5 Tips for the Gal Who Doesn’t Know WTF She’s Doing in the Kitchen

My little sister recently moved into her own place and started her first big girl job (ohh, it brings ya back, doesn’t it?) and she recently asked me about some recipe ideas and tips for cooking at home. So, naturally, my first inclination was to go off on a tangent preparing a whole word doc for her on my fave #BusyGirl tricks for cooking at home, complete with tips, staple items and such, and I thought – why not put this into a blog post? I know I’m not the only one who struggles with cooking for one – and cooking good, healthy meals on a budget, too.

Here are a few tips I’ve found that work for me!

1.Try batch cooking.

Hear me out – some meals are just better cooked fresh. (Soggy salad? No thanks.) But others, think a big pasta dish for example, make for awesome leftovers. Plus, you can make a big batch of something for fairly cheap and it’ll prob feed you for at least a few days. I recently made this amazing Turkey Black Bean Quinoa Bake and literally had lunch and dinner for five days. Just heat up and voila!

2.Always have your staple items on hand. 

Almond butter, oats, black beans, chickpeas, chia seeds & Amy’s organic soups are a few that come to mind when I think of some of the staple items I’ve always got on hand. Your staple items are anything you cook with frequently that will last a really long time, that way you can always have these things in your pantry and whip something up if you’re lacking in groceries. These Black Bean Burgers I made for Danny & I recently were sooo good, and I already had my cans of black beans so I only had to buy like three ingredients.

3.Freeze your produce.

Every week, I grab a bushel (bundle? handful? IDK) of bananas, chop them up into fours and place in a big gallon-sized freezer bag for smoothies that week. Little tip: If you’re not adding nanas to your smoothie, that’s probably why the texture is icy and weird – do it. Living alone, my produce goes bad pretty quickly so I’ll also freeze my spinach or kale for smoothies, and even tried raspberries a couple of weeks back and used the frozen raspberries for mimosas – I mean, it was pretty perfect.

4.Pinterest is your BFF.

As you can see, there’s a theme in this post of a lot of my recipe inspo coming from Pinterest. If you’re in a rut, get to pinning – you’ll feel like a culinary creative genius in no time, promise.

5.When in doubt, it’s okay to go pre-made.

I usually try to stay away from the pre-made aisle of the grocery store, but I will say I’ve gotten some pretty good bake-at-home chicken dishes or salads from the Publix deli when I’m in a real crunch. Other than that, one of my big tips is to buy a rotisserie chicken, cut it up and put it in a tupperware for the week to be used on top of salads, served with veggies or in a wrap.

Happy cooking!

9 Ways to Make Your Day Healthier ASAP

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Happy Friday!!! For real, this week has draggggggged like no other… ready to get this pawty started. *new poppin’ champs emoji*

So I’ve gotta say, I’ve been lacking a little motivation on the health front lately. I absolutely go through phases where I’m super into it, and others where I just want to sleep an extra hour and have a bowl of ice cream (which I’m fine with because I’m all about balance). At times it can all feel a little overwhelming trying to do it all; early morning workouts, a million ounces of water a day, no carbs after 3pm… I’m getting stressed out already. I often have to remind myself, though, that if I’m not doing every single “healthy” thing I can, it doesn’t mean I’m failing. I think it’s about baby steps and just doing the best you can.

To help alleviate a little bit of that stress for those of us trying to be a little healthier today, leading into a (quite possibly) overindulgent weekend, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite healthy tips you can implement right now to make up for all the vodka sodas you’re going to drink this weekend/Waffle House you’re going to gorge on… pick your poison ;)

  1. Switch out your romaine or iceberg lettuce in salads to dark leafy greens like arugula, spinach and kale.
  2. Swap your daily soda (yes, even diet) with a La Croix or other sparkling water.
  3. Instead of on a bun, order a burger wrapped in lettuce. You can still enjoy a juicy burger and cut your carbs!
  4. Never let your water bottle sit empty at your desk. Drink up!
  5. Potty break squats: Every time you get up to use the restroom, do 10! (If you’re following tip #4 then you’ll squeeze in a lot of these throughout the day…)
  6. Make homemade salad dressings and marinades instead of the store-bought versions, which often have way too many ingredients in them. I like using a combo of apple cider vinegar, honey or agave, olive oil, sea salt and other seasonings, depending on the flavor I want.
  7. Instead of calorie-packed creamers and artificial sweeteners, use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and cinnamon in your coffee (more on why you should drink cinnamon in your coffee)
  8. Eat your “carbier” meals earlier in the day and load up on proteins and veggies for dinner.
  9. If you’re craving sweets, try fulfilling your craving with one square of dark chocolate. If your craving is still there (which it probably won’t be), just eat the damn brownie – ONE, not three.

Hopefully these little tips help you to have a healthier day! Pick a few to try right now so you can go into the weekend feelin’ goood. TGIF :)