6 Meals To Add To Your Weekly Meal Prep

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Today is Meal Prep Monday! Sometimes I prep on Sunday, it honestly just depends on when I’m able to make it to the store. Here is what I am eating this week. Hopefully this will give you ideas for this week or your future meal prep! I’m also sharing what time of the day I eat everything.

5:45am Breakfast: Protein Coffee.
I usually drink this on the way to work. I’m not super hungry when I wake up in the morning (at 4:30am!), so this will hold me over until my break time where I eat an actual meal. If you are starving when you wake up in the morning, then this probably won’t keep you full for very long!
Here is how I make it:
6oz cold coffee (I make mine the night before and put it in the fridge for the next morning)
6oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use LadyBoss Lean, but you can use any kind)
1 splash of sugar free hazelnut Torani.
Just mix all the ingredients in a shaker cup and enjoy! I have found that if I mix the protein powder with the almond milk first it mixes better!

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8:00am Snack: Overnight Protein Oats.
I usually prep this only 2 days out so the fruit doesn’t go bad. It’s super filling and lasts me for hours!
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
3 sliced strawberries or any fruit (or more to your liking)
First, combine the oats, almond milk and protein powder. Mix well until the protein powder clumps are gone. Add peanut butter and mix well. Top with Strawberries. Let sit overnight in the fridge and enjoy the next day! No need to heat, these are meant to be eaten cold!

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12:00pm Lunch: Spinach Salad and Skinny Pop popcorn.
I have made this for my lunch almost every week! It’s so good and super easy to make. I can also prep it for the whole work week. Here is how to make the salad:
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup diced chicken
6 baby carrots, chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon feta cheese
1/2 tablespoon sunflower seeds (without the shells)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette (I like the Panera one!)

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4:00pm Snack: Rice Cakes and Peanut Butter
I usually eat this after my workout! If I’m really hungry after work then I will eat it before I workout. I may also have a One Bar or Larabar!

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6:00pm Dinner: Crockpot Taco Chicken Chili.
*Makes enough for 2 people for about 3-4 days.
Perfect for cold days and easy to make!
6 thin sliced chicken breasts (or 3 large ones)
1 package frozen corn
4 cans Rotel with green chilies
1 15oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
1 15oz can black beans
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
Add all ingredients in Crock Pot besides the chicken and mix well. Once all ingredients are mixed, add the chicken and make sure it is completely covered by the mixture. Cook on high for 4 hours (possibly 5 if you have larger chicken breasts). After it is finished, remove the chicken and pull apart with forks. Add the chicken back into the Crock Pot and mix well. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on high.

7:30pm Snack: Halo Top or Dark Chocolate
I don’t usually make anything for my last snack of the day. Sometimes I don’t even need one, just depends on if I am craving something sweet after dinner. But I usually just have 1 serving of Halo Top or 2 squares of dark chocolate. I always make sure my dark chocolate is 70% cacao or more.

I buy all my groceries at Walmart and sometimes Aldi. In the spring and summer I try to get my fruits and veggies from the farmers market on the weekend. My meal prep usually stays the same every week, besides the dinner. I’m always looking for new meal ideas, so feel free to share them with me!

Do you enjoy seeing food posts like this? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

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Indoor Cardio Workout (That Doesn’t Involve A Treadmill!)

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Yup, the dreaded cardio session. I guess I’m just a weirdo and actually enjoy cardio days. It gives me a chance to catch up on my podcasts or listen to music and just escape from the world for 30 minutes.

But during the winter, it is REALLY hard to get a cardio session in. Especially if you workout at home and don’t have a treadmill or elliptical to use, like myself. I live in a small duplex, and we just don’t have room for one, but it’s at the top of the list for when we buy a house in the next year or two. Most of my cardio sessions consist of me going for a run or walk around my neighborhood or park, but when the temperature hit -4 today, that obviously wasn’t going to happen! So I decided to create my own cardio workout that you can do in your living room! Just turn on your favorite music or Netflix show, set your timer for 30 minutes (15-20 if you’re a beginner), and follow my guide below!

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The guide is pretty straight forward, just start with the first workout and work your way down, complete each set, then repeat the whole thing again until the 30 minute timer goes off. I usually complete this workout about 2-3 times a week.

I’m sure most of you are thinking “why doesn’t she just get a gym membership?”. I used to have one, in fact I used to work at a gym when I first started college. Once I quit my job at the gym, I kept my membership but found myself never going to the gym. I was always coming up with an excuse to never go, and I was basically wasting $20 a month. We also only have one good gym where I live, and It’s small and always packed. So I decided to buy all the equipment I would need (dumbbells, kettle bell, cables that attach to the door frame, resistance bands, etc. I’ll share this in a blog post soon!) and just workout at home, that way I don’t have an excuse to not workout. I feel like this for sure helped me with my weightloss goals.

