I’m Back!

​HI! Wow, I cannot believe how stinkin long it has been since I even looked at my own blog…WTF happened hehe. Life got busy (which is a poor excuse)…it’s already freaking September…like hello fall but hold on, life, slow down!

First things first. I am vowing on this day-Monday September 12th, 2016-to make a conscious effort to hit this blog 2 x a week. 

Second things second. Here’s a quick re-cap of where life has been the past few months. 

This past June I was given the incredible opportunity to leave my full time job at U.S. Bank to pursue a career at Alchemy. I cannot tell you how scared, excited, anxious…pretty much every emotion in the dictionary…I felt it. I had been at the Bank for 5 years…that’s the longest I had ever been at one job. 

How did I decide to leave my super secure corporate job? Well, for starters, I could not handle sitting at a desk for 8.5 hours a day behind a computer. I would get anxious to go to work. I’d get the worst case of SNS (Sunday Night Scaries). I didn’t feel like I was adding value to my life or anyone else’s in that current situation. My 5 years at that company were great, but it was time for a change.

Let me tell you something-taking a leap and going after something I truly love, something I look forward to doing every single day-that’s the best decision I could have ever made. 

Why am I telling you all this? Because I want you to know something-chase your dreams. If it’s something you truly want, go for it. You can make the situation work. Do something every day that adds value to your life and the lives of others. Do something that scares the shit out of you but is so totally worth it it doesn’t even matter. I’m here to tell you first hand, things will work out. 

If you are unhappy in your current situation-DO something to change it. We’re only here for a short amount of time and might as well enjoy it right? Believe in yourself even if no one else does (but let me tell you, people will believe in you). Do what makes YOU happy. Be brave. I got your back.

The second thing that’s been a constant in my life this summer (besides Alchemy, my family, my doggie, and Vietnamese coffee) has been running. I have been lucky enough to run with some of the most badass people in MN and it has made training for the Twin Cities Marathon the most enjoyable experience EVER. 

That’s one other thing I have to tell you-find a group of people who support your dreams and you will blow them out of the water. If it wasn’t for my crew of ARun peeps, I would have stopped training months ago. But every Saturday, they show up bright-eyed and cheery and are ready to crush some miles and it makes it all worth it. 

Surround yourself with people who push you to be the best person you can. It will make everything SO much better and you will do things you never thought you could (like run a sub 7 minute mile!). 

What have you been up to these past months? What are you looking forward to this September? 

Here we have it friends-first post of fall 2016 in the books. Can’t wait for many many more.

XO

-Hales

Practice Makes Improvement

Ayo friends! Happy Friday. I’ve had the past two days off and it’s been refreshing to quite refreshing. Lots of vacuuming, lots of puppy snuggles, and lots of yummy food eating. I made a delicious cheesy kale bake from Pinch of Yum (check it!), and Sam made us homemade brunch on Valentine’s Day! So sweet.

I swear when I get to stay home my coffee consumption doubles as well…why is that!? Good thing I don’t get to work from home or things could get cray cray.

So, enough about food (as I sit here downing a carnita burrito bowl). The other day I was thinking to myself about workouts and life in general. My thoughts went something like this…”I’m not very good at back squats.” “How do I get better?” “Practice make perfect.” “Wait, practice makes improvement.”

BOOM. Check that last part. Practice makes improvement. Word to your mother, the more you practice at something, the more you’ll improve. That simple.

I grew up playing sports and was always told practice makes perfect. There’s nothing wrong with that…it got me to the gym to work on my free throws for countless hours, it got me to the state track meet for high jump. But looking back, this statement isn’t really true at all is it?

Perfect, that’s a big word. In all honesty, I don’t want to be perfect…is that even possible? In my eyes, nobody can ever be perfect. There will always be something to work on. You can always push yourself just a little bit more. You can always IMPROVE. There’s that word again, improvement.

It makes total sense now. From here on out, I’m going to focus on improving rather than perfecting. Especially when it comes to running. I can work on my form, build strength, ramp up the miles and all of that will lead to faster times. Faster times mean improving. Not perfecting.

