All Posts Tagged ‘Wellness with Joanna

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Quick (Car) Lunches

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ll notice that I post photos of my “car lunches” often. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I drop my daughter off at preschool at noon, then head to the gym, put my son in the daycare they offer, workout, pick him up, drive back to preschool for pickup and quickly eat my post workout lunch in the car while we wait for my daughter. Not ideal. Not even close. I firmly believe in sitting down to eat and enjoying it slowly. But I’d rather eat food in the car then not at all, right? And from what I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo, that post workout meal needs to be eaten pretty quickly after exercise. (To be clear, I eat a bit before I leave to drop my daughter off as well. This post workout meal is in addition to a light lunch beforehand.)

Based on the simplest version of the formula I’ve learned from Stupid Easy Paleo and Whole9, my post workout lunches consist of protein + carbs. Make sure you read the whole post on post workout fuel here.

Pictured above is a sample meal that I mix up depending on what produce is on sale each week. In the photo is a grass fed steak from our 1/4 cow share, butternut squash (kept cubed and frozen in the freezer for quick frying), yellow pepper, kiwi, pear and pumpkin seeds on organic mixed greens. Protein (steak) + carbs (butternut squash). The rest (fruit and greens) just fills out my meal and adds extra nutrients.

Other combinations that I enjoy post workout:

Chicken breast, sweet potato, strawberries, bell peppers, mixed greens.

Steak, grape tomatoes, butternut squash, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, mixed greens.

Chicken breast, red cabbage, sweet potato, spinach, peppers.

Salmon, cauliflower rice, peppers, jalapeño, red peppers, mango, spinach, micro greens, coconut milk.

Chorizo sausage, sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion, apple.

Soft boiled eggs, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.

Spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, veggies and Italian sausage.

Tips:

  1. I defrost the meat I am planning on using the night before in a ziplock bag in the fridge. For the steak, I usually marinade it in the bag with lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. For the chicken, I do combos of balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, or just plain salt and pepper. For the salmon, lemon juice and chili powder.
  2. When prepping your meat, always double or triple the amount for lunches that week. No one has time to prep and cook one single steak or chicken breast at a time, ha!
  3. I keep it simple. IF I use dressing (rarely because I’m lazy!), it’s a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If I’m feeling adventurous or have extra time to spare, I’ll mix up some Sunshine Sauce from Mel Joulwan’s blog, The Clothes Make the Girl.
  4. Invest in a thermos or some sort of container to keep your food hot. I LOVE coming out of the gym and getting to enjoy hot food like spaghetti squash. I’ve found it even works well for soft boiled eggs, which really surprised me.
  5. Use frozen, cubed butternut squash and sweet potato/yams. I promise that in this case it is worth the money and your time. I save so much time not having to peel and chop them!

I know what you’re probably thinking…why don’t I just drink a protein shake instead? It’s so much quicker and easier. There’s a lot of reasons, and I’m not judging those who do use shakes (but seriously, lets talk about it over coffee another day), but at this point in my life, the extra few minutes it takes for me to throw together these lunches is so worth it to me. I make sure that my schedule leaves time for this because it is important to me. I DO realize that someday my life may change, and I may feel like I don’t have the extra minutes to do this, but for now, I’m making it work. Also, this food tastes amazing after the gym. They’re full of flavour. I get to actually CHEW them, which is exciting to me. My children look at what I’m eating and ask all sorts of questions about it. This is a lifestyle of preparing and cooking healthy food that is sustainable for the rest of my life. There are zero sweeteners in these meals. (All Whole30 approved, in case you were wondering!) Basically, I feel great when I fuel my body this way.

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Chicken and strawberry salad with Sunshine Sauce

 

Leave a comment with some of your favourite combos – I’d love to try them out!

Eat well, move your body, and have a great week!

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Baby Steps (When You Don’t Feel Ready for Whole30)

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In my field I hear a lot of people ask questions like:

What’s the number one thing I can do to improve my health? Going cold turkey on these foods and behaviours is too difficult, so what’s the first step?  Everything is so overwhelming. What are the basics? Where do I even begin?

