As a working mom of 3, I'm a sucker for conveniences. I used to refuse coughing up the extra money for the convenience factor. My, my, how times have changed. If the word convenience is listed in the description - take all my money!
Trying to eat healthy and make the kids eat healthy is one of my greatest struggles. So, ANYTHING that helps me in that area is going to catch my attention. The part of my day that I REALLY look for cutting corners with convenience is in the mornings when getting mom, dad, and kids out the door. Making 3 breakfasts and packing 3 lunches for kids who all have different food preferences and/or requirements takes it out of me. I'm ready for a nap before my workday even begins. So, I've found a few ways to help me maintain my sanity during the morning hustle.
Very Vanilla Berry Shake
A variety of mixed berries (I used Costco's frozen mixed berries) not only give this shake a fun, purple color, but it also packs it full of extra antioxidants!
1. Add almond milk to blender.
2. Add additional ingredients to blender.
3. Blend until smooth!
I used to be a gym junkie. But, a really crappy, ineffective gym junkie ?
I’d go to the gym for hours. I didn’t really know what I was doing, or how all the machines worked. I was also too proud and embarrassed to ask anyone to explain it. Or, I'd spend too much time looking like an idiot while holding up the line to a machine while I tried to figure it out how it worked.
I'd usually end up sticking to my trusty elliptical or treadmill, and the handful of machines I’d successfully “mastered”. After busting my butt, I hardly saw results, and felt defeated. Basically, I was working out the same muscle groups over and over while leaving other areas untouched AKA flabby.
There was also that time I tried to make up my own home exercises and circuits. It was basically the same situation as the gym, minus the judgmental audience. I'd waste all this time trying to figure it out for myself and not see ANY results.
Now, I have the best of both worlds. I have world class trainers, virtually walking me step by step through moves to target all the flab; all from the comfort of my own living room. Not only do I get to take the time to get the moves right, but I don’t have to worry about anyone seeing me act a fool when I’m learning a new move.
Try out this 7 minute resistance band circuit. Do each move for 60 seconds alternating sides. I just started incorporating resistance bands into my workouts and I’m loving it. Low impact, seemingly simple, but oh so effective. Yowza! If you like these moves, shoot me a message and I can share sample workouts with you to try out!
Summertime screams BEACHBODY, BIKINIS, SUN TANS! Well, if you're anything like me, I always say I'll start working on my summer bod after the holidays...but somehow I never really get my summer body in check. That's because LIFE happens. Inevitably, you'll get invited to all those summer kickoff parties; the BBQs, the mixers, the pool parties, all of which seem to have an exhaustive list of UNHEALTHY treats. But, here's the kicker...
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE UNHEALTHY!
There are soooo many ways to make sure you don't go overboard with your summer celebrations. That's right, you can still celebrate, have all the fun, and stay relatively on track with your diet! Here are some tips for sticking with your health and wellness plan during the summer months.
And there you have a few simple tricks to help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals while still enjoying the fun of summer. Here's a quick and easy BBQ sauce recipe to whip up. Load it up in a mason jar with a ribbon and it makes a great hostess gift!
✨ Homemade BBQ Sauce ✨
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, water honey, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke (if desired); cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
There's not doubt about it. Most people's health and wellness journey involves a lot of MIND GAMES. Mind games about what they put in their mouth; mind games about when and how hard they exercise; mind games about the importance of being healthy versus not. There's no way around the mental over physical battle that happens with a healthy lifestyle. It's how you fight those battles that matters. Having the right tools and knowledge at your fingertips is what gives you the upper hand. And, with anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Let your positive, confident self give your insecure and self doubting self the
Removing barriers from your health and wellness path can help you push out those negative thoughts and self-doubt you'll find littered in the road. Here are FOUR tips to setting you up for success to hurdle over those roadblocks and continue on to achieving your goals!
First line of defense when setting yourself up for success is to make sure you aren't fighting an uphill battle. If you think you have any underlying issues, illness, deficiencies, sensitivities, etc. get those taken care of ahead of time. If you don't know where to start with finding this information out, email me and I can help point you in the right direction.
