For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one of our Nutritionists and the creative force behind recipe development and meal planning here at CCN. I’m also a military spouse and mama to our beautiful 16 month old daughter (plus our two big, crazy dogs).
Here at CCN, we are big on practicality and practicing what we preach. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has always been part of who I am.
As everyone says, a baby changes everything. For me, becoming a mom totally rocked my world in a way I could have never prepared for - no matter how much research I did or books I read beforehand! Even so, I knew it was all the more important to fuel my body properly with the nutrients it needs to keep me going and feeling my best, so I can be the best mama I can be for our little girl.
Since becoming a mom, I have learned that for me, my personality, and our lifestyle (especially as a military family with my husband away for long periods of time), the path to success requires a concerted effort in planning and prepping ahead. Being well organized and intentional about it gives me a sense of calm and just makes it so much easier to make the best choices.
I’ve always found comfort in routine and organization, but I am also learning to be less rigid about it than I used to be. Now I make more room for things I really enjoy like a healthy dessert (usually chocolate) or wine (or both). I’ve also been trying to put a lot less pressure on myself to be perfect. I fall for the comparison trap far too often (especially since becoming a mom), even though I know it is so unhelpful and unhealthy.
The unexpected is inevitable, especially with a tiny human, so I try my best to be as prepared as I can and I’m learning to let go more when “life happens”. I’m a work in progress, like we all are, just trying to put my best foot forward, one day at a time.
FOOD: 2400 CALORIES/DAY (50% carbs/30% fat/20% protein)
6:00am -6:30am WAKE UP - 16-20 ounces water with ACV and/or splash of lemon ginger concentrate
Lemon Ginger Concentrate
Blend the flesh of 4 medium seeded lemons with 2 thumb-sized knob of peeled fresh ginger root. Pour into an airtight container, store in the fridge, and use to splash in water throughout the day.
Add a sprinkle of cayenne for an extra metabolism boosting kick.
Add fresh mint for cooling anti-inflammatory digestive tonic.
7:30am BREAKFAST - Veggie Egg Cups (something I prep every week, switching up the veggies) + 1/4 avocado + sauerkraut/kimchi or salsa + berries + another fruit or GF sprouted grain toast (sometimes both if I need extra carbs to fuel or recover from my workout)
1 cup black coffee (swiss water process decaf) + cinnamon sprinkled over grounds before brewing + scoop of collagen peptides
8-16 ounces water
Veggie Egg Cups
About 1 ½ cups chopped mixed veggies (multicolored bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, etc.)
1 cup chopped baby spinach
12 eggs, beaten & seasoned with salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with silicone baking cups. Divide the chopped veggies among the cups. Add the spinach on top. Carefully pour the beaten egg mixture into each cup, filling about ¾ full and distributing evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for about 30 minutes or until eggs are set and cooked through. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, microwave for 30-60 seconds when ready to eat.
8:30am 3 MILE WALK
Drink water as we go. I probably finish 20-30 ounces on the walk.
10:00am SNACK + unsweetened coconut water to replenish electrolytes
Coconut Lime Energy Bites
Makes 28-30 bites
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut/coconut flakes (plus extra for rolling)
1/2 cup macadamias or cashews
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 Tablespoons white chia seeds (black ok)
2 Tablespoons cashew butter
Juice & zest of 2 limes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon spirulina or chlorella powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse till ingredients are evenly chopped and starting to stick together forming a ball. Transfer to the fridge and chill for 30 minutes. Using a cookie scoop (or about 1/2 Tablespoon measure), portion into balls and roll together with your hands. Pour extra shredded coconut onto a paper plate & roll the balls in it, coating lightly. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container till ready to eat.
10:30am WORKOUT (20-40 minutes, 4-6x per week, ideally) 16-20 ounces water sipped throughout
12:00pm LUNCH + 16 ounces water
A big salad (prepped in a mason jar and ready to dump in a bowl) or smoothie/smoothie bowl (prepped in smoothie bags ready to blend OR thawed already blended one from freezer) OR leftovers, often times remixed in some way, like a power bowl.
Cruciferous Crunch Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing
1/3 cup chickpeas
1/3 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/3 cup finely chopped cauliflower
1 medium carrot, peeled & chopped or shredded
½ cup each shredded green & purple cabbage
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped cashews or peanuts
Sprinkle hemp hearts Toss in 2 Tablespoons Thai Peanut Dressing
Thai Peanut Dressing: Combine & shake to blend—-1 thumb-sized piece peeled ginger root , 3 cloves garlic, grated , 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar , ¼ cup natural creamy peanut butter , 2 tablespoons filtered water , 1 tablespoon raw honey , 1 tablespoon coconut aminos , ½-1 teaspoon hot sauce , 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
3:00pm SNACK + Kombucha or Iced Herbal Tea
Veggies and Mary's Gone Crackers Super Seed crackers + 1/3 cup hummus sprinkled with pepitas or hemp seeds
OR Fruit + 2 cheese sticks or handful of nuts/seeds (if on the go) OR Greek yogurt parfait/chia pudding
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding
1 cup chopped mango, (fresh or thawed from frozen) pureed in a food processor or blender (add water if needed for blending)
¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For topping: extra diced mango, banana slices, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped macadamias or cashews
Add the chia seeds, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until well mixed.
In two serving jars, layer the mango puree with the chia pudding, alternating layers. Seal the jars and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with extra diced mango, banana slices, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, and macadamias/cashews to serve.
6:00pm DINNER + 16 ounces water
Rainbow Chicken Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 crown broccoli, chopped into florets
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
2 Tablespoons avocado oil
1 (12 ounce) package chicken apple sausages, sliced
2 Tablespoons Flavor God Everything seasoning (or similar)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an extra-large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out the veggies on the sheet pan and drizzle with avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Add the chicken sausage and season liberally with the everything seasoning. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir and roast another 10-15 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender. Divide into bowls and enjoy!
TIP: I like to pre-chop all the veggies and store in a big Ziploc. That way I can just season and pop in the oven with very little effort!
2-3 times a week I have a glass of wine with or right after dinner.
A few times a week, I enjoy some good quality dark chocolate with a handful of nuts or a CCN healthy dessert after the baby goes to bed.
Notice a theme? The majority of what I eat in a day is mostly prepped and ready to go! I used to be a lot less regimented with meal prep before I had my daughter. I was constantly mixing it up, doing a different breakfast and snack every day (still almost always a big salad or leftovers for lunch). I was the queen of variety!
Now, we are still very much in survival mode with the little one and a Marine husband who is often gone for training or deployed. I don’t have the ability to be as spontaneous with my meal/food choices anymore (if I want to keep my sanity, haha), so meal prep has become my best friend!
The way I meal prep has even changed quite a bit. I used to take a few hours on the weekend to do a ton of meal prep at once. Now, especially when my husband is away, that’s just not realistic anymore. I do a small amount each day so it's doable, doesn’t overwhelm me, and I’m able to stay on track. It also simplifies grocery shopping quite a bit since we get a lot of the same staple items frequently.
If I didn’t make prep a priority, I probably would be drastically under-eating and grabbing more convenience type foods far too often… and then feeling like crap because of it. This mama ain’t got time for that! I still work in variety by switching up the produce used, doing variations on the same type of meal, keeping dinner as the “different” meal of each day, and of course always hitting that minimum 5 colors a day!
Come back next week for a peak into our daily routine and how I fit in all the things!