It’s tempting to dive in to the 10 million little things I feel could change their lives, and I get so excited about it that I have to hold myself back from overwhelming them. Sometimes I do get clients who want to go cold turkey on their old life and dive right in to a life full of health and wellness. They see things in black and white and they make decisions this way – no moderation. But most often my clients choose the slow and steady path, beginning with the basics and slowly edging out their less healthy choices and replacing them with better ones. Although I strongly believe that a quick, short term cold turkey approach can be extremely effective and rewarding, I don’t believe in manipulation or forcing my clients to do something they don’t feel ready to do or aren’t comfortable with doing, so I’ve come up with some baby steps.

Here are five basic things you can focus on to begin improving your wellness. Tackle all five at once if you wish, or introduce one new concept each week, or each month. Listen to your body, find out what approach works best for you, and dive in.

1) Sleep

One of the most basic but life changing things you can do is sleep more, and sleep well. Everything is affected by how long, how well or how poorly you sleep: your metabolism, your weight, your ability to make decisions, your energy, your ability to focus, and so much more. As much as it is in your control, aim to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, with 8 hours of solid sleep in between. No screen time for an hour before bed. No caffeine after noon. Sleep in a completely dark room, with no digital clock or computer or light showing. To the young mothers and others who don’t have full control over your sleep habits: do the best you can with what you have. It won’t always be this way, I promise.

2) Less Sugar

Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. It also causes spikes and crashes in your energy levels, and contributes to almost every disease known to man. Sugar suppresses your immune system making it much more difficult to fight off a common cold or flu. Basically, sugar is trying to kill you. If you make only one change to your diet, cut out the sugar or cut back on it as much as you can. I advise cutting out sweeteners altogether but this is about baby steps, so try using more natural sweeteners like organic maple syrup, organic raw honey, or coconut sugar as a substitute. Be sure to read the labels on the food you buy and watch for any added sugar. You won’t believe the kind of foods they sneak it into.

3) Move Your Body

As often as you can, move your body. You don’t have to be a runner or Crossfitter. There are so many ways to move your body: swimming, walking, hiking, paddle boarding, yoga, rowing, skipping, weight lifting, kayaking, canoeing, playing sports, bootcamp, and many more.  Exercise should be enjoyable, not a form of torture, so find something that you enjoy and do it often. Outside is always best, but work with what you’ve got. Aim for at least 20 minutes per day of movement outside and you will feel an incredible increase in energy and mental alertness and you’ll sleep much deeper. The combo of fresh air and healthy movement wins every time.

4) Make Space for Veggies

It’s truly crazy how much bread the average North American consumes in a day. Bread, rice and pasta take up so much space on our plates. Rather than cutting out gluten altogether (baby steps), try replacing bread, pasta and rice with vegetables as often as possible. Try wrapping your hamburger in lettuce, try eating your sandwich fillings on a salad. Skip toast in the morning and have eggs instead. Have roasted yams with your chicken dinner instead of rice. It feels strange and unfamiliar at first, but after awhile you won’t miss it, and you’ll love the affect it will have on your waistline. You’re killing two birds with one stone: taking in more much needed nutrients from the vegetables and skipping out on the extra sugar and intestinal inflammation from the gluten. Watch your stomach bloating go down (you may not even have noticed it until it’s gone), and feel your energy level rise. (A little tip: roasting vegetables makes them taste so much better than eating them just raw or steamed plain. Basically any vegetable tastes fantastic tossed in coconut oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven. Even brussels sprouts.)

5) Hydrate

It’s pretty straight forward and you’ve heard it a million times: your body is made of water and needs water to function properly. Less wine, more water. Less coffee, more water. Less juice, more water. Less soda, more water. Find a water bottle that you really like and that you feel comfortable drinking out of (maybe you prefer a straw versus a wide mouthed bottle) and carry it around everywhere with you. Every time you have a craving or feel like wine, coffee, soda, or whatever else you’re wanting, stop and make yourself drink 8oz of water first, and then decide if you still want that other drink. Try squeezing some lemon in your water or fresh fruit. If you stay properly hydrated you will have more energy, less cravings, and increased mental awareness. Gulp, gulp, gulp!

Good luck with your baby steps, and as always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like me to coach you through these one on one!

