I’ve moved…Websites!

I’m so happy you came across this page. I have excitedly moved to a new website.

You can now find me at:

Rachel’sHealthyBalance.com

I hope you come and join me over there!

Rachel

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Meal Prep: Healthier Chipotle Bowls

So my love for Chipotle is a pretty strong one. You can go in, pick out exactly what you want and it makes for a quick, healthy dinner. But Chipotle is not exactly cheap and the sodium content in it is HIGH. Sodium isn’t something everybody needs to worry about, but if I can make the same thing at home for cheaper (and less salty) imma do it.

Fun fact: My typical order at Chipotle has about 1,300 mg of sodium, which is over half of the RDA (recommended daily allowance= 2,300mg) for sodium.

I’ve made some “chipotle style bowls” before, but haven’t done it as a meal prep. This week I had a few 12 hour shifts, so I thought it was the perfect time.

So first, ingredients:

  1. I used boneless skinless chicken breast, if you have another kind and want to use it go ahead.
  2. Whole grain brown rice. I used the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice but you can use any kind.
  3. Salad mix. I used a romaine blend.
  4. Chipotle corn. I used one I found from HEB in a can, could use any type of corn.
  5. Bell peppers
  6. Avocado, pico and lime for garnishThese ingredients are super customizable to what you can find at the store, or what you have at home. For the portions I will tell you what I used, but you can use however much you want to get the number of portions you want. This day I made four portions so Wiley and I could each eat it twice during the week.

Now for the recipe:

  1. Cut up chicken and bell peppers. I sautéed both of them in a little bit of Olive oil and added seasonings to the chicken. I’m the type of person that cooks with a ton of random seasonings, so use whatever you have handy that you enjoy.

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2. Next cook up some rice. I used this brown rice, but you could also make some on the stove top. I like these ready rice packets because they’re super easy and quick. I decided to make four servings of these bowls, with each serving including 1/2 cup of cooked rice which means I get four servings out of this packet.

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3. Once your chicken and bell peppers are cooked. Go ahead and heat up your corn. I mainly did this so it would get a little crispy, but since these are going to go into meal prep containers and reheated (vs being eaten after cooking) you could skip this if you don’t care about the crispiness.IMG_3980IMG_3987IMG_4003

4. Go ahead and pack up your chipotle bowls! I used two of these cool containers (which I forgot lids didn’t work so I threw them out after using them)

5. Before taking it to work/school or eating, go ahead and add some guacamole and pico to a small container to add into your bowl. One of the days I actually just put lettuce, pico, guacamole and a lime in a zipbloc bag and added it to my bowl after heating it up.

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Finished Product:Chipotle1

Each bowl contained: 3 oz of chicken, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, 1/4 of the bell peppers, and 1/4 the can of corn, and approx 25 grams of avocado.

Nutrition Facts:

287 Kcal, 31 Carbs, 7 Fat, 30 Protein, 114mg sodium, 4g Sugar

Some options:

  • You can add beans if you would like, I didn’t because I’m not a fan of beans in general.
  • You can pack these up however you want, I found this way to be easy to transport and re-heat.
  • You don’t have to heat them up if you don’t want to.

 

Let me know if you try these and what you think!

Rachel

 

 

Why Running Makes Me Feel Confident

 

Pretty much every time I’m running I think back to the days when running a mile was one of the most embarresing days of the semester for me.

Back in middle school, each semester we had to run a mile around the track. Besides the fact that I almost always dreaded gym class, I dreaded this day the most. I remember the days and hours leading up to that day were always daunting. I knew what was going to happen, I was going to struggle. I always struggled with running. The main reason I struggled is becuase I was overweight and out of shape.

