7 Days of easy health: Lose weight & feel great (on a budget)

We all want to look and feel our best during the holiday season, but it’s also the time of year when time and money are at a premium. It doesn’t help that there are so many amazing junk foods to eat! Sticking to strict diet isn’t realistic, nor is magically finding extra time to hit the gym.

However, it IS possible to lose a little bit of weight (and a lot of excess bloat, which will make your waist and face instantly appear slimmer) before your next holiday party. This is my plan for the next 7 days, and if you join me on this journey, I guarantee you’ll see results:

Breakfasts

Blender shakes (Each recipe makes 3-4 large shakes, simply blend ingredients, pour and enjoy! Can be stored in fridge for easy grabbing on busy weekays):

-Shake 1- 2 cups almond/coconut milk, 2 handfuls ice, 2 handfuls berries, 1 handful spinach, 2 bananas.

-Shake 2- 2 cups yogurt, 2 bananas, 2 handfuls ice, 4 squares dark chocolate, 1 handful spinach, 2 spoonfuls almond butter.

*Note: My 2 year old will actually eat these shakes! They’re that decent (as far as healthy things go).

Gluten-free scones (Makes 8):

(Courtesy of Zen Belly Catering)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, a quarter cup of arrowroot flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and one egg. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and blend until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  5. To make the orange scones, add the orange zest. To make the cranberry scones, add 1 cup of dried cranberries in place of the orange zest.
  6. Add two tablespoons of arrowroot flour to the batter to thicken the dough.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into a ball. Place the ball of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly.
  8. Carefully cut the dough into eight equal wedges, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

*Note: I didn’t need the extra arrowroot to thicken the batter, it was THICK!

Lunches

-Various salads: Made by hand each morning (throw in handfuls of fresh and canned ingredients, especially ingredient leftovers from dinner recipes). Drizzle with olive oil.

-Grilled chicken breasts, prepared as you like.

-Frozen veggies: Prepare in microwave the night before, add chicken breast, store in Tupperware.

Dinners

One Pot Farmer’s Market Pasta (Serves 4-6):

(Courtesy of “The View From Great Island”)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz wheat spaghetti
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved, and sliced
  • several stalks asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • a handful of broccoli florets, cut in half
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 colorful bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 handfuls baby greens, I used baby kale and wild arugula
  • 1 – 1-1/2 tsp salt and lots of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp white wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded hard Italian cheese

Directions

  1. Put everything except the cheese, into a large pot. Add the wine and water (measure exactly since you will not drain the pasta) to the pot and bring up to a boil. If your pasta doesn’t fit completely into the pot, nudge it down into the water as it softens. Cover the pot while it comes to a boil then uncover and boil for about 7-9 minutes, until the pasta is just al dente. Babysit the pan a little bit to ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick. Don’t over cook the pasta, there will still be some water left in the pan.
  2. Toss the pasta with the cheese, and serve with the extra tomatoes and lots of fresh basil.

One Pot Veggie Quinoa Bowl with Fried Egg (Serves 4):

(Courtesy of Linda Wagner)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red, white quinoa mixture
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bag shredded carrots (10oz)
  • 1 large broccoli floret, diced fine
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • 1 bag frozen peas (16 oz)
  • salt & pepper to taste – add additional seasonings as desired like Adobo or lemon pepper

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium high heat add broth, quinoa, carrots, broccoli and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until all the water is absorbed – about 15 mins
  2. Then stir in spinach, kale and frozen peas. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Serve as is or top with fried organic egg.

*Note: This recipe was strange but tasted awesome (coming from someone who hates veggies!).

Easy Chicken & Kale Vegetable Soup (Serves 8):

(Courtesy of Linda Wagner)

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces organic chicken broth – you can make your own or use store bought
  • 1 head celery, sliced
  • 6 organic carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 head of kale chopped fine, including the stems
  • 2 large chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • sea salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients, except the kale in a large pot over med heat and cook for about 45 mins or until chicken is fully cooked.
  2. Once the chicken is fully cooked, you should be able to shred it very easily. I simply used the back of a wooden spoon and pressed the cooked chicken against the side of the pot. You could also use a fork or tongs to break the chicken apart and into shreds.
  3. Then stir in your kale and serve piping hot!

Snacks and extras

Chocolate avocado pudding (Makes 2 small servings):

(Courtesy of “Just Jessie B.”)

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond or coconut milk (add more if you want a thinner consistency

Directions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.

*Note: The toddler ate this too! And I was able to stomach it even though I hate avocados.

-Other snacks can include- Raw almonds, unsweetened cranberries (leftover from scones), and store bought energy bars such as Kind bars in your choice of flavor, and raw veggies. Try to limit fruit intake as it increases sugars.

How delicious does all of that look? And easy! You know I don’t cook, nor do I enjoy many veggies, but these recipes are just remniscant enough of comfort foods that even I could handle it. Also, everything was so easy to make and store for the week and the entire grocery list cost $100. Don’t forget to up your water intake by a LOT while trying to lose weight. This will also help cut bloat and kill salt cravings caused by dehydration.

Now on to exercise. Ya’ll know I have major limits imposed by my doctor when it comes to this. Therefore, if these free, short, at-home workouts are safe for me, you should also do great.

Day 1: Ease into it

(Via Skinny Aspirations Tumblr)

You can lay down and do this in front of the TV!! How amazing is that?! I have a hard wood floor but a giant couch so sometimes I just exercise on the sofa. Yep, the lazy description fits…

Day 2: Just did this one this morning. Could only handle 1 rep, which took 10 minutes (seriously TEN MINUTES TO A FITTER YOU!) but I will do the other 10 as soon as I get home (if you choose to workout after work, for the love of God DON’T SIT DOWN! You will never find the energy to get back up and do this stuff).

Day 3 Abs: Check out these moves from Bikini Mommy: Crunchless abs! I can’t do crunches due to my neck injury, so this is great (do 2 sets of 10 each):

(Via Bikini Mommy)

Day 4 Quick & dirty:

(Via Living Smart Girl)

Day 5 Get some balls:

Day 6 Pray for strength:

(Via @workoutsdaily)

Day 7 Rest but DON’t CHEAT: Whether you choose to continue on with the diet or stop, you need to continue eating healthy on day 7. You want to see results in only 7 days, thems the rules!

If I can do this with a 2 year old literally laying on top of me, YOU CAN DO IT!!! No excuses.

Go forth and have a healthy week! Consider this your “dinner,” and I will bring you an awesome, easy holiday makeup tutorial for dessert.

 

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