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Feeding Baby: Homemade Avocado

Feeding Baby: Homemade Avocado

I think it is safe to say that most of us are, or at least try to be, conscious of what we use to fuel our bodies. As adults we have been through the active teen years where you could eat everything and anything; the college years when we experience at some point the inevitable “freshman 15”, even if it was our super senior year… [HA!], and the young adult life where you are just searching and waiting for life to “settle down” or a change to happen… ahh I don’t want to get too far off the main subject here, our BABIES!

The point I was trying to make is, you have been there done that with food. You know what is GOOD for you, and what isn’t. You know the fresh greens provide vitamins and minerals and a double cheeseburger does not. So, if you KNOW these simple pros and cons of certain foods, it should be a no-brainer when it comes to feeding your little offspring ๐Ÿ˜‰

My little girl is just over 4.5 months old. Before I get any backlash, I have done my research and have considered all pros and cons of when to start her on solids. She’s been showing the signs of being ready since she was just over 3 months old, and as her parents, my husband and I decided she was more than ready to start! Plus, we of course got the go ahead from her pediatrician.

Unfortunately our poor baby was a little backed up (before we started foods) so we started with prunes! She’s probably one of the only babies out there who got their first taste of foods and it was prunes… but since that was my first time preparing, I made some mistakes, however things went better with the avocado! So, that is why I am sharing the homemade avocado recipe with you!

Feeding Baby: Homemade Avocado

Equipment:
-Mixing bowel
-Knief
-Spoon/Fork
-Blender
-Measuring Tablespoon
-Freezing Tray
-Glass Jar or Freezer Bag

Ingredients:
-Avocado (I used two)
-Water

Directions:
1. Cut your avocado(s) in half, discard the pit. If you have some small light brown spots, that is okay, but you can scoop them out and discard if it makes you feel better.
2. Scoop out all contents of the avocado. During this step you can either scoop into a bowl and mash with a fork, or place directly in the blender.

** If using a blender, I recommend using at least 2 avocados because otherwise the mush will stick to the sides if there isn’t enough in thereto keep it going!
3. In the blender at 1 Tablespoon of water per avocado, if just using a bowl and fork, wait to add water until mostly mashed.

4. Divide into portions. I put them right in freezer trays and froze them (especially with avocado since it browns so fast, and I don’t feel comfortable adding lime juice to her foods right away) Once frozen, pop out and place in a freezer bag, or a glass storage unit of some type!

A few tips that I would like to share! I am NOT an expert by any means, this is my second time in my life attempting to make baby food. But, the first piece of advice I can give; is to not use breastmilk in the prepping phase. This just makes it way easier in the thawing process. Using some water or other liquid, you can heat it up, with breastmilk in it, you cannot do that! So, if you are like me and do want to have breastmilk in it for aiding in digestion and the added nutrients, do yourself a favor and add it right before serving it!

My second piece of advice is use LESS THAN a full tablespoon when freezing portions. they recommend 1 tablespoon per serving when starting off, however if you freeze a full tablespoon, and then plan on adding breastmilk to thin or for the nutrients, you’ll end up with more than a recommended serving. Starting with less, you’ll have about a tablespoon when you add breastmilk, or other liquids right before a feeding! ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. She really liked the prunes, but she isn’t really a fan of the avocado… must take after her mama on that one!

Stay tuned, next we are going to try either peas or green beans!!

New Year, New You! January 2015 for the Win!

New Year, New You! January 2015 for the Win!

Do you ever feel like sometimes when people ask about new year’s resolutions, it is kind of just a rhetorical question??

“Soo, Alyssa, what is your 2015 New Year’s Resolution going to be!?”

According to bodybuilding.com 73% of people who make a New Year’s Resolution that is fitness related, GIVES UP!!! Ahhh breaking my heart!!

Jan CG invite

This year I want to challenge this! Let’s bring that number WAYYYYYY DOWN! But you won’t have to do it alone! Do it in a group! At least that group can say that 100% of them stuck to their fitness resolutions!

It is very simple! You obviously know that you have a goal in mind, even if all you know is that you need to start being active. Awesome! I can help you from there! ๐Ÿ™‚ All we need is a little time, a determined mind and body, and BAM we got ourselves a goal, and a plan!

