Categories
Recipes

Turkey Meatloaf

Full of flavour and healthy goodness this meat loaf is the bomb! A couple years ago I bought these little bread pans from home sense and I love using them for little banana breads or meatloafs. They are great for portioning things and they’re just super cute.

My cute little pans

So anyway, you can make this meatloaf into one pan but you may need to cook it just a little bit longer.

As a kid I used to hear the word meatloaf and immediately think “gross”. It is kind of a gross word anyway, “loaf” lol. But as an adult because I pretty much live in the kitchen of course I’m going to try and make a delicious version of this “loaf.”

Of course I use ground turkey because on a rare occasion do I ever use beef. It’s healthier and it’s just my preference now. I find turkey great to work with as it is more moist than beef so you don’t need a lot of extra add ons.

I wanted to try a fill this recipe with a lot of great vegetables for more volume, moisture, and flavour. It definitely worked very well. The mushrooms in it just give it that extra moisture and health benefits as well.

I cannot rave about the macros more. Packed FULL of protein with little carbs and fat. One serving is only a little more than 200 calories so you can’t go wrong there. Hell you could even eat two at a time which is what I’ll probably do…

I use a ton of spices and am generous with the salt as well to bring out all the flavour. Aside from grating a few vegetables it is a really easy dish as well and great to prepare ahead of time as it does take a little while to cook.

So here it is! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Serves 4

Cals per serving 213

Carbs 15g

Fat 6g

Protein 25g

1 package or 400g ground turkey

2 large carrots grated

1 small onion grated

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

150g mushrooms chopped up finely

4 tbsp worsht

½ cup large flake oats

¼ cup egg whites

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients mixing really well. Best to use hands to massage everything together. Grease 4 small bread pans or 1 big bread pan. Divide mixture into each small bread pan or press all into the big pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let sit for ten minutes before taking out of the pan or slicing.

Serve with some steamed vegetables or rice and you got yourself a great meal!

Enjoy!

Categories
Recipes

Eggplant Parmesan

I made this dish last year around Christmas time. I don’t know, it just felt super festive to me. It’s also a very healthy meal that can be mixed in when all you’ve been eating are big massive meals.

Just like the zucchini when using eggplant it’s best to salt it and let the water draw out before cooking with it. For the eggplant this also takes the bitterness away.

It’s a very different texture but when cooked just right is very pleasant and so tasty with the cheese and sauce. This dish would be paired great with a big caesar salad.

The best thing about this dish is it’s lower in calories than your average chicken parm so you can eat MORE! Between me and my guy we can crush the entire pan so you can always double the recipe if feeding a family or more than two people.

Serves 2

Calories per serving 349

Fat 14g

Carbs 40g

Protein 20g

Ingredients:

1 medium egg plant or 2 small

1 egg

½ cup whole wheat panko

¼ cup parm

Salt

1 cup marinara sauce

1 tbsp oregano

½ lemon

Mozzarella cheese to top (about ½ cup)

Slice eggplant into thick round patties. Salt one side and let sit for ten minutes, pat dry. Do the same for the other side.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix crumbs and parm in one dish then beat egg in another. Dip eggplant in egg then in crumb parm mixture. Repeat until all coated and lined up in a pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, flip, then bake for another 15. Pour marinara sauce on top with cheese on that then bake for another 3-5 minutes. Top with oregano and a squeeze of lemon.

Let cool a little before slicing.

Enjoy!

Categories
Recipes

Black Bean Burgers

Vegetarian food and meals have been all the rage lately. Although I am not a vegetarian myself I do like to experiment with plant based proteins and vegetarian dishes. A while back I made everyday of the week designated to a type of meal and started to do meatless Mondays. This burger came from that inspiration.

It is important to get a variety of different protein sources and plant based protein has been shown to have great health benefits. It is for sure more heart healthy than high fat meats. It also brings a new variety of amino acids which are essential to our diet.

