3 Easy and Healthy Dinners to Throw Together After School

It is November.

In a word – Ewe. 

It’s cold, it’s dark and the days although ‘shorter’ feel like they’re hella long.

After a long day of work with never ending deadlines, picking up the kids, fielding complaints about the new teacher, and then coming home knowing you need to feed the troops can take a toll. Especially for moms. 

Recently I attended a talk with John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and he said that ‘coming home’ actually raises the stress hormone (cortisol) in women and decreases it for men. #gofigure 

With all the demands of the day (and homelife) resting (mostly) on our shoulders, it’s no wonder something as ‘easy’ as making dinner can make us feel overwhelmed. 

I know the feeling all TOO well which is why I wanted to dedicate this blog to easy, healthy meals that you can throw together for your family in a pinch! 
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Shrimp Tacos 

This meal is fresh, tasty, healthy and done in under 20 min! Taco Tuesday can happen any day..right? 

Ingredients:

  • 1lb frozen, tail-less peeled shrimp
  • 3 tomatoes 
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small mango 
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Plain greek yogurt 
  • Soft taco shells, whole wheat 
  • 2 tbs taco seasoning (you can buy this pre-mixed if you are in an extra hurry!)

How to: 

  1. Chop tomatoes, mango, cilantro, and red onion 
  2. Mix vegetables together in bowl with the juice of 1 lime and set aside 
  3. Pan fry shrimp from frozen with remaining lime juice and taco seasoning 
  4. Top taco shells with shrimp, pico de gallo, greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), and hot sauce if desired! 

 

Pumpkin Chilli 

The best part about this meal is that you can put together about 90% of it in the morning, making the after school rush a little less…well, rushed! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1lb ground turkey or chicken 
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 white onion 
  • 1 can pure pumpkin 
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (no salt added) 
  • 1-3 jalapeno peppers (depending on your spice preference!)
  • 1 cup black beans 
  • .5 cup plain greek yogurt 
  • 3 green onion shoots 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 tbs cinnamon 
  • 1 tbs chilli powder 

How to: 

  1. Pan fry ground meat with onions until cooked 
  2. Add all ingredients to slow cooker except yogurt 
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours 
  4. Once ready, add salt and pepper to taste 
  5. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt and green onion 

 

Sesame Noodles 

This one serves as a big reminder that carbs are not the enemy! However, if you are really trying to avoid them, you can sub or cut the noodles serving in half with your favourite type of zoodle. I make these at least 2x per month and am always satisfied. 

Ingredients:

  • Chicken or Smoked tofu for protein 
  • Ramen noodles (eyeball how many for how many you are serving)
  • 1 red onion 
  • ½ cup shredded carrots 
  • 2 cups baby bok choy 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1 tsp chilli garlic sauce 
  • Knob of ginger (1 inch) 
  • Splash of rice wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup soya sauce 
  • Sesame oil 
  • Green onion and sesame seeds for garnish 

How to:

  1. Pan fry chicken or tofu until cooked in sesame oil
  2. Set protein aside in bowl 
  3. Add garlic, chilli garlic sauce, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and a splash of sesame oil to the same pan and simmer 2 minutes 
  4. Add chopped onion, carrots, and baby bok choy and simmer until cooked
  5. In a separate pot, boil water and add noodles
  6. When cooked, add the noodles to the veggie mixture and toss in sauce 
  7. Add protein to pan
  8. Add another splash of sesame oil and taste 
  9. Add additional chili sauce, sesame oil, or soy as desired 
  10. Serve with fresh green onion and a sprinkle of sesame seeds 

 

Let me know if you try any of these recipes and how they turn out!

How Our Tolerance of Unhappiness Keeps Us Stuck

As a health and wellness coach, I hear a lot about how much ‘pain’ people are in when it comes to their weight. Some are in physical pain. Some emotional. But all are uncomfortable with the state of their bodies.

More and more though the word ‘suffering’ is starting to come up in my conversations. Which has caused me to reflect on this topic a lot. And here’s what I’ve realized:

Pain is a guarantee in life. Suffering is a choice. 

As we go through the motions of this thing called life, we’re all going to experience some kind of pain: loss of jobs, relationship turmoil or breakups, death, family issues… the list goes on. It’s inevitable.

However, ‘suffering’ on the other hand, is the interpretation or story that we tell ourselves about the pain. (i.e. beliefs, judgements, thoughts.) that can then become our story and keep us stuck.

