Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Month of Meal Plans and Groceries in 30 Minutes

Yep, you heard me. 30 minutes is all the time it took us to order our entire month's worth of meal plan groceries online earlier this week. My husband and I used the Sam's Club online order and pick up service. And were SO pleasantly surprised how perfectly it worked.

We walked into the store during the hour we selected, ran by the case to grab the ground beef (it would not add to our online order for whatever reason) and waltzed up to the pick up counter where our entire order was waiting already in carts. We paid and loaded it into the car. It literally took 10 minutes total.

Next month, the ordering process will be even faster, because Sam's online pick up ordering system saves your list. All we will have to do is go down the list and check what we want.

Let me tell you the benefits of this idea:
1) Time saved. I estimate 8 hours of my life back per month. (This why I am a big fan, ain't nobody got time for grocery shopping especially me LOL)

2) ZERO off plan items purchased.

3) Money saved, refer to #2

Below is our list, it includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire month. I estimate we will eat out 6 times for whichever meals. Our bill was $421 for a family of four. I used to spend $1200 a month in groceries when I shopped weekly, And I cannot tell you how much spoiled food I tossed out. Let me also assure you that you have room for this. We have a VERY small refrigerator with the tiny top freezer, a TINY old house pantry, and a chest freezer in the garage. This is probably less space than the average american home since our house was built in 1937.

The Shopping List

  • plain fat free Greek Yogurt
  • oatmeal
  • tortillas (corn or flour)
  • chicken breast
  • lean ground beef
  • salsa
  • canned, diced tomatoes
  • kidney, black, and/or pinto beans (dried or canned)
  • rice
  • apples
  • beef jerky
  • almonds
  • cottage cheese
  • shredded cheese
  • PB powder
  • almond milk
  • shredded potatoes
  • egg whites
  • deli ham
  • bell peppers
  • baby carrots
  • spinach and/or lettuce of choice
  • strawberries (frozen sliced)
  • whey powder
  • canned tuna in water
  • pickle relish
  • mustard
  • chili seasoning
  • taco seasoning
  • garlic
  • protein bars (Pure Protein)
  • sandwich thin bread
  • peanut butter
  • K cup coffee
  • coffee creamer
  • bottled water
  • milk
  • butter
  • eggs
  • whipping cream
  • individual mac n' cheese
  • vienna sausages
  • fiber one bars
  • tortilla chips
  • frozen breakfast sandwiches
  • claritin
  • nutella
  • whole wheat sandwich bread
  • paper towels
  • toilet paper
  • toiletries (shampoo, body wash, etc)
  • detergent
  • dog food
  • dog treats
At "milk", starts the kids and household stuff. Above that is the meal prep items that my husband and I eat for breakfast and lunch, and make for family dinners. 

So what do we turn this into? The kids eat a different breakfast than my husband and I do and lunch at school, so I will only speak to our side of the meals.

My Weekly Meal Plans HERE including calorie and macros for each meal/snack

Lunches and Dinners (I make 2 extra servings of dinner for our lunches the next day)
Snacks / Dessert
  • Apple and Beef Jerky (generally 1 apple and 1-2 oz)
  • Apple and Almonds (generally 1 apple and 1 oz of almonds)
  • Cottage Cheese and Strawberries (generally 1/2-1 cup of each as fits into the day)
  • Greek Yogurt and Strawberries (generally 1/2-1 cup of each as fits into the day)
  • Protein Bars (We do Pure Protein variety box or Quest bars - 160-200 cals)
My Weekly Meal Plans HERE including calorie and macros for each meal/snack

X- Liss

P.S. all opinions are my own, I was in no way compensated for this post by Sam's Club

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Never Quit - My Playa Del Carmen Shoot

I want to share some images from my shoot in Playa last week, and tell you the story of how I almost did not go. Seriously.

But first, I have been creating lots of exercise videos along with Coach Jenny lately on my YouTube channel, so be sure to subscribe there when you get a chance! Here is a link to my YouTube channel -

Here are a couple of videos that were shot in Playa at the resort gym. We stayed at the Valentin Imperial Maya. I cannot say enough great things about this place, it was better than my honeymoon. Literally ZERO negative things to say.

Dumbbell swings - these are great for the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and shoulders!

Squeeze your glutes as you come up and control the dumbbell coming up with your shoulders. 
You can do these with a kettle bell too!

Glute Bridges and Variations 

This is the Glute Bridge (bottom video) along with two level up variations. This exercise is amazing for your glutes!

Top left is the next level up - the foot elevated glute bridge.

Top right is the highest level - foot and shoulder elevated glute bridge.

Be sure to squeeze the glutes SO that your hammies don't take over.

Hold it at the end for a pulse of 5 or so for extra burn!

Flyes, a great movement for your chest! Be sure to extend to your full range of motion at the bottom of the movement. Drive the motion with your chest, I have to focus or my arms will take over!

These are Cable Lateral Raises! Great for your shoulders! 
I LOVED this cable machine, I want one for my house!

A few shots from my shoot

So I had spent about 12 weeks on a slow deficit for this shoot and vacation. I just wanted to lose about an inch of waist. It had gone well and I was happy when I left the States.

The morning of the shoot, I woke up bloated - up 4 POUNDS and my waist was up 0.25". AND my monthly visitor arrived early. I could see the bloat in the mirror. I was upset after all that hard work to have an unexpected set back. But Coach Jenny was there waiting on me that morning. And it was happening. I was not coming all this way for nothing. Surely we could get some decent shots.

