On top of staying consistent with Kayla Itsines’ BBG program, I’ve been making it a priority to be good with what I feed my body. As you may already know, diet plays a crucial part in the progress you get when working out. Since becoming more conscious of what I eat, I’ve noticed that I seldom have cravings for unhealthy snacks and processed sugary treats. Healthy eating can be a daunting task especially when you’re a fussy eater like I am. There are a lot of things I don’t like. Add intolerances to that – yeah, that’s why it’s taken me a while to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t. I am not one to “cut out carbs” or eliminate anything that I enjoy, for that matter. Instead, I have learned to pick smarter alternatives (i.e. brown rice instead of white rice, bavarian rye bread instead of plain white bread, fruits instead of gummy bears… okay, you get the idea). This has helped me transition into eating more wholesome foods that are both nutritious and balanced.
Lately, I am really enjoying Leah Itsines’ recipes. How fitting that I sweat with Kayla, and eat with Leah, right? These sisters are seriously my dynamic duo haha! Leah does a fantastic job coming up with realistically healthy meals without sacrificing taste and satisfaction. If you’re looking for some real inspiration to be creative in the kitchen, you have to check her out! I LOVE that she encourages people not to be afraid to eat their favorite foods, but in a healthful manner. She’s coming out with a new BARE (Balanced & Realistic Eating) Guide very soon and I cannot wait.
In the mean time, here are some of my favorites… 🙂
Mixed Berry Smoothie
In a recent blog post about my BBG progress one month into the program, I mentioned that I absolutely cannot stand the taste of protein shakes. They are gross and make me gag! I stumbled across Kayla’s blog post sharing a few protein-packed recipes and went from there. The one I like to model after specifically is the berry orange creamsicle smoothie. We rarely buy oranges because they aren’t our preferred fruits to eat so I pretty much incorporate all the ingredients minus oranges, and throw in chia seeds (and/or flaxseeds) and a bit of milk. I might try orange juice one of these days for a more tart flavor though 😉 This smoothie keeps me full for a couple hours and is a delicious way to get protein and other beneficial vitamins. It’s an amazing smoothie for post-workout but sometimes, I like to have it for breakfast on-the-go too. Leah also has another promising version of a mixed berry smoothie that I’m curious to try soon.
Banana & Blueberry Bread
This scrumptious banana & blueberry bread recipe was released in Leah’s BARE Taste Tester but she also made it available on her blog. I’m not the best baker but have to say that this one is a winner, even for newbies! Let me admit that the first time I made this, it didn’t come out “Insta-worthy” at all BUT it tasted amazing. I am determined to master it. There aren’t a whole lot of different ingredients to get you confused, and it’s quick and easy to make. Each batch will be good for a couple servings of breakfast or a mid-day snack to satiate that sweet tooth. It is packed with, as you might guess, bananas and blueberries, and a good amount of protein! The best part is that storing is super convenient. In the fridge, it stays good for 2-3 days but you can also freeze them in sections if you plan to make this in bulk. This way, you can unfreeze as you go, and take refrigerated portions on-the-go with you! David and I had an early morning shoot the other day and I couldn’t wake up early enough to make breakfast. I simply packed a couple portions of this reheated in the toaster, and off we went! Soooo satisfying.
Salmon with Lemon & Chive Dressing
When it comes to fish, salmon and shrimp are my go-to’s. Not only are they tasty, they are easy to prepare. I think it’s pretty hard to mess up with salmon – you can literally season it with salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice and it tastes great like that. But if you want to amp it up a bit, give this Salmon with Lemon & Chive Dressing recipe a try. I LOVE tart-flavored things AND chives, so mix the two and you’ve got my idea of HEAVEN! It takes only 30 minutes to make, but be warned that you might chow it down in 5 because that’s how good it is!
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl and/or Chicken Teriyaki Skewers
I am a sucker for all sorts of chicken recipes because to me, chicken is a fail-safe way to ensure my body gets plenty of protein. There are just so many tasty ways to prepare it, too! Leah’s Teriyaki Chicken Bowl & Chicken Teriyaki Skewers are interchangeably scrumptious – recently I got creative and combined the two. No regrets there – everything turned out so deliciously. We are planning to get a grill this summer and that should make skewers much tastier. For now I just cook the chicken as I normally would, sans skewers. The skewers just add some fun to the dish, and makes for beautiful presentation too. I don’t know about you, but when dishes are pretty, I feel they are somehow more appetizing! Serve the chicken over your choice of rice and veggies and you’ve got yourself a yummy, balanced meal. I opted for basmati rice and broccoli the last time I made this!
Beef Teriyaki Bowl and/or Beef Skewers
Beef is also a wonderful source of protein. I don’t eat it as much as I do chicken – maybe just about once a week. It’s a nice way to switch things up, without changing recipes around too much if that’s stressful to you. While I do have fun experimenting in the kitchen, some days I just want to cook something up fast without thinking a whole lot. The Beef Teriyaki Bowl & Beef Skewers recipes are similar to the chicken teriyaki bowl/skewers as far as preparation goes. The taste is quite different though. When prepared correctly, the beef is soooo juicy and tender which I love! In addition to meat, veggies are staple for me. I enjoy eating beef with green beans or bok choy, and quinoa & brown rice.
Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
Love a classic soup recipe, especially on cold, stormy days. We’ve had a few of those recently and this quick chicken noodle soup recipe has been my warm pick-me-up! It is easy to make and a good way to use up leftover veggies you might have in the fridge. Coming from an Asian background, you can honestly never have too much soup. This can be served as a side to your entrées as well.
Homemade Pizza (with toppings of choice)
David and I have become OBSESSED with this. I was never too much of a pizza lover but found myself craving pizza the other day. Then, I found Leah’s Asparagus Pizza with Ham & Cheese recipe. We didn’t have ham or asparagus but we did have plenty of leftover chicken and other veggies. I thought it’d be a perfect way to use all that up while fresh, while taking delight in a totally different recipe. We took her idea of using whole wheat Greek pita bread for the crust. Then, we used tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, chicken, onions, cilantro, and some seasonings to complete each pizza. It’s the perfect portion and oh-so YUM! Next up, we’re going to attempt a cauliflower crust 🙂
Remember that portion control and enjoying your meals is key! Healthy eating shouldn’t be a chore, or it just won’t be a sustainable lifestyle. Honestly, the only way I’ve been able to keep this up for myself is being realistic, not feeling guilty with foods, and going for healthy choices whenever I can.
What are some nutritionally balanced foods that you like to indulge in?