Tag: healthyliving

How to Workout in the Morning

6:00, 6:10, 6:20… I would hear the alarm and just keep hitting snooze… Finally I’d roll out of bed around 6:30, drag myself to the shower and slowly get ready for the day… This was how the first 9 years of my professional life would go.

And then in the summer of 2016, I moved in with my now husband. And while moving in together was one of the best decisions ever, we quickly in July had to learn a lot about each how, how to communicate and how to be flexible while occupying 550 square feet in Brooklyn.

And if you know me, I’m not flexible… I like things a certain way, and usually think my way is the best way (and yes… I’m working on it and sorry for anyone I’ve offended!) So in those first few weeks of being roommates as I used to call it, I learned about something that he did that drove me insane… he hit snooze! I am a teacher and in the month of July, I don’t want to hear an alarm… but when I was hearing his multiple alarms go off every morning, and for some reason to Veruca Salt, I knew something had to change… and that was that neither of us would press snooze if the other person was in bed.

So as September began, and school started, and the schedule filled up quickly, I knew that if I wanted to workout, it had to be done before work and early. And since I’ve made that decision, I have never missed a single planned morning workout and here is how…

1. Do Not Press Snooze! The second you hear the alarm, get up… You won’t register how early it is or how tired you are before you’re well out of the bedroom!

2. Lay your clothes out. Sounds simple but taking the guess work out of what you’re going to wear is huge! I know some people sleep in their workout clothes (aka my hubby) and that’s helpful too!

3. Have some caffeine! I swear by my pre – performance workout drink! The best thing about it is if I drink it and then don’t work out, as the substance is running through my body, I get tingles… so you might as well workout to prevent the tingles!

4. Have a plan! The programs I follow at home have calendars so I know weeks in advance what the workout is and how much time I need! This also helps me mentally prepare for it!

5. Give yourself some time to reflect on the day. After my alarm goes off at 4:30, I don’t work out for 20 minutes… I usually drink my energiZe and check my day. This helps me wake up a bit!

And here is the most important:

6. It’s all about mindset and this is the most important! I go to bed with the intention of waking up and working out… If I have any self doubt about it, I can’t make myself get up to workout. Trick your mind into saying, I can’t wait to get up and workout… I promise you, if you only think about how great it will be and remove all the negative thoughts, you will do morning workouts…

I recently heard on a podcast, that you should do something everyday that makes you uncomfortable… Try the whole morning workout thing for 21 days, get uncomfortable and see how you mentally and physically change.

Healthy Chicken Cacciatore

(Gotta love the image… this is what happens when you post to Insta Stories and don’t save the photo first)

I always work to find and make healthy and quick delicious meals for the weekday! Most days I get home after 7 pm and want to be in bed before 10, so my goal is to make it quick and simple! I’ve also been working on eliminating carbs at dinner and finding alternatives!

Since my honeymoon, I’ve lost 8 pounds and am 0.4 away from wedding weight (hoping to be at wedding weight at my weigh-in Saturday). One of the biggest things that has helped me is no carbs at dinner and mostly veggies instead. Carbs give you energy so you don’t need them to sleep. Veggies on the other hand get you full and the little protein I add keeps me full until the next day!

So here is a healthy version of chicken cacciatore that can be made in 1 pot and in less than 30 minutes (and even less time if you buy precut things)

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into bite stir pieces
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil, but olive oil works well too)
  • 1 onion, cut
  • 2 peppers, cut
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small potato (I added this because it came in our CSA this week but totally does not need it)
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • Basil, salt, pepper
  • Directions
    1. Heat oil in large skillet or wok… add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes
      Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for additional 3-4 minutes, or until veggies begin to soften
      Add tomatoes, optional potato, and eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and basil… I used a few pieces of fresh basil but dried would also work
      Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until eggplant is soft… Enjoy!

    Serving Options

    1. My husband and I love hot sauce so we naturally put some in
    2. The tomatoes make it a little liquidy, which I like and the broth is delicious! You can serve this over a veggie rice like cauliflower rice or brown rice if you are eating carbs at dinner
    3. Feel free to add any veggie to this dish! The original recipe I got this idea from (The Beachbody Blog) had mushrooms and zucchini.
  • As alway, let me know what you think! If you post it on social media, make sure to tag me at @lovelearninghealth
  • Chicken Curry

    It is super exciting when one of your best friends also blogs recipes (Pantry Portfolio) and you can talk about what you are making, but even more exciting when you can make a recipe from her site!

    I love Indian so I wanted to try this super easy and delicious Chicken Curry!