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So, as I leave you for the weekend (heading to the U.P. to snowshoe with the fam), let me ask you this. Do you want to be perfect? Or do you just want to continually improve? I hope you focus on option 2. Let go of those thoughts saying you need perfect form, you need to be the best in the class every time. No, that’s not true. Just push yourself to be better than you were last time. Keep improving each day. That’s how you build strength. If you keep that mindset for everything you do, the improvements will be incredible.

Go do big things people.

XOXO

-Triple H

Run Baby Run

Saturday, we meet again. Who’s favorite day of the week is today!? Raise your hand nice and high. I like Saturday’s but for some reason I really love Sunday’s…until about 7 pm.

I woke up this morning, headed for the coffee machine (this is getting out of control, I really need to start cutting back on oz. of coffee consumed per day), then started planning out a summer running plan.

You see, I promised myself to only commit to one big race this Summer…Grandma’s Marathon. I’ve ran the Grandma’s half 3 or 4 times…sad I can’t remember, and have always wanted to do the full thing. Thank goodness for my best running buddy Katie for motivating me to sign up.

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Well, enter last Monday. Registration opened up for the Twin Cities Marathon, and I just could not resist it. That marathon is SO beautiful and the finish is kick ass. All down hill. Holler.

So, here you have it…Summer hasn’t even started and it’s time to start training. At least this year the runs are months apart right? Last year, there were only a few weeks between marathons…he he.

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So, what are some things to keep happy and healthy during marathon training season you ask? Let me share (from my experiences only) what seems to work pretty snazzy.

First, find support. There’s loads of running groups you can join, find friends, find family, ask your husband to ride his bike alongside you as you run. To have that support is the main reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I set up weekly running dates with Katie to have something to look forward to as a fun reason to get together. Last summer we met up every Thursday morning before work for a 7 or 8 miler (these typically began before 5:30 AM but SO FUN), then would end at this tiny coffee shop for a pre-work pick me up. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me going when I really don’t want to run another mile. Sunday’s are also usually carved out for runs and brunch…duh.

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Second. EAT. Drink. You guys, it’s so important to get enough food and hydration in your body when you’re running close to 50 miles during the week. My first marathon I did not eat nearly enough as I should have and that showed in my race. Last time however, I stayed on top of nutrition…even though I felt like I was constantly eating it really helped fuel my engine.

Snacks full of protein like hard-boiled eggs were a go-to. Homemade energy bars, celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, crackers with deli meat and cheese, find what works for you and run with it…no pun intended.

As for hydration, water duh. But my favorite things for those long runs were bottles of cucumber lime gatorade. To me, it made a very big difference over just plain water. And you guys, the best treat after a long run…CHOCOLATE MILK. Like thick, creamy, ice cold chocolate milk. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…dreaming about it actually.

Okay, now that I’m hungry, lets move on to number three. Strength train the shit out of your body…not literally, but just stick to a good regimen. My first marathon I hardly did any lifting…I thought if I had muscles, I’d weigh more, meaning I’d be slower. Merp, was I 1000000% wrong.

I started Alchemy in the Summer of 2014 and ever since have shaved off over 20 minutes on my marathon time. That alone is evidence that strength training does not make you slower. Even if you only lift weight 3 times a week, hit the legs, upper body, and core. It will help keep you safe and healthy. One more thing, I used to have terrible knees…I had to run with knee braces. Guess what…NO MORE BRACES. Boom. Lift. Weights. Now. Do it.

So that’s just the start of marathon training. I am just thrilled talking about this with you guys. What are some of your tips and tricks to staying on track during running season?

Happy Saturday weekend funday friends.

XOXO

-Triple H

 

 

Steps to Success

Sup. Coming to you live from the couch. Life has finally caught up to me and I can’t seem to do anything but eat, breathe, and watch E!. #YOLO.

It seems like the days when I have to relax and do nothing are the days I come up with lists of things to do in the future…fix the bathroom, paint the kitchen, get new hardwood flooring, save for a vacation, plan next weeks menu, adopt another puppy…it’s like non-stop goal planning up in herr.

I often find myself making these “life lists” yet never seem to follow through with any of the items on them…that is until I discovered some keys to success. You guys, these 5 things are like the ingredients you need to make a really good chocolate cake. Without one, you’ll still have a cake but it might not be very good. Think about that…if you really want to succeed at something, you need to be fully invested and ready to work your ass off.