Vegan and vegetarian dishes can be super tasty with lot’s of different flavours and textures. We can agree though it can be a lot more work. Especially when doing meal prep. I found my black bean burger recipe to be quite simple and easy to make using a food processor for most of the grunt work.

It took me a few tries to get this recipe just right as it’s all in the binding! (Getting the dang things to stick together and not crumble). I finally nailed it and feel confident in this recipe which is also delicious by the way.

I especially like to do a lettuce bun for these as I find with many vegetarian or vegan burgers it’s nice to have the crunch from the lettuce. Use as a meal with some sides or meal prep for lunches!

Makes about 10 patties

Calories per patty 105

Carbs 20g

Fat 1g

Protein 5g

1 can black beans (540mls) rinsed

1 cup whole wheat panko crumbs

1 Reb bell pepper

1 onion

2-3 cloves garlic

1 egg

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp sriracha

2 tsp salt

Roughly chop pepper, onion, and garlic and throw into food processor until achieved a pasty texture and transfer mixture to a bowl.

Next put black beans into food processor and blend until also pasty.

Mix all ingredients together in same bowl until combined well. Shape into 9 or 10 patties. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Bake @400 for 15 minutes. Flip then bake for another 15.

Serve with lettuce bun/wrap.

Enjoy!

Categories
Recipes

Zucchini Lasagna

I’ve been making this lasagna with zucchini instead of noodles for years! I’ve perfected it over the years and it will always be my go to for lasagna. I know it’s a great dish when even my picky boyfriend is obsessed with it to haha.

I love the zucchini noodles so much more than regular noodles not just because they’re healthier but because they just give the whole dish that much more flavour. The zucchini literally soaks up all the spices and marinates in all the juiciness.

What has happened in the past with this dish is it became very watery because not enough water was taken out of the zucchini before layered into the pan. So the step to removing water from the zucchini is VERY important.

It usually needs to sit after being baked to thicken up a bit more as well. It is a bit of work but can also be made in steps so your not spending hours in the kitchen. For example you can prep the meat filling part before hand, another time you can prep the zucchini, or you can cook and assemble all parts then throw it into the fridge or freezer to bake another time.

Usually make this a couple times a year, a great dish to have around the holidays as it’s a healthier meal that’s lower in carbohydrates so you can enjoy your carb loaded dessert a little more!


Serves 8

(Nutritional values may vary based on choice of cheese)

Cals per serving 280

Carbs 10g

Fat 16g

Protein 24g

1 package of lean ground turkey

½ onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 tsp olive oil

28oz can crushed tomatoes (DRAINED very important step)

2 tbsp dried basil or handful of chopped fresh basil

3 medium zucchini

Choice of (15 oz ricotta, 15 oz cottage cheese, or 8 oz goat cheese)

16 oz mozza cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese

1 large egg

Zucchini Prep:

Cut zucchini ends off. Prop zucchini up and slice length wise into thin strips. Place zucchini all out flat side by side on a sheet with a dish towel underneath. Salt zucchini and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Flip and salt the other side and leave for another 10-20 minutes. Pat all zucchini dry on both sides with paper towels.

Meat Filling:

Brown turkey in pan with olive oil. Salt turkey. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion softened, salt again. Add drained tomatoes and basil. Salt and pepper this time. Simmer on low for 30-40 minutes covered.

Soft cheese layer:

Put your choice of ricotta, cottage cheese, or goat cheese into a bowl. Crack an egg in their with your parm and mix well.

Layering:

In a flat rectangle baking dish layer some sauce on the bottom. Add layer of zucchini slices. Then soft cheese and egg mixture layer. Then add a layer of shredded mozza cheese. Create one more layer of the same thing.

First Layer

Bake @375 degrees for 45 minutes covered. Then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.

Hot and Bubbly

Let sit before slicing!

Enjoy!

Categories
Hard truths

A Swift Kick in the Ass!