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Kale and Cauliflower Meatballs

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I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my kids. It is NOT an easy job. Charley has a super sensitive gag and vomit reflex and Xavier isn’t old enough to have a conversation about why he needs vegetables. He also isn’t old enough to understand bribes either…and I’m only half kidding. I get tired of the constant battles over vegetables and fruit and so sometimes I resort to hiding vegetables in food that I know they will eat with minimal complaints. It’s not solving any problems BUT it’s better than nothing and we are doing the best we can. I threw these together with some veggies I had in the fridge and they gobbled them down. Husband gave the thumps up sign as well so I thought I’d better share the recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 lbs grass fed ground beef

-3/4 cup of finely chopped kale

-3/4 cup of grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor to grate until it is the size of grains of rice)

-2-3 cloves of garlic

-1 egg (This can be skipped if you are allergic to eggs but it does help hold the mixture together.)

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1.5 tsp dried basil

-1.5 tsp dried oregano

-1.5 tsp dried parsley

-1 tsp dried rosemary

-1 tsp dried thyme

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

Note: I often buy this Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend from my local grocery store when I’m in a rush and use it instead of combining all of the above herbs together. The flavour is fantastic! I also like to use the Freeze Dried Poultry Herb Blend for roasting whole chickens.

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. It is best to do this with your hands to get the ground beef and vegetables mixed really well and sticky together.

3) Roll into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil or parchment paper. You will need to really squeeze these meatballs with your hands to make sure the vegetables and meat stick together. Depending on your beef, you may need to add another egg to help with the sticking.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

My children ate theirs alongside some almonds, carrots, and raw cheese. My husband and I enjoyed ours with some steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms and roasted yams. I wish I had doubled the recipe to have enough to freeze for emergency snacks, but they were too yummy and we gobbled the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

Enjoy!

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Health Coaching – Let Me Help You!

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About 6 months ago I was in a grocery store with my kids when a woman approached me with a sad, desperate look in her eyes. “Excuse me, but you look like you work out, and I can see you have kids. How do you do it? I just can’t seem to make it work.” (I was decked out in Lululemon running clothes and dripping in sweat from running to the store from my house, pushing the kids in the stroller).

I completely panicked. I totally blew it. A million things ran through my head but nothing came out. I don’t even remember what I said, but I think I just fumbled around a bit and then referred her to my Facebook page. She looked a bit dejected and left the store with her young daughter. As soon as she walked away, a million things that I could have said ran through my mind.

I work out because I’m a better mama when I do. I’m kinder and have more patience when I’ve taken some time for myself.

I often work out WITH my kids. Some days, that’s the only way to fit it in. 

I’ve surrounded myself with people that support me. My husband is my champion and always supports my strive for health and balance. He helps me carve out time.

The path to health and wellness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Let’s start with food.

You can do this. There are ways. I believe you can.

Here’s my card. I would love to help you.

For the next few days I mulled over the conversation and kicked myself for not offering her a big warm hug. I’ve been there. I remember how I felt like I was drowning after my daughter was born. I could barely keep my eyes open, never mind think about food and exercise. I needed a hug and some guidance.

If you’re feeling like this, then I’m here to help you.

I offer a one on one program where you and I discuss your wellness goals and work towards them. I will coach you through the ups and downs of implementing health and wellness into your life in a permanent way. I will become your confidant, your cheerleader, your workout buddy, your accountability partner or whatever you need to help you reach your goals. We will be partners in the journey.

I offer different packages of different lengths. You can choose to meet twice a month for 4 months (intro), 6 months (standard, and recommended amount of time to implement a life change), or 12 months (for those who would like extra encouragement and accountability). Each coaching session will be 45-60 minutes. Free gifts are included, and extra opportunities (things like trips to the health food store, pantry/fridge content makeovers) are available for those who are interested. Full access to my cookbook library is also included.

A few words about what I will NOT do:

-I will not prescribe drugs or medication of any kind. I’m not a doctor and I will refer you to one if necessary.

-I will not be your personal trainer. I can give you the tools to exercise and suggest all kinds of fun ways to incorporate it into your life, but I will not be conducting a personal training session. I’m not certified (yet!) for that and will not cross any lines. I will be happy to refer you to some amazing personal trainers that I know if that is what you are looking for.

-I will never ever try to sell you any products. No shakes, no pills, no fad diets, no wraps. I don’t believe in those things and will never push them on you. I believe in real food and real exercise, and we’ll stick with that.

-I will not put all my clients on Whole30. If you follow my blog, you know I’m passionate about it and you know I live a Whole9 lifestyle. However, I’m fully aware that not everyone is interested in that. We will work with YOUR needs, goals and wants. It’s about you, not about me.