My challenge group is open to all fitness levels! If you are a beginner, no worries, I got your back!! If you are quite the athlete, and you are up for the challenge, I have one for you! We focus on daily exercise along with proper nutrition; including meal planning and meal prepping. — Did I mention you can do this all from home??

There is not a single reason why you should have to do this yourself! my group starts January 12th, and there is a spot ready for YOU! Kick your New Year’s Resolution in the booty all the way to December 31st 2015!

Apply Here!

I have a ton of fun working out in my basement, and I have that fun because I know that I have a group to motivated and keep their head in the game!! Yess, my dog is usually pushing me even harder (aka trying to climb on me while I do a wall sit!)

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Pineapple-Strawberry Apple Cider Vinegar Smoothie

Pineapple-Strawberry Apple Cider Vinegar Smoothie

Yummm! Every time I read the name of this smoothie it makes me want one!!! Of course I am a Pinterest junkie who usually posts just about EVERYTHING that catches my eye, but then I never, ever ever everrrrrr put it to good use. Well, one day I was in the mood for something different! I had a bunch of fresh fruit in the fridge, and apple cider vinegar hanging out in the cabinet. I know that apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits to it, which ย am not going to go into right now. As I was scrolling through “healthy meals“, which is on of my boards, I came across this awesome looking smoothie. Okay, to be honest, it didn’t LOOK awesome, the ingredients just jumped out at me!


 

Here is what you need to make this healthy packed, yummy, delicious smoothie!

Equipment: Blender and a knife!

Ingredients:

>1/3 of a pineapple (I got the pre-cut ones that look like a cylinder are used 1/3 of that!)

> 1/2 cup or more of coconut water (you can also use plain water, but you can’t taste the coconut water, and that has huge benefits, so I recommend just using coconut water)

>1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar ( I used 1.5 the first time I could barely taste the vinegar, used 2 the second and it was way too much, start small, and add as you see fit)

> 1 teaspoon raw honey

> any extra fruit– I used a handful of fresh strawberries

Directions: Chop, combine, blend!

ACVsmoothie

 

I have had this smoothie for breakfast, lunch, and snacks! << not all in the same day of course! It is yummy, and refreshing!

Roasted Root Medley

Roasted Root Medley

This dish right here is one of my all time favorites!! If you would have told me the ingredients in this AMAZING dinner, I would have never even touched it ๐Ÿ˜ก

If you look back to some of the older posts, I did the Beachbody Ultimate Reset (www.myultimatereset.com/alyssaraeb), and one of the reasons was to broaden my food palette. I was such a picky eater! I loved pasta and pizza, and didn’t stray too far from those two foods. Once I started on a healthier lifestyle (after I outgrew my ” I can eat whatever I want and not gain a single pound” years) I decided I needed to find recipes that I LOVED, and WANTED to eat! Which, let’s be honest, it can be challenging at first! Sooo, the Ultimate Reset really helped me out, and of course a little weight loss was on the PLUS side!

The one recipe that I loved and I STILL make very often is the Roasted Root Medley. I am not sure if this is the exact recipe, I think I have changed bits and pieces here and there to make it my own (I really don’t remember!)

So the ingredients are super cheap and easy to find!

Ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Sweet Potato
  • Onion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pink Himalayan Salt

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Now, of course you will first want to wash your vegetables! I like seeing dirt, because ย know there is a lower chance of weird waxes or anything on them! When you live in the middle of PA it makes it a little hard to get fresh fruits and vegetables from a farmers market all year round. I do what I can and buy from them while I can though!

image_1Step one: Wash the carrots! I usually use one large, or 2 small/medium carrots. It all just depends on how much you want to make! 2-3 small carrots are enough for about 2 servings from what I have found. Then chop carrots up in about 1 inch pieces, small enough to be bite size, yet not too big that they will take forever to bake all the way through!

image_2Step two: Wash your sweet potato! I use either one large or most of two small sweet potatoes. You will be surprised how far just ONE will go! After you scrub it down, peel the skin off and any blemishes that you see. Or anything you wouldn’t want to eat :p Then, just like with the carrots, chop into about 1 inch cubes. I find that placing the sweet potatoes in the microwave for a minute or two helps tremendously for cutting purposes. The first few times I made this I may have had a large cutting knife, but recently, I just COULD NOT cut through those sweet potatoes!! I do have a small knife this time, due to moving around because I am still in college. At this point I also like to start to preheat my oven! I have an oldie so it takes A LONG TIME to heat up! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

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image_4Step three: Now it is time to wash and cut the beets! I had a hard time with this one! My knife kept getting stuck!! I warn you to BE CAREFUL if this happens! I didn’t hurt or cut myself, but there were a few close calls! i bet you can guess what the next step is for the beets! We have already washed them, so yup, we are cutting them into about 1 inch cubes!! I personally make them a little smaller because I have grown to “like”beets, but I don’t “love” them! HAHA! So I tend to make those cubes a little smaller. But, hey, feel free to knock yourself out with HUGE beet pieces if you would like! I won’t stop you ๐Ÿ™‚

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image_6Step four: Onion time!! Yes, the dreaded onion! I don’t know about you, but cutting onions is the WORST part of cooking! I cry and cry an cry, well tears just roll down my face! BUT!!! This time I have tamed it down just a little, if I rinse my knife under cold water between each time I make a cut, it didn’t make my eyes run too terribly! Once again, chop these babies up! These I usually am not too concerned about the size, I just chop up a few handfuls and call it a day.

image_7Now grab your EVOO and Pink Himalayan Salt!! It is time to use these ingredients!

image_8Step five: I like to then move everything to a bigger bowl if I didn’t calculate correctly the first time!! Now that there is room to toss, grab your EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and I usually put about 1-2 tablespoons in, stir everything around a little bit, and see if everything is evenly coated, if not, slowly add more until all vegetables are covered!

image_9Step six: This step is super, super easy!! Just grab a pinch or two of Pink Himalayan Salt!! Then stir in so that it is evenly distributed throughout the entire dish!

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image_11Step seven: Now it is time to bake! I personally like to grab a cookie sheet and cover it with foil. (I use a TON of foil! I cook and bake with it or almost every meal!) This just makes a very easy clean up!! So I then pour all of the vegetables into this covered sheet and place it in the oven at 400 degrees F. I would let this bake for 45 minutes to an hour! But every 15-20 mins go ahead and stir these around so they don’t get dried out or burn. Scoop out, and enjoy!!

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Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

I think it is safe to say that I am not the only person out there OBSESSED with pasta, pizza, just Italian food in general! About a year or so ago I was sitting in my apartment, a poor college student, trying to decide what I wanted for dinner. I love pasta, but I am not really a fan of Alfredo Sauce, and I wasn’t feeling the tomato sauce for once. I have to say, I am SO glad I did! That concoction I came up with that night remains to be one of my fave go to meals! I have ever had others fall in love with this, I hope you do too!

I am going to warn you, I have no written down, specific recipe for this meal, I just went with the flow the first time, and pretty much just do that every time.

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The ingredients are simple:

– pasta: I like long thin pasta! The one I used this time has a full serving a vegetables in it! Pay attention to your pastas, what you can find will surprise you!

– EVOO or regular Olive Oil

– SPICES and HERBS! I like to use Basil, Parsley, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper, garlic, Chili Pepper, and sometimes oregano, or anything along those lines! Be creative ๐Ÿ™‚

 

image_1To set up for this meal, it is so simple! Get a pot to bring water to a boil in, and a pan to sautรฉ the shrimp, and later combine everything together! I usually start to thaw the shrimp in a strainer under warm water. While the shrimp is doing its thingggg, I fill the pot up with water, and turn the burner up to HIGH! Let the water come to a boil and add the spaghetti.

 

image_2

Meanwhile, add a little EVOO or olive oil to the pan, and add the shrimp in at a low heat, I usually use about 3 for the temp. After it gets warmed up a little I add some garlic, and some of the other herbs. If you like it spicier, add some crushed red pepper now! If not, add it later when you add in the pasta!image_3

I let all the flavors be absorbed by the shrimp, tossing it around here and there while the pasta is cooking. It shouldn’t take too long, usually about 10 minutes. Once the pasta is completely cooks, I usually move my pots and pans around just to make everything go smooth, you may or may not feel the need for this step!

image_4All you do next is take the pasta rom the pot, and put it into the pan with the shrimp. You don’t need to worry about dripping water from it, you will want a little liquid in there right away! ย Then stir it up a little so that it doesn’t start to stick to the bottom of the pan. At this point I usually turn the heat up to 4 or a little beyond that depending on your stove top.

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Once you transfer the pasta over to the shrimp pan, and turn the heat up, you might notice that all the water and liquids are evaporating. No worries! All you have to do is add a little bit more EVOO to the mix! I used to just add some water from the pot, but i ended up drying it out in the end. Adding more oil gives it a very nice finish!

image_5The las step is to add in all the herbs and spices. Just a little bit of this, and a little bit of that! Go with your gut on this. There is no right or wrong way to add these! Even the ingredients you added to just the shrimp, add more now, you will want that flavor in the pasta as well!

 

Stir it all up and serve! This here is just a serving for one. It is easy to make for one or 7 people. I have made this for myself, me and my boyfriend, and my whole family as well! Just be careful with the Chili Pepper and Crushed Red Pepper, you will be surprised at how spicy things can get with just one shake too many!! That is going to have to come with experimenting!

 

 

 

 

Homemade HEALTHY fried rice

Homemade HEALTHY fried rice

I have been talking to my cousin about fried rice for a while now! We are both obsessed with rice, let alone fried rice!! So I decided to whip up my own concoction, and see how it goes!!

It is a very simple and easy recipe! Also, I think most of the ingredients are stables in the home!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin OliveOil

1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

1 Egg

1 Cup Cooked Brown Rice

4-6 Baby Carrots- Chopped

4-6 Mushrooms – Chopped

Bragg Aminos- to taste

 

Method:

1. Turn heat on low-medium. Add oils to pan.

2. Add egg and cook until almost fully cooked

3. Add Carrots and Mushrooms to egg and Oil

4. Add Cooked Brown Rice

5. Cook until vegetables are soft!

6. Turn heat off and remove from heat, add Bragg Aminos

 

fried rice

End of Week One/ Phase One & beginning Week 2

End of Week One/ Phase One & beginning Week 2

I feel so bad, I have been so so busy that I haven’t had time to post everyday!! I am going to do my best to wrap it up for you!!

Things I have noticed:

1. I have lost about 3 pounds by the end of week one.

2. Woke up sore 2 of the morning, stretched and was A-OK to get on the move!!

3. Breaking out a little in the chin area, its getting a lot better though.

4. Have had cravings for pasta three times, a lot less than I thought I would! ๐Ÿ˜ก

5. Fall RIGHT asleep at night!

6. Wake up well rested.

7. If I don’t drink at least 60 fl oz of water each day I get a headache.

8. Almost all meals can be made to eat on the go!

9. Put the Detox Supplement in the BLENDER!! I plan on starting this tomorrow! i am going to get a water bottle and drink 1/3 of it 30 mins before each meal.

 

So since I don’t have a bunch of time (again ๐Ÿ™ ) here are some of the pictures I was able to take!!

Day Six Dinner
Day Six Dinner

 

Day 7: Breakfast
Day 7: Breakfast

 

Day 7: Lunch
Day 7: Lunch

 

Day 8: Breakfast
Day 8: Breakfast

 

Start of Week 2: Day 8: Dinner
Start of Week 2: Day 8: Dinner

 

Day 8: Lunch
Day 8: Lunch

 

Day 9: Breakfast
Day 9: Breakfast

 

Day 10: Breakfast
Day 10: Breakfast

 

Day 10: Lunch
Day 10: Lunch

 

Day 10: Dinner
Day 10: Dinner

 

Day 11: Breakfast
Day 11: Breakfast

 

My food prep for Week 2!! I decided to put my salads in bags! It made things so much easier!!
My food prep for Week 2!! I decided to put my salads in bags! It made things so much easier!!