Tag Archives: mealfit thomas

MealFit Maple Butternut Squash

This is one of the easiest and most complimented side dishes we do. People just love it! I have this one Pharma Rep that wants it every time I do a catered lunch for him.

Ingredients:
• 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
• 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
• 3/4 tbsp. coconut oil, melted (may need more)
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 3/4 tsp salt
• black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cubed squash and toss until evenly coated.
• Spread out the squash on prepared baking sheet into a single layer. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired.
• Roast squash for 25 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip cubes over; roast for 15 to 20 minutes more (checking frequently) or until squash is tender with golden edges. Serve immediately.

You can also watch our recipe video HERE and prepare this dish alongside Thomas.

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3 Hacks to Drink More Water

Everywhere you turn, there is someone out there telling you how you must drink more water to be healthy. Well, yes, this is true—water is essential to our bodies, and most of us could use more of it each day. But no one ever tells you how to drink more water. Today, we’ll focus on how we can make a habit of consuming a healthy, optimal amount of water each day.

But first, let’s look at some fun facts about drinking water:

  • The average person could live without food for nearly a month, but we could only survive about one week without water—that’s how essential water is to human life. Some of us can’t go a day without coffee, but that’s a different story.
  • Good hydration can prevent arthritis. With plenty of water in your body, there is less friction in your joints, thus less chance of developing arthritis. 
  • Drinking enough water every day can help reduce heart disease and cancer. Water helps flush toxins out of your body, and the fewer toxins that come into contact with your colon, bladder and other organs, the less chance that critical ailments can develop. 
  • Smile! Good hydration can help reduce cavities and tooth decay. Water helps produce saliva, which keeps your mouth and teeth clean.

(Facts pulled from the Culligan Website)

Studies generally agree that you need about 100 ounces of water a day. When I tell people that, they’ll often say:

“That is so much. I have a hard time drinking that much.”

or

“I struggle to drink that much in one day.”

But now that we’re a little more knowledgeable about our water consumption and we have gotten all of the excuses out in the open, let’s take a look at how we can consume more water throughout our day:

 

1. Find A Cup That Is Easy to Drink Out Of

This may seem ridiculous, but it’s true. If something is hard to do, human nature will have us avoiding it simply because it’s hard. After all, one of the largest avenues of business in the world is convenience. People will pay a lot of money for things to make their lives easier. For example:

  • The drive thru at a restaurant
  • Smartphones
  • Dishwashers
  • GPS
  • E-books
  • Amazon

Everything listed above exists because someone wanted to make tasks easier and convenient for consumers. So we ought to take a page out of their books and make water consumption easier for ourselves. Find a cup that is easy to drink out of – like what? You’ll want a cup that:

  • Feels good in your hand.
  • Isn’t too big and isn’t too small.
  • Has a drinking hole at the right size

This might sound silly, but everyone has a favorite cup. Why? Because it is easy to drink out of! For example, Nalgene water bottles are super cool looking, real trendy, and virtually unbreakable—but you may have to stop and concentrate when you are drinking from the bottle if you don’t have a splash guard. For me, the hole is too small to drink like a normal water bottle. Therefore, I personally don’t drink from a Nalgene bottle—it’s just not easy to.

I love drinking out of a straw; it makes it easier for me to drink. When I go to a restaurant or get a to-go cup, I always put a straw in because I know it will help me consume more water. The bottom line? Find what is comfortable to hold and easy to drink out of and you will find yourself drinking more. It’s simple.

2. Drink Water At Room Temperature

 Many people feel like you have to drink ice water. On a hot day, cold water is satisfying, for sure, but many times it’s more difficult to drink cold water because of brain freeze or sensitive teeth. I have found that drinking water that is room temperature causes me to drink more. Not sure what it is – no real science here, I just know that it works!

Next time you buy a case of water, put some in the fridge and leave some out on the counter or in the pantry. I guarantee you will drink more of the room temperature stuff.