So it’s the day of the mile run, I would change into my gym clothes and head out to the track behind our school. We would all stretch for a few minutes then line up by the starting line, I would usually place myself in the back so I couldn’t technically fall behind all the fast runners in the front. I would always start out with a slow jog (that was all I could really handle) while I watched everybody else sprint down the track. Sometimes I would start out in an optimistic mindset “you can do this” only to get to the second mile to begin strugging to breathe. Other times, I wouldn’t start off so optimistic, but the end result was always the same- a struggle. By the second or third lap, I was always walking with my hands above my head, the universal sign for “I’m struggling” (aka cramping). I would watch people lap me up, which meant they were on their fourth lap while I was still on my third. Then people would start to finish and I was still walking/attempting to jog in an effort to finish. I remember times where I would have a cramp, but jog thorough the pain just so I could finish. Then the time comes, where I’m one of the last people left to walk up to the finish line. The whole class would be standing there, some cheering me on, and finally I crossed the finish line. I would cross the finish line out of breath, sweaty, and extremley red faced- then plop down past the finish line or walk off ready to hang my head in shame.

Fast Forward to the other day, I woke up and went to my apartment gym. I was on the first week of a new fitness program created by my coach, Brittany Lesser. This day was the first day she wrote HIIT sprints into my plan (HIIT= High Intensity Inverval Training). The plan has me warm up for five minutes, sprint as fast as I can for 30 seconds, walk for two minutes and thirty seconds, repeating six times, then a cool down for five minutes.

I put on some pump up music (usually a very fast paced mix on SoundCloud) did my warm up walk, then started to sprint. While I was sprinting, I felt so good. With each sprint I would increase the speed a little more. I felt myself “flying” down the treadmil. There I was sprinting, and not struggling (actually enjoying it). I couldn’t help but to keep thinking about those times in middle school, I was literally getting emotional on the treadmil that day- just thinking about how far i’ve come.

Working out is such a great tool that provides physical and mental benefits. That day even though I was working out to achieve a goal of mine- getting in better shape, the immediate benefit I got from it was so mental.

So if your struggling, just know that if you keep working you will get to this point. The point where you can look back on those struggles, and you can appreciate something as simple as running more than if you didn’t experience those struggles.

And if you have already gone through any kind of struggle, I urge you to take into account how far you’ve come- you’ve gotten over that struggle. I hope you can find the good in it and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Until next time,

Rachel

How to Eat Healthy During a Long Workday + My Full Day of Meals

Since graduating I have been juggling two jobs, one at Snap Kitchen and the other with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Even though I’ve worked 40+ hour work weeks before, it’s been awhile so i’ve had to get readjusted to working all the time vs. being a college student. I like having two different jobs so I’m not doing the same thing all day every day, but the one downside to two jobs is the odd hours. I’m not working M-F 8-5 and some days I work at both jobs. This week I had two eleven-twelve hour workdays, with my first being on Tuesday. I thought it would be a great idea to share what I ate during this long workday to show that you can eat healthy even if your working super long hours.

So lets get into it:

Breakfast:
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This combo has been one of my go-to breakfasts for early mornings. I love breakfast, but sometimes when it’s early I want something small and quick. Here I have a piece of Dave’s killer bread (my favorite) with a runny egg and a Thomas french toast english muffin with Nuts N’ More protein PB and low-fat strawberry cream cheese.

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When I work early mornings at Snap Kitchen I like mixing up my coffee protein to take with me because it’s easy and I can drink it throughout the beginning of my shift which helps keep me full (and awake) until my lunch break. All I do is mix this with almond milk in a shaker bottle and throw it in my bag to sip on at work.

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I grabbed this sweet chili glazed salmon from Snap and brought it to my job at Texas A&M Agrilife to eat once I got there. I made some broccoli in the microwave the night before and brought that with me to eat with my lunch. The salmon and rice dish doesn’t have many veggies in it (only some snap peas) so I like adding the broccoli so I get in more micronutrients and it helps keep me full.

Afternoon Snack:

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I packed some granola + chia seeds + flaxseed in a zip bloc bag to go with a Siggi’s yogurt I brought to work.

Pre-Dinner Salad:
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I’m a huge fan of side salads when I get home from work/before dinner. Me and Wiley usually eat pretty late, especially when we work late. I got home around 7:30 so I made this quick salad to curb some of my hunger while we prepared dinner. It’s also an easy way to get in an extra serving of veggies. I mixed romaine lettuce with some Boathouse farms yogurt honey mustard dressing (my fave) and topped it with some croutons.

