Meal Prepping on a Budget | My Grocery List

By Abby Bly

Read More: Start Killing your Workouts with These Fitness Tips

Follow Me on Instagram: abby_bly

Eating healthy on a budget isn’t as hard as it seems

It’s time to finally start eating well, okurrr? No but really, If you’re tired of being bloated all the time and want to get ready for summer with me, then lets talk meal planning! Living with food allergies makes eating out and eating junk food all the more painful (I’m allergic to gluten), but even if you don’t have any dietary restrictions, eating what’s fast and cheap will leave you feeling sluggish, gross, and insecure. I know I’m not the only one who looks in the mirror and says, “this food baby is starting to look like a real baby” …right? (And no I’m not pregnant) but honestly, after a couple of weeks of eating clean, you’ll notice a huge difference not only in the way that you look, but how you feel, too!

My Grocery List

The best way to stay on track with your meal planning is to create lists and stay organized. I use the Trello app to create my meal plans, grocery lists, workouts, daily plans and more. I have 3 meal lists for breakfasts, lunches & dinners, and snacks. Before creating your grocery list, it’s important to come up with realistic meal ideas that you can easily prepare throughout the week. See below for my meal ideas: 

The List

Once you’ve planned your meals, you can now go through and create a list of items that are missing from your kitchen. I usually designate somewhere from $70-$100 every two weeks for groceries. If you’re not used to budgeting for groceries, especially as a college student, this may seem like a lot. In the long run, though, doing this sets good budgeting habits. Additionally, you have to be willing to take your health seriously in order to make this work. I promise it’s worth it! See my list below:

How to Effectively Meal Prep

I’m not really into the whole planning all your meals a week in advance thing.. am I the only one wondering how your food is gonna taste like on Friday if it was made on Monday? Anyways, I like to prep my meals 1-3 days in advance depending on what it is. Write down which meals will work best on which days so that you can thaw your Chicken accordingly, make sides ahead of time, or whatever else makes your meal prepping process easier. 

I usually do my cooking at night, so I’ll prepare my lunch for the next day while I’m making dinner. Sides like rice, sweet potatoes, and veggies can be made in bigger quantities and eaten over a couple of days, so prepare these dishes in multiple servings. 

My last tip.. containers! Invest in some plastic and or glass containers that will make it easier to prepare and transport meals. I have a 60 peice container set from amazon that has multiple different sizes, including small ones for sauces, and stack easily in the cupboard. I would highly recommend these for those just starting out meal prepping!

Share your lists with me!

Now that you have some new tools and ideas to get on track with meal prepping, share some of your meal ideas and prepping tips in the comments! I hope you guys have a great weekend!

-xo, Abby

Start Killing Your Workouts With These Fitness Tips

By Abby Bly

Follow Me on Instagram: abby_bly

 

As I was scrolling through Instagram last week, I was stopped by one of @ilanamuhlstein ‘s posts, reminding me that its REALLY only been 6 weeks since we set those New Year’s resolutions… crazy right? Now, if you’ve fallen off of your resolutions more quickly than you thought (or forgotten them all together), just know it’s never too late to get back on board! 

Remember my first blog post back in January when I talked about how fitness is on the top of everyone’s list regarding New Year’s resolutions? Well, I’m here to give you some tips for staying on track and building a routine that works best for you. If you’re having a hard time sticking to your workout plans, you might just be doing the wrong stuff! 

Finding the Right Routine

It’s important to remember that everyone is at a different stage in their fitness journey, and what one person is doing may not work for another. For instance, if you started your gym membership but absolutely hate going, you might be more successful with a different type of workout. I want to mention that when I say “you hate going to the gym”, I’m not just referring to the common struggle of being tempted to skip a workout. Sometimes I may not want to go to the gym, but I’m always happier once I get there. But, if you’re completely miserable with your gym routine, it might be worth a shot to try something new!

Fitness Classes

Fitness-Class-Screenshot

I’ve mentioned Class Pass on here before, but I would definitely recommend it to those who get bored with their fitness routine easily. They have several different memberships available- mine is $39 per month which is equal to about 3-5 classes, so you can switch up your routine every week. For a little extra $$, you can increase your number of credits & classes. They offer all different types of classes like yoga, boxing, spin, pilates, dance and more, so you’ll never get bored of your routine! 

At Home Workouts

meet-dani-munoz.jpg
I wanted to include some resources for the busy moms/students/multiple-job-workers out there, too. When I first started my fitness journey, at home workouts were my go-to! Some basic at home equipment like a yoga mat, booty resistance bands, and dumbbells will come in handy. I love @danimunozfit workout guides, and she has a great at home guide available here: AT HOME FULL BODY GUIDE. She also sells resistance bands, so be sure to check them out! 

