The Intentional Habit of Solitude and Devotion

Welcome to the fourth week in our series The Habits of the IntentionallyFit. I hope you have begun implementing new habits in your lives that will propel you toward becoming more healthy and fit. This week our habit deals with our spiritual health, which is something that many of us tend to neglect as part of a healthy and fulfilling life or we keep it in a category entirely on its own. The problem with this is that our Spiritual health affects every aspect of our overall health. While we can be “physically” fit we can be completely unhealthy spiritually. I hope to encourage you to consider this important aspect of your health.

Spend time daily in quiet solitude, reading, and prayer according to your spiritual beliefs and values.

Growing up I remember finding my mom reading her Bible in the morning, every morning. Her quiet time was always consistent and she modeled this throughout my life. She was always busy, being the mom of four highly active children, but this was a constant habit as long as I can remember.

I learned through her example to spend time daily with Jesus. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned for myself that I am a better wife, mother, and friend after I have had quiet time with Jesus. The benefits of being spiritually healthy overflow into all aspects of our lives. These are available to you as well. So, what does a quiet time or solitude look like in practical life? Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t feel lost and wandering.

Spend time in grateful reflection

Quietness allows the noise of the world and daily life to subside. Reflecting on what we have been given and cultivating gratitude changes our perspective in life. Being grateful for our lives and the things we’ve been given helps us maintain a positive mindset which allows us to view difficulties with hope and promise instead of despair.

Study Scriptures and Inspirational Stories

Reading and studying scripture educates us in the path that God wants us to take. We will become what we put in our minds, reading the Bible and books that teach us how to study it teaches us to be more like Jesus and that is a fantastic goal which changes us from the inside out.

Prayer

Prayer is deliberate discussion with God. Taking time to tell God you are grateful and actively voicing our gratitude to the One who has given us all we have reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, but are cared for by its Creator. Listening for His voice will also help you know what you are called to do and what He wants to tell you about yourself.

Prayer is also a place where we can release our burdens. Handing over our stress, confessing our failures or mistakes, and asking for help can all be done through the quiet habit of prayer. When we give these things to God we acknowledge that we need His help and I promise you, He is faithful to provide it!

 

The Intentional Habit of Tracking

Welcome to the third week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! So far we’ve talked about goals and using meal plans. This week we’re going to continue our discussion of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit with an organizational tactic that has changed my own personal health and fitness.

Keep a log or journal of your food and workouts.

Writing everything that you eat into a journal changes your perspective on what you put into your mouth. I’m not exactly sure how it does this, but seeing your food choices on paper really causes you to think of what your goals are and contemplate the consequences for your choices. I hate having to write down poor food choices on my log!

There is accountability in writing down your food choices and workouts. If you don’t see the progress that you desire, you can look back over what you have been doing and tweak changes where necessary.

Writing or logging your food and workouts can be motivating! You can make goals like being able to write down 3 workouts this week or getting enough water in every day. This will help you keep your goals in the front of your mind and help you make choices that move you towards them.

Your journal or log can be on paper or even your phone. There are even apps that help you keep track of everything like myfitnesspal or LoseIt! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to work for you.

Whatever you choose to use as your log, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

  1. Be specific. Write down everything you eat, including condiments, cooking oils, and drinks. Include the amount you use, not just what the food item is.
  2. Write down how you feel at the end of each day. Are you tired, hungry, and do you have enough energy to make it through your workout?
  3. Be consistent. It will take time and you will get better at it, but it does take work!

Becoming IntentionallyFit

The Intentional Habit of Using a Meal Plan

Welcome to week 2 of the Habits of the IntentionallyFit. Last week we talked about creating measurable goals. What kind of goals did you make? I decided to create a goal for my business IntentionallyFit. I will offer two accountability groups every month those people I coach.

Today we are talking about the Second Habit of the IntentionallyFit…

Create or Use a Specific Meal Plan

One of the most important things in learning to take care of your body and it’s health is nutrition. Fueling your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and knowing how much of each of those things you need will determine your body’s total health. Nutrition affects your immune system, your sleep cycle, your hormone cycle, your thought processes, and all the other physical and emotional aspects of your life. It’s a huge thing! So, why do we leave it to chance?

Choosing the right meal plan can be difficult. I was at the library the other day and noticed that there are literally hundreds of books on what to eat, most of them focusing on a “diet” or how to lose weight. Healthy fit people know that you must fuel your body well to have it function at it’s best. Remember you can look fit, but not actually be healthy on the inside!

What are some important things to remember when choosing a meal plan?

First, what are your goals?
Your meal plan should work with you to reach your desired health and fitness goals. If you want to build muscle, then your meal plan will need to account for the extra protein and calories you will need to do so. If you are looking to lose weight, does is have a calorie deficit that allows you to work out and not starve?