That’s the gist of it! If any of this sounds appealing to you, contact me and we can start with a FREE health history evaluation. We’ll meet for coffee, discuss your concerns and hopes, and figure out if this program is right for you.

You can contact me by email at joanna@wellnesswithjoanna.com for more information, pricing, and a health history evaluation. Introductory pricing is in effect until September 2015.

I look forward to hearing from you!

(Photo credit to the wonderful Vanessa Voth Photography. Hair and makeup by the exceptional Becky Austin of Make It Up.)

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Whole 30 – Week 4 – Meal Plan

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Breakfast:

Zucchini Fritters

Potatoes O’Brien

Sweet Potato Quiche

Dinner:

Spicy Sausage and Potato Soup (Add more veggies!)

Paleo Butter Chicken (Skip the Naan…sorry guys. Use cauliflower rice instead.)

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken and Gravy

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffed Peppers  

Spicy Pineapple Chili (This is one of my favourite recipes to double or triple and freeze.)

Lemon Pepper Spaghetti Squash with Scallops and Kale

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

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Whole 30 – Week 2 – Meal Plan

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Hey there! Wow, this no caffeine thing has been ROUGH. For the first 3 days I had a non stop pounding headache, was exhausted during the day, and awake in the middle of the night. By day 4 I was feeling way better though, and I’m excited to see how things improve even more over the next few weeks.

Here’s my meal plan for this week. A few breakfasts that I will double, and leftovers for lunch every day. 

Breakfast:

Yams and Eggs (There isn’t much to this “recipe” but it’s one of my favourites. I chop the yams into cubes and fry them in coconut oil and steak spice until cooked through. I remove them from the pan and cover them to keep them hot. Then I quickly fry 2 eggs and put them on top of the yams. You could partially boil the yams at the beginning of the week to make them quick and easy to fry up in the morning.)

Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet

Potatoes with Kale and Bacon

Crustless Quiche

Dinner:

Mexican Meatza

Chocolate Chili on spaghetti squash

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque (skip the corn)

Sweet Pineapple Ginger Meatballs 

Lemon Garlic Chicken on Zoodles and Kale

Italian Sausage and Zoodles

Moroccan Spiced Salmon

I suggest tripling the Chocolate Chili and Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque and freezing them for Whole30 emergencies. Those are two of my favourite recipes…you won’t be sorry!

Enjoy!

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Whole30 – Week 1 – Meal Plan

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I’m doing the official Whole30 challenge again! The first time around, I was just focused on SURVIVAL. It gets easier every time, and so this round I’m adding a new challenge. This will be my first time completely cutting out caffeine. I only drink 1 cup of plain black coffee in the mornings and the occasional coffee in the afternoon or evening if I’m at a special occasion or family event, but I’ve recently had some adrenal issues and so I’m interested to see if cutting it out completely will make a noticeable difference. Right now I really treasure my steaming cup of coffee every morning so this is definitely going to be difficult for me. Wish me luck!

One of my most important tips for completing a successful Whole30 is meal planning. I really enjoy meal planning and so I’ll be posting my weekly plans here for any of you who don’t enjoy it or need inspiration or ideas for recipe resources.

Each week I will post 7 dinners and 3-4 breakfasts. I will double my breakfast recipes for leftovers, and I will eat dinner leftovers for lunch each day. (Another tip for Whole30: cook once, eat two or three times.) Remember to make sure any sauces and meats are sugar free. These are the base recipes for each meal, but I will add steamed veggies, roasted veggies or huge salads to all of these meals.

Hope this helps!

Breakfast

Eggs in Purgatory by Nom Nom Paleo

Breakfast Skillet

Breakfast Hash 

Apple Pork Breakfast Sausage by SEP, sautéed swiss chard, and fried yams.

Dinner 

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Wings by SEP

Garlic Pork and Cauliflower Rice (Crockpot) by Paleomg

Lemon Roast Chicken by Jamie Oliver

Thai Pork and Veggie Meatballs by Paleomg (skip the honey)

Lemon Rosemary Salmon by Diane Sanfilippo

Mango and Avocado Salsa on Salmon by Nom Nom Paleo

Balsamic Beef Roast by Civilized Caveman (skip the white wine)

Never heard of Whole30? Check out the official website, and read about how it completely changed my life.