After traveling abroad for 10 days and NOT having control over my food options, I need to get back on track. More “clean” and less “-ish!” I’ve read and shared how others get back on track but here is how I do it…

1) Start exercising day one back at home, no excuses.
2) Go food shopping day one back at home, no excuses.
3) Cook once, eat at least twice. (Do this at night but somehow squeeze this in)

Why is exercising so important? According to one of my favorite places to work out, Pure Barre, it helps you “lift, tone & burn!” I feel both calm and energized right after a workout. I feel AMAZING after a 55 minute Pure Barre class, a yoga class or 35 minutes with my persona trainer. I’ve belonged to gyms since I could drive though I have never been athletic. If you are just starting out, walking is the way to go! Then try a barre class. Whatever you like doing that gets you moving, do it and be consistent.

It is super critical to go grocery shopping when you’ve been away. An empty fridge leads to take out abs fast food. A full fridge with easy breakfasts, tasty lunch foods and a few dinner options makes your week so much easier even though finding the time to shop is challenging. Good food options in your fridge and pantry lead to good food choices. No short cut on this. Sorry!

Cooking is critical to enjoying healthy meals often. Cooking once and eating a few times just makes sense. Who has time to make a home cooked meal every night? I do not. I do not want to make the mess then clean it up. I intentionally cook too much and then have either a couple of lunches or dinners to look forward to with no mess and no work. I sometimes transform the leftovers into a slightly different meal so my kids don’t fuss!

Here is my meal from night one of vacation recovery:

Cuban Style Black Beans (6 or more servings)

3 cans black beans – drained & rinsed
1- 28 ounce can of chipped tomatoes with liquid
1-2 cups vegetable broth
Olive oil
1 large onion – chopped
1 red bell pepper – chopped
1 green bell pepper – chopped
3 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 fresh jalapeño sliced lengthwise
2 vegan spicy sausages (chorizo style if you can find)
2-3 Bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Garlic powder
Sea salt & black pepper

-heat oil in large skillet they has a lid
-sauté onions, peppers, garlic
-add crumbled vegan sausage
-slightly brown everything
-add beans, tomatoes and a cup of broth
– add 2 bay leaves
– add cumin, garlic, salt and pepper
-add jalepeno
-stir and cook covered on low for 30 minutes adding more broth as needed. (Consistency should resemble a loose chili)
-remove jalepeno before serving

Serve with yellow (brown) rice, and top with cubed avocado & cilantro

Yellow (Brown) Rice

2 cups brown rice
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion – chopped small
1 tsp ground tumeric
Sea salt

-Add all to rice cooker following cooker directions. Stir, cook, serve.

Add a toss salad and you are set!

Make a second meal by adding some cheese and making quesadillas or some chicken and some healthy wraps and making home made burritos! Kids can’t complain about that!

Keep it clean after vacation!

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