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 onion
    • 3 carrots, diced
    • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
    • 3 tablespoons of curry powder 
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Snap Peas (use as much or as little as you would like)
    • 1 can full fat coconut milk
    • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • Brown or cauliflower rice
    • Olive oil
    • Red pepper flakes if you want spicy 

    Directions

    1. In a small bowl, cover chicken with curry, salt, and pepper.
    2. Add olive oil to a pot and add the onions. Cook 2-3 minutes before adding carrots
    3. Add chicken and cook until almost done
    4. In same bowl as chicken, combine coconut milk, ginger, and garlic
    5. Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. If you want your curry spicy, add red pepper flakes.
    6. While waiting for chicken to cook, cook brown rice or cauliflower rice
    7. Serve chicken mixture over rice! Add some of the sauce onto the rice to get a nice rich flavor throughout!

    Notes

    • Due to our love of spicy, we added hot sauce! I highly recommend sriracha
    • I also added some cayenne pepper to the mixture, to increase the heat

    Chicken Curry

    It is super exciting when one of your best friends also blogs recipes (Pantry Portfolio) and you can talk about what you are making, but even more exciting when you can make a recipe from her site!

    I love Indian so I wanted to try this super easy and delicious Chicken Curry!

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 onion
    • 3 carrots, diced
    • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
    • 3 tablespoons of curry powder 
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    • Snap Peas (use as much or as little as you would like)
    • 1 can full fat coconut milk
    • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • Brown or cauliflower rice
    • Olive oil
    • Red pepper flakes if you want spicy 

    Directions

    1. In a small bowl, cover chicken with curry, salt, and pepper.
    2. Add olive oil to a pot and add the onions. Cook 2-3 minutes before adding carrots
    3. Add chicken and cook until almost done
    4. In same bowl as chicken, combine coconut milk, ginger, and garlic
    5. Pour coconut milk mixture over chicken. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. If you want your curry spicy, add red pepper flakes.
    6. While waiting for chicken to cook, cook brown rice or cauliflower rice
    7. Serve chicken mixture over rice! Add some of the sauce onto the rice to get a nice rich flavor throughout!

    Notes

    • Due to our love of spicy, we added hot sauce! I highly recommend sriracha
    • I also added some cayenne pepper to the mixture, to increase the heat

    Black Bean and Sausage Soup

    When you leave for work at 6 am and get home around 8 pm, dinner needs to be easy. I’ve started making some Crock Pot meals on the weekend for later in the week! This week, I made a black bean soup! My fiancé doesn’t love just soup for dinner so I added in some chicken sausage and rice and he approved! 

    Ingredients

    • 2, 15 oz can black beans, drained
    • 2 bell peppers, diced
    • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
    • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 TB chili powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups cooked brown rice
    • Cooked chicken sausage (any flavor works… I used chorizo), cut into bite sized pieces 

    Directions

    1. Add black beans through chicken broth to crock pot. Stir and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
    2. Using an immersion blender, blend soup so at least 1/2 beans are blended. Add sausage and continue cooking.
    3. Cook rice and add to soup. Let cook for 10-15 more minutes. Then enjoy!n

    Notes

    • We didn’t, but you could add toppings like avocado, tortilla strips, cheese, or sour cream
    • Lasted well in fridge for 4 days before eating 

    Black Bean and Sausage Soup

    When you leave for work at 6 am and get home around 8 pm, dinner needs to be easy. I’ve started making some Crock Pot meals on the weekend for later in the week! This week, I made a black bean soup! My fiancé doesn’t love just soup for dinner so I added in some chicken sausage and rice and he approved! 

    Ingredients

    • 2, 15 oz can black beans, drained
    • 2 bell peppers, diced
    • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
    • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 TB chili powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups cooked brown rice
    • Cooked chicken sausage (any flavor works… I used chorizo), cut into bite sized pieces 

    Directions

    1. Add black beans through chicken broth to crock pot. Stir and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
    2. Using an immersion blender, blend soup so at least 1/2 beans are blended. Add sausage and continue cooking.
    3. Cook rice and add to soup. Let cook for 10-15 more minutes. Then enjoy!

    Notes

    • We didn’t, but you could add toppings like avocado, tortilla strips, cheese, or sour cream
    • Lasted well in fridge for 4 days before eating 

    Black Bean and Sausage Soup

    When you leave for work at 6 am and get home around 8 pm, dinner needs to be easy. I’ve started making some Crock Pot meals on the weekend for later in the week! This week, I made a black bean soup! My fiancé doesn’t love just soup for dinner so I added in some chicken sausage and rice and he approved! 

    Ingredients

    • 2, 15 oz can black beans, drained
    • 2 bell peppers, diced
    • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
    • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 TB chili powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 cup salsa
    • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups cooked brown rice
    • Cooked chicken sausage (any flavor works… I used chorizo), cut into bite sized pieces 

    Directions

    1. Add black beans through chicken broth to crock pot. Stir and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
    2. Using an immersion blender, blend soup so at least 1/2 beans are blended. Add sausage and continue cooking.
    3. Cook rice and add to soup. Let cook for 10-15 more minutes. Then enjoy!

    Notes

    • We didn’t, but you could add toppings like avocado, tortilla strips, cheese, or sour cream
    • Lasted well in fridge for 4 days before eating