We often see people with new inspirations. New dreams and new goals. It’s exciting, it’s positive, and you only wish for their success. Then for some reason shit hits the fan and you see the light slowly start to dim on their once bright new goals. Dreams come crashing down. And it’s back to what always has been…

It is our excuses that constantly hold us back. Maybe it was a long vacation of “fuck it mode”, maybe it was a tragic event in your life, maybe it was a long exhausting stretch of shifts at work. Whatever that reason may be it is important to start being bigger than our excuses. No matter what!

If your going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. That’s all it comes down to. If you REALLY want to make a positive change, better yourself, or grow as a person you have to come back to today and back to the present moment.

The majority of us I find are either stuck in the past or fretting about the future. “Well I can’t do this because this happened to me” or “I’m going to be too busy taking care of this to do that”. But what about right now? What are you actually doing right now other than talking? 

I know it sounds rather harsh but our only way to come back to our goals is to stop talking and start doing… You have to come back to your goals and back to your dreams! The only way to get there is to ditch the excuses that are holding you back.

But if you’re 100% happy with you and what you’re doing for yourself right now, then great. Give yourself some recognition, be proud of yourself and SPREAD that positive self energy around and let people know YOU love YOU, and that you have worked hard and are a proud person so they have permission to succeed and love themselves. 

But if you aren’t happy or even have a seed of doubt in who you are becoming and feel negatively about your accomplishments then you need to stop talking and DO. Just take it one day at a time. Don’t be thinking about tomorrow. Don’t be thinking about one month from now UNLESS it’s going to motivate you to get at er. 

We all have the opportunity to work towards our goals and be the best we can be every single day. So what are you going to do TODAY, in this very moment to achieve, feel better about yourself, and grow as a person? Forget about how much you fucked up yesterday. Forget about all the mistakes you’re going to make moving forward because YOU will fuck up again that’s a guarantee. 

But how you are going to come back to you and your dreams is all that really honestly matters. Being resilient is coming back from your mishaps. Shaking it off. Finding new motivation. Asking yourself why and fighting for that why.

Now get back in the moment and go kill it, I know you can!

Frecklefit

Categories
Life Hacks

How to Safely Lose Weight 101

1) First thing you must do is come up with a plan that you feel you can stick to because CONSISTENCY is #1!!! Yes you can make a plan to lose weight very quickly but if you do not stick to that plan long term or do not progress you WILL 100% gain it back and sometimes more. So your plan must be sustainable and YOU must be accountable in staying consistent.

When deciding on a plan just ask yourself, would I be able to do this forever? This might mean creating a few healthier habits. When something becomes a habit then it’s easier to adhere too but you have to find a way, first to grind it out until the habit is in place. 

How do you create a habit? Repetition, repetition, repetition. Just keep going. Just do it. Tell yourself it will be worth it in the long term because IT WILL.

2)Drink more water! You NEED to drink half your body weight in ounces per day MINIMUM. More if you’re exercising or sweating. One of many things water is important for is thermoregulation. Thermoregulation plays a big role in weight loss so drinking more water is SO very important. Just do it. Find a way. I know you can.

3) Exercise alone is not enough to lose weight and keep it off. Nutrition plays an even bigger factor. In order to lose weight you must balance energy expenditure and energy consumed

Energy Expenditure is the energy we burn off in a day. If we burn off more than we consume we lose weight.

Energy consumed is what we eat to provide our body with energy. If we consistently eat more than we burn off we store weight or “fat”.


Plain and Simple.

Manipulating energy expenditure:

There are four components to increase energy expenditure therefore if your goal is to lose weight you have to increase one of the four categories in which energy is expended.

