05 Feb

Meal Planning for Improved Health & Weight Loss

wellness by sandra meal planning

At the beginning of every year, people across the nation resolve to do new things to create a new “them” in the new year. By this time, most have already given up on their resolutions be it to lose weight, work out more, or eat healthily.

I too have been one of those people…in the past. Every year, I’d make new years resolutions to lose weight, only to give up at the beginning of the process.

I think the problem was I didn’t have a solid enough plan in place to reach my goals. I also didn’t have help…until now.

At the end of last year, I started working out at a new gym. I signed up for personal fitness training. That was the first step but everybody knows that 90% of changing your body is how you eat. So, now I’m under the care of a nutritionist.

The first thing my nutritionist did was evaluate my eating habits and the foods I crave. She then wrote up a meal plan for me that would allow me one cheat day. With the plan, I will consume about 1650 calories a day. This gives me plenty of energy for my work outs as opposed to the regular 1200 calories that diets tend to put people on.

It’s been 2 weeks since I started the meal plan and I have to admit, it wasn’t easy to acclimate to. My first 3 days I had a horrible headache. That’s because I had to cut out added sugars from my diet. When I tell you my body felt like it was detoxing from drugs, that’s an understatement. On day 1 I caved and ate cookies. On day 2 I had a late night snack that I shouldn’t have. By day 3 I stuck to the plan to the letter.

The key with any weight loss plan is to follow it most of the time. My nutritionist said, “You can cheat once a week and lose weight. If you cheat twice, you’ll gain.” I think that’s ingrained my thinking now.

I really want to lose weight but more importantly, I just want to be healthy. So, my meal plan summarized is as follows:

  • Eat at set intervals each day
  • No more than 1 carb per meal
  • No carb loading
  • 3 meals per day,  3 snacks between the meals
  • No dairy (except on a cheat day)
  • No to little processed foods
  • No added sugars

Some of the foods/snacks I eat:

  • Eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, 6 ounces. Beef, 3-4 ounces
  • 1 cup of Whole grains (rice, oatmeal, pasta), quinoa)
  • Beans (If eaten with other grains, only 1/2 a cup of each)
  • Vegetables 2-3x a day
  • Sweet potatoes and red potatoes
  • Apple butter on my sandwiches, in oatmeal etc.
  • Agave to sweeten (no more than 1 tbsp)
  • Fruit – no more than 1 in a smoothie
  • Original almond milk – no more than 1/2 cup
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes (1 cup max)
  • Snacks: Think Thin, KIND granola, nuts, fruit, low sugar oatmeal packets

NOTE: My meal plan was created specifically for my body and what I need. For someone else, it could make them gain weight. There’s also more to the plan that I didn’t include but If you are interested in finding  out more about my nutritionist and getting your own meal plan, please visit http://wellnessbysandra.com. She also has amazing recipes :-)


03 May

Getting Healthy With The NutriBullet

green smoothie


A self professed sugar-holic, I never thought I’d go days without some cookies, cake or candy but it’s becoming easier by the day. In addition to that, I used to get joint pains (inflammation) whenever I’d OD on sugar. No more.

On Fridays, I usually share a product review or Finance related post but it’s been a while since we’ve chatted on the topic of Fitness  and it’s equally important, if not more so.

Benefits of The NutriBullet

About a month and a half ago, I purchased the NutriBullet. I am beyond pleased with how much of an asset this little blender/extractor/juicer has become in my life.  Initially, I  purchased it so I could get the nutrients into my son who has special needs. He doesn’t really eat fruit so I figured this would make it easy for him.

While my CJ drinks a green smoothie several days a week, little did I know I’d become hooked on them! The way these green smoothies are changing me is amazing:

  • less sugar cravings
  • increase in alertness
  • joint pain has subsided

Green Smoothie Recipes

green smoothie

I have a green smoothie 5-6 mornings a week. Initially, I made the green smoothies exactly the way the NutriBullet  instructions called for: 1/2 greens, 1/2 fruit and water + bonus boost. Now, that I’m a vet :-), I make my smoothies with a little more oomph to them. Here are some of my combinations:


  • Kale
  • Water
  • Flax seed meal
  • Pear, Strawberry, Banana


  • Butter Lettuce
  • Coconut Water
  • Apple, Banana, Pineapple
  • Chia seed


  • Spring Greens
  • Mango, Strawberry, Banana
  • Almond or coconut milk

Drinking green smoothies that are made with the NutriBullet is revolutionary for me. The way my taste buds are changing is amazing. While I’ve struggled with sugar cravings for as long as I can remember, my inner man is finally starting to win.

Food addictions are real. Some people laugh when I say I can’t have just a little cookie or cake or I”ll spiral out of control. It’s like giving an addict crack and saying, “You can have just a little.” It’s really not a laughing matter.

Go Vegan Challenge

Two days ago I also started a Go Vegan challenge. The goal is to re-train my body to love whole live foods. While, I doubt I’ll remain vegan (too in love with chicken and turkey) I’m interested to see how my body will react without dairy and meat. Stay tuned for that!


brown beauty gal


28 Dec

I’m Back! Fitness and Fun Day 4

getting fit

With the Christmas holiday behind me and also finally feeling better after being sick for almost 2 weeks, I’m ready to resume the 30 Days of Fitness and Fun.

If you’re like me, you may have indulged just a wee bit much at Christmas dinner. Don’t let that throw you off indefinitely. It’s time to get back to it!

The Bonus Workout

In true form, I get VERY distracted when doing the same exercises again and again. However, I know how important it is to Keep Pressing Play.
Therefore, rather than do the same exercises from Slim in 6 Start It Up, I decided to try the 30 minute Bonus Workout, Core Cardio Express.

First, let me say I don’t know where she gets Express from LOL This became a bit challenging for me (having loose abs and all).

The exercises focused on providing you with continuous cardio while simultaneously working the top abs, lower abs and obliques. Some of the exercises included:

As you can see, there’s huge concentration on each part of the abs. There’s a lot of repetition with these exercises but I can say I am thrilled that I was wallowing in a pool of my own sweat by the end!

Yes, ladies and gents…sweating for me is fun LOL. It’s just that I feel like I have actually worked when I sweat. When I don’t break a sweat, I feel like I haven’t worked hard enough.

In a few days I’ll share me working out to this Bonus Workout because I think seeing it in action is not only motivating but it gives you a better idea of what areas of the abs are being worked vs. seeing it in pics.

What exercises have you been focusing on to get/stay fit and still have fun?

brown beauty gal