fitness and nutrition, healthy hacks

Ahoy There!

Ahoy there! Chips Ahoy! flavored protein from Ghost is simply amazing. This might actually be my most favorite protein of all time and I really don’t even like most protein powders. 

For starters, most days I struggle to fuel my body with its needed protein level. I know I’m not alone either. Many struggle in this area but it’s a critical piece of my recovery and meal planning. In order to hit my defined goals, I have to use protein to supplement meals. Specialty flavors or hiding protein in something like orange juice helps me a lot.

I’ve added protein to shakes. I’ve added protein to coffee. I’ve purchased salted caramel to watermelon to vanilla and so on. Some taste better than others that’s for sure. I’ve shared protein samples with friends to test out new flavors so I don’t end up with a tub of blah protein. Sometimes I’m lucky sometimes I’m not.

Today I feel like I hit the jackpot. I feel like I’m having cookies and milk but I’m really just having protein and water. It’s a fair compromise since I smell chocolate chips and it even had some grit to its texture. Served over ice makes it smooth.

Just thought I’d write a quick blog about this protein hack in case it can help somebody manage their macros or just offer a new spin on Chips Ahoy! and milk. A much healthier option for sure.
As I sign off, I’m wishing you a happy and healthy day. Hats off to chips ahoy protein makers.

3Splitz Farm, healthy hacks

The Herd Needs Feeding

Recently I’ve had exposure to group cooking or cooking for a group. How do you feed a herd (people), choose healthy options and keep many happy? It’s takes a miracle, resources, creativity and willingness to try new things.

I tried a breakfast casserole one weekend. It wasn’t prepared by me but it was tasty. It had Canadian bacon which is an alternate to greasy bacon. The meat was a protein alternative and it also had cheddar cheese as the cheese of choice. Two options I enjoyed but I would have chosen Colby cheese or traditional bacon. Exposure to this group feeding was positive. It was delicious. I tried something new and I now have a new recipe to use when I need to feed a group.

Meat mix bowls: easy to cook up some meat and you can vary the meat with spices. Taco flavor, spicy, saucy or whatever you like. Add in rice, cauliflower or whatever substance makes your bowl as a filler. Top with lettuce shreds, avocados, grilled peppers and onion. Season to your liking. You can dress it up with your cheese of choice, sour cream, salsa or whatever you like. Super easy to make and a fan favorite for many. Any time you can customize while feeling a herd you win big. Some variations are healthier than others but options are a big win for this meal.

If you need a cheap fix, spaghetti and meatballs is a good go-to staple but pretty boring and high on carbs. Another Italian option might be a lasagna. Layers and layers of goodness. Ricotta cheese, beef/sausage, veggies, sauce and seasonings. It’s a bit heavy but always a ton of goodness. Lasagna covers groups easily but may leave your group ready for a nap shortly after due to the carb loading. 

If you have any feed-the-herd recipes that are tasty, somewhat healthy and easy send us a note. We would love to try your favorite recipes and let you know how we liked them.
Fun options like variations of build your own pizza are always welcome since most folks adore pizza but don’t care for greasy options.

Now that I am hungry from writing about all this food I will sign off to eat a snack of white yogurt covered pretzels for my semi-sweet treat of the day. Bon appetit!

fitness and nutrition

Re-entry

My first step towards re-entry was mental. The choice to start the process. My choice. The time to push the things that don’t matter to the side to focus on what matters: health, fitness and of course fun.

Now the first step is always the hardest. The alarm clock being set for the wee hours of the morning. The time that others are still sleeping. This is the hardest if your surrounding family members are chronic late risers. Day one is done but a tough one. Got a trail run in to get those legs in gear.

After moving becomes a priority so does hydration and nutrition. Without these elements the moving may not be as beneficial. Bye bye comfort foods. Hello bag of protein. It’s a process and sometimes you have to start, stop, restart and so on. Reigniting the passion to push oneself is definitely required after a pandemic pause of many many weeks. Time is required to rebuild strength, stamina and mental toughness especially during the turbulent times that are still upon us.

A pandemic was not on my schedule and it definitely wasn’t on the schedule. Keeping me off my consistent CrossFit workout routine for almost 2 months translates into the biggest excuse I’ve let myself withstand in my lifetime. That is not an exaggeration. No more pity party for me or those around me. No more sand bag workouts. It’s time to dust myself off and dig deep. Maybe the post-corona me will be a better version of myself. So much to look forward to.

My new may look different but that’s okay. Change is really the only constant life offers us. How we adapt to change is really the test. Here I am, 1 week into my re-entry plan. Continuing with my 2020 fitness goals, training for my first triathlon and spending time on things that matter with people that matter the most.

Next is next and I’m moving and shaking my way towards what is up next. Summer time and a triathlon. After that it’s anyone’s guess.

healthy hacks

Just Add Eggs

Another quick healthy hack for those interested. The “baggie” trick I learned from
my friend Milagros.

Toss things you need in a baggie and use later. For her it was marinara sauce that she didn’t want to add to a meal until it was ready. How clever. Then I thought hmmm… I’m going to incorporate that into my meal prepping.