So, what’s on this list you might ask…here ya go, you’re welcome.

#1. Take Make time for you.

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival. -Alice Lorde:

No, this is not selfish. In order to be committed to succeeding, you need to carve out that time to do so. Say your goal is to run a marathon. Well, you can’t run that 26.2 without training right? So, make a promise to yourself to take at least 30 minutes out of your day, just for you. Boom. Step 1, check.

#2. Write things down. Seeing your goals and successes on paper help make them real. I used to leave things floating around in my head-not only would I lose sight of what I really wanted, but I would never see progress because I had nothing to compare.

Take for example, Alchemy (obviously). Writing things down such as how much you can back squat, how much you can push press…this helps track progress. Seeing that you’ve increased your weight by 10-15 pounds over time will be something you can celebrate and will help motivate you to keep going, keep reaching higher goals.

#3. Celebrate the small stuff.

celebrate ever tiny victory | inspirational reminder:

If you don’t, you will lose motivation extremely fast. If all you focus on is the final goal, it will feel like you are never getting anywhere. Lets say you want to save for a trip to Hawaii next winter. You set a goal of saving $100 from every paycheck.

Instead of focusing in on that final amount, celebrate smaller milestones like $500 and $1000. Maybe treat yourself to a new swim suit at $500 and plan a Hawaiian inspired pot luck for that $1000 goal. Guys, doesn’t that sound a lot more fun? It also gives you reason to save…when you set small milestones, it makes that bigger success even more kickass.

#4. Wow, already at #4? Bet you’re feeling pretty motivated right? Here we go…#4 is: Know it’s POSSIBLE.

Boom, hear that? Minds were just blown everywhere. Anything is possible if you believe you can do it. I know this sounds cheesy but it’s 100% the truth. If you really really want something, the only thing getting in your way is you. You want to become a better cook? Well, what’s stopping you? You have the power to do so! Research recipes on the internet, take some cooking classes, reward yourself with a new utensil when you ace that recipe for homemade Alfredo sauce. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. Seriously, it pains me when I hear people say “I can’t.”

No, you definitely can…if you’re serious about finding success, you’ll make it happen.

And lastly, #5. Surround yourself with people that support you. Again, coming back to Alchemy. Every single person here supports one another. When one person gets their first pull-up, everyone celebrates. When someone runs a marathon, everyone celebrates. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen with my two eyes (besides that one pound carrot cake from Bonfire) and it’s what helps me reach my own goals.

Family, friends, let them know what you’re working toward. Just sharing your goals with people will help them celebrate you in ways you never imagined. Maybe it will even inspire some people to join your quest along the way.

That’s it you guys, really. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Now go kick ass out there. I believe in YOU.

P.S. tell me your goals yo.

XOXO

-Triple H

Weekly Eats

Hey guys!

Good morning from a 10 inch snow covered igloo. The snow started yesterday afternoon and is still softly falling…it’s quite pretty but what a pain in the butt. However, what better way to get a quick cardio burst in than shoveling 10 inches of wet shit from the driveway.

Snowy days just make me want to sit back, drink coffee, and watch Netflix…who’s with me?

So, life lately has been nutso. The weeks go by so fast, the weekend’s even faster. I’ve been talking about meal prepping on Sunday’s a lot lately and this Sunday was no joke. First things first, I hit up Whole Foods and got the most amazing pork shoulder roast…you guys, $12 for a 3 pounder…I had to pinch myself on this deal.

After the shopping commenced, it was time to hit the kitch. On the menu for this week…

  1. A Taste of Lizzy T’s Paleo Sweet Potato Chili (I toss in Cayanne Pepper to kick that shit up a spice notch) tastesoflizzyt.com/2014/09/24/paleo-sweet-potato-chili/
  2. PaleOMG’s spaghetti squash crust quiche http://paleomg.com/spaghetti-squash-crusted-quiche/
  3. Pure and Simple Nourishment Tropical Pork Roast (hello pork shoulder) http://pureandsimplenourishment.blogspot.com/2015/10/tropical-slow-cooker-pork-roast-scd.html?spref=pi
  4. my favorite energy bars from Jill Tiffany  http://www.jilltiffany.com/Energy_Bars_jilltiffany_com_nutritionist_trainer.pdf

Yuuuu-hum. Could eat this stuff all day…especially those energy bars…like GET IN MY MOUTH. If you’re going to make one thing this week, make these…they are so easy and taste like a girl scout Samoa. You won’t regret it…unless you don’t like coconut…then you probably will hate them.