The second thing you need to focus on is making sure you're well hydrated ALL DAY. We are so busy during the day that it's easy to forget to drink enough water. We should be drinking A MINIMUM of half our body weight in water each day to ensure proper cell and organ function. If you aren't supporting your body by hydrating properly, body functions can't perform at their optimal ability. That means any detoxing, metabolizing, and muscle building are put on the back burner. This is something I still struggle with! I make sure to set timers on my phone for reminders. When I wake up in the morning, I chug about 12 oz. of water first thing. This is an EXCELLENT habit to form because it primes your body to start your day...and it gets everything moving, if you know what I mean. Then, about every 1-2 hours I chug another 12-14 oz. When I say chug, I mean chug. Imagine your college days and beer chugging competitions. THAT kind of chugging. So, at a minimum, I'm drinking around 72 oz. of water every day. In addition to my chugging competitions, I keep a Yeti tumbler full of water to sip on throughout the day. I really aim for 100 oz of water to make sure I'm really getting enough in.
The third thing to incorporate in your healthy habits is MEAL PREPPING. Ugh, I know! Everyone hates meal prepping. But the truth is, meal prepping saves you time, money, and calories in the long run. Getting the majority of my cooking done in one sitting saves me from doing the same cooking each day. Instead, I can pull out my pre-portioned, prepared healthy food options and go! I don't have to chop, dice, measure, pour, or any other action required of my recipes. AND I know I'm fueling my body with feel good foods. Failing to meal prep can result in grabbing a convenience food (i.e. packaged and processed) or driving through a drive-thru (feel bad food and EXPENSIVE). So, when Sunday rolls around and you're not in the mood to meal prep, just go for easy to prep items and know it's the last time you'll have to think about those meals for the rest of the week. Your mind is freed up to focus on other areas of bettering your life.
The last line of defense is to prime your mind. The mind is where all this negative talk is swirling and it can sense weakness from a mile away. Incorporating personal development into your day is a sure-fire way to stave off the voices that talk down to you. Check out My Favorite Things to see some of my favorite books for getting myself in the right mindset. When I don't have time to sit down and read, because really that's most times, I tune into a podcast or audio book that gets my positive vibes flowing. Some of my favorite podcasts for self development are This American Life, Radio Lab, EntreLeadership, Ted Radio Hour, or really any Ted Talk that piques my interests. So, make sure you carve out 15-20 minutes a day to focus on fueling your mind so your mind and body are on the same wavelength.
What are some tricks you use to help you win at the mind games? I'd love to know. Comment, below!
Unfortunately, I've been cursed with a sweet tooth. Like, the worst sweet tooth. I try to avoid processed sugar completely because even the littlest bit will send me into a complete binge fest; like come-to surrounded by empty ice cream cartons and candy wrappers kinda binge fest.
I'm always trying to find healthier substitutes for my fav binge items to ease my sugar cravings. I remember my mom making a no bake cookie for us kids on special occasions. I recalled it having very few ingredients, being quick and easy. So, I looked up the recipe and created my own HEALTHIER version of her classic no bake cookie. Each cookie has around 176 calories and is made with clean ingredients. Now, if I could just keep myself from devouring the entire batch!
For this recipe, I used sunflower seed butter; but you can use any butter you prefer. The original recipe calls for peanut butter, but I'm still nursing baby and he suffers from almond and peanut allergies. Just make sure whichever nut butter you choose only has the nut as the ingredient (and maybe salt). Most nutbutters on the market have added sugar, palm sugar, or the like.
Healthy No Bake Cookie Recipe
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup nut butter (I used sunbutter)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups organic rolled oats
1/4 cup hemp hearts
4 tbsp raw cacao
1 pinch salt
1 pinch cinnamon
1. Combine the honey, coconut oil, nut butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until melted thoroughly, stirring frequently.
2. In a separate bowl, combine oats, hemp hearts, raw cacao, salt, and cinnamon and stir to combine.
3. Pour dry ingredients into the pan with the wet ingredients. Cook for a couple of minutes to make the oats softer.
4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
5. Use a cookie scoop to transfer spoonfuls of cookie "batter" onto the parchment paper. Use the back of the scoop to flatten slightly.
6. Place the cookie sheets with cookies in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until hardened.
Note: Once the cookies are hardened, I remove from the cookie sheet and place in a sealable container and store in the fridge.
