Monday, September 15, 2014

MEAL PREP: Sweet-Yam-Po-Tots

Sweet potatoes vs. yams... Why is this subject so confusing? While living in New York, we considered the orange potato to be a sweet potato. After moving to California, the signs in the store call the orange ones yams. Sweet potatoes on the other hand are white here. There's been much back and forth on the topic and even after "Google-ing," it's still a bit confusing. Regardless of what you call 'em... "sweet-yam-po-tots" are SUPER nutritious and good for you!

Carbohydrates often get a bad name, but it's important to know that not all carbs are created equal. The ones found in "sweet-yam-po-tots" are really important for energy and fuel, especially if you are having intense workouts. They are perfect to have pre-workout, post-workout or even both! Don't forget to pair with a healthy protein source, too!

You can cook sweet potatoes many ways: 1) microwave if you're in a rush; 2) crock pot if you want to leave and forget it; 3) bake in tin foil in whole form; 4) bake fries. There are probably plenty of other creative ways to cook them, but those are just a few simple ideas to start! In fact, while doing my Google searching I came across a great site with tons of delicious looking recipes you can check out, too:

Almost every Sunday, I bake a bunch of "chips" to last throughout the week. It's an easy meal prep option that yields a large amount of food with minimal effort. Though some of this may seem self explanatory and not complicated, here's a step-by-step for you to follow along with! Included is a couple tips that I've learned over time (after making these dozens and dozens of times) that will hopefully help you, too!

Some weeks I bake the white sweet potatoes, other weekends I bake the orange. It all just depends on my mood when shopping. But thanks to an idea from my Team Edge teammates, switched it up this weekend and baked both varieties together. This may become the new normal over here!

Quick prep tip: Dump all your sweet potato/yams in strainer for easy washing.  

Coat baking a baking sheet (or two or three) with non-stick spray. 

Tip: Coat your pan with coconut oil for a little different flavor and healthy alternative! 

Use a LARGE knife and cutting board to begin cutting your fry chips. If you don't like the skin, peel it first. The skin is healthy and has fiber and happens to be my favorite part, but if you don't like it, simply remove first! After months and months of using a small knife, discovered using a large knife was SOOO much easier. A true DUH moment afterward but hopefully this saves someone else that trouble in the future by specifying. A good knife can safe you A LOT of time in the long run. 

Cut in any shape you want - Chips are quicker for me to cut, but actual fry shapes are great, too.

Tip: Try to keep your cuts about the same thickness but it's okay if not perfect! 

Season as you wish to keep it interesting then pop in the oven. This batch in particular is topped with black pepper. Though temps can vary, I bake at 420 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour,  shifting around on the pan to prevent burning or sticking half way through. 

The beautiful end product... So many good carbs to last the entire week!

Package up into individual containers with your meals or place into larger containers to split up as you need them throughout the week as pictured above.

Tip: Wait until the sweet potatoes/yams cool before adding a lid and placing in fridge. Do it too soon and you'll lose the crisp that makes these so good! They could end up soggy instead. 

Try this out for your next meal prep and let me know how they turn out. Tweet @LMFitnessLife or if you take a pic on Instagram tag @LittleMsFitness. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Taking the Plunge—Now's the Time!

It's time to make that announcement I've been hinting at the last couple weeks official. This video is a bit of a longer one, around eight minutes, so I will recap the news in writing below, too.

This Friday will be my last day working for the PR agency I've been working for over the past three years. This place has been a second home in many ways as I started working there as an intern only a few days after moving to San Diego. I don't know what life here is like NOT driving to and from this place five out of seven days a week. This change is very surreal and also bittersweet. It's a true closing of one chapter and opening of another. 

"Never is life so exciting as at the beginning of a new journey." —A Philosopher

After attending IDEA World Fitness BlogFest last month, I came back knowing change had to happen. Though this would be my eventual path to try to make it "own my own," hearing so many inspiring stories over those four days made me push up my timeline quite a bit. A number of speakers talked about living your life out of love, not fear. I have been living like many wannabe or soon-to-be entrepreneurs do—out of fear. Leaving a stable job to jump into something unstable is scary and risky. Then it hit me... What's the worst that can happen? Have to go back and find a "real job" once again? If that's the worst situation, then I'm ready to risk it. 

As someone who has been "studying" several entrepreneurs' journeys over many months, the majority of these stories have common themes. There are LOTS of highs and lows day in and out. While it's certainly inspiring, it also can seem out of reach because these people are already successful and telling these stories after they've reached a certain level. If you're experiencing these same sorts of feelings, maybe you'll find the inspiration to start making moves toward your true passion and calling. Please send me your questions or comments and together we can share the ups and downs of new adventures with others. 

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Skinnygirl Snack Swap

We are now nearly half way through September and the #LMFSugarLESSseptember challenge is going quite well. I've noticed such a difference in how I'm feeling just in the first third of the month. In just one week during the challenge, I lost 2.5 lbs. While I'm trying not to focus on weight, that is certainly a telling experiment for the challenge!

We have a private Google+ community group going for those who joined in the challenge. Just as I finished writing a post talking about how this process has made me realize how those afternoon dark chocolate peanut butter cup type snacks really do add up (as those were the types of treats I had been indulging in throughout the Summer). So right after that post, I read an email from Fitfluential with a snack swap challenge hosted by Skinnygirl. They are offering people a chance to win $1000 Target shopping spree. Count me in because I LOVE Target. Wanted to pass along the website just in case you want to enter, too. It's a pretty cute and interactive site!

Choose your favorite snack when that 3 p.m. craving hits! 

Not surprised... chocolate and peanut butter all the way for me!

Swap ideas with recipes for my peanut butter cup obsession!
All you have to do is share it to enter the shopping spree!
I shared via Twitter

P.S. One more week until my Sport Chalet gift card giveaway ends. Don't forget to enter at the bottom of this blog post here

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