“I don’t have the time.”

“I can’t afford to do anything about it.”

“I don’t have support or willpower.”

These are the stories that we continue to tell ourselves that keep up stuck where we are. That cause us to suffer.

The sad thing is, that over time, we don’t associate the pain as suffering, because it becomes part of the new norm of how we feel in our bodies and in our life. You’ve chosen this new reality.

So  how do you know if you’re in pain vs. suffering, in terms of weight loss?

Pain is when you’ve suddenly put on weight as a result of something like having kids, or after a tragic event like the loss of a job or a rough spot in your relationship and now you want to lose the weight and get back to your old self.

Suffering is when you’ve been carrying around the extra weight for 6 months, a year, a few years, and you either want to get it off but don’t know how or try to get it off but continue to fail and refuse to ask for help in order to achieve your goals.

So how can you move out of suffering and overcome your pain?

Although not easy, here are a few steps and recommendations that can help:

  1. Identify the areas in your life that are causing the pain and prolonging it into suffering. Why did you put on weight, was it stress, emotional eating, having a baby?
  2. Next, once you determine what the cause was, you can now start to look at the habits and rituals that you are partaking in to ease the pain, that aren’t supportive you. It’s not always the cause, but how we react to it that determines the degree of suffering you will experience.
  3. Then, you can start to determine where you need support in your life to help you overcome these challenges. Is it, building up your community of support so you have more hands on deck to look after your kids so you can take more time for yourself? Is it finding a professional to work with to help you stop fad-dieting and finally teach you an effective method for weight loss that’s sustainable? Is it saving up money so that you can invest in a program?

Regardless of the steps you take, what’s most important is taking a deep look at how you feel, how long it’s been going on for and what the future will look like if you choose not to do anything about it.

Ultimately remember, the choice is yours. So if you do choose to stay stuck in a pattern that you know isn’t serving you, you lose the right to complain about it – because it is a choice.

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Dieting

Fifteen years of dieting. Seventy-five pounds lost. Three years of nutrition coaching. Over 100 clients. I have been a long-time student of Weight Loss 101. Of all the lessons learned, here are my top five crib notes of my Diet Degree.

1. You don’t have to eat 1200 calories a day to lose weight.

Ever. I don’t know how the diet industry came up with this number – but it’s false. Sadly, people everywhere abide by these extreme low-calorie diets with big dreams of losing weight. And fail.

The secret to effective weight loss? EAT. As much as possible. Crazy right? The truth is, most people can, and should be losing weight on WAY more food than they’re eating. How is this possible? You just need to find your ‘sweet spot’.

Everyone has a range of calories that their body will lose weight within. I call this, the ‘Sweet Spot’. Based on your age, activity level, weight, etc. your sweet spot is specific to you and you alone. When you diet you want to be at the high end of this range. Why?

  1. You get to eat more food while dieting. #winning
  2. When you plateau (because you will) you’ll have some wiggle room to reduce calories as a way to help you overcome it.

The bottom line: Why start a diet at 1200 calories, when your ‘sweet spot’ could be 1700. Amiright?!

2. You don’t have to give up your favourite foods.

Unless you plan to avoid birthday cake, wine, or pasta for the rest of your life – don’t cut them out for a diet.

‘I’m going to cut out sugar for 8 weeks and lose weight’ is a great approach – but what do you do after the 8 weeks? When you want that glass of wine. Or eat your kid’s birthday cake. And the weight creeps back on…

Restricting food is tough. No denying it. But it’s also an opportunity to teach you BALANCE. MODERATION. MINDFULNESS. Hard lessons to learn, but important if you want to maintain your goals. Following a diet that lets you eat the things you love, while keeping you on track teaches you how to make better choices. Without them, you’ll gain the weight back. With them, you’ll achieve your goals and KEEP them too.

3. Eight-week transformations don’t exist.

The only person losing 15 lbs in 2 months is a fitness competitor. Because they’re PROFESSIONAL dieters.

You, are a professional human. Living a normal human life. Meaning, you’re going to fall off track, have rough days, indulge on the weekend, and skip the gym.