The recipe should yield about 2 dozen cookies at about 176 calories per cookie. The kids love them too! The proof is in the pictures!
I figured it’s a good idea to write a new introduction since I’m picking this up two and a half years since my last post. A lot can happen in a year, or two, or three. People change, lives change, circumstances change. And that all holds true with me! I’m definitely older and wiser, or at least older. Ha! I’ll tell you a little about what’s happened in my life and why I’m renewing this blog.
Since July of 2017, I’ve had ANOTHER baby. Jose and I welcomed a handsome and happy little boy named Mathéo on June 15, 2019. With two older sisters, he sure has a lot of love surrounding him. AND his work cut out for him! As with my first birth, Saylor, I delivered Mathéo naturally, unmedicated, and in a birthing tub. I’ve found water births to be the most comforting and magical type of birth. Though, I’m sure each mama’s birthing experience is magical in its own way.
I’ll share both birth stories in more detail in future posts. In the meantime, you can check out Saylor’s birth video. I haven’t gotten around to editing Mathéo’s video but will hopefully get around to it before he turns 1!
In other BIG news since my last post, Jose and I opened our own business. Regen IV Wellness is a holistic health and wellness center focusing on ozone and nutrient IV therapy. Though IV therapy is our bread and butter, we offer an array of services and are excited to introduce more services to support our passion for helping people live their best, healthiest life.
The past couple of years have provided opportunities for growth and self-awareness. I’ve never stopped thinking about Alissa Healthy Mama, I just didn’t have a clear picture in my mind about how I wanted to use this place to help others. I’ve recently come to the realization that I now have the knowledge, skill, and will to create a safe place for others to learn and grow with me. As you can tell, I’m VERY passionate about holistic living; but I want to be completely transparent and point out that there are times when I may deviate from what is considered holistic. It’s the 80/20 rule, right? Especially with 3 kids, a husband, full time job, and running a business, there are times when the MOST holistic option is downright inconvenient. Now, I will go out of my way to choose the holistic path; however, there are times when choosing convenience over holistic saves my sanity. I really assess each choice and determine if the stress/inconvenience factor is LESS healthy than the holistic option. I’m a firm believer that in order to live your happiest and healthiest life, you have to factor in all aspects including psychological AND physiological instances.
So, there you have it. I want an outlet for demonstrating my “mostly holistic, until its inconvenient” lifestyle. I know there are other mamas out there trying to figure out the balance. I struggle on the daily, ESPECIALLY when ice cream is involved.
You’ll notice I’ve included a tab at the top where you can see my most favorite, for the most part crunchy, mama products. Hopefully, my suggestions will help you come that much closer to living your best life.
Dinnertime in our house is some kind of special. There should be an award for moms who cook clean meals that a 3-year-old successfully consumes. I REALLY try to avoid having to cook 2 different meals; but sometimes, that’s the easiest route. Easier than having to negotiate, bargain, convince and persuade a 3-year-old about how delicious their food is if they’d only take a bite. Just. One. Bite. There’s nothing worse than a 3-year-old spotting that one fleck of black pepper than got away from the adult version of dinner and pointing at her meal as if it’s frog’s legs topped with snail gravy, and pushing her plate away, while I hang my head in defeat. Once I get that first bite in, I’m golden.
So, when I find a dish that the whole family LOVES and it’s on my meal plan, I consider my whole day to be a success. This meal is one of those times I hit the dinnertime jackpot. I’m currently doing a 3 week Beachbody program called Shift Shop. The nutrition plan is pretty intense and gets more intense each week. It eliminates grains and gluten from the diet. Basically, just sticking to meats, fruits, and veggies. I’ve had to branch out with my dinner ideas since many of my tried and true backups aren’t Shift Shop approved. So, this here is a healthier, CLEANER spin on an old classic. I ALWAYS make my own spaghetti sauce from scratch, as opposed to the jarred stuff. Those contain lots of preservatives, unnecessary sweeteners, dyes, and other ingredients that add absolutely no value to me. Plus, I think my sauce tastes better :)
Kid Tested, Shift Shop Approved Spaghetti Squash Turkey Spaghetti
1 Spaghetti Squash (more if you want to make bulk, plus it freezes well)
Olive Oil (or any cooking oil, a couple of drizzles per squash)
1 tbsp olive oil (or any cooking oil)
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz. sliced mushroom
1 can diced tomatoes (you can use fresh)
1 small can tomato paste (canned)
1 can tomato sauce (canned, make sure it’s just pure tomato sauce, no additives or other ingredients)
1 can water
2 tsp. basil (fresh or dried)
2 tsp. Italian seasoning (get it HERE)
Salt and pepper to taste
I usually make a large batch of the spaghetti sauce and freeze in freezer bags. To thaw, remove from freezer and set in room temp water until thawed. Once thawed, heat in a sauce pan until heated through. I froze 5-6 bags when I was pregnant, which made for easy and speedy freezer meals after baby was born.
