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TWENTY Delicious AND Healthy Snacks for a Lean Lifestyle

I’m often told by clients and readers that they struggle to eat more frequently. Many times, we wait until we’re famished before grabbing a bite and end up making an unhealthy choice. Eating frequently can ward off a bad decision or a binge. The typical problem I hear from people, however, is that they can’t think of decent, protein-filled healthy snacks to fill in between meals. Many simply get bored with eating the same things over and over and over again.

I get it! I’m totally the same way.

To help you out, I’ve put together this extensive list of TWENTY delicious snacks to mix things up a bit from day-to-day. I’m sure you can find a few things on the list to add to your snack rotation.

20 Delicious and Healthy Snacks for a Lean Lifestyle

 

  • Sliced turkey in romaine lettuce rollups with a little mustard
  • Sliced deli meat rolled with sliced avocado inside
  • High protein (low-fat/carb), unsweetened Greek plain yogurt (options: add cocoa and stevia, add PB2 and stevia, add a spoonful or 2 of canned pumpkin with cinnamon and stevia, add a trickle of trail mix, add 1/2 scoop protein powder, sweeten with stevia and add fresh berries on top)
  • Biotrust Protein Cookies

proteincookie

  • Hard boiled eggs and apple, pear, berries, or grapefruit
  • Krave Bars Seriously- the cookie dough AND baked apple pie are to die for!!
  • celery with almond or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup nuts and an apple, pear, berries, or grapefruit

healthy snacks

  • Homemade protein bar
  • Protein shake – either with water only in a shaker bottle or blended with ice for a healthy “milk” shake
  • Can or packet of tuna or smoked salmon – mix in mustard with it with an apple or a hard boiled egg

healthy snacks

  • ANY left over meal (already cooked chicken, lean pork, other leftover meat)
  • Jerky
  • Keep a baggie of assorted raw veggies on hand for any time
  • Hard boiled egg stuffed with tuna – very filling!
  • Rotisserie chicken – fast food at the grocery store! Combine with some veggies or berries.
  • Baked egg muffins (microwave for a quick snack)
  • 3-6 boiled egg whites with 1/2 avocado slices, 1/2 cup of olive, or 1/4 cup raw nuts (add a 1/2 grapefruit as well if you desire)
  • 1/2 avocado and diced chicken with salsa made into guacamole chicken salad
  • Cottage cheese with apple, berries, pear, grapefruit, or 1/4 cup nuts

What would YOU add to this list? Let me know in the comments! We are all in this lifestyle thing together and can learn from each other!

xo -Jill

healthy snacks

Affiliate Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy through the link, the price is still the exact same for you, but I make a small percentage for recommending the product. The opinions expressed in the post are my own and all products shown are those I have used and truly believe in. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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My Top 10 Tips for Navigating Social Events and Eating Out Without Gaining a Single Pound

Today’s culture involves eating outside the home often. Whether it’s dinner out with friends on the weekend, attending a holiday party or wedding reception, or simply grabbing lunch on your lunch hour with co-workers, eating out is inevitable. This can be a stressful aspect of living a “lean and healthy lifestyle” but it doesn’t have to be!

Good news- Eating out doesn’t have to increase your waistline! There are many ways you can make eating out work for your goals. 🙂 I understand that it’s hard to let go of the control that we have when eating in where we know each and every ingredient, but if you follow just a few simple guidelines, your social life won’t have to suffer!

Here are my top 10 tips for navigating a social event and eating out without gaining a single pound:

 

  • Do your homework – When you know ahead of time where you will be eating, take a couple of minutes to check out the menu online. Most restaurants have their menu items listed out on their website. Walking in an establishment with a plan is the best offense.
  • Skip the freebies – Many restaurants bring out a complimentary loaf of bread with butter, chips and salsa, or the like. Say “No, thank you.” Ask your server to bring out raw veggies to munch on if you really need something before your entrée arrives. Don’t place unnecessary temptation right in front of you! If you’re in a situation where this isn’t possible, focus on chatting and socializing before your meal arrives.
  • Avoid drinking your calories – Ask for water to drink. If you want a little flavor, add lemon, lime, or even a squeeze of orange to your water. Avoid soda, booze, and other high-calorie drinks. They add up quickly! If you decide to have alcohol, limit yourself to 2 drinks and avoid starches and fats at that meal. Alcohol is best consumed with lean meat and fibrous veggies.
  • Choose lean meat – Almost every restaurant has an option for a lean cut of meat. It may be a grilled chicken breast, boiled shrimp, baked or broiled fish, or even sashimi if you’re feeling adventurous! Always steer clear of anything fried.

    This is a “chicken sandwich” – hold the bun, please.” 🙂

  • Be choosy with your side items – Instead of the normal baked potato, rice, or fries, order steamed broccoli, mixed veggies, roasted asparagus, a side salad, or grilled zucchini and squash. There are almost always healthy side items available.
  • Remember the rule: “Fat over carbs” – Examples of this strategy
    eating out

    When eating Thai food, I skip the rice.

    are guacamole salad over rice and beans, bacon and boiled egg on your salad over croutons and bread, meat with cheese over meat on a bun, grilled chicken salad over grilled chicken sandwich, and veggies sautéed in olive oil over a baked potato. If you’re attending a party and a meat and cheese tray and mini sandwich tray are both being served, choose the meat and cheese even though the meat on these trays tend to be higher in fat (i.e. salami).

  • Order all sauces on the side when you can – Sauces and dressings can completely ruin a fat-loss friendly meal turning it into a fat-storing meal. Ordering sauces and dressings on the side allow YOU to be in control of how much you eat, if any. When ordering salad dressing, the best choice would be an oil and vinegar based dressing.
  • Stick to entrées – Appetizers and desserts add extra calories and are rarely fat-loss friendly choices. When you do order an appetizer, choose something like shrimp cocktail. Desserts are best saved for off-plan, cheat meals.
  • Watch your portion sizes – Most restaurant portions are entirely too large for one person. Split your meal in half and take it home or share it with your friend.
  • Keep good company – It’s important to surround yourself with people who share your values in all aspects of life. When you eat out, take along a friend or your spouse who is supportive of your healthy lifestyle. With time and practice, it becomes easier to eat for your fat loss goals even when those around you order things that aren’t on your plan. When you begin trying to change your habits, however, it’s important to seek out support from like-minded friends or even a coach that can cheer you on and answer all of your questions about changing your habits and lifestyle (see the bottom of this post for my top recommendations for coaching services).

There you have it. My top 10 strategies that I personally use when eating out.

Many believe that lean, fit people prep all their food ahead of time, portion it out for the week, and never dine out or even eat enjoyable, flavorful food. That is simply not true. It’s definitely possible to eat out, socialize, and enjoy food while eating for fat loss!

Trust me… I LOVE food and love to eat. I enjoy EVERY bite I put in my mouth. 😀

Head over to my facebook page and let me know YOUR favorite fat-loss friendly restaurant or a rule of thumb you use to stay on track while eating out!

If you’re wanting information about coaching services that I recommend, here is my current top suggestion to help you reach your goals!


FASTer Way to Fat Loss 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – HIGHLY effective program!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!
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My 8 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

I just finished week #8 of working with my coach, Roman. Below is my current progress check in!

  • My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan is still in play until further notice. I switched from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase 3 weeks ago (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (higher carbs, slightly less fat than the first phase, and protein has increased).

The newest change brought a feasting period for 1 day each week. What that means is I can eat anything I want (preferably higher carbohydrates) beginning at lunch time, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. I posted what I ate in the “my successes” section.

On the flip side of the “feasting period” is a FULL fasting day. :/

For the first 2 weeks of this plan, I feasted on Saturday and fasted beginning Saturday night until Monday morning at breakfast. The third week I adjusted my feasting period to coincide with Thanksgiving of course! 🙂

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. The style of workout changed from traditional strength training to escalating density training. This increases work volume and testosterone. All of this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. As a matter of fact, I’ve only missed 1 workout in the entire 8 weeks. There have been a few times that I shortened a couple of circuits or substituted exercises at a hotel gym, but my consistency had been ON POINT. I continue to increase my weights in the strength workouts. My goals of getting stronger overall and stronger with my pull ups are definitely coming along!

I fully succeeded with my feast days. It wasn’t hard to do at all. Ha! You may wonder what I ate?!?

Well- The first week I had a normal breakfast for me, fajita chicken salad with chips and salsa, 3 slices of pizza for dinner followed by a donut and a package of Justin’s organic peanut butter cups. Yum! I had no GI issues from this. CELEBRATE!

The 2nd week I had IHOP for lunch (1/2 pancakes and 1/2 French toast with syrup plus eggs and bacon) then a normal dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables. For dessert I had 2 mini candy bars from my boys’ Halloween candy and a slice of creamy peanut butter pie from my favorite place. The IHOP meal gave me a tummy ache. 🙁

Then the 3rd week was Thanksgiving, so I just enjoyed all the plentiful food my family had available! It was so delicious, but I did get a slight tummy ache from the feast. BOO!

  • My Struggles: My biggest struggle over the last few weeks has definitely been the fasting period. With that said, I’ve made it all three times and ultimately felt fine. It’s gotten easier each week which is encouraging. During my fast, I’m allowed to have water, black coffee, and green tea. Once, I broke down and had a diet limeade to give my belly something to do besides talk to me. 😉 Basically, I feel physical hunger only a few times (under 5) during the fast. I ride the “hunger wave” and then it subsides. Of course the growling stomach hits on Sunday right in the middle of Bible class just in time to embarrass me! Lol. The good news is that I’ve woken up each day after my fast and been full of energy to crush my workout before breaking my fast. That part amazes me! I totally thought I’d struggle through, but no (to my pleasant surprise!).

 

  • My Outcomes so far:

Mentally, I’m stronger, more confident, balanced yet focused. Physically, I’m stronger too!

As for my overall numbers – I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

The numbers haven’t changed from week 5, but I can see a difference in my photos. Let’s be honest though, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving to the fullest, so remaining steady is a great thing! I’m a day or 2 away from “shark week” so honestly, it’s not the best time to weigh and measure. 😉

Anyway, numberwise, my body is being a bit stubborn on me. I’m excited to get my next phase any day now and see the tweaks made to deal with this stubbornness. If my weight was staying the same and my body fat was decreasing, there would be no issue. That would actually be a great sign of body recomposition! For now, I’m holding steady which I’m ok with. I’m realizing that where I am right now is exactly where my body is perfectly HAPPY. To get beyond this point in the past, it took drastic measures that I’m not willing to do this go around. If coach Roman has a way to move me beyond this point without my losing hair, losing my period, and becoming an emotional wreck, then I welcome it. If not, I’m just fine where I’m at continue my pursuit of strength and meeting goals!

That’s it for now… I will post again in few weeks and letcha know what changes I’m implementing!

Post in the comments (or in the linked facebook post) to let me know what goals you are working on! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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5 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

By Jill Jacobs

I just finished week #5 of working with my new coach, Roman. Below is my 5 week progress check in!

  •  My Plan general overview from coach Roman: My November plan came recently, and my jaw dropped! I’m switching from the “insulin reset” phase to a “feast and fast” phase (more details below). My macros changed up a bit (a little higher carbs, slightly less fat, and protein is increased slightly). The newest change though is a feasting period for 1/2 day. What that means is I can eat anything I want, preferably higher carbohydrates, but I’m supposed to stop before I feel stuffed. The kicker is that I follow the “feasting period” with a fasting day- Yikes! My plan is to “feast” on Saturday afternoon until bed and then fast on Sunday. I’ll break the fast on Monday at breakfast. I admit, this is going to be hard, so wish me luck! My initial reaction to this plan was the same as October’s – “What have I gotten myself into???” Haha!

I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts. This is similar to last month, but the style of workout changed from traditional strength training to density training. This will increase work volume and testosterone. All this is great for muscle building and for fat loss!