Aligning with Your Body’s Needs

As mentioned, each person is going to have different goals & needs when it comes to body type. One thing that goes for everyone, though, is the importance of your diet. No matter how much you lift, run, or stretch, you won’t notice lasting results unless you’re fueling your body with nutrients and drinking lots of water. Maintaining a balanced diet is where most people struggle, but it’s really the most important part. Keep on the lookout for my grocery shopping list, coming next week! 

Aside from diet, it’s important to recognize your body’s needs and align your routine with your personal goals. I’ve personally always been skinny/scrawny naturally, so my routine usually involves more lifting than cardio. If your goal is to lose weight and tone up, your ratio might be a bit different, doing more cardio than lifting. If you’re unsure of what routine is best for you, you may want to consult with a personal trainer who can better help you with aligning your goals/needs. At Planet Fitness, you can get connected with a personal trainer included with your membership!

Planning Workouts and Tracking Progress

Planning your workouts will keep you more organized and motivated, and tracking your progress will allow you to notice how far you’ve come! Since we’re looking at our bodies every day, it’s sometimes hard to notice progress even when it’s right in front of us. Taking “before” photos is a great way to keep yourself motivated! I usually write down all of my meals and workout plans on Sunday’s so that I’m set up for success throughout my week.

fitness journal

I Challenge You! 

Today is the perfect day to start fresh! I challenge you to choose 1 or 2 items I’ve mentioned in this post to help you improve your health and fitness routine- start writing your next grocery list, rethink your fitness routine, or whatever feels doable and right for you! 

I hope you have an incredible, productive week ahead! Talk to you next week💖

-xo, Abby

Love Yourself a Little Extra This Valentine’s Day

By Abby Bly

Featured image from: https://www.brit.co/valentines-lollipops/ 

Follow Me on Instagram: abby_bly

tenor

Does anyone else remember being in grade school during V-day? It was fun getting to put together your cute valentine’s box.. until you didn’t find a piece of candy from your crush at the end of the parade. We’re taught from such a young age that Valentine’s Day is all about receiving recognition from someone we admire. So, we can’t blame ourselves too much for being disappointed spending February 14th alone. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love any excuse to celebrate life and love, so what better excuse than Valentine’s day? But there were times when I wish someone had told me that the best way to fall in love is to fall in love with yourself. 

Nowadays, my top priorities are working hard, reaching my goals, and taking care of myself. I’m so grateful to have my now boyfriend, who is so supportive of my dreams and accompanies me in life. But truthfully, things wouldn’t have fallen into place like they did had I spent much time focusing on my insecurities rather than my passions and self love. 

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, I have some great Valentine’s day rituals that will help you to start your journey of self love!

Valentine’s Day Self Love Guide 2019

v bath 2 
1. If you want roses, buy roses!

And this doesn’t mean just on Valentine’s day- roses carry a high vibration that can uplift your energy vibration just by having them in your space. Plus, with all of the flowers, candy, and gifts surrounding us during this time of year, why not just splurge a little on yourself? You don’t need a man to buy you these things in order for Valentines day to “count”. The gifts don’t have to be typical, either, if that’s not what you’re into. The point is to treat yourself- order takeout or cook your favorite meal, put your favorite shows and/or movies on, buy that pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. Do something that shows appreciation for yourself and makes you happy! 

2. Self Care

peachyI know self care is different for everyone, but pampering yourself is a good way to start. My routine consists of running a hot bath with some Lush products, putting on a face mask, shaving my legs, moisturizing, etc. because it’s so comforting to me. If that’s not really your style, maybe curling up in bed with a good book and some tea sounds more like your scene. Whatever calms and centers you- start there! 

As someone who’s struggled with anxiety and self image, it’s clear that self care doesn’t stop at doing a face mask or having down time. It all goes back to loving yourself, so maybe now’s the perfect time to find that therapist or life coach that you know you need, but haven’t taken the time to schedule. The other thing about Valentine’s Day is that it comes once a year, but you should set the intention to love yourself always! 

self care

3. Valentine’s Ritual

This Valentine’s Day ritual will help you set the intention of self love. I love doing stuff like this too because it keeps me inspired and motivated! I recommend the following items: 