Now I have three go-to baggies made every couple of days. 2 ounces of my meat of choice: steak, ham or sausage. Diced onion, pepper, zucchini and mushroom. Sometimes a mozzarella medallion to spice it up. Some fresh spinach.

When I am crunched for time in the mornings I toss the components of the baggie into the pan while I grab two eggs. When it’s time, I add the eggs and cook away.

No chopping, no deciding what to eat, no wasting precious time. This meal prep is simple when you do a few days at a time. You can add variety by changing up the meat or adding cheese or not.

I always add in Everything But the Bagel seasoning to give my breakfast some added flavor. Give it a try you won’t be disappointed.

I am always full and energized after this meal and it’s so easy to make and cleanup is a cinch. This is a also a great way to show your teens how to start the day off right with a good meal and a little pre planning.

Another healthy hack from 2 Chicks and a Pen. Helping you get healthy in 2020 and beyond one meal hack at a time.

fitness and nutrition

Working Vacation (or, Making Vacation Work)

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a whirlwind whiplash weekend in Pennsylvania with friends watching our daughters play lacrosse.

I could have completely tossed my diet and exercise habits out the window.  But driving over 10 hours both ways in the course of a few days left my body screaming for exercise and good food.  (Craving those things is a good sign.)

We stayed in a hotel with a gym.  I brought my workout clothes and got up at my usual crack-of-dawn hour. The weather was amazing!  When I went outside, the air was a crisp, cool change from the warm humid mornings in Atlanta.  Then, we just happened to be staying in a complex with some health care buildings.  As I was walking to warm up and get moving, I noticed a trail with some fitness stations along the way.  So, that became my plan.  A little jog and some step ups, incline situps and leg lifts, hanging leg raises, all while jogging station to station. Sweat happened.

Then, I went into the gym and did a quick 21-15-9 of burpees, dumbbell clean and jerks, and sit-ups.  It wasn’t the extreme race or marathon workout that many were doing back home, but it was enough to feel like I had worked my heart and muscles. It felt good.

Of the 3 days away, that was the only true workout I did.  We did some walking at the tournament fields and Hershey Park, but otherwise the two days were rest days.  I worked out all the other days around the trip so it was enough.

The other challenge on the road is eating.

I packed snacks…a few bags of turkey and beef jerky, protein water, chunks of grilled chicken, protein chips, and some random protein bars.  I ate some but not all. I also drank lots of water and sparkling water.

For the most part, I just tried to focus on protein and keep other things to a minimum. Examples:

For quick breakfast on the road I had a Chick-fil-a breakfast bowl with chicken and no hashbrowns.  I ate a 2 good yogurt for snack.  The chicken chunks came in handy on a long stretch of road with few options beside gas station food.

Eating out in Harrisburg, PA, at a local tapas spot – Kale and beet salad, Brussel sprouts with bacon, a small slice of pizza, charcuterie board with meat, cheese, pickles, flatbread, mustard.  Probably over on fat and salt but I could have done worse and it was delicious. Not enough protein but options were limited.

For hotel breakfast (twice): Eggs, spinach, cheese, salsa, light and fit yogurt, coffee with milk. For me, when I’m basically eyeballing things, not really planning eating, and going with my gut, I try to start the day with as much protein as possible and just keep going from there.

It’s not necessarily easy…the options I skipped were many: waffles, Froot Loops and other cereals, bagels, bread, crumb cake, juices, granola, muffins, peanut butter, etc.  None of these seemed worth it and the eggs looked decent.  (I would definitely eat crumb cake, for example, if it was from a bakery.  I look forward to bakery crumb cake at the Jersey Shore later this summer!)

It’s not always a simple win.  The amusement parks we went to the last two weekends were especially challenging for both cost and food quality reasons.  At Hershey Park, after long searching, I settled for a few chicken tenders (more bread than chicken) and a few fries.  Thankfully this was late in the day after decent eating before we got to the park.

An afternoon at Kings Dominion was more challenging.  I could almost stomach the idea of eating Panda Express, but the $15.00 price tag was a deal breaker (and for just one entree!)  I held out until we left, late afternoon, and quickly scarfed down my turkey jerky, protein water, some fresh cherry tomatoes, and Quest protein chips when I got to the car.  Sounds crazy to many, but it works for me.  I felt satisfied and not weighed down.  I was grateful I had packed a few things to have on hand.

And when it was worth it, I did treat myself across the two weekends.  I had top-notch street tacos (although I did skip all but one bite of tortilla since they were not special), I had a great meal with meats, cheeses, an amazingly fluffy buttered roll, and cucumber salad at a German restaurant called Fest, and I had a scoop of homemade strawberry swirl ice cream topped with toasted fluff (the specialty of the house) at Charm School Social Club.  Totally worth it.  And four days later, I’m not mad at myself or the scale. So I’m learning it is possible to keep it sane on the road, get some sweat in, feel good, and indulge when I really want to.  Let’s see how I do on my next journey…