Does it Include All Food Groups?
I might step on some toes here… does it include all sorts of different colored foods? Does it vilify certain food groups? While there is nothing wrong with eliminating things like processed foods and sugared sweets, there is a danger in saying you need to eliminate all carbs or all fats. We need those kinds of foods for our bodies to work correctly, the important thing is to choose the HEALTHY amount and versions of those food groups. You may need to do research or talk to a nutritionist in some cases.

Is the plan realistic long term?
This is super important! No matter how effective a meal plan is, it won’t be if you can’t stick to it. If it calls for drastic measures or super expensive food, most people won’t be able to follow it for life. A meal plan should move you into a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for your life. Most diets don’t work because people return to unhealthy lifestyle eating after they have “finished” the diet. People who are intentionally fit do so for the long haul, not just the short term.

Becoming IntentionallyFit through Healthy Habits:

The Intentional Habit of Creating Goals

Welcome to the first week of our Habits of the IntentionallyFit series! I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it takes to become healthy and fit. In fact I’ve been working at it for over eleven years! So, I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of the things I have learned over the years. Over the next ten weeks we will explore the habits or fundamental activities that successfully healthy people incorporate into their lives. Please do not think of this list as an exhaustive blueprint, but more of a helpful guideline.

The first Habit of the IntentionallyFit is to create measureable goals to challenge yourself and create a plan for the life you want to live. Goals give you a road map to help make decisions about what is valuable and important to you and those you love.

Goals should have a time limit on them. I once heard someone say that goals without a completion date are just wishes. Break them down into “Long Range Goals” and “Short Range Goals.”

Jim Rohn gives the following questions in his book 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness, as a way to start figuring out what you want.

  • What do I want to do?
  • What do I want to be?
  • What do I want to see?
  • What do I want to have?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • What would I like to share?

All these lead into the primary question he states is, “What do I want within the next one to ten years?”

Have you thought about that question? Chances are somewhere at sometime you played around with the idea, but did you really dig in and think it through? Honestly, I had not until I read this and I’m still weeding through the possibilities, but can you see where this could create a habit of success? If you know what you want to do or experience within the next ten years you can devise a roadmap to follow straight towards achieving those specific things!

Budget Friendly (and healthy) Carb Choices

Hey everyone! If you have just joined us, you are just in time. We have been talking about budget friendly ways of filling our 21 Day/Portion Fix colored buckets. I’ve saved everyone’s favorite yellow bucket for last! Most people I talk to have no difficulties getting all their yellow buckets in, but I still want to help you find the most economic way possible. So onward to the yellow bucket!

Corn tortilla
Tortillas are a staple in my home, in fact they have replaced bread entirely. Whole wheat ones, while they are not extremely pricey, do tend to creep up in price when you only get 8-10 in a pack. Corn tortillas can come in stacks of thirty while being under $2 and even at two per serving that’s quite a bargain.

Beans
There are so many varieties of beans out there and they are full of fiber! It is so good to add these little carbs into your meal plan. You can find cans of beans for under seventy cents, but the real budget cutting ones come dry and in a bag. They require a little extra work but if you are serious about cutting costs this is a big help!

Brown Rice
Another cost saving gem is brown rice. You don’t have to pick the fancy stuff, the unbranded or store brand works just as well for a side of rice, unless of course you’re making sushi, but that just doesn’t fit with the cost cutting budget.

Lentils
Another great “dry good” that saves you money! Small batches really last and you could easily have a bag that lasts two to four weeks that costs you under $3!

Potatoes
Okay, I might be pushing it here, but based on the size of the yellow bucket, I feel like you can get a lot of servings depending on the type of potato and the season. My favorite is a sweet potato, but those little red new potatoes can be pretty cost effective during the right season.

Three Budget Friendly Healthy Fats

Hello! I hope you are doing well and are enjoying Spring! We are doing a series on filling the colored buckets of the 21 Day/Portion Fix meal plan as economically as possible. There is a misconception out there that to eat on a healthy plan you must spend a lot of money. It is just not true. You can eat clean and stay on a budget as well. This week we are filling the blue bucket which holds a variety of healthy fats.

Cheese
There are so many different types of cheese out there and the price varies. Some of the more budget friendly are mozzarella, Monterey jack, and feta. If you fill the whole bucket with shredded cheese, you’ll find that it is a fairly big serving!

Nuts
Not all variety of nuts are budget friendly but peanuts, walnuts, and pecans can normally be found without breaking the bank. If you shop at a place that offers bulk foods, you may find almonds for a decent price as well.

Hummus
I love hummus, the spicy red pepper kind is my favorite. Aldi carries a great variety that is much cheaper than many brand name chain grocery stores. An even better idea might be to try and make your own!

Budget Friendly Veggies

Hello! We are on our third bucket in our budget friendly options for the 21 Day Fix series. I hope this is helping you see that you can totally eat well on a budget. This week’s bucket is the GREEN one, the one you fill with veggies. This is the bucket most people tell me that they don’t always get in during the day. I understand completely seeing as it is normally the bucket you have the most times per day, especially if you are on one of the higher brackets. The great news is that there are a plethora of choices out there that are super budget friendly!

