunday meal prep to later in the evening today. Hubby woke up around 7:30 am and hogged the kitchen up while he meal prepped his dish for this upcoming week. I decided to sleep in until about 8 am. Once I woke up I fixed breakfast and had to finish up a paper that is due for one of my graduate courses.

I started my meal prep around 7 pm tonight and I am glad I plan quick meal preps. This meal only took me 40 minutes to prepare and required little preparation. I simply tossed some salted butter into my copper pan and once it melted I tossed in all of my frozen veggies. I covered the pan and allowed my veggies to steam and cook. I then seasoned my steak with the following seasonings: steak seasoning, onion powder, and garlic salt. I tossed my steaks on the stove top and allowed them to cook in salted butter. In between watching my steak, I seasoned my veggies with sea salt and black pepper. Once my steak was done cooking I removed it from the stove and cut the steak up. Once my veggies were finished steaming I drained the excess butter and tossed my steak into the pan of veggies. I then added Wegman’s teriyaki marinade sauce to the mix and allowed it to simmer on the stove for about 3-5 minutes. Simple as that – my meal was done!

Meal prepping does not have to be a daunting or hard task. I try to plan meals that I can prepare in less than 1 hour. I recommend meals that are prepared with a sauce, as it keeps your food moist throughout the week. This is just a quick tip if you are struggling with keeping your meal moist throughout the week. For example, chicken can be a tough meat to keep moist. Opt for chicken thighs vs. chicken breast as the thighs remain moist and do not dry out like the breasts. [Comment below any challenges you face when meal prepping]

Typically, by the end of Sunday night I already know what is on the menu for the following week. However, I have no idea right now. My pregnancy cravings have been so random. I think I need more time to think about my options for next week as they will depend on my taste buds and cravings. Subscribe to stay updated on my journey.

FLWE ❤