I hope you and your little ones and families enjoy this dish as much as we did!
I've recently discovered a way to make sure I receive all the nutrition, vitamins, and minerals I need. IV vitamin therapy is effective for hydrating my body while adding in customized vitamins to my body's needs. There's a place providing IV vitamin therapy in Dallas where I get my vitamin hydration with vetted ingredients. I absolutely LOVE being on an IV therapy regimen.
Okay, so I want to post some tips about clean eating. It can get a bit overwhelming. The number 1 thing I can’t stress enough is to READ THE LABELS. I’ve posted an example below from a popular breakfast cereal:
This example has corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils, caramel color, artificial flavors, BHT to add freshness to the packaging (wtf?!). Not to mention the vitamins and minerals the company adds to the product to give it some sort of nutritional value.
If you can’t pronounce it, put it back on the shelf. A good rule of thumb is if it has more than 5 ingredients, move along. I know what you’re thinking “but it tastes so good!” Well, of course it “tastes good”. These processed food companies make sure of that. If it didn’t taste good, you wouldn’t buy it, and they wouldn’t make money. These ingredients aren’t found in mother nature and add to the color, flavor, texture, or preserving of food items. Those unclean ingredients are responsible for a plethora of ailments, including:
These foods are addictive. When you first cut them out by switching to a clean diet, you can experience some withdrawal and detox symptoms. The good news is, that is your body’s way of showing you it’s getting rid of bad stuff. Make sure to drink tons of water to help with the elimination of these toxins. Once you get over that hump, it’s smooth sailing. The cravings go away, you’ll feel better, get sick less often, can think more clearly, and just be an all-around happier, healthier YOU.
Eating clean also allows your body to work at it’s highest level of efficiency. Without all the toxins and chemicals bogging it down, it can focus on using food for fuel and speeding up metabolism. Per a reader’s request, I’ve included the recipe for my Shrimp and Chicken Curry. This turned out delicious, and it looks pretty too J All of the fat content (coconut milk and oil) is good, healthy fat that actually boosts metabolic rates.
SHRIMP AND CHICKEN CURRY
I adapted my recipe from JoCooks.
*Note: This dish can be served on its ow, or paired with rice.
12 shrimp (I used frozen)
Juice of one lemon
1/8 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil (divided, you can find it HERE)
1 lb chicken breast (cubed)
1 cup chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 Green bell pepper (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger (I get mine HERE which is a HUGE time saver)
1 can Organic coconut milk (full fat, I get mine HERE)
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Curry powder (I get mine HERE)
1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
Salt and pepper to taste
I hope you enjoy! Let me know how it turns out. Chow!
What is clean eating? The short answer is: clean eating means one refrains from eating processed foods. If you can't pronounce the ingredient, or it didn't come from God's green earth, it's out. The details of this can vary slightly from individual to individual; but in the long run, it's a healthy take on what you put in your mouth.
Clean eating has been a priority of mine for the last 4-5 years or so. I used to have the WORST diet! Fast food, processed, prepackaged, gimmicky diet. I loved going out to eat, ESPECIALLY during my lunch break. Talk about calories and $$$$ down the drain. I packed on the pounds FAST. I was not eating to fuel my body. Even when I started to lose weight by tracking my calories, I still wasn’t properly fueling my body. Granted my bank account was healthier, but the Lean Cuisines I took to work were far from nutritious. I was still eating packaged junk. BUT, it was a start. Baby steps to begin making the right choices I needed to take my body to optimal health.