3. Add Some Lemon

 One of the big complaints from people about drinking more water is that is has no taste and they get tired of it. I get that. Next time you get tired of water and don’t think you can drink another drop, add half of a lemon or lime to it. This gives water a little bit of flavor, and will satisfy that hankering for something different. Lemon water also has some great health benefits as well, like aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, and more.

So if a regular old glass water is getting a little bit boring to you, just squeeze in some lemon to break up the monotonous taste that sometimes comes with it.

 

These three reasons may seem silly or trivial when you read them, but I dare you to implement one or all into your daily routine. After all, they seem so trivial because they’re dead-simple strategies that you can’t afford not to try. I guarantee you will drink more, and your body will thank you for it!

 

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili

Indulge yourself in a bowl of spicy chili that is full of beef and sweet potatoes. It’s thick, rich, and slightly sweet while being grain free, sugar free and dairy free. If you’re looking for a low sugar, healthy option, you won’t be disappointed with this recipe!

We’ve done this as one of our mealfit Ready meals and got amazing reviews!

Prep Time: 13-17 min

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
• 2 lbs ground beef
• 1 red onion, chopped
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• 1 large can (29.5 oz.) tomato sauce
• 2 cups petite diced tomatoes, with juice
• 3 cups beef stock
• 3 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
• 5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2 bay leaves
• ½ tsp. thyme
• 2 tsp. salt
• 1½ tsp. black pepper
• ½ cup chili powder
• Dash of oregano
• Dash of red pepper flakes

Instructions:
• In a large saucepan, brown ground beef, onions and garlic. Drain off the fat.
• Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Mix well, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked through.

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Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

Here is something that you are going to love!

Cilantro lime Vinaigrette

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This is hands down the most favorite dressing we do when it comes up at the salad bar.

It has a little twist that makes it  so good. This is a perfect dressing to go with Fiesta Chicken Salad we talked about not too long ago

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This is a great dressing to go on fajitas or anything with that Hispanic flair. It is super easy and something that you will want to make again and again!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2/3 c. cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 c. light olive oil do not use extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt 

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a food processor or blender and  blend together until the garlic is well chopped and ingredients have emulsified.
  • Refrigerate

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You know we love to know what you think of our recipes! Please share the pictures of your favorite way to use this awesome Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette and be sure to tag us @mealfit and #mealfit

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South American Ridiculous Beef with Hot Slaw

South American Ridiculous Beef with Hot Slaw
South American Ridiculous Beef with Hot Slaw

South American Ridiculous Beef with Hot Slaw. Both are amazing. I have requests by friends of mine when we have get togethers for me to make both of these.

You must try this at home. Let me know how this turns out for you guys.

Prep Time: 20 min

Serves: 6

Ingredients
• 2 lbs. skirt steak, sliced thin (or sirloin steak)
• 1 lb. bacon
• 3 large onions
• ¼ c. water
• 3 bell peppers sliced (mix of colors)
• 1 jalapeno (optional)
• 10 oz. chorizo
• 1 ½ tsp. salt
• 1 ½ tsp. Tony Chachere’s seasoning

Marinade:
• ¼ c. lime juice
• ¼ c. water
• 1 tsp. salt
• Cilantro (optional)

Slaw:
• 8 slices of bacon
• 2 bags of coleslaw mix
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. butter or coconut oil

Instructions
• Marinate the steak. (Overnight is best)
• Preheat oven to 250.
• Heat a skillet to medium high, brown steak and place in an oven-safe dish.
• Reduce the skillet heat to medium/medium low and cook the bacon. Reserve the bacon grease in a bowl and place the bacon in the same dish as steak.
• Raise the skillet heat to medium high and add back 3 tablespoons of bacon fat and sauté the onions, chorizo and peppers to skillet and cook together until the peppers are tender.
• Add the mixture to the meat dish and add the salt and Tony’s.
• Thoroughly mix the ingredients and allow it to sit in the oven COVERED for one hour on 250. (if you let it go longer it is fine. Cover with tin foil if your dish does not have a lid.