  1. A candle
  2. 3 pieces of paper & a pen
  3. Your favorite rose quartz rose quartz
  • To start, light your candle, hold your rose quartz in your hand, and take a few moments to meditate. For beginners, meditation may last only 3-5 minutes, but may be longer for others. Meditate for as long as you can/need! Take a few deep breaths, and try to think of a few things you’re thankful for. A tip I learned from Jen Cincero is to stare at the candle flame rather than closing your eyes, if this works better for you.
  • After meditating, begin with your first sheet of paper, and write down 5 personal goals. These could be, “To love myself more”, “To take better care of my body” etc. 
  • On the second sheet of paper, write down 5 new good habits that will help you to reach each of your 5 goals. These could be, “I’m going to tell myself I look beautiful each morning before work”, “I’m going to drink 60oz of water per day”
  • On the third sheet of paper, write down 5 bad habits that you’re going to stop doing in order to reach your new goals. These could be, “I’m no longer going to say things like ‘I’m not pretty'”, “I’m not going to have soda with lunch anymore”
  • Now, take your sheet of “bad habits” and tear it up, disposing of the papers however you wish
  • Put the new goals and good habits somewhere you’ll see them each day to remind yourself 

That’s it! It’s a simple ritual, but it will help you to identify new goals, strengths, and barriers that may be standing in your way. Rose quartz is the stone of the heart, so it’s perfect to accompany you in your self love ritual this V-day. I also like having the candle simply for relaxation and aromatherapy! 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Whatever you do this Valentine’s day, make sure it involves a little self love. Happy V-day, beautiful! 

-xo, Abby

Mighty Matcha: Iced Green Tea Latte Recipe

 “Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.” -Unknown

By Abby Bly

Follow Me on Instagram: abby_bly

Processed with VSCO with 5 preset

What is Matcha?

If you’ve never experienced the joy of sipping on a creamy, iced matcha latte, then you’re in for a treat! Matcha is basically powdered green tea leaves, so think of your morning green tea bag on steroids. When mixed with hot water, matcha can be made into a high-antioxidant tea. I discovered matcha for the first time in 2018, and I’ve since decided that it’s time to replace (some of) my coffee intake with this healthy, green power drink.

Clean Caffeine 

I know it seems crazy that anything could replace your morning cup of coffee (what else is gonna keep me from falling asleep at my desk, right?), but they say that matcha has the equivalent amount caffeine as coffee (about 30-35 mg). The difference between coffee and matcha? Well, there are several things, but the most important being that matcha provides clean, long lasting energy without the jitters. This is why matcha is great for those afternoon slumps, too.

Matcha is also very detoxifying and packed with antioxidants, so it’s great for many use cases, from weight-loss to preventing that winter cold (especially this time of year).

Matcha as Pre-workout

I’ve used a couple of different kinds of pre-workout before in attempts to give myself a boost of energy before my workout. The best pre-workout I’ve found so far, is matcha! Traditional pre-workouts may give you a hit of energy, but they personally leave me feeling anxious and jittery even after my workout is over. I usually sip on my matcha in the morning, about 30 minutes before my workout, and have lasting energy that doesn’t give me anxiety. If you already struggle with anxiety like I do, I would definitely give this a try! 

Tips to Remember: 

Matcha Type: Make sure that you choose a certified organic matcha leaf lcoxeqm3toolcp43e8bg2wpowder (I’d go for one that doesn’t use any added ingredients or sugar, too). Lately I’ve been a fan of the Navitas Organics Matcha Powder.

Assembly: For those who are unfamiliar with matcha, the key to a smooth, creamy latte is to make sure that you fully dissolve the matcha powder before assembling. There’s nothing worse than getting a chunk of matcha mid-sip! Some people recommend a bamboo whisk for blending the matcha, but since I don’t have one, a fork usually does the trick. As you could probably tell by the title, I prefer my matcha over ice. If you prefer a hot drink, you can of course heat up your choice of milk before blending everything together!

Iced Green Tea Latte Recipe

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • 1 teaspoon certified organic matcha leaf powder (I use Navitas Organics Matcha Powder from Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Tbsp Honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 Cup Milk of your choice (I do half coconut + half nut protein milk)
  • Glass or jar
  • Reusable metal straws – mine are from Bed Bath and Beyond

Processed with VSCO with fr4 preset

Instructions:

  1. Add 1 tbsp matcha powder to a bowl + 1/2 cup of boiling water + your choice of sweetener (the honey melts into the hot water/matcha mixture, so I add it now). Use your fork or bamboo whisk to dissolve the matcha and honey into the water until smooth.
  2.  
  3.  

  4. Add a handful of ice and 1 cup of your choice of milk to your mason jar/glass
  5. Pour the matcha mixture into the milk, stir and enjoy!
  6.  
  7.  

That’s It!

If you’re looking to take better care of your immune system like me, matcha will be a great addition to your daily routine. Leave me a comment down below if you decide to try it for yourself! 

-xo, Abby