What type of cardio is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe!

Valerie

 

The Best Fitness Planner For 2019

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When it comes to my planner, I’m totally old school. I love actually sitting down and writing things in my planner more than just scheduling things into a calendar on my phone or computer. I’m also really picky with planners. I start searching for one in November, because I know it will take awhile to find the perfect one. Last year I had the Fit Planner from Blogilates, but they changed the design and didn’t include space for your everyday activities (something that I need in a planner), so I had to go with a different one this year. I wanted one that would help me reach my fitness goals, while also having room for my appointments.

After a month of searching. I ended up with the Healthy Hero Happy Planner from Michael’s. When I bought it, they were having a sale for 40% off all planners and accessories, on top of 20% off your entire purchase including sale items. It was around Black Friday, so of course I had to jump on it before they were all gone.

When you first open the planner, it has space to put your name, like most do. The cover is kinda hard and laminated. I’m not a fan of the design, but it can easily be changed out with one from Etsy or Michael’s (even though they didn’t have very many in store). That is one thing I love about this planner, you can customize everything from the cover, the middle expander discs, and you can even add pages within the planner.

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My favorite thing about this planner is you can set goals at the beginning of each month, and not just fitness related ones. This section is located before the monthly and weekly calendar views.

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When you open to the weekly view, the first section is for everyday items like appointments or to do lists. The next section is called “Focus” but I changed it to be my Blog planning section. Then it goes into your fitness related sections starting with meal planning then exercises. On the left hand side, it has your goals for the week, an empty section for whatever you want to put (I use it to track my weekly steps, calories and active minutes), and then an area to track your water intake (I love this section!).

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The rest of the planner includes different sections for goal setting and reflecting on each month. I think I’m going to start this 30 day self-care challenge next month, who wants to join!? Just save the photo below!

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Since I decided to go with a Happy Planner this year, I had to get all the stickers to go with it. I bought the Healthy Hero sticker pack from Michael’s, and I also found stickers in the dollar section at Target, and received a few packs from family members around Christmas.

I planned on posting this at the beginning of January, but I ended up getting sick, and then of course I had computer issues and wasn’t able to edit my photos! So sorry this is a bit late. I plan on posting more this year, especially in the next week or two. As some of you know, I have a full time job working for the federal government. Unfortunately, I’m one of the workers that has been furloughed. It really sucks considering I already live paycheck to paycheck as it is, but it’s out of my hands at this point.

But I hope everyone had a great Holiday and New Years! I started to have a fitness challenge with a giveaway during December, but not very many people were participating, so I’m going to move it to February instead! That way everyone will keep going with their New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll have more details towards the end of January.

What type of planner are you using this year? Let me know in the comments!

Valerie

25 Weight Loss Tips To Start Now

25 Weight Loss Tips

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As most of you know, I have been going through a weightloss journey since January. So far I am down around 48 pounds! I have about 20 more to lose (or maybe a bit less). Keep in mind I’m repurposing these photos! I took them back in July, and have lost quite a bit since then!

Before I decided to finally take charge of my health, I had no self confidence whatsoever. I would always wear baggy clothes to cover myself up, and would eat junk food because that’s what would make me happy. I had an unhealthy relationship with food. One day I went into Target and tried on dresses for an event I had coming up, and nothing would fit me. I had enough and decided it was time to change. I started after New Years and made it my resolution to finally get my body confidence back up, and I never looked back. My New Years resolution turned into a lifestyle that I don’t plan on giving up. My confidence is coming back, I have more energy, and my time of the month is actually normal again. I made eating healthy and working out a habit, not something I dread every day.

Because I have been doing so well with my weightloss, I wanted to add more fitness posts to the blog and Instagram to motivate you to love your body again. I not only want to lose weight, but I want to be toned and have muscle as well. Which is why I don’t exactly have a goal weight. After the 10 months I have been doing this, I’ve learned quickly what works and doesn’t work, so I’m going to share some tips that will help you with your journey! Please keep in mind that everyone is different and some of these tips might not work for you! This is just what is currently working for me :).