Dinner:
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This night dinner ended up being leftovers we had made the night prior. It was so good I didn’t mind eating it two nights in a row. We breaded some chicken in kodiak cakes/flaxseed and Panko breadcrumbs. We also roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts (my favorite roast combo). I topped my chicken with some bakers gold sauce from Pluckers.

Dessert:
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Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI always have a sweet tooth after dinner. This night I ate a detour bar. This is my favorite flavor when it comes to their simple line. It always helps with my sweet tooth and is satisfying enough where I don’t feel the need to eat anything else.

Approximate Total Macros for the day: 1,350 Kcal, 124g protein, 142g carbohydrate, 37 fat.

Now for some tips on how you can eat healthy during a long or busy day at work.

The most important tip I can give is to PREPARE. If you don’t prepare food or at least have an idea of what your going to eat your so much more likely to stop at a fast food place or go through your cabinets to find anything to eat when your starving at the end of the day.

First step in preparing is to get healthy food and snacks when you go to the grocery store.  I always try to plan what were going to eat each night of the week. When I know I’m working late I take that into account when planning, I know we either need to eat leftovers or make something quick. Also, get healthy snacks! I make sure to always get fruit, yogurts, string cheese, protein bars, and other snacks I know I can take to eat throughout the day.

Prepare everything the night before. Mornings are too crazy to rely on that time to also get your food ready for the day. The night before a long workday I always mentally decide what I’m going to eat the next day, sometimes I’ll also plan it out in Myfitnesspal to see what the nutrition is on my day of meals. Once I decide what I want to eat the next day, I get it together. If I need to prep any food I do that first. For example, this day all I had to cook was broccoli, but if I wasn’t getting my lunch from snap kitchen I would have also prepped a protein + carbohydrate source to have at lunch time. Next, get your snacks. I went ahead and put my granola mix into a baggie and put that along with an apple, clementines and a protein bar into my lunch bag. I didn’t end up eating half of it, but at least I had it. I usually take more than I need just in case I’m feeling extra hungry, but also to have options.

Since I had prepared everything I needed, I was able to be away from home from twelve+ hours without getting any unhealthy food while I was out and about. As long as you prepare for a busy day, you can do the same!

Life After Graduation

Hello Friends!

I’m so excited to finally sit down and write this blog post! I have been meaning to sit down and write since I graduated in December, but for some reason it has been tough to actually do it (weird how that happens). I really have enjoyed posting on this platform and plan to post regularly from now on.

In December I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas State University with my Bachelors of Science in Nutrition & Foods with a concentration in Dietetics. I feel like my whole life led up to just graduating from college. Which is honestly crazy to think about now, because there was a time when I didn’t even want to go to college. I’m so grateful to have gone to college and to have found my passion for nutrition. When I first started college at Austin Community College I had no clue what I wanted to do which led to me having no drive to put effort into my classes. Finding nutrition as a degree really gave me that drive I needed to work hard for something. College was where I was lucky enough to find out how smart I can be when I dedicate myself to a goal.

So what have I been doing since graduation?

After graduating in December and celebrating the holidays I went straight into studying for the GRE. Let me tell you, studying for the GRE sucks. I would much rather study medical nutrition therapy or biochemistry any day over studying math or vocabulary. Plus, the GRE is timed so that adds on a whole new obstacle to overcome besides just learning the material. I took the GRE mid-January and luckily did good enough on it. But I will warn you- if you do need to study for the GRE, it’s pretty much a full time job.

While studying for the GRE and after taking it I had to devote pretty much all my time to DICAS. DICAS is the central application service for Dietetic Internships. So what’s a dietetic internship? It’s a minimum of 1200 hours in a required internship that must be completed before being eligible to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam to become an RD. Dietetic Internships are special, in that they’re limited and therefore very competitive. They have to be completed through an ACEND accredited program, so they can’t just be done anywhere. Unfortunately Only 50% of students get into these programs so your application has to be TOP NOTCH to get accepted. So I pretty much spent all my time between mid-January and February 15th perfecting (and stressing about) my application. This included researching programs, writing personal statements, entering every hour of volunteer and paid work, and tweaking my resume. February 15th brought so much anxiety but then such an amazing sigh of relief being able to press submit in DICAS and thus sending off my applications to each school.