Also, I’ve been putting the Hawaiian pork on salad…delish! Add some banana peppers and boom, meal in a flash. Eat with a side of roasted carrots and you’re good to go.

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That’s all I’ve got for you today friends, holler with some of your favorite meals to prep on the weekends. Time to rest as this kid is getting sick. Happy hump day biznatches.

XOXO

-Triple H

 

Be Legnedary

Hi!

Weekend’s here. You know what the best part about the weekend is? Waking up early. Yes, even though I wake up early every other day of life, there’s something about being the first one up, drinking coffee alone, browsing Pinterest, and watching Sports Center.

This has been my jam ever since I can remember and I seriously look forward to it every Friday night. Knowing work doesn’t come until Monday gives me that feeling of excitement and that’s what makes this quiet time even better.

Weekend mornings are also my time to think. Think about life, love, the pursuit of happiness. Like really, deeply think (2 cups of coffee within an hour might escalate that thinking).

First things first, find what makes you happy. Are you stuck in a career that you dread going to every day? Why put yourself through that anxiety of showing up for something you’re not fully committed to? This is YOUR life. Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to travel the world? What’s stopping you. Take control. Be bold. You’ve only got one shot at this thing called life so make it epic AF.

One thing I like to think about when making decisions is something my favorite place in the whole world is big on: Pursue YOUR legend. Just let that simmer in your head for a bit. What do you want your legend to look like? How can you get there. Write things down. What steps can you take to get closer to leading that life you want. Maybe you find a running group to help train you for that first run. Maybe you decide on a whim, to book that trip to Europe. Set goals, conquer those goals, then set more goals.

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Reminded every time I step into Alchemy…PYL.

All of this is going to get you closer to living a meaningful life, one you are proud of. Let me tell you, before I started Pursing my legend, I was stuck. I was just going through the motions, staying in my comfort zone.

Life is a lot more fun when you start doing things that excite you. When you step outside that box and push yourself to do new things. My legend is a huge work in progress. Some things don’t go so well, others turn out great. The point: don’t have regrets. If you miss out on an opportunity because it was outside your comfort zone, you might not get another chance at whatever that may be. I’m telling you, push yourself to be the best every single day.

So, what are you going to do to make your life Legendary? I challenge you to think about that in every decision you make. Does it fit the path you want your legend to follow?

Have an epic Saturday friends.

XOXO

-Triple H

But First, Breakfast

Hi peeps.

I don’t know about you but all I think about day in, day out, is breakfast. I mean, eggs, baked goods, meats, all the good stuff…washed down with a piping hot cup of coffee. What’s not to like? Lately, the breakfast game in the Wakefield house has been strong AF.

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Enter, breakfast lasagna. I found this recipe on Paleomg.com and knew instantly I had to make it. Basically you layer sweet potato rounds, carmalized onions and mushrooms, and breakfast sausage then top it in a coconut milk sauce. After everything is baked up, top with scrambled eggs and eat up. It was so easy to make and the flavors are incred. If you have time this weekend, make this up. It’ll last at least 4 meals!

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Next, if you’re someone who’s on the go, a breakfast shake might be you cup of joe (well, hopefully in addition to a real cup of joe). The other day I posted about trying my shake with avocado and YOU GUYS! This is legit. Adding avocado makes that shit SO smooth. Think Wendy’s frosty consistency. The shake above was made like this:

1 frozen banana

handful chopped spinach

cocoa powder (I just dump, no measuring here)

1 scoop vanilla SFH protein powder

Dash cayenne pepper

1/2 an avocado

Coconut milk

Peanut Butter

BOOM. Life changed.

Alright, enough about breakfast (as I’m now hungry!) you guys, I had a quarter life crisis this weekend and totally switched up my hair. Bangs, lighter, a trim…the whole deal. It was actually kind of fun to get a new do and it feels real fresh. Ruthie’s not so sure about it but that’s alright, she’ll warm up.

wp-1453854053257.jpgLastly, check out this amazing spread a few girls from the gym and myself prepped up Sunday. INSANE. We made so much food and I’m still eating it. If you are ever trying to meal prep, do it with friends. It’s cheaper, faster, and way more fun.

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Makes you want to start a new Sunday tradition eh?

Okay, time to prep some treats for Sam’s birthday tomorrow! Happy Tuesday pals!

-Triple H

Be Prepared

It’s 7PM and I’m currently chugging my second cup of coffee. I’ve only got 9200 steps in today you guys and I need an energy boost so I can run laps and get to 10,000.

Sam sprained his ankle at school yesterday so after a kickass morning at Alchemy and a fantasic hair appointment, the rest of this night will be spent hanging with my broken hubby. I’m not complaining although he might…my energy level is currently at 100 and his is probably about a 2…

Moving on. Life lately has been uber crazy. Leave the house at 5:30 AM get home at 9 PM. Repeat M-Fri. I love being busy so it’s not a terrible thing but it does take some planning when you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the go and have about 3 outfit changes between sunrise and sunset.

In order to stay on track, I set out all my outfits the night before, pack my on-the-go bag, pack snacks so they’re ready to go, and meal prep each Sunday. Oh, p.s. a planner is like my BFF as of late…color coded and everything.

Now, back to that whole meal prep thing. Last week I hunkered down and made two different items…guys, they last the entire week. Sam was thrilled because it didn’t break the bank, and I was thrilled because it saved me tons of minutes deciding what to pack for lunch.

So, here we have it…item #1: http://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/2014/09/24/paleo-sweet-potato-chili/

Item # 2: http://paleomg.com/almost-5-ingredient-pizza-spaghetti-pie/

And those orange things, those are roasted carrots. Maybe better than sweet potatoes…toss carrot sticks in EVOO, cumin, cinammon, salt, and pepper, then bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (or 14 if you get distracted by an impromptu dance party in your kitchen with your dog). Seriously, try em.

Also, keep things simple. Each morning before heading out the door, I make a cup of coffee and a shake (Sam hates this as my blending typically wakes him up). Shakes=filling and delicious.

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My go to as of late: 1 frozen banana, 1 handful chopped spinach, chia seeds, peanut butter (get the stuff with no sugar added), 1 scoop Vanilla SFH Pure protein, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, and almond milk. It’s like the greatest combination ever. And it tastes like a chocolate shake. No jokes. All seriousness. Some peeps from the gym also recommended adding avocado…trying that tomorrow.

Also pictured above, one tiny hard (but actually soft) boiled egg. BEST snack. That is if you make them right. My hard-boiled egg making skills are serious shit. No matter what I do, the yolk always turns out runny…imagine peeling your egg, excitement growing as you take a huge bite and boom, runny yolk explosion. Yeah, I’ve become used to it but if you have tips/tricks to the craft of egg boiling…holler at your girl.

Lastly, have you guys ever had Vrou? Alchemy just started carrying it and I AM OBSESSED. The flavors are cray cray and it’s so good. I probably spend upwards of $10 on it per week but Vrou>Starbucks…wait, who am I kidding…can I have both?

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Alright awesome people, off to chase the dog around the basement. Catch ya on the flipside! Extra happy Saturday to YOU! Stay fresh.

-Triple H

Get sweaty, fast.

Sup. Gonna make this quick today as I’m currently drowning my sorrows in coffee. The Packers lost which means no green and gold until September. Already counting down the days until we get to see Aaron Rodgers on the big screen every week.

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Yesterday I was at Aldi and found some Apple Cider vinegar. Impulse buy but it was only $2.00 so that’s OK right? I mean, I have no idea what the heck you use ACV for but there’s this thing called the internet that probably can help. Anyway, I was feeling super creative and decided to make an “elixer” to drink down pre Packer game munchies. WTF was I thinking. I can’t decided if this was brilliant or garbage…you try it and tell me. Here’s what I did:

Mix 8 oz water, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar, and a dash of Cayanne Pepper. Mix up, drink up. My lips started burning afterwords but it wasn’t terrible?