  1. Throw out the scale. It lies. I weigh myself maybe once every two weeks. It’s best to measure yourself, because the scale can reflect everything from not using the restroom, or that time of the month.
  2. Lift weights! No you won’t get bulky, and it will help you lose inches faster!
  3. Keep workout equipment at home. This way you won’t have an excuse to not workout. (I only do workouts at home. Maybe someday I will join a gym again. I’ll share all my at home workout equipment in a future post.)
  4. Don’t beat yourself up after a bad meal. Just move on with your day like it never happened. DO NOT say you will start over tomorrow. Start over right away.
  5. Replace a meal or snack with a protein shake. I do this in the morning and mix it with my coffee to drink on the way to work, since I’m not usually hungry for a few hours after I wake up. (Here’s my recipe: 6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 8 oz of coffee, or the large cup option on a Keurig. I make my coffee the night before so it’s cold in the morning.)
  6. Don’t deprive yourself. One cookie will not break your weight loss. But having multiple cookies multiple times a week will.
  7. Don’t keep unhealthy foods in the house. If your significant other insists, just have them hide it from you!
  8. Have a fitness planner. That way you can plan out your meals and workouts for the week and keep track of what you are eating.
  9. Join a community. This helped me the most! I’m in one on Facebook, and the support is what kept me going.
  10. Join or start a weightloss challenge online or with friends and coworkers.
  11. Watch a good show or listen to music while working out. I love watching Gossip Girl while I workout, haha!
  12. Set goals for EVERYTHING each week, like working out, drinking water, food, steps, ect.
  13. Reward yourself for hitting your weightloss goals (pounds or inches lost). I like rewarding myself with a new pair of shoes or a mani/pedi! Create a list of rewards to each goal and keep it on your fridge.
  14. Fitbit challenges! I join one every week with my coworkers. I also have a challenge for myself to get 250 steps every hour at work. This makes me get up and move around.
  15. Take supplements like probiotics and vitamins. I’ll share more in a future post about which ones I use and recommend.
  16. If you are having cravings after a meal, brush your teeth! It will help fight those pesky cravings.
  17. If you are starting to get hungry between meals, chew a piece of gum. I always have two packs of gum in my purse at a time! Haha.
  18. Workout 6 days a week. 5 days I lift weights and workout a certain part of my body, then do 30 minutes of cardio. On the 6th day I just do cardio and sometimes abs. I try to make sure and workout my abs 3 days a week and will just add it on to my workout. I’ll share more about my workout schedule in a future post! I’ll also start sharing my workouts for the day on Insta Stories, so make sure to check that daily.
  19. Walk to the farthest bathroom while at work (or do squats if you are at home).
  20. Prep all your food for the week. I usually pick Sunday or Monday. I’ll share more about this in a future post.
  21. Wash your face before and after you workout. I learned this the hard way after breaking out horribly once I started working out hard.
  22. Keep dark chocolate chips (at least 70%) on hand for chocolate cravings. This will help deter you away from a candy bar! Also, a little bit of dark chocolate a day is apparently good for your heart.
  23. Have cute workout clothes! It will help motivate you to workout. I’ll share some of my favorite places to find cute gear in a future post!
  24. Get plenty of sleep! I’m sure you have heard this multiple times, but it’s true.
  25. Follow fitness accounts on social media to keep you motivated.

I have so many more weight loss/fitness posts planned out for you that I can’t wait to share! If you have anything you would like to see, let me know! I’m always looking for ideas.

Do you have any tips for fitness/weightloss? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

2018 Goals

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I’m baaaack! I’m sure most of you noticed I took a bit of a hiatus over the holiday season. Well, that hiatus was longer than expected. The flu unfortunately hit our household. I had it, and now my boyfriend has had it for over a week now. This meant I had to push off some of my 2018 blog goals. I was able to start my fitness goals right away, and I’m still going strong! Here are a few of my goals for the new year:

  1. Lose at least 50 pounds (give or take, because I want muscle as well!)
  2. Become a consistent blogger
  3. Pay off debt
  4. Have a savings account
  5. Travel

I know everyone’s goal is to lose weight. I say this every year (and last year I lost 15 pounds!). I’m just never consistent with it. Well, I’m going into my 4th week and I have been working out 6 days a week and eating healthy and enjoying 1 cheat meal a week! I can’t wait to see how I feel in a couple months.

I love blogging, but sometimes life gets in the way. I really want to be more consistent and post 3 times a week. I have so much content planned out for the rest of this month and most of next month, and I’m so excited to share! My favorite post coming up in a couple weeks is how to host the perfect Galentine’s Day party. So keep an eye out for that post!

Paying off debt and having a savings account are huge for me. I have a couple credit cards I want to get paid off as well as student loans. Once I get that taken care of, I really want to build up my savings account, something I haven’t had much of the past few years. Hello, working overtime!

It has been 3 years since I took a vacation. This includes traveling, and even taking a week off of work. This year I have at least 2 trips I want to go on! The first one is in April to the Style Collective blogger conference in Raleigh, North Carolina! I can’t wait to meet all my other blogger sisters. I also want to go to New York Fashion Week this year. I know it’s a huge goal, and a pretty expensive one, but a girl can dream, right?