So how did I celebrate being done with college, the GRE, and these daunting applications- I went on a cruise! I was so blessed that Wiley’s parents chose February 16th as the day we go on a cruise, legit the most perfect timing possible.

 

To add to all the happiness that I was feeling, once we got onto the cruise ship I got the call to officially accept my new position as a Volunteer Coordinator for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. I have been with Agrilife Extension for about a year today, first as a volunteer then as an “intern” and now I have a paid position with them! I will be coordinating all of our volunteers as well as getting the chance to do nutrition education. I will be working with them, as well as continuing my job with Snap Kitchen until I hopefully start my Dietetic Internship and Masters program in August. Oh yeah… that leads me to mention I’ve only applied to Internships that also offer Masters (in nutrition) programs. Getting my Masters was a decision I went back and forth with for a while, but I know it will be worth it in the long term.

So on April 2nd at 6pm CST I will find out which program I get matched to (please send good vibes). I’m not ready to find out but at the same time am ready to know where I’ll be going in like five months.

My plan for the next five months:

Work, earn money, workout, write posts for this blog, spend time with family and friends and just enjoy life not as a student for the first time ever.

 

I have lots planned for this blog. I’m really excited to be able to share what I’ve learned in school + what I’ve learned through my own weight loss/getting healthy journey. I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m ready to help people who want to live healthier lives.

So, if you have any questions, reach out to me! I’d love to hear what you want to see on this blog. Whether it’s topics of interest, recipes, workouts, or anything else you can think of, I’m open to suggestions.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, you’ll be hearing from me soon!

Wellness Wednesday

Hello!

It has been an incredibly long time since I posted on this blog. I have been so busy with school (I graduate in less than one month!) and over the summer I worked and completed a practicum with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. While I was not writing on this blog I was writing on their blog. Here are some of my posts:

The Common Avoidance Diet and Why It’s Not Sustainable

The Difference Between the Dates

What are Omega 3’s and 6’s?

What Are Your Cravings Trying to Tell You?

I’ve been wanting to start writing on my blog (this blog) again and I was inspired to make my first post back a “What I eat Wednesday” post, inspired by ConstancelyEating.

I love sharing my meals and i’m excited to be able to share them here. Today wasn’t a typical day for me since I had the day off from school and even though I had a day of healthy meals and snacks planned out I ended up switching some of those meals/snacks to go out to eat at night for my boyfriends dad’s birthday. Even though I didn’t end up eating what I thought I was going to I want to share it anyways, because life doesn’t always go according to plan.

I decided to turn my “What I ate Wednesday” post into a Wellness Wednesday post after listening to the Let it Out podcast by Katie Dalebout (formerly called Wellness Wonderland). I thought it would be fun to also share todays workout along with the podcast I listened to during my commute to Austin from San Marcos.

So here we go!

Breakfast:

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I got to sleep in this morning (till 9:30) It’s always nice to not be in a rush in the morning because I enjoy drinking my coffee before eating breakfast when possible.

For breakfast I made blueberry protein waffles with kodiak cakes and PEScience Frosted Chocolate Cupcake protein powder, topped with PB.

Lunch:

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After driving to Wiley’s in Austin, I ate some leftover ground turkey tacos I had made for dinner the night before. I use lean ground turkey, bell peppers, Ms. Dash taco seasoning, organic mexican cheese and low carb tortillas. I topped them with homemade guacamole, pico, and some lettuce.

Post workout:

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After we went to the gym I was pressed for time getting ready for dinner so Wiley made me a protein shake to drink while I got ready. I haven’t had a protein shake in a long time, but it’s good to get in protein after a workout and I knew I would be eating a dinner high in carbohydrates and fat so this is a good way to balance that out. I had a full scoop of protein here mixed with milk and some water.