This is why realistic goals are critical for success. Having a timeline is important. But tight ones can be stressful. Stress holds on to weight. Stress makes it harder. Stress means you’ll want to quit. Every. Damn. Day. Realism removes the stress:

  • ‘Realistically I’m going for brunch on Sundays’.
  • ‘Realistically work is rough this month and I might miss the gym a few days.’
  • ‘Realistically I’m going to have a glass of wine on Friday night.’
  • ‘Realistically on this diet I should expect to lose 1lb a week, which is great because the weight is coming off and I’m still living my life.’

So examine your life, set honest, realistic goals and be patient with the process. Your health goals are for life – not for 5 minutes on stage – so you got time, Boo.

4. I don’t do Cardio, I do Cardi B.

Cardio is important – but not mandatory for weight loss. If you’re currently hitting that treadmill 5 hours a week to lose weight – STOP. Get off. Head to the weight room. Immediately.

Muscle burns fat throughout the entire day – not just for 30 minutes on a treadmill. If weight loss is your goal – weights are your answer.

Cardio is like your secret weapon. Used only when needed. For example, let’s say you’ve been dieting for 12 weeks. You hit a plateau. You don’t want to sacrifice and cut more calories. So instead, you add in one HIIT session a week and commit to walk 20 minutes to a further Starbucks at lunch. The weight starts falling off again. You’re back in business.

However, if you’re already doing 5 sessions of cardio a week, are you really going to add two more? Not likely. The best approach is to start at the bare minimum. That treadmill is your Ace. Only throw it down when you need to.

5. The scale is NOT the best indicator of progress.

Although an instant indication of your current weight, the scale is not the most accurate at determining progress. Salt intake, sleep, stress and other factors can cause daily water retention/loss and impact the number on the scale. Not to mention hormone fluctuations throughout the month, can also cause (sometimes significant) fluctuations in weight for many females. These jumps in numbers can lead you to believe that your current diet isn’t working, when in fact it really is.

To balance these fluctuations, use other forms of measurement to track your progress. Weekly photos and body measurements are your best option. In many cases, when the scale isn’t moving, your body composition is changing. I.e., ‘My jeans don’t fit but I’m still the same weight – I’ll take it!’ The scale is great, but if you really want to know what’s happening, measurements and photos are best. So, step off that cold, finicky platform and grab a measuring tape – you’ll be happy you did!

I hope these 5 tips helped! Have any questions you have about your diet or what may be holding you back when it comes to weight loss? Contact me at lindsey@thenourishcompany.ca

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey

Want More Time In Your Day? Try This 5-Step Process and Get Back Those Precious Minutes!

“How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives” said author Annie Dillard. “What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing.” Regardless of what you think your priorities are, they’re likely completely different than what you actually devote your time to, because it’s those things that are in fact, what you’re truly choosing to make a priority in your life. And sadly, few of us actually know what we devote our time to.

So if you find that you’re regularly getting to the end of each day feeling like you didn’t  have enough time for the things that mattered – something in your life is likely taking  more time than it deserves. So to help you uncover exactly what is taking up your time, verse what you want to be spending your time doing, I’m going to walk you through my 5 step system of time tracking so that we can find out how you’re spending all your precious moments and where you can make more time for the things that really matter. Ready? Here we go!

Step 1: Choose Your Time Categories

First, think about your life and the areas where you want to devote time to and then categorize them. For example:
1. Relationships (Family, friends, phone calls, texting, etc.)
2. Work (paid, volunteer, commute times)
3. Professional development (e.g., business development, networking, job applications)
4. Personal development (e.g., journaling, classes or workshops, self-developement      reading)
5. Play (e.g., shopping, TV, casual reading, going out)
6. Health (e.g., working out, taking necessary breaks, self-care)
7. Distractions (e.g., social media, taking extra time to get out of bed)
8. Maintenance (e.g., running errands, getting ready, doing chores)

Step 2: Determine How you want to spend your time

While it’s important to track and know how you’re spending your time, it’s equally  important to have a baseline to compare your results to and something to work towards.
When doing this exercise, think about how many hours in a week you want to spend doing something and figure out a percentage from there.  For example, there are 168  hours in a week, if you want to spend 5 hours at the gym, that’s 8.4%. The reason it’s  important to look at it from a week’s perspective instead of a day is that a week might be more meaningful, as our lives can differ a lot day to day – weekends are different from weekdays, for example – but are usually pretty normalized week over week.

Let yourself be aspirational here and really imagine how you want to “spend your life,”  but also be realistic. If you work a 9-to-5 job and don’t plan on changing that anytime soon, then paid work will need to account for about 40 hours of your week or about 36% of your waking time.