  • My Successes: I’m very consistent with my workouts. The sheer volume of what I’m doing has probably doubled from what I was doing before hiring Roman. I’m eating more to keep up with my body’s needs. The workouts are challenging, but I’ve gone up in weight on so many things!
  • My Struggles: Besides the struggle to eat so much food, my biggest struggle since my last update has been Halloween candy. 😉 I didn’t go overboard, but I ate, over time, more than I’d like to have eaten. I only ate my favorite things. I didn’t make “mindless” choices, so that’s a win! On the nutrition front, Roman has me tracking my macros to make sure I’m getting the correct amount of everything. That pretty much stinks and is time consuming. I haven’t been on top of that during November, but I’m good at eyeballing portions and knowing the macros. I’ve re-dedicated to tracking to spot check myself.
  • My Outcomes so far:

I’ve lost…

  •  in bodyweight – 3 pounds
  •  in body fat – just over 1%
  •  in inches – 1″ from below my belly button, 3/4″ from my waist, and about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (rib cage, hips)

PLUS….

  • I’m feeling stronger and more confident!
  • I’m feeling very focused! I’ve not been this focused on me and my personal goals in over a year, so it’s nice! 😀

That’s it for now…I plan to post every few weeks and fill you in on what’s going on!

Head over to the post below over on facebook and share some of your progress as of late! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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{Recipe} Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite fall treats!

Every year for the last several years, I’ve made a particular recipe for Pumpkin Bread that I found in a Southern Living recipe book (with a few of my own tweaks). It’s always been a hit at home as well as among my friends! This year, I decided to attempt a grain-free (and therefore gluten-free), lower sugar version. I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out incredibly delicious and was very easy to make!

Here is a slice I enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee. It was perfectly moist and tasty! 🙂

pumpkin bread slice

If you’d like to try your hand at this recipe, here is how I made it….

Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe (makes 2 loaves)

  • 3 1/3 cups of almond flour
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of Truvia for baking (depending on how sweet you want your bread – I went with 1 1/2 cups because I have a major sweet tooth! If you use something besides Truvia, it needs to be equivalent to 3 cups of sugar.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz. all natural, no added sugar apple sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz can of pure, preferably organic, pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling – needs to be 100% pumpkin)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until incorporated. Combine all wet ingredients until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together until well incorporated. Divide batter into 2 large (9×5), greased loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for at least 10-15 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Slice each loaf into 10-12 slices. 1 slice equals 1 serving. Serve cold or warm. To warm, heat a slice in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Enjoy!

The Finished Loaves

p.s. This recipe freezes well, so I froze one loaf for later. 🙂

p.p.s. If you’d like your own copy, sign up below to receive a printable version of this recipe! Check your spam/junk folder to confirm your subscription. 🙂

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{RECIPE} Super Easy Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I love autumn….. and pumpkin turkey chili!

This is the time of year to get excited about the cooler weather, football season, beautiful changing leaves, and ALL THINGS PUMPKIN!

I was going through some old recipes recently and came across this beanless Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe that I picked up at the grocery store a few years back. I never made it and honestly had forgotten about it.

I searched the pantry and refrigerator and had most of the ingredients. I changed the recipe slightly to fit my own preferences and had my grocery-shopping husband, David (yeah… he grocery shops! #winning), pick up the couple of items we needed. Last night, David threw this lovely recipe together (yep, he cooks too!), and we enjoyed this super quick and easy Pumpkin Turkey Chili.

It was surprisingly delicious! The pumpkin thickens it up nicely without the beans, so I really didn’t miss them at all. It gets 2 thumbs up from us!! It’s perfect for a lazy weekend day or for serving at a game day party. Enjoy!

pumpkin turkey chili fb

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional but delicious if you like spicy things!)
Instructions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute’ the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey and cook until browned. Pour mixture into a soup pan or crock pot. Mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with the remaining spices. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes OR cook in the crockpot on low for 4-5 hours.
Serves up to 6 people. Feel free to double the recipe for a larger crowd.

Once you make it, let me know what you think over on my facebook page!

 

~Jill