Remember, just as with the purple bucket, eating in season will always give your budget a little more wiggle room!

Kale/Collards/Spinach
I know, there’s three listed in one, but all three of them are fairly budget friendly and you tend to get a lot of bang for your buck! Look for bright colored leaves without funky colors around the edges.

Squash
There are so many varieties to choose from within the squash family. I typically choose zucchini, butternut, and spaghetti squash. Remember in season choices will be the most economical.

Carrots
Sold in almost any way you would like them, whole, baby, sliced, and shredded! Whole will be the cheapest since you would do the work of cleaning and cutting. Also, don’t forget to keep the peels and ends to make homemade stock and broth.

Onions
Adding onions to your food is an easy way to get your greens in and add flavor at the same time! Chopping them up into small fine bits you can “hide” them in your meat for those of you who aren’t particularly happy with their texture.

Cucumbers
Great in salads and sandwiches, cucumbers are always readily available and friendly to your budget.

Bonus: Cabbage and Romaine
These leafy veggies are great as salad “stuffers.” One full head of romaine is typically about three full greens! So those bags that contain three sets of them, hold nine total green buckets full! So nine buckets for about two bucks is quite the deal!

Budget Friendly Fruit Choices

We are currently talking about filling our 21 Day Fix colored buckets with budget friendly foods. Last time, we discussed proteins or our red bucket fodder. Today we’re going to talk about my favorite bucket! The purple bucket is filled with fruit and there isn’t a bucket I like more.

Shop “In Season”
Our budget friendly purples start with the idea to choose “in season” varieties. Choosing produce with current harvest times will help your food budget stretch further. So ideally during this current fall season apples will be the most budget friendly and coming up next in winter you will typically find citrus fruits to be the most economical. Spring will be bountiful with strawberries and blueberries topping your list and summer provides an awesome combination, but melons are the cheapest for the amount of servings per individual fruit.

Outside of in season harvest options, here are a few staple budget friendly fruits.

Bananas
These are great! Full of potassium and around $.50 pound, you can stock up regularly. The bonus is that one banana is two purples, so you get 2 for 1 in this deal!

Grapes
So many varieties available, including cotton candy flavored! These can even be frozen and eaten as a sweet icy treat.

Oranges
Chock full of vitamin C and so juicy! A bag of navel oranges can run around $3.00 for around 10-12 oranges. That’s pretty budget friendly if you ask me!

Melons
These are definitely the most bang for your buck! A $5.00 watermelon can fill your buckets for two full weeks! The bonus here is that watermelon freezes pretty well and helps keep you hydrated!
 

Five Budget Friendly Protein Options

One of top five things I hear about eating healthy is that it is too expensive. I tend to disagree. Once you learn about healthy food and start eliminating less nutrient dense food from your meal plan, healthy options start appearing, many of them are budget friendly. Over the course of the next few posts we will talk about budget friendly options that fit in each of the 21 Day Fix color coded buckets. Today
we will tackle the Red protein filled bucket.

Tuna
Light tuna canned in water is a surprisingly economical and healthy option. But make sure you don’t drown it in mayo!

Cottage Cheese
2% is the best protein option. This goes great with fruit!

Tilapia
Although it isn’t as full of Omega3’s as salmon it can still provide you with those special added fats while being a pretty sensible protein choice. You’re cheapest options will be in the frozen food section.

Yogurt
While 1% plain Greek yogurt is the “better” option, you can spend less and go for the plain 2% variety and still be making a great choice. Make sure to look for single ingredient kinds and avoid any added sweeteners or cornstarch.

Eggs
Eggs get a bad rap, but they are actually extremely healthy and incredibly budget friendly. Scramble them, hard boil them, or even make fancy egg cups! Just two eggs fill the red bucket as one serving, giving you six protein servings for under $2.00!

Bonus:
Okay, this obviously doesn’t work for everyone, but for those families with avid hunters in them, wild game is a fabulous choice!

Want to know more about meal planning and get accountability at the same time? Join our next 30 Day accountability group!

Grilled carne asadas/fajitas

 

Ingredients:

1 flat iron steak (about 3 lbs)

1 red onion sliced

4-5 small sweet peppers (red, orange, and yellow)

3-5 cloves garlic minced

Small bunch of minced cilantro (as desired)

Equal amounts cumin and chili powder (about 1 TBS each)

chipotle powder (optional for kick)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4-1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (reserve one full lime for after cooking)

1/2 cup stock (I used homemade chicken stock)

Marinate all together for at least 8 hours/overnight

 

Grill the steak as desired (mine is rare-medium rare)

Cook veggies separately in either an iron skillet or broil them in the oven. (if you broil, watch closely!) Squeeze the fresh lime over the veggies and enjoy!