Dinner:

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For dinner we went to Lupe Tortilla, and after waiting an hour for our table, we got sat and got to order our fajitas. not pictured are chips and pico and skinny margaritas 🙂

Late night pick-me up:

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This bai drink was pretty good, it only has 1g of sugar (it does have sugar alcohol) and has some caffeine. After dinner we had to go to HEB to get the ingredients for my thanksgiving dish I’m making tonight (will post on the blog soon) and I knew I wanted to write this blog post so I wanted something with caffeine in it- this drink has as much as a cup of green tea  so lets hope I can sleep tonight.

Today’s Workout: Upper Body- back, shoulders, biceps, triceps

Warmup:

5 min on the stairmaster

2×25 band pull aparts

Workout:

4×10-12 underhand barbell row, includes 1 warm up set with just the bar *using an underhand grip works your biceps as well as your back

4×10 standing preloaded barbell shoulder press

3×12 seated row on the cable machine supersetted with

3×10-12 cable machine straight bar pull down *want these to be slow and controlled so I usually go light on the weight

4×10 ez bar upright row

3×12 shoulder lateral raises (i used 10 lbs for 10-12 reps then did a drop set with 5s for another 10-12 reps)

3×12 cable machine straight bar tricep pushdowns

3×12 cable machine straight bar bicep curl

The workout seems like a lot of exercises, but it only took me an hour becuase I didn’t rest for much time between sets/reps and at the end of the workout my arms were shaking (which is always a good sign)

Today’s podcast:

I’ve been getting back into listening to podcasts during my commute to and from Austin- San Marcos and today I listened to Katie Dalebouts podcast with Natalie MacNeil. I highly recommend podcasts and especially this one. After listening to the podcast I felt super inspired to conquer more of my creative goals (i.e. this blog).

 

I hope you enjoyed todays Wellness Wednesday post. I hope to be way more active on this blog from now on and will do more posts like these if you like them!

Please let me know what you think, and if you have any requests on nutrition or fitness topics for me to write about.

Have a happy thanksgiving!!

Countdown: 24 days till I graduate with my BS in Nutrition & Dietetics!!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel

Simple 25-Minute Stir-Fry

When I get home from a long day of school and I don’t have food prepped, I usually look for something quick to make which is how this simple stir-fry came to mind.

Reasons this is a quick and simple stir-fry:

  1. Two of the components I used cooked in the microwave
  2. I used chicken tenders, which cook much faster than chicken breasts
  3. I only used two sauces for flavoring

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Directions:

First step is to cook your chicken

I seasoned my boneless skinless chicken tenders with salt, pepper, and a variety of Mrs. Dash’s seasonings.

I cooked these for about 15 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven, flipping them halfway through so they brown on each side. DSC00137

Next step is to cook your rice, i used Uncle Ben’s Jasmine rice because it cooks in 90 seconds and is my favorite! DSC00138

Next step is to cook your veggies. I used this microwaveable stir fry blend I bought which steams in the bag in three minutes.

I love having items like this on hand because they cook fast, but if you didn’t have something like this at your house you could throw whatever veggies you have in! A simple veggie to keep on hand is broccoli because it’s super versatile.

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Next, if you want you can cook an egg to put on top of your stir fry. I love runny eggs so that’s why I choose to add one to my dish.

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Now you can start putting together your dish!

I weighed out half a serving of my jasmine rice, 4 oz of my cooked chicken, and a serving of my steamed veggies. After I had everything in my bowl I topped it with my two sauces.

Bragg Liquid Amino’s taste a lot like soy sauce without the boatload of sodium that usually comes with soy sauce.

The stir-fry sauce is another go-to sauce of mine that add’s good flavor

I used a serving of the stir fry sauce then just added the liquid amino’s to taste

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Final Product:

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This is a simple week night (or weekend) meal that comes together fast and packs a lot of flavor!

Nutrition:

Kcals: 368 Carbs: 34 Fat: 8 Protein: 44 Sodium: 165 Sugar: 4

I hope you try & enjoy!

Also- let me know what you would like to see on my blog! I plan on posting more recipes as well as some nutrition info here and there in addition to my journey with fitness, graduating with my bachelors, and getting into a dietetic internship.