Weekly Meal Plan & Goals

Morning y’all! Hope you guys had a wonderful weekend. We are stilll recovering from Emma’s first fever/flu. Thank goodness she is feeling better but things got scary on Friday night when her fever shot up to 103 and infant Tylenol didn’t kick in till 5am. But thank goodness her fever finally broke and we are just dealing with tons of congestion in her cute little nose. 



Unfortunately, my husband caught whatever Emma had, so he’s down for the count this morning. Which means he wasn’t able to start Hammer & Chisel with me! I’m super bummed because he wanted to do this program together, but he can just jump in once he’s feeling better! I did the first workout today and realized how much I miss lifting weights! Can’t wait to see my 60 day progress and share with you all! 


With these programs, you get a certain amount of portion control containers for each food group to make sure you are following a balanced meal plan all day long. My husband and I both fit in to the 1800 to 2100 calorie bracket since I am breastfeeding and need the extra calories and nutrients! Which means we both get a ton of food every day! Here’s our tentative meal plan for the week!  


Pre workout: energize, the ONLY pre workout I’ll drink because it is plant based and what could be better than that!? 

Post workout: recover, the cleanest protein drink I’ve found that tastes like chooclate milk, yum! 

Breakfast: shakeology w/spinach, eggs

Snack: pumpkin oat muffins, vegetables  

Lunch: ground turkey, rice, roasted veggies OR salad and leftovers if hubby leaves any ;) 

Snack: nuts, fruit, rx bar


  • kufteh (basically ground beef and cracked wheat mashed together, a family favorite!) 
  • healthy sesame chicken w/rice and veggies
  • tilapia w/salad and potatoes
  • and leftovers of course!  


Of course, this is all tentative because we never know what the week will bring. This used to give me so much anxiety because I’m a perfectionist BUT I am so happy I’ve learned to have more balance and make last minute changes fit into my healthy lifestyle! 



 If you have trouble making a meal plan that you find balances your nutrients and keeps you full throughout the day, contact me up above and let’s get you on a plan that works for you! I work with clients one-on-one or in a group coaching setting to figure out what will best meet your needs to help you stick to your goals. Meal planning and prepping have basically become a hobby of mine and something I am so passionate about sharing with my clients. So don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some extra support! 



A Rough Week of Eats!

What a week, you guys! This week went by so fast but was also super draining and hard for me. Between work stress and life stress, plus you know, being pregnant, things felt super emotional and out of hand at times. But, thank God, He turns everything around, and what started as a rough week has ended as a pretty smooth week for me!

Eats were all over the place this week, as I started the week off with terrible nausea and heartburn after a weekend of celebrating my husband's 30th birthday! We had a big party for him Saturday, celebrated again on Sunday with family, and then celebrated with just me and him on Monday night. Needless to say, lots of food was consumed, and lots of swelling was experienced by this pregnant mama. I've realized that my body is not responding well to the junky foods (no duh) and I feel so much better during this pregnancy eating more wholesome foods. Which I started doing once the celebrations ended, and it definitely turned the week around!


The week started out with eating a whole lotta Ritz crackers. Which helped my nausea a ton, but also got to be too much at one point. Why is it that our body can only handle carbs when we are nauseous? Ritz seem to settle me well, but I also got some gluten free pretzels from Trader Joe's this week per my friend Michelle's suggestion, and they tasted great too! Even though I am not strictly being gluten free yet (I am waiting for this pregnancy to pass), I am trying to find alternatives if a gluten free option is available.


Breakfasts got a little more exciting as the week progressed and I started feeling better! Mostly eggs wrapped in a gluten free tortilla, and I also treated my hubby and I to some gluten free French toast this morning! Super simple recipe for these:

4 slices gluten free bread (Trader joe's is my favorite!!!)

1 egg

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Dash of cinnamon

1 packet stevia

a dab of coconut oil for each toast

Whisk the egg, almond milk, cinnamon, and stevia in a shallow bowl. Then start heating up the coconut oil in a skillet. Drench each piece of bread into the egg mixture, then place on skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side on medium-low heat! I had mine with a drizzle of maple syrup. hubby went nuts over them, and it was a very happy Friday morning in the Verano household!


Lunches were a little sporadic, and I've been totally slacking on the picture taking...sorry! But my work has been providing lunch a lot lately. This week was Juan Pollo (I ate chicken rice, tortillas...it was a nausea day), and pick up stix, which actually ended up grossing me out. Then I got chipotle one day, and brought lunch with me the rest of the days (dinner leftovers are awesome!)