Slaw:
• Fry the bacon and set aside.
• While the bacon grease is still hot, toss in the slaw and mix until wilted.
• Add the salt about half way through.
• Add the extra coconut oil if needed.

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Crockpot BBQ Bacon Apple Chicken with Spring Veggies

Here is a recipe that will be a fast favorite at your house. This is a super simple crockpot recipe that will save you tons of time and is packed with flavor.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 

Side

  • 1 tsp of Butter or Coconut oil
  • 1 small pkg of White mushrooms
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • 2 Bell peppers seeded and diced
  • 1 Zucchini Diced
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbsp Sliced Fresh basil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

 

Instructions

  • Wrap each piece of chicken in 2 pieces of bacon and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Mix grated apple and barbecue sauce and pour over the chicken.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until completely cooked. Can also cook on high for 2-3 hours.
  • Wrap 2 bacon slices around each chicken breast and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with tomato mixture.
  • Turn crockpot on low and cook 6-8 hours.

Side

  • Heat a large Skillet and add the oil or butter when hot
  • Add mushrooms and Garlic and stir until soft, (about 5-6 min)
  • Add pepper and zucchini and cook until veggies are slightly soft.
  • Remove from heat and add lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

Please let us know how much you love this dish by sharing your photos on social media… Don’t forget to tag us #mealfit @mealfit

 

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Homemade Pesto

Homemade pesto is 1,000 times better than the store bought stuff. Check out the MealFit recipe for homemade Pesto below. Every one loved this at MealFit ready, and it is best Pesto you will ever eat. Now you can make it at home for your family! Here is a simple recipe. Note that pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients at hand. So adjust the ingredients to your taste.You may add cheese and peppers to the top for garnishment, like the one below.

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Pesto

  • ¾ c. FRESH Basil
  • 3 tbsp of Pine Nuts
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ¾ tsp Lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor
  • When combined, slowly add in Olive Oil.
  • Enjoy!

Please let us know how much you love this pesto by commenting below and share the pictures of your dishes with us on social media… be sure to tag us #mealfit and @mealfit

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Homemade

 

 

 

What it Takes to TRULY become a Garage Gym Athlete

Welcome to the three-part series on becoming a Garage Gym Athlete!!

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This is Part 3 of a 3-part series:

It is time to become a switch flipper, a decision maker and a full fledged Garage Gym Athlete. How do we do that?

Perseverance.

What does that word mean to you?

What have your persevered?

To most, perseverance is something  that is thrust upon you. You continue on, despite a difficult time because you have no other choice. There is no doubt you have persevered something, but what about intentionally practicing perseverance?

What if you were to treat perseverance as a skill?

You can train your perseverance, it can be honed and it can get stronger, just as if you were to train a muscle. Just as muscles will atrophy without proper use, so will your willpower, or your perseverance.

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To be a determined person is nothing without the right behavior. Without acting in a certain way, your will will not be tested. Luckily, for us, working out is an excellent test of your willpower, especially if you are alone in a garage. It can be small pushes here and there. Going for those two extra reps, two more seconds, and two more minutes all test your will.

You may workout regularly, but do you test your will in the process?

Here are TWO ways you can practice perseverance and willpower and truly become a Garage Gym Athlete!

Two Ways to Increase your Willpower

1.) Working out – The APA (American Psychological Association) says, while scientists are not 100% certain on the “why”, they do know that working out leads to similar changes in the brain as mediation, especially the prefrontal cortex. Regular exercise – both intense training and mindful exercise like yoga — also makes the body and brain more resilient to stress, which is a great boost to willpower. The scientists don’t know why…but if I brought them to my garage for a training session they would understand why exercise can test willpower (and improve it) in a significant manner.

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2.) Doing What You Don’t Want to Do – This one is not backed by science, rather from experience. I try to do one thing that pushes me mentally each day, something I don’t want to do. For me, it’s normally a cold shower. Some mornings after working out in the cold I just don’t want to take a cold shower. I’ll even start with hot and be like…man I really just don’t want to make this water cold. Anytime I feel like I really don’t want to, it’s almost as if I’ve trained my hand to adjust the knob before I can finish the thought. Doing this day after day has increased my ability to do things I just don’t want to do. It’s made me better.

It’s not the short term PRs, that ONE morning you woke up early or that ONE healthy meal that will make you successful at being a Garage Gym Athlete.

You have to keep after it, day after day, and year after year. Only then, when you learn how to grind for the long haul, will you see every bit of success you were looking for!

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And that’s what it takes to be a Garage Gym Athlete!!

About the Author: Jerred Moon

Jerred is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and creator of End of Three Fitness which specializes in simple, effective barbell-centric fitness for the other guy. He is also the author of “The Garage Gym Athlete” which will be released on May 2. To learn more about Garage Gym Athlete, you can go here.

How to Start a Cheap Garage Gym?

Welcome to the three-part series on becoming a Garage Gym Athlete!!

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This is Part 2 of a 3-part series:

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

-Benjamin Franklin

I don’t have enough time…

I don’t have enough money…

I don’t have the equipment…

I’m REALLY busy…

Welcome to the world. No more excuses, only solutions.

When I was in college a mentor of mine would always express how he hated it when people would present him with or tell him about a problem. He said, if you tell me about a problem, you are just complaining. There are two other options:

Option #1: Present the problem and give two possible solutions.

Option #2: See the problem, fix the problem and don’t tell anyone about it.

That’s always stuck with me. And it’s part of why I think there are no limitations in training with minimal equipment. You just have to get creative with your solutions.

This mindset is just as important in life as it is in training, and garage gyms.

So no more excuses, only solutions! Let’s make a garage gym!

A Garage Gym for Less than $500

First, you are going to need to find the core to your garage gym and that will be a barbell and some plates.

You can find cheap package deals at sporting good stores for just $220, which comes with a barbell and 300 lb of weight. Keep in mind, this is not the highest quality barbell, but when you are trying to cut costs, some sacrifices need to be made!

Plyo Box ($20)

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The first project is a plyometric box. One sheet of plywood, six cuts to suit the size you need, some glue, and screws and you are done! A plyometric box can be used for box jumps, dips, step-ups, box squats, and any other creative exercise you can think of. It is a very quick and easy project. It will only cost about $20, take you about 30 minutes, and is not very difficult to complete. Click here for the full tutorial.

 

Power Rack ($100)gym3

The second project is a little more difficult and time consuming: a power rack. However, if you build this project, and take care of it, it will last a long time and give you a great training capability. You will be able to squat with safety bars and make use of a pull-up bar. You can make any modification you like to suit your needs. If this project is too advanced for you, I recommend some cement buckets and 4x4s — you can find that project here. For the full power rack project, check out the instructions here.

Wall Ball ($12)

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The third project is very quick and easy: a medicine ball. Just cut open a basketball, fill it with pool salt (not sand) and patch it up. Now you have a medicine ball! A medicine ball is great for wall ball shots (squatting with and throwing to a target 10 feet away), weighted sit-ups, medicine ball cleans, and many other exercises. It is a must when starting a garage gym, and you can check out the full instructions here.

Parallettes ($35)

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The fourth project is also quick and easy: parallettes. Parallettes are great for deficit push-ups, L-sits, dips, pass throughs, and many other exercises. This project just takes a few cuts of PVC, some PVC cement, and you are good to go. Very easy and a great addition to a garage gym — you can check out that project here.

And BOOM!!

We just spent $387 and we can do a lot of damage in the Garage Gym!!

You could take that extra cash and try and upgrade that barbell 🙂

These projects are just the start, but with a solid foundation and these few items, you will have enough equipment to have a very simple and effective garage gym. As you become more experienced and learn more about how you operate in a garage gym you can slowly expand your DIY arsenal or purchase the additional items you need.

As with any do-it-yourself project, unfamiliarity with the tools and process can be dangerous. If you are at all uncomfortable or inexperienced working on DIY projects (especially projects involving dangerous tools), please reconsider doing the job yourself. It is very possible on any DIY to damage your property, create a hazardous condition, or harm yourself or others. Be careful!

Now, get after it!

About the Author: Jerred Moon

Jerred is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and creator of End of Three Fitness which specializes in simple, effective barbell-centric fitness for the other guy. He is also the author of “The Garage Gym Athlete” which will be released on May 2. To learn more about Garage Gym Athlete, you can go here.

 

 


7 Reasons Why You SHOULD have a Garage Gym

Have you ever thought about creating a gym space in your house?

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Check out what Jarred Moon from End of Three Fitness has to say about creating a garage gym.

Let me start by saying, everyone can and should have some sort of garage gym setup!

Why?

Well, occasionally life gets in the way, and having a garage gym can help you stay on track. But there are a lot more reasons than that, and you probably have some questions/concerns, like…

  • It’s too expensive…
  • Maybe you think your performance will suffer without a coach…
  • Perhaps you are afraid to lose your gym community…

Well, I can tell you it’s not too expensive, becoming your own programmer is pretty easy (if you work at it), and you can still be a part of your gym community!

On top of that, you get…

  • Freedom of your time (workout on YOUR schedule)…
  • Freedom of your money (cut monthly fees)…
  • Freedom to do whatever the heck you want (programming)…

Then, after you become a Garage Gym Athlete, and you want to get a little more serious there is always stuff out there like:

  • Online coaching (for a fraction of gym fees)
  • Free/paid resources and programs
  • And AWESOME technology to improve athletes (coaches eye, etc.)

Becoming a Garage Gym Athlete is AWESOME, but let’s talk about some reasons you SHOULD have a garage gym…perhaps a few reasons you haven’t even thought about.

Let’s get right to it!

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1.) Holidays – If your family is like mine, the holidays can be crazy. Even if your gym is open, it is going to be hard to make it in with all the meals, events, etc. That is one of the main reasons I think everyone should have at least a few pieces of equipment at home, or in the garage.

 

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2.) Kids/Family – Fitness is important. Having a garage gym can really help you emphasize the importance of fitness in your life to others. For your family and friends, maybe it helps them get in shape, too. For your kids, maybe it provides a lasting influence on them; it lets them know fitness is important and not optional!

 

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3.) It’s cheap! – If you aren’t afraid of a couple DIY projects you can have a very effective garage gym for very little cash.

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4.) Commuting is for the birds – You spend enough time sitting each day! Why add to it with more…SITTING! Commuting is wasted time, wasted money, and something that takes away from your health.

 

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5.) Your Garage…Your Rules – When you become a garage gym athlete, you are in charge of your programming! Want to get stronger, do it! Want to get faster, do it! Don’t sit around and wait/hope for someone to program what you want.

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6.) More Time – If you go to a “Globo Gym”, you are wasting precious time. You have the commute, which we talked about (5-20+ minutes), the check-in-put-my-stuff-away-and-get-to-the-exercise-equipment dance (10 minutes), waiting-on-randoms-doing-the-exercise-wrong showdown (10 minutes), the hi-I-see-my-neighbor convo (5 minutes)…do some of that in reverse and we are at over an hour…without factoring in the workout!! Get a garage gym and save your time!

 

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7.) It Saves You Money – Yes, you can build a garage gym for cheap, but where the real beauty is not in what it costs you, but what it SAVES you. You can cut on monthly membership fees, which add up A LOT over the years, your healthy lifestyle will help cut insurance costs, and the list goes on and on. There is a lot to a garage gym, but what it saves you may be the biggest!

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We hope you this has given you some great reasons to start planning you garage gym! Click here for more great articles and tips like this!