And we did. So... even if you feel like you are not where you should be, do the thing you planned on. There will be some good from sticking to the plan. Finish out what you set out to do. 

X- Liss

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Vanilla Protein Zoats

Ever heard of zoats? How about protein oats?

Well if you are into oatmeal, but hate the calorie to protein ratio then I have just the recipe for you today!

It might sound little funny but there is a reason for every ingredient in this recipe. And you cannot even tell there are veggies in it!

Why the zoat? So the zucchini adds bulk and vegetable goodness to the oatmeal. The protein powder adds decent protein! So smart huh? And cinnamon is a proven appetite suppressant, but I like oatmeal with cinnamon anyway ;)

Thinking this would be good with apple chunks or raisins!

Also another thought was that you could soak steel cut oats in water overnight then heat them with the zucchini in the microwave in the morning.  I have lots of ideas haha!

Vanilla Protein Zoats

Serves 2

1.00 tsp, Cinnamon, ground
0.50 cup Oats, regular
1 cup Water
0.50 cup, zucchini, includes skin, raw
2.00 scoop, Vanilla Milkshake (I used Premiere Protein in Vanilla Milkshake which is 180 cals and 30 g protein per scoop)
3.00 tsp Stevia, or to taste

Finely grate a small zucchini, should be 0.5 cup. Add oats and water. Cook in microwave bowl for 3.5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Enjoy!

Nutritional stats per serving

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 225
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g6 %
Saturated Fat 2 g11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 95 mg32 %
Sodium 153 mg6 %
Potassium 119 mg3 %
Total Carbohydrate 16 g5 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g8 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 32 g64 %
Vitamin A3 %
Vitamin C10 %
Calcium22 %
Iron7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Birthday Funfetti Protein Mugcake

It was my husband's birthday this past week. I wanted to treat him with cake but we are prepping for a beach vacation so I knew he would want something he did not have to feel guilt about eating. Besides, I know that I would eat 75% of whatever treat I making because he is not a "sweet eater"... whatever that is! And I have a photo shoot on the beach while we are gone, so I have to be on my best behavior before we leave.

So I racked my brain and came up with this Funfetti Protein Mugcake recipe! I think it was fun and did the trick! He laughed, I ate most of it. We were all happy.

Birthday Funfetti Protein Mugcake

Serves 1

1.00 egg, Large (You could sub 3 egg whites and save a few calories too!)
0.25 tsp, Baking Powder
1.00 tbsp, Rainbow Sprinkles, divided
0.20 box, Sugar Free, Fat Free, Cheesecake Instant Pudding (Dry Mix)
2.00 tbsp, Milk - Reduced fat, 2% milkfat
1.00 scoop, Vanilla Milkshake Whey Protein (I used Premiere Protein which is 180 cals and 30 g protein per scoop)

Grease a small microwave safe ramekin, bowl, or mug with nonstick spray. Mix together the dry ingredients (save half your sprinkles for later). then incorporate the dry ingredients until mixed. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute or until mostly cooked through. Enjoy!

Nutritional stats per serving-
Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 345
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12 g18 %
Saturated Fat 4 g20 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 283 mg94 %
Sodium 1122 mg47 %
Potassium 115 mg3 %
Total Carbohydrate 23 g8 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g0 %
Sugars 11 g
Protein 37 g75 %
Vitamin A9 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium30 %
Iron18 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lower Calorie Hawaiian Dream Cake in a Jar

One of my friends in the Venus community, Anea came up with the idea of baking my Hawaiian Dream Cake in jars! SO SMART! I knew I had to share it with you.

This recipe is really superb. And even after 2 years, is still my most popular recipe EVER. It has been pinned on Pinterest over twenty thousand times. MIND BLOWN.

So here is how you do it....

Lower Calorie Hawaiian Dream Cake in a jar

Serves 13

  • 1 box (18.5 oz) of white cake mix
  • 1 can (12 oz) Fresca (or Diet 7up or Sprite Zero)
  • 1 can (15 oz) of mandarin oranges (in Splenda)
  • 1 box (1 oz) of Sugar Free Jello Banana Cream Pudding Mix
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (in juice)
  • 8 oz container of sugar free cool whip, thawed
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 13 maraschino cherries
  • 13 - 8 oz short jars and lids

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray the jars with cooking spray. Mix cake mix and fresca until just blended and pour into jars, filling them about a third to halfway full. Cook for apprx 15-17 minutes until toothpick comes out clean from center. Remove from oven. Immediately screw on the lids so the jars will seal. (These sealed cakes will last up to a month!)

When ready to serve the cakes, mix undrained can of oranges and pudding mix. Pour over cakes evenly. Drain pineapple, then evenly pour over cake. Top with container of cool whip. Lightly toast coconut and pecans in oven for about 5 minutes. Pour over cakes. Decorate with cherries on top and enjoy!

Nutritional Facts per serving:

13 servings

  • 254 cals
  • 47 g carbs
  • 7 g fat
  • 1.4 g protein

Thanks for the fabulous idea Anea! 

Y'all she also suggested these jars would be amazing for the BEST Protein Brownie EVER recipe! Hummm... I see a very large need for jars in my future! 

Below is Anea's Halloween themed Chocolate Almond Protein Truffles! We were brainstorming that these would be good in a peppermint-chocolate combo, peanut butter-chocolate, coconut-chocolate, or even a pumpkin-vanilla combination!