So how do I plan on achieving my goals? Well, obviously with losing weight I plan on working out 6 days a week and eating healthy. I plan out all my meals and workouts a week in advance using my Blogilates 2018 planner (it’s sold out, unfortunately). It’s a fitness planner that also has an hourly appointment view so you can use it as a regular planner as well. It’s a 2 in 1! This will also help me plan out time for the blog. I plan on shooting photos on the weekends and trying to get posts completed ahead of time. That way there are no excuses for something not being posted. Sometimes I find myself getting lazy and not wanting to leave my house, and I really want to change that this year.

Quote I’m going to live by this year: “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.

What are your 2018 goals? Let’s help keep each other accountable, and post them in the comments!

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

Gift Guide: The Guy In Your Life

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Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving? What about Black Friday Shopping? I got a few things (including that super soft faux fur throw from Target I mentioned HERE), but I still have a long way to go to have my Christmas shopping done! I have gone back and forth on a few things to get my boyfriend for Christmas. One thing I know for sure I’m getting him are these Marc Anthony button down shirts. Everytime we go to Kohl’s he eyes these, but he never wants to spend the money on himself. Luckily they are on sale for under $30, so I’m going to pick a few up for him.

These are ideas you can get for any guy in your life: your boyfriend, dad, grandpa, etc. My boyfriend’s dad loves this Polo cologne. Also, how awesome is this Self Stirring Mug!? My boss at work has this and he absolutely loves it! And it actually works!

Of course, another idea everyone always loves getting are gift cards. Uber gift cards are the perfect Christmas gift. You can literally use them for any occasion, like a ride home from the airport or a night out. Go HERE to order an Uber gift card for your loved ones!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Valerie

This post was sponsored by Uber. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible!

Bloom VoxBox

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Happy Sunday! Is everyone having a great weekend? I spent my Saturday in St. Louis at the Cardinal’s game! It is seriously my favorite place to be. Today I am grocery shopping and getting everything organized for the work week.

I received the Bloom VoxBox complimentary from Influenster with all these amazing products! I’m going to review each one and let you all know which ones I liked and didn’t like. Keep in mind that I let you know my honest opinion about each product. If I don’t like it, you WILL know. Haha! Now on to the reviews:

Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads: These are amazing, especially for traveling. The package says you can use it for 10 fingers or toes. Well this pad is SOAKED with nail polish remover, to the point where you could do all of your fingers and toes and also your friend’s fingers and toes haha! Totally worth purchasing.

Secret Outlast Xtend Invisible Solid: I always tend to have problems with Secret deodorant. Every time I use it for long periods of time, my armpits start to itch and burn. Since this was different from the normal Secret deodorant, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I still had the same problem. I gave it to a friend, and she didn’t have any issues. I guess it just depends on the person. I will stick with my Dove deodorant.

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SinfulColors Nail Polish: Influenster sent me the blue glitter polish seen in the first photo of this post. But since I’m not super into glitter polishes, I used my Kylie Jenner collection nail polish by SinfulColors. I absolutely love this color! It’s perfect for this season. I painted my nails on Memorial Day weekend with this polish, and it still looks amazing! It is long lasting, especially when you put a top coat over it. I suggest using Essie Gel Setter top coat.

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Sunbelt Bakery Granola Bars, Oats & Honey: When I get home from my full time job, I usually work on my blog before I start cooking dinner. During this time, I’m usually in need of a snack to hold me over until dinner, which tends to be fruit or cookies, haha! I know, so healthy. After trying this granola bar, I think this will be my go to snack. It tastes so good, and is a lot better for me than cookies!

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Not Your Mother’s Plump For Joy: If you are looking to add volume to your hair, I highly suggest this. When I went camping last weekend, I took a shower and decided to put this product in my hair instead of straightening it (It’s okay, I was in a camper, not a tent, haha!). Once my hair was dry, it had SO much volume. But it was kind of uncontrollable volume, so I suggest styling it like you normally do instead of just putting the product in your hair and leaving it be.

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil: I absolutely love this stuff! If you have fly away hairs, just put a small amount into your hand and smooth them away. If you have dry skin, apply a small amount and massage into the dry area. I love how you can use it for literally everything. The downside? It’s $29 a bottle. Like, whoa. I’m sure there are similar products out there that do the same thing (coconut oil maybe?). If I come across anything, I will let y’all know.

Which of these products are you eager to try? Let me know in the comments below! As always, thanks for stopping by!

Valerie

All products received complimentary, thanks to Influenster. All opinions are my own.