  1. Increase lean body mass – through resistance training (lifting weights)  you can increase muscle mass which in turn increases your metabolism burning more calories at rest.
  2. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – which is all the activity or movement you do in a day that isn’t exercise such as work, clean the house, chew, stand up and sit down, grab the remote, walk from car to the grocery store… you get the picture. 
  3. Thermogenetic Food – Eating foods higher in protein and fibre. Protein and Fibre take longer and are more complex to digest in the body which in turn burn more calories and help you to feel more full. Protein aids in building muscle and used for many other functions in the body therefore is not EASILY stored as fat if over consumed (but can in excess). 
  4. Exercise

Manipulating energy consumed:

  1. Track what your eating or atleast become more AWARE of the calorie content in what your consuming.
  2. Choose foods that are lower in calories.
  3. Increased fibre which has lower calorie content but simultaneously makes you feel fuller so you eat less.
  4. If it fits your lifestyle well, consider intermittent fasting as it lessens the amount of hours in the day you eat causing you to eat less (although be aware of  the risks of binge eating)
  5. Chew gum, brush teeth, stay hydrated (sometimes we think we’re hungry because our mouths are dry or we are dehydrated)
  6. Find a herbal tea you like plain (no sugar or milk) 
  7. Utilize calorie free sweeteners such as stevia
  8. Stay busy!! (I don’t know about you but I eat when I’m bored and so do most people)

So to sum all this up in order to lose weight put plain and simple:

1-Don’t try to erratically change but plan a lifestyle you could adhere to forever. This will keep you consistent.

2-Stay Hydrated

3-Manipulate energy expenditure by building muscle, increase daily movements, eat foods higher in protein and fibre, and/or exercise. 

4-Eat less by becoming self aware of what you are consuming in a day.

And lastly BE PATIENT! Significant weight loss will not happen over night, might not happen over the next week, might not happen over the next month. But if you are PATIENT and CONSISTENT it WILL happen!

You GOT this!

Frecklefit

Categories
Hard truths

Get Uncomfortable

Work has been so mentally challenging for me lately. Being a nurse is really really hard sometimes. I find in my job and especially lately I have had to make so many decisions, and not easy ones. I have always been a bit indecisive which makes it more challenging for me. I am finding every single person or patient and situation that has walked in is so unique and individualized that my decisions always have to be based off of clinical judgement, assessments, and common sense. No two situations are exactly the same for everyone so I am just constantly assessing, constantly learning, and constantly questioning what IS the right thing to do?

It’s been a whole year that I have been on this unit and to say I go into work 100% confident and comfortable would be an absolute lie. I am starting to realize that I will NEVER be comfortable… I also feel like no matter WHERE I go with this career I will not ever feel comfortable. And I will always be TERRIFIED to make a mistake. But is this such a bad thing?

It’s not only through work that I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In my hobbies, in my relationships, and in day to day activities. The very photoshoot I did for this website WOAH. I’ve never been so nervously uncomfortable getting my photos done before and especially half naked for some haha.

But being comfortable can make you complacent, make things a little boring, and frankly will probably increase your odds of making mistakes or bad decisions because you may become a little more careless. What I am learning more about myself is that I care a whole lot.

I care so much about everything. I have such a huge drive to do the best that I can do. So when things don’t go the way I had thought I get in that uncomfortable place that sometimes feels like self doubt.

I still feel at times that this is a curse or a bad thing. I often feel these heavy feelings of fear weigh me down. I hate not feeling 100% confident or comfortable and sure of myself, to the point that it can really get me feeling down.

Sometimes when I feel this way I try to talk myself out of it or push the feelings deep down and away because I will develop a poor mindset that these fear feelings are not acceptable. I then sometimes get an urge to find my comfort zone again.

But the truth is you cannot deny yourself of your own feelings and you have to get back to uncomfortable again. Being out of your comfort zone will always bring up feelings and they are there for a reason. Your feelings are what make up your personality and they come from your inner being. They come from past experiences, they come from your upbringing, and they come right from your very DNA. You cannot deny your emotions and feelings. You have to just be with them.

My truth is that sometimes I fricken hate my feelings. Because I so badly want to be tough. I want to be strong. I want to NOT care what people think. I want to make decisions and never question them. But I don’t think I can ever change that about me. 