Step 3: Set Up Your Tools

Next, you’ll need to set up the tools you’ll use to track your time. There are apps like Toggl that track your time on the go (as well as an Android app along with Chrome and Firefox extensions). Or if you prefer to do it manually, you can just keep a notepad on you throughout the day, or use a note option on your phone. There is also other app called Moment that will tell you how much screen time you’re logging in every day to track the time you’re on your phone.

Step 4: Start tracking

Now it’s time to get going! Pick a day to start and as soon as you wake up, put a reminder in your calendar everyday (even a few times a day) to track your time. You can also put a reminder a week from your starting point to stop tracking.

When you start tracking keep in mind that you’ll likely feel a lot of resistance initially as it’s hard to remember to do this. To help you along, set periodic reminders throughout the day for yourself. Another good tactic is to check in at the end of everyday to make sure that your whole day has been accounted for.

Step 5: Analyze the results

Once you’ve finished tracking for a week, it’s time to analyze the results! No matter how you decided to track, a great way to do this is to tally up the total hours in each category, and then multiply each as a percentage by 168 to find out the total percentage for the  entire week. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a solid understanding as to how you spend your time, and how far off you are from your ultimate goal.

Most importantly, remember, tracking your time is not meant to make you feel bad or  guilty. It simply an opportunity to give yourself more information about how you’re  spending your days, compared to how you want to. You may look at the information and want to change nothing – or it may make you want to change everything – regardless, you’ll feel confident knowing where the precious minutes of your life are going.

Good luck!

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

‘I Don’t Want To Think About Food. Just Tell Me What To Eat.’

This phrase is something that I hear more than anything as a nutritionist.

Now, there is a BIG difference between ‘I don’t want to obsess, stress and worry about food’. 
But I don’t think that’s what people are referring to when they say… “I don’t want to think about food.” I think there’s a deeper block going on. I think that it’s really about people want to avoid figuring out how they got to where they are and the work that needs to be done to change it.

Everyone wants meal plans. They want 30-day programs. They want to eliminate entire food groups…. but they don’t want to figure out how to have a healthy, balanced, sustainable diet.

But the truth is, when it comes to weight loss and long-term results, I am telling you, giving someone a meal plan is one of the worst things you can do. Why? Because they’re not sustainable, they’re not realistic, and they’re not going to TEACH them anything about HOW to eat healthy. They’re simply going to teach them how to follow a meal plan… which, let’s be honest isn’t hard to do.

What is hard, is thinking for yourself. Doing the work. Tapping into your intuition and your body and knowing what works and what doesn’t. That’s hard. That’s the REAL work that’s required if you want long-term, sustainable results. Sorry, Susan you’re going to have to put some effort in. #realtalk

But here’s the thing you need to know: YOU AND YOUR GOALS ARE WORTH IT.

Trust me, if we could just take a magic pill and eat whatever we wanted and be the perfect size, I can only imagine how many people would sell everything they have to get a lifetime supply. But here’s the thing (aside from the fact that it’s likely never going to happen because it would completely annihilate the weight loss industry – which currently is worth $50B dollars) You have to ask yourself, is being the perfect size your only goal? Where does your health and the longevity of your life come into play?

The sad truth is, is that with some many of us, it doesn’t. We want the million dollar dream on the minimum wage budget. We don’t think about maintaining our weight for years with a healthy lifestyle, we ask ourselves how quickly we can lose those 15lbs for a vacation.

And that $50B Weight Loss Industry keeps fuelling that fire with fad diets and magic potions instead of focusing on what health and wellness truly should be about – a lifestyle, not a diet.

So I hate to say it, but if you want that weight to come off and stay off, you’re going to have to change your mindset. Change your routine. Stop the fad dieting. Take control of your health. And make the investment in yourself.

Because #letsbehonest there are 365 days in a year, 3 meals (typically) in a day… that means in one year alone, you’ve got over 1095 meals that you’ve gotta eat… so there is simply no way to avoid thinking about that. Not to mention, that’s one year… you’ve got a lifetime ahead of you! ⁣ ⁣

So if you’re curious about where to start, send me an email or book a call and let’s chat! We can figure out where you’re at and what would be realistic for you. I promise you it’s not as hard as it sounds, and once you get going, you’re not only going to love thinking about food, you’re going to love the results that you get.

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx