Category: Ask Dan

Easy Meal Prep Tips

Ever wonder what it would be like to open your fridge to find a full week of healthy, delicious food that’s prepped and ready to be eaten? Sure would make sticking with your diet and achieving fat loss a lot easier…

Meal prep is a fantastic way to keep on track with your eating throughout the entire week.

The idea is to plan out all of your meals on the weekend, most often on Sunday, then do the shopping and the prep at one time for the entire week. This day is labor intensive, but then your food is ready-to-eat for the next 6 full days.

Here’s my 5 Step Meal Prep Guide to make your next food prep week really simple:

Step One: Planning

Get out your notebook and pen or pull up a blank note page on your iPad, it’s time to start planning for the week. Here are the questions that you’ll need to answer:

1. How many meals do I need each day?

  • Check your calendar for special events
  • Consider your appetite throughout the day
  • Look at each day separately

2. How many servings do I need for each meal?

  • Consider who in the family needs which meals
  • Check the calendar for guests or visitors
  • Look at each day separately

Step Two: Recipes

Now it’s time to translate those meals + servings into actual recipes. Take a moment to consider the produce that is in season and any special requests or food allergies.

1. Find your recipes

  • Browse around on your favorite recipe site
  • Pull out your favorite cookbooks
  • Find your family favorite recipes

2. Focus on a core group of ingredients

  • Plan recipes that use similar ingredients

3. Calculate leftover meals

  • Making enough of some recipes for leftover meals saves time

4. Make your list

  • Narrow down to the exact list of recipes

Step Three: Grocery List

Take your list of recipes and create a grocery list. A few things to keep in mind…

1. Pay attention to recipes that you’ll double or triple

  • Make sure to include all ingredients in your list

2. Organize your list into these convenient sections:

  • Meat/Seafood/Egg
  • Organic Produce
  • Herbs/Flavors
  • Pantry Items

3. Check your pantry for items that you already have

  • Save money by avoiding double purchases

Step Four: Shopping

It’s time to head to the grocery store! Take your list and, if you’re lucky, a helper down to your local market and go through each section item by item.

Step Five: Food Prep

You have options when it comes to the actual prep of each of your meals. Many you’ll be able to fully make right away and pack in the fridge. Other recipes you’ll want to simply do the chopping, measuring and organizing in order to make the meal hot and quick before you plan to eat it.

Which recipes should you fully cook in advance? The truth is that this is really up to you and your schedule. Here’s a good game plan if you don’t want to fully cook everything on Sunday:

  1. Fully make the baked goods for the week.
  2. Chop all vegetables.
  3. Gather all seasonings.
  4. Fully cook Monday’s dinner.

Getting into the habit of prepping your meals for the week is a surefire way to accelerate your fat loss results. It’s my goal to help people, just like you, conquer their fear of exercise and clear up their confusion with healthy eating. I know that a healthy life is within your reach – I’ve seen hundreds of my clients before you do it, and I’ll see hundreds after you do it. Today it’s your turn.

Call or email now to get started on an exercise program that will make fat burning second nature, and will transform your body for the best.

Your Reason Why

Why do you want to exercise and get into great shape? Grab onto the first answer that came into your mind. That is your unique reason why.

Your reason could have to do with weight, size, shape, strength, appearance, health, function or longevity. Or it could be about something completely off the wall. Hey, it’s your reason and there are no wrong answers.

This reason is your motivation. It’s the thought that you need to return to whenever you’re feeling discouraged or want to give up. Remind yourself of it often. Write it down and put it where you will see it everyday. If you just don’t quit then you’re bound to succeed.

Low Carb Mac and Cheese

Say what?! Mac and cheese without the traditional noodles! This is a recipe that kids and adults alike will love! Spaghetti squash is a fantastic replacement for traditional noodles – make it a habit to use these tender, squash noodles in all of your favorite pasta recipes. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup grated parmesan, plus 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan as optional garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Spray the center of both halves of the squash with cooking spray, and place the cut side up on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes.
  2. Remove the squash from the oven, and let cool. Once it’s safe to handle, scrape the flesh into a large bowl. Add the steamed broccoli florets to the bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat, and whisk in the coconut flour. Add the coconut milk, and whisk quickly. Turn heat down to low, add the cheddar and ½ cup grated Parmesan to the saucepan, and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour the cheese sauce over the spaghetti squash and broccoli mixture, and toss until all the squash is covered.
  5. Dish into 4 portion, and top off with the salt and pepper to taste plus red pepper flakes and extra Parmesan if you wish!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 290 calories, 23g fat, 360mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 14g protein

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Better Food Choices, More Movement

get fit, apc fit, a positive change fitness

It happens to everyone. That moment when you realize that it’s time to do something about your weight.

It may happen when you’re looking in the mirror or standing on the scale.

Your first thought is to go on a ‘diet’ but as quickly as that enters your mind the ghosts of a hundred diets past return…along with all the frustration.

Then you wonder, why bother?

The weight will come back, as it always has. Then you’ll be back in front of the mirror as discouraged as ever.

The answer is not to go on another diet.

The answer is to change your lifestyle.

Making the Change. It’s time to lose your ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Embrace simple, small changes that will add up to big improvements in your lifestyle. These are your main venues for change:

What You Eat. Let’s face it, most of the foods you eat aren’t the healthiest. Some are downright terrible (the burger and fries you had last week). While others are simply excessive (the snacks you eat while watching TV).

The solution to cleaning up your daily diet is NOT to go back on a ‘diet’. In fact, I never want you to go on a ‘diet’ again. (Yes, you heard me right!) Instead I want you to make permanent healthy changes to your eating habits.

Here are some practical examples:

  • Choose salad over chips or fries
  • Don’t add butter to your food
  • Eat fresh produce with every meal
  • Purchase fat free dairy products
  • Limit desserts to one or two per week
  • Cut out mindless snacking
  • Drink water, not soda

I don’t expect you to eat a perfect diet every day of the week – that’d be ludicrous. You should, however, make MORE healthy choices every day than unhealthy ones.

How You Move. Exercise is a huge component to a healthy lifestyle, and quite frankly you’re not getting enough of it. How often does an entire week go by without you ever lacing up your tennis shoes? Don’t disregard the importance and power of a good workout.

Your new healthy lifestyle means exercising on most days of the week. This may seem tough, but I have the perfect solution – my training programs were created for busy people just like you who only have so much time to dedicate to exercise.

I understand how hard it is to find the motivation to stay consistent and to push yourself. Make exercise a no-brainer—contact Dan to get started on a lifestyle enhancing program today.

Here are simple ways to move more:

  • Watch less TV
  • Stretch stiff muscles every day
  • Play at the park with the kids
  • Go for a jog
  • Do some pushups every morning

While none of the above are meant as substitutes for a solid exercise routine, they are great ways to become more active and to improve your lifestyle.

Your lifestyle is the balance of all the choices that you make regarding your body. Swing the balance in your favor—make a majority of your choices health conscious.

So the next time you’re in front of the mirror you won’t worry about your weight. You’ll relish it.

Are you ready to transform your lifestyle and body? Contact A Positive Change Fitness today for your free consultation and screening!

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Things That Happen When Getting Fit

Physical fitness. It’s a goal, a lifestyle, a surefire way to set yourself apart from the legions of people who are too lazy or scared to make the changes necessary to gain physical fitness. If you happen to be one of the people who have yet to truly commit to physical fitness, understanding the perks of physical fitness may help you dig in and go for physical fitness, starting today.

What can you expect from your life as a fit person? Here are seven things you’ll go through when you turn the corner on physical fitness.

Thing 1: You’ll Want Morestrength training, a positive change fitness

Exercise newbies have a hard time believing it, but there will come a time when you crave exercise. It may not be during those first few days or weeks, but once your body becomes fit and begins to perform the way it was built to perform, you’ll hunger to hit the gym every day, and you’ll give it your all once you’re there. Miss a day in the gym? You’ll feel guilty and lazy enough to never miss again!

Thing 2: Bedtime Will Be Better

This one doesn’t involve your sex life (though becoming fit will improve that as well). Rather, it’s about your sudden ability to hit the hay, fall asleep quickly, and stay asleep all night long. Just because you’re fit!

Thing 3: Confidence Becomes You

When you’re not fit, it’s impossible to feel your best. Not being physically fit leaves you feeling…well, frumpy. Get fit and watch your self-image skyrocket. Along with it, your confidence. Your confidence won’t necessarily push you into cockiness, but it will make you more enjoyable to be around, as it’s awkward to be around people who are down on themselves.

Thing 4: You Eat Well

Just as being fit makes you want to get in the gym every day, it also inspires you to want to eat well. After all, you spent all that time eating the right things to get fit. The last thing you want to do is throw it all in the trash just for the passing and momentary pleasures of two slices of pecan pie.

Thing 5: Your Body Functions Improve

Get fit and your heart will work more efficiently. You know that. But getting fit will get your other body systems in line also. Whether you’ve been struggling to think clearly on your feet, you’ve been plagued with constipation, or you’re always out of breath, getting fit can remedy all these issues and more.

Thing 6: You’ll Go Shopping

You probably know people who have to upgrade their closets every few years to accommodate their ever-growing bellies. Not you. When you go fit for life, you’ll have to go shopping, but only because your waist has slimmed up and your muscles have tightened up and are now situated where they belong.

Thing 7: You Won’t Fear Sore

At one point in time, being sore always meant something was wrong. When you get fit, being sore is something that you welcome. After all, you know the soreness means you’re working your body in new ways that will only improve your physical fitness. If it’s a bad sore, you’ll know that also because, well, fit people know their bodies.

Now is the perfect time to get started on an exercise program that will get you into the best shape of your life. What are you waiting for? Being fit feels too good for you to miss out on.

Ask Dan