Depending on where you’re starting, it can be overwhelming to think about making a change when you picture where you want to be. Which can lead to lack of motivation and success. That’s why it’s important to start with just one thing. Get that down, then add on another component. Once I had the portion and tracking in place, it was easy to start incorporating other changes throughout the months.
So, I have a lot of people asking me about my recipes. I'm going to start documenting them, not only so I don’t forget what I put in something the next time I’m craving it, but also so people can make their own version. I’ll set up a quick link on my page that goes straight to recipe posts. Easy peasy! Sometimes I just come up with something on my own, and other times I get inspiration from Pinterest or Google, and then modify the heck out of it. Hey, being in the service industry for so long made me become a major recipe modifier offender. It got boring eating the exact. same. menu. item. every. single. day.
I’ll start with the recipe for this super summery, light shrimp pasta. I completely made this up off the top of my head, so I’ll try to get the measurements right.
LEMON AND GOAT CHEESE SHRIMP PASTA
1 tbs. butter
1 head broccoli
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup (uncooked) Red and White Quinoa Macaroni (get it HERE)
¼ cup shredded parmesan
2 tbs. goat cheese
I don’t think we ever get to a point of perfect, healthy living. Do I eat clean every meal of every day of every week? Heck no! But, I don’t beat myself up about it, and I pick back up when I stumble. Tracking what I eat is a really eye opening experience. If you’ve never kept a journal of what you eat throughout the day, I challenge you to give it a try. If only for a week. I use MyFitnessPal to help me keep track of my meals. Once you start doing this, you’ll be amazed at how many calories there really are in that sandwich, or “healthy salad” or side of ranch dressing. These things start adding up. It really takes a mental shift in how we perceive food for a lifestyle change to happen. And that’s when you’ll start seeing results.
Let me know if you have any tricks, or helpful apps in keeping your diet on track. Anything that makes it easier and convenient will help us remove the excuses that keep us from sticking with it.
I’m a runner. If you’ve read previous posts, you’d know I run…I run a lot. Or, rather, I ran a lot. Competing in at least one race each month.
BS (before Saylor) I ran 6 days a week. I didn't focus on strength training, and I could feel it in my running. I couldn't lose weight, I was flabby, and running was causing me injuries due to lack of core and leg muscle strength. Other parts of my body would over compensate and end up injured. BUT I needed that mental challenge that running provides. That feeling of knowing I'm doing something hard. Something everyone is capable of doing, but few people actually do.
AS (after Saylor) fast forward - weight gain, nausea, fatigue, and a lack of motivation would keep me from running during pregnancy. Throw in a stroller, and I found myself really hating running. It made me sad to not enjoy or even DO my favorite hobby. I needed a workout, one I could do from home with minimal space and minimal time. Beachbody was it! And it’s working for me. I've seen more improvement in strength, agility, and muscle tone/weight loss than I ever did with running alone.
If you can read my shirt in the pic, it says RUN. That's right people! Instead of pressing play on my Beachbody workout this morning, I pressed play on my outdoor run on my GPS app. GASP! It's okay to take on a self challenge with your own workout every once in a while. As long as you aren't pressing play on your 1.5 mile stroll around the block. It’s easy to say “instead of pressing play, I’ll do my own thing today”. Eventually, your own thing turns into sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix. TRUST me…I’ve been there more times than I can count. The momentum of being active needs fuel. The less you fuel it, the faster it burns out and the faster you’re asking yourself where that 20 lbs came from!
This morning, Jose watched Saylor so I could have some ME time and focus on the physical and mental challenge of running on my own. As you can tell by my beet red face (this is after showering and sitting down), I had a phenomenal run! That's no filter, people! The strength I've built over the last month made me feel like I have a much smaller gap to close to get to my personal best run. I don't have to run 6 days a week! I just have to be active! I've also learned the importance and value of adding strength training to my workouts as opposed to exclusively cardio. Not only does it make me a better runner, but it makes daily tasks like chasing Zoë, cleaning the house, unloading groceries easier than running alone did. From now on, I'll save my morning run as a special treat to enjoy when I need some me time
By the way, if you’re ever looking for something to give you that extra energy when running, walking, working out, keeping up with kids, surviving mom life. I live off my Mommy Go-go Juice Energize. It's tasty, plant based, and gives me a burst of non-jittery energy to keep me going!