I have been so focused on trying to make positive changes in myself lately so I can grow to be the best me. I have been trying to find a way to not care as much about what others think, or about little mistakes, and little flaws, but I’m starting to realize it’s just not something I can change… It’s just me.

What I CAN do is start to love this part of me. Learn to be more kind to myself. Find a way to get through the uncomfortable times without leaning into or going back to what is comfortable. To EMBRACE being uncomfortable. To forgive myself if I make a mistake and not a week later. I don’t know about you but my brain just LOVES to stew, and turn, and go through all the possibilities etc. It can drive me a little crazy at times. It’s part of being uncomfortable and it’s unavoidable.

Being uncomfortable is how you learn just like making mistakes are how you learn. You just have to do it if you want bigger and better things in life. If you want to grow and do better and BE better you HAVE to get uncomfortable. You have to embrace it.

So what I am trying to decide are things that I can do when I get into that uncomfortable place.

Lately here are some things that have helped me:

  • Talking with someone I trust
  • Writing in a journal
  • Seeking out advice from someone in a similar situation
  • Exercising (duh)
  • Ask for love (there’s nothing wrong with asking for a hug if needed)

So at the end of the day being uncomfortable is such a good thing even when it brings up unwanted emotions. If you can look at it as an experience to learn and better yourself then you can get through whatever it is you’re going through. You will be better and stronger for it!

Love Frecklefit

Categories
Recipes

Sweet Potato Baked Bites

I love the idea of making little easy snacks in the muffin tin. It is definitely a new idea that has spread like wildfire. Each little cup makes a great portion size so they are really good for portion control. 

Surprisingly this recipe turned out really well! I wasn’t so sure when I first became inspired for it if the quinoa would hold together with everything. But it worked! These little muffins are very tasty. They also froze very well so if your not going to eat them all, either store in the fridge for 4-5 days or put into the freezer to pull out at another time.

They make a great appetizer. Or they are great to meal prep for lunches or an after school snack. You could easily eat four to make a meal out of it as they have lots of protein and lots of nutrients as well.

Calories per muffin 97

Carbs 12g

Fat 3g

Protein 5g

2 Sweet potatoes peeled and diced into 2cm cubes

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Big pinch of salt

Pepper

½ onion sliced

1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

2 tbsp flaxseeds

1 ¾ cup cottage cheese

1 egg

¼ cup egg whites

2 tbsp thyme

Preheat oven to 400. Toss sweet potato in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on baking sheet. Toss onion in tsp of olive oil spread out in small baking dish. Bake both for 25 minutes. Potatoes should be slightly crispy and onion caramelized. Let both cool a bit. Once cooled mix with the rest of the ingredients well. Add more salt and pepper. Scoop mixture into muffin tins. Sprinkle a little cheese on top if desired. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Enjoy!!

Frecklefit

Categories
Life Hacks

How to Start Meditating


Meditating can be done in many different forms. Most people think it’s sitting cross legged with their thumb and middle finger together placed on the knees, humming with their eyes closed. Most people believe meditating is shutting your brain right off.

Well both of these concepts are wrong. It is impossible to just shut your brain off. Where people get the idea of shutting your brain off is from buddhist monks who can channel their brains to reach enlightenment which takes months to years to achieve. Not to mention they practice this all day everyday. This is just not realistic for most people to achieve therefore we should be practicing meditation just for the health benefits it provides.

It has been scientifically proven that meditation can rewire your brain to change your way of thinking and even your way of feeling. We all understand that it has amazing benefits so how can we start?

Like creating any habit trying to do too much too fast usually causes you to fail. The way I started doing it consistently was a 28 day meditation challenge. I did five minutes a day for one week. Then ten minutes a day, the next week. Then fifteen, then twenty. I got into the habit of sitting down once a day to get it done. 

Setting a timer is beneficial for me as well. Especially if your in a time crunch not only will it help you fit it into your day, it will take your mind off checking the time to see how long it has been. Setting a timer takes that part of the thinking out of the equation so you can focus more on breathing and getting into a good space.

After going beyond five minutes I found five minutes not to be enough and a really short time to get in all the relaxing breathing I wanted. But reality is sometimes we only have five minutes a day. It is better than nothing at all. So I have continued my practice. Sometimes I get in a full twenty minutes and sometimes only five or ten but it is now a habit for me.

When I first started I would just breathe and let my mind wander. I later added in some visualization such as going to my happy place, or seeing myself achieving a goal, or even seeing my family or friends who are way too far away and letting my heart feel full. I then learned different breathing techniques and what the energy centers were and how to bless them. 

But it all started with five minutes a day.

Here is how I usually start my practice a breathing technique by Dr.Joe Dispenza. It is only five breathes and usually gives me an amazing sensation of relaxation and good energy. 

Breathe in and at the same time draw your abdomen in and do a kegel exercise (should feel like your holding in your pee). It will feel like your squeezing everything from your private parts to your belly button, all while holding your breathe. Hold for five seconds. Without letting go of your breathe breath in as big as you can visualize your breath travelling all the way up your spine through the back of your skull to the top of your head. Exhale really slowly feeling complete relaxation. Repeat x5.

After this exercise I usually let my mind and energy lead the way. Sometimes I focus on healing a part of me that isn’t 100%. Sometimes I focus on sending someone love who I feel truly needs it. Sometimes I come up with a great idea and spend the rest of the day working on that!

Everyone needs to start doing it. There is no excuse or reason why you can’t because it is for everyone!

Start with just five minutes a day and keep yourself accountable to that for two weeks. Then see where it takes you!

Frecklefit

Categories
Life Hacks

Protein and Fiber

Increased protein and fiber in your diet can lead to weight loss. There are a couple reasons why…

Protein

Protein is a macronutrient created by little building blocks called amino acids. These building blocks help build and repair your tissues and organs. Protein helps build and repair your bones, connective tissue, muscles, hair and nails to name a few.

Protein accompanied with regular resistance training promotes more lean body mass or lean tissue. The more lean body mass you acquire the higher your metabolism will be, burning more calories at rest therefore promoting weight loss.

Recommendations: Range is anywhere between (2.2-3g) per kg of body weight and even more if you are over the age of 50.

Fiber 101

Soluble vs. Insoluble

Fiber is not well absorbed by the body but releases gas and very little calories. Having very little calories fiber ALSO helps you to feel full. This means you eat less essentially promoting weight loss.

Soluble fibre (oats, flaxseed, beans, apples, asparagus) absorbs water turning it to mush. The mush is then digested by bacteria in the gut. The gut bacterias job is to process waste and help produce vitamins. The bacteria also turns fiber into usable energy increasing your metabolism therefore aiding in weight loss.

Soluble fiber slows down digestion of other nutrients such as carbohydrates and also decreases fat absorption by blocking fats that would be digested and absorbed. This process aids in weight management.

Soluble fiber also helps regulate hunger hormones again causing you to eat less therefore aids in weight loss.

Insoluble fibre (seeds and skin of fruit, whole wheat bread, brown rice) does NOT absorb water. It is not digested at all because it does not turn to mush but remains unchanged as it moves through the digestive tract. It’s main benefit is to prevent constipation.

Both are needed and important. Both can help with weight management. For men 30-38g and for women 21-25g per day is recommended. 

Both Protein and Fiber

Protein and fiber both have a high thermic effect of food, meaning the body essentially burns more calories to break these foods down. This increases your metabolism which can aid in weight loss.

Protein and fiber both help you feel satiated or “full” therefore causing you to eat less. Eating less with regular exercise will aid in weight loss.

I hope I have provided enough reasonable evidence for you to increase protein and fibre in your diet!

Frecklefit