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And now for the real reason we’re all here…get sweaty fast. Like I said yesterday, it’s sub zero temps outside and my house isn’t exactly HOT. In order to stay warm (and get my 10,000 steps in a day) I usually run up and down the stairs multiple times with Ruthie at my heels, do some jumping jacks or push ups, then hold a plank for as long as I can. That gets the blood pumping. Sometimes Ruthie gets in the way so I have to excuse myself to the bedroom and shut the door.

wp-1453072029400.jpgWell, today I was feeling extra motivated and decided to push myself a little bit harder. If you are ever stranded at your house, or on vacation and need a quick cardio burst, try this. It’s the shit.

Set a clock for 5 minutes and see how many burpees you can complete in that time…I only got 75 which was like kind of disappointing but also kind of cool. After that, go through 2.5 minutes air squats, 2.5 minutes push-ups, then end with a 90 second plank hold. BOOM, workout done in 11 and a half minutes. You’re welcome.

Alright fit friends, that’s all I got for you on this fine freezing day. Off to drink my 5th cup of creamless coffee…peace.

-Triple H

 

Clean eats for cheap

Hey, hi, how are you? It’s Saturday which means workouts, lots of coffee, meal prep, and puppy snuggles because it’s below zero and I’m on a budget (meaning the heat in this house is set to 65).

16 days into 2016 and how many of you are still sticking to your New Year’s resolutions of “New Year, New You”? Did you set a resolution to clean up your diet, hit the gym a few more times a week, get more sleep? If you’re serious about this, you probably noticed it takes a lot of planning and prepping in order to stay on track.

Saturday and Sunday are quickly turning into grocery shopping day and meal prep day. Quick tip, find recipes that are quick and easy. Whip up a few different recipes (crockpot roast, sweet potato chili, lettuce wraps) to get you through the week. That way when you get home after a long day, you’ll just have to pop the leftovers in the oven. Much easier than concocting an elaborate spread when all you want to do is curl up and watch Netflix…for real though.

A few of my fave go-to meals:

Paleomg Buffalo Chicken Casserole http://paleomg.com/sneak-peek-recipe-from-juli-bauers-paleo-cookbook-buffalo-chicken-casserole/

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Protein Shakes: You can literally do ANYTHING with these. My favorite lately…

1 Frozen banana

1 scoop SFH protein powder

Handful chopped spinach

Almond butter (as much as you want)

Dash Cinnamon

Dash Cayanne Pepper (HELL YES)

1 TBSP Cocoa Powder

Homemade Cashew Milk

Boom, blend it up, top with WholeMe or granola.

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For an easy snack, revert to your childhood with Ants on a Log. All you need is celery, nut butter, and raising. Great pre-workout snack!

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Also egg bakes, anything in the crockpot, and big bowl salads with tons of veggies, chicken sausage and balsamic vinegar. Get creative and have fun in the kitchen. It will be much more enjoyable that way.

One final thing, let me tell you, if you’re on a budget like myself, the whole clean eating thing can put a dent in you wallet. But, it doesn’t have to.

Lets talk about how to eat clean for cheap. Ever heard of Aldi? Guys, they have great grass fed beef for $6.99 a pound. What a steal. They have fresh produce (like use it that day otherwise it will spoil but the avocados…so good). I get my almond butter at Aldi because it’s much cheaper than anywhere else and the ingredients are the exact same as other products. Shop the ads, find the sales, and you can make clean eating work for any budget.

Whole foods has an amazing salad bar that is cheaper than Chipotle. They also have weekly sales (365 brand currently 10% off!), and a flyer to check out with so many deals. Plus, they carry this amazing Paleo bacon at only $6.99! Boom, sold!

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Trader Joes is amazing for almost everything but I especially like buying my nuts and seeds there as well as mango, fruits, and veggies (they charge per piece rather than per pound so quick tip: GO BIG).

Other than that, read the Sunday paper. Search for deals, plan out your shopping trip. Stick to the outside aisles and avoid things that come in a box. They typically are processed and won’t do much for your health.

Fun, you guys! Make this FUN! Trust me, you’ll become addicted to trying to keep costs low.

Happy Meal planning friends!

XOXO

-Triple H