I had dinner with a dear friend on Wednesday night at Wood Ranch! I got the BBQ chicken plate and ate half, then saved the rest for leftovers! It hit the spot and was so delicious!


Snack wise, most days were ritz crackers, but I was able to handle baby carrots, fruit, and larabars towards the end of the week! This flavor tastes like a straight-up candy bar...so delish!


Overall, even though the start to the week was rough, I'm happy that my body has recovered from all the eating out and salty foods! It's crazy how much those foods can affect our health, especially when we avoid them for a while and then have them a few days back to back...whoa!

It just goes to show how important it is to care for ourselves. Self care isn't just getting pedicures and massages, which is awesome too! But it starts with taking care of ourselves on the inside, because we only get one body, and it's our vessel to do life in. And as always, I'm here to support and encourage you as you make changes towards a healthier and happier lifestyle! Contact me for support/if you have any questions!

Recap: Week 1 of 21 day fix!

I can't believe I am one week down of doing the 21 day fix. And in my third trimester too! I'm feeling amazing and energized while doing this program, so I thought I'd share how my first week went! 


I started off the week with Total Body Cardio which is pretty much my favorite workout of them all! 28 mins of cardio intervals with weights leave you sweaty and feeling so accomplished at the end! Even modifying for pregnancy got me working up a sweat! The rest of the week's workouts were lower fix, cardio fix, and dirty 30 fix. Upper fix is done mostly lying on your back/with planks, which I can't do while preggers! So I did Body Beast arms instead (I love having access to all these different programs). Also, 21 day fix has Pilates and Yoga days, but since they have a lot of back and core work, I subbed those out with some Core de Force (Beachbody's martial arts workout), and Autumn's active maternity series. Having access to Beachbody on demand (basically Netflix for workouts!) makes it so easy to modify some things for pregnancy. I always always ALWAYS recommend my clients follow their programs from start to finish without modifications, but since I'm pregnant, I'm making some adjustments! I may even add some walks since the weather will be gorgeous, and rest days as I listen to my body and see what I need! 


Meal wise, I think I did pretty well! The first day doing the program, I had my gestational diabetes test. So I stick to protein all morning until I took the test in the afternoon, then had a big bowl of veggie green curry and brown rice for dinner! 


Breakfasts have consisted of spinach scrambles. I've been on an egg kick lately and I don't anticipate that changing anytime soon! Eggs have so many vital nutrients that are healthy for pregnancy, so I'm eating them up!


If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that ground turkey meat is a weekly staple for our home. My husband loves it, it takes 10 minutes to cook up, and it's easy to prep at the beginning of week! So most of my lunches last week were turkey, rice, salad, and fruit! 


For dinner, I chopped up some chicken sausage and potatoes, then seasoned with some cajun seasoning! Here is the recipe, it's super simple to make and tastes great as leftovers! 

Meals were delicious, workouts were on point, and I'd say I feel pretty motivated going into week 2! If you'd like to join me with this program, fill out this form and I will get in touch with you! There are spots still available for my March bootcamp that starts in a couple days, and we will be following this program and the meal plan! The accountability of these groups, plus the short workouts and easy to follow meal plan is what has kept time on track, so I highly recommend joining if you are interested! I'll be with you every step of the way!!

I hope you have a terrific Monday everyone! 

Food & Fitness Plan: 12/5-12/11

My motto for life has always been, fail to plan and you plan to fail. Maybe that is control-freaky of me, but I love having a plan of attack and knowing what to expect in my day, week, or even month. Granted, I know life throws curve balls and we have to be flexible with our plans, but having a plan just sets my mind at ease and helps me go about my day with some structure? Anyone else? 

With that sad, pregnancy has been a major curve ball for me! Going from working out daily and cooking fresh meals and posting new recipes, to being exhausted all the time and eating goldfish crackers for dinner is a BIG change from the old me. Last night, I went to bed thinking "who am I???" As hard as I try to stick to a healthy lifestyle, pregnancy has required some tweaks and changes. For example, I've been instructed to put my feet up and rest more, and only do light walking. So that has been a big change for me from what I am used to. But, baby is worth it! So as far as my "fitness" plan goes this week, I'm going to walk when I can (lunch, breaks, at the mall) and rest for the rest of the time. 

As far as my food goes, I am going to focus on veggies and fruits this week! I have been eating pretty unbalanced, which I know can happen during pregnancy. I'm taking my prenatals and showing myself grace, but I also know that I need to nourish my body fully. Growing a human is no small task! So with that said, here is my food plan for the week! 

Breakfast: egg wraps, oatmeal w/fruit and nut butter, toast w/nut butter

Lunch/Dinner: we are having some lunches provided for us at work this week, which is nice! Some other things I plan on making are: chicken tortilla roll-ups (recipe coming soon!), tilapia w/potatoes, and turkey burgers w/brown rice and broccoli. I usually lump lunch and dinner together when I plan, because hubby and I are big on leftovers and we usually pack them for the next day!

Snacks: veggies, string cheese, nuts, fruits, crackers, larabars

I feel like these foods will nourish me while still keeping them aversion-friendly and satisfying! As a dietitian, I know how important it is to nourish your body well, especially during pregnancy! So I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit frustrated with my lack of nutritious foods during this pregnancy! But I am feeling much better than the first trimester so I know things will just get better from here! 

If you have trouble planning your meals or figuring out how to stick to a plan to reach your goals, I'm only a click away! I work with my clients to help them reach their goals while developing menus and encouraging them to stick to their plans! Click here to review the services I offer and see what would be a good fit for you! I'd love to begin working with you! :) 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!


Food & Fitness Plan: 11/28-12/4

Hello world and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a blessed and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. My weekend was filled with good food, family, friends, Gilmore Girls, naps, and some shopping! All in all, I'd say it was a successful long weekend!

I used to write up my weekly plan every week back in the day at the beginning of my blogging adventure. I really miss writing these posts up because they keep me accountable to my goals and help me plan things out! So I thought, why not do them again? It's been hard for me to stick to a good routine what with being pregnant and cravings starting to hit (brownies and cinnamon rolls anyone??) so I really want to ensure that I stay as healthy as possible for my baby and for myself throughout this pregnancy! A baby is not an excuse to let myself go, but more of a reason to stay healthy and well-nourished! 

So with that said, here is my workout plan for the week! I am modifying things like crazy right now so as to stay as safe as possible. If you are pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise routine! 

  • Monday: Core de force kickboxing (done, did it this morning and felt great!)
  • Tuesday: rest day
  • Wednesday: walking at gym + free weights 
  • Thursday: active maternity second trimester workout
  • Friday: Lower body workout
  • Saturday: rest day
  • Sunday: rest day

I'm taking a lot more rest days than I used to, and my goal during this pregnancy is to workout 4x/week. I will always be listening to my body though and making sure I am not pushing myself too hard!

As far as meals go, we have a ton of leftovers from Thanksgiving, plus freezer foods and vegetables, so I am going to try my best to not buy too much this week (other than fruit, which we are completely out of). Here is my plan!

  • Breakfast: Waffles w/peanut butter, oatmeal, egg wraps
  • Lunch: Bean soup, leftover turkey, rice, vegetables
  • Dinner: Tilapia w/potatoes and broccoli, turkey burgers, bean quesadillas, salads
  • Snacks: string cheese, cucumbers, carrots, nuts, crackers

That's about it for this week since we will be out a couple times and I will be staying with my parents this weekend! My hubby is taking our youth group up to Big Bear this weekend for Winter Camp. I'm so bummed to miss it but I don't want to risk anything with the altitude and the baby! 

Have you made a plan yet for the week? I know for me, if I fail to plan, I plan to fail! It is so important to be prepared for the week ahead when making healthy choices, so don't forget to schedule in your workouts and plan out your meals for success!

Have a great Monday everyone!

A healthy way to clean things up

I canNOT believe it's July already!  and the 5th nonetheless! 2016 is flying by, and before we know it, it'll be fall! For now though, I am soaking up summertime and everything it entails: from BBQs, late night froyo runs, and beach trips! 


It's been an eventful and fun summer, and actually an eventful past few months. We went on our Parisian adventure in April, came back home and entered escrow a week later, moved into our new home a couple weeks ago, and are just now calming down and living a "normal life." My hubby and I are excited to finally be winding down on a busy season, and hopefully entering a season of rest and relaxation.  

But during this stressful and busy season, I must admit I've let my healthy lifestyle fall by the wayside. And yes, that DOES happen. It is comical to me that people think dietitians have it all together when it comes to healthy eating, because we most certainly do not (which is why I think we are equipped to help those who need some extra guidance...we know the feeling!) I am human just like you, and I have massive sugar cravings, chips and salsa indulgences, and a love of double stuffed Oreos. My husband and I have indulged in our fair share of takeout, fast food, and Papa Johns pizza (our favorite!) and while it's been relaxing to just eat freely, we both definitely feel the need to balance that freedom out with nourishing choices as well. My body is definitely not feeling as energetic as it used to, and I'm ready to get that fire