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.

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!

Core de Force Results

My Total Results: 60 days of Core de Force and the 3 Day Refresh

 BeforeAfter
Hips36"34"
Waist34"30.5"
Right Arm11.25"12"
Left Arm11"11.5"

 

The picture above is 30 days. The left side picture was taken after the 3 Day Refresh and is at 125 pounds. The picture on the right side is me 35 days later, but also at 125 pounds! See, the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.

I would love to help you have your own transformation! Our challenge group will provide recipes, tips, how to set yourself up for meal prep success, accountability, motivation, and daily support. We all do better when we have people cheering us on, let me be your personal cheerleader!

Let’s do this together!

Sign up for the 30 Day Accountability Group

Staying On Plan While Eating Out

At first look this may seem like an oxymoron, but I’ve learned that it is possible to eat pretty close to your plan while in a restaurant. I will be honest, I look to eat at about 85-90% “clean” or on plan while out. Eating 100% clean, while not impossible, would probably take a little more effort.

Salads

Really look at what is in the salads, sometimes your better choice is actually a burger compared to all the junk they throw on salads. Try to have mostly a dark green leafy base with assorted raw veggies. Get the dressing on the side and only use about a tablespoon or less. Skip the cheese and croutons. Make sure it has a good protein like grilled chicken (not fried chicken tenders).

Protein

Stay away from anything fried. Ask if they marinate the meat with anything and choose something that is grilled, baked, or broiled without a breading or coating. Ask if they will make the protein according to your plan, most restaurants will do this for you!

Sides

Okay, here is where we typically get in trouble. Normally a dinner comes with a couple of sides and those are typically a simple carb like bread rolls, mashed potatoes, or rice pilaf. If you can’t stay away from these entirely only eat a small portion. The 21 Day Fix plan measures one serving of this kind in about half a cup. Look for steamed or grilled veggies and stay away from the butter. Again, ask to substitute for what you can have on your plan. YOU get to choose what goes in your mouth.

Drinks

Just choose water. It’s simple, healthy, and free! Great for your health and your budget! Woo hoo!

Desserts

All those desserts look fantastic in the display case! Some are just so hard to turn down! Why don’t you get one dessert for the group and split it up? That way you can have that taste but not over indulge.

Portions

Anyone that looks at a typical restaurant meal in America can tell you we think bigger is better. There is some truth to this, but maybe we can do this an even better way. Instead of eating all of the meal that comes to you, ask for to go box up front. Portion out what a meal on your plan looks like, then put the rest in the box to take home for a different meal. Two for one deal for the win!

 

Transformation Tuesday: The Purpose of IntentionallyFit

First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your health and fitness journey, allowing me to speak into your life, and pushing me to become a better coach. I am honored that you are here.

I want to share a little bit of the how and why behind IntentionallyFit. To do this, I will need to travel back a bit and share some of my story with you.

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This is me on my 30th birthday. It’s the best picture, really. I had a three year old son and a 1 month old daughter. I look back on this picture with mixed emotions. I LOVED becoming a mom. I loved having a family (still do, in fact!), but I was so unhappy with me. Fear, insecurity, and an overall sense of shame for WHO I had become, or let myself become plagued me. I was depressed and really unhappy. This all came to a head in the most inconvenient of places, a dressing room at Target.

The summer after I turned thirty my little brother got married. I was in his wedding. The dress was a size 16. If this wasn’t enough, I had absolutely no shorts to wear, in public anyhow. I took my babies with me to Target and proceeded to try things on. The only pair of shorts I could squeeeeeeeeze into were size 15, and that was with the lay down, hop around, stuff myself in dance. So, right then and there I fell apart, with my two kids just staring at me, trying to figure out what was wrong with Mommie.

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To make a long story short, I later found Beachbody in a hotel room on the way home from that wedding. I started Power90 at the beginning of January. I worked hard. Sometimes the logistics of exercising with a 4 year old and a nine month old required some creativity, but I did it. I didn’t know it then, but I was drastically changing my health and not just a diet, but a real lasting lifestyle change. During this time period I learned that health and fitness is not limited to just the physical aspect, but includes mental, emotional, and spiritual areas as well.

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I say all this to tell you. I know how hard it is to change your life. I know how hard it is when nobody is helping and people are criticizing instead of encouraging. I know how hard it is when the kids are begging for attention and all you want to do is sleep (well, after you stuff a big burger or enchilada down your throat). We didn’t have coaches then or challenge groups to help. I don’t tell you this to get pity, but so you know it can be done. You can do it. I know it, because if I could with nobody helping, then you DEFINITELY can because I will help you every step of the way. I will be here for you. I will encourage and not criticize. I will cheer you on, but you still have to do the work. I can’t do that part, but I know you can. Join one of our Challenge Groups and get started on your own journey!

 

Should I Eat Before I Workout?

This question has been asked over and over and many times the answer is different. It has even been different at different times in my own health and fitness journey. Why? The quick answer is that this depends on you. Just as our goals change throughout our journey, so does the way we approach our fitness regimen.

 

Fasted Cardio

This is the concept that you perform a high intensity cardio workout after fasting, so not eating for an extended period of time. Typically this is an early morning workout completed prior to any consumption of food. It aids in quick fat loss and is good for those people with an excess of weight to lose or those trying to significantly lean out for some sort of competition or transformation goal.

I actually have lived for a long time doing this type of workout. I found that it was really important to have had a good solid meal chuck full of protein the night before though. If I hadn’t fueled well the night before my workout would tend to be lack luster and I even bonked! The intensity of your workout matters with this too. As I started doing higher level cardio work, like Insanity and Asylum, I found that I need something small to eat to keep my body functioning well.

 

Nutrient Timing

This is a fancy way of saying that you should plan when and what you eat around a special schedule designed for your goals. It has a bit of controversy surrounding it due to lack of true “evidence” to support the theory. Basically it says that you have a specific time frame prior to and after your workout in which your body is greedy and absorbs nutrients efficiently to support your specific goal. It has been popular with elite athletes, endurance athletes, and fitness/bodybuilding competitors.

 

But what about those of us who are just trying to make healthier choices, move our bodies more, and generally improve our health and fitness? The good news is that we’re all different! J So, there is no simple one shot answer. I hope you are starting to see that our health and fitness journeys are personal and specific to our own bodies. While that makes it a tad difficult to give out a basic statement about eating before working out, it also gives you a lot of freedom. If your body feels like it needs more fuel when you workout first thing in the morning, then eat about an hour before you do. If your body works really well, and the thought of eating before a workout makes you slightly nauseous, then I would avoid it and make sure to eat well after! Experiment with what and when you eat and see how your body responds the best, then choose that way of eating.

Did Someone Say Road Trip?

Healthy-Road-Trip-Tips
Image Credit: NMEDA

Beaches, amusement parks, and hotels, OH MY! Lately, I’ve had lots of questions about how to eat when you are not at home. This can be tricky but there are always options if you are willing to plan ahead and do the work.

First, you’re going to need a good cooler. You’ll need to be able to put enough food into it for the duration of your vacation. You’ll want to pack it as tight as possible to help keep food cold. You can even freeze some of the food to act as natural ice packs.

Next, create a menu for your time. Remember to include snacks. I typically try to book a hotel that provides a free breakfast so I don’t need to address that for everyone. Most hotels have a microwave available in the lobby or “breakfast/kitchen” area. I also plan for at least one “splurge” meal or a meal eaten out at a restaurant. This not only helps with staying on track health wise but is great for the budget too!

In creating your menu try to pick foods that travel well and can be eaten warm or cold if needed. I normally make a large batch of chicken and a large batch of ground meat flavored for tacos, both packed into large plastic microwave safe tubs. Tortillas can be laid flat in a bag or cooler and you don’t have to worry about squishing them like regular bread. Rice or quinoa can be cooked ahead and packed the same way as the meat. I also love to take my black bean sweet potato mix to add to meat or salad. I hope you see a pattern here. I do a lot of meal prep for the week and I just basically transfer that meal prep into things that can be packed and stacked into the cooler.

Veggies like carrots and celery can be peeled and cut into sticks, placed in sealed tubs with water and will keep crispy for about five days. Look for fruit that you can either cut up or doesn’t bruise easily. We always end up taking bananas, they get eaten so quickly they don’t have time to bruise though. A word of warning though, as much as I have tried to take hardboiled eggs with us, they ALWAYS make the whole cooler stink. If you absolutely want to take them, I recommend packing them in an entire different cooler, all by themselves.

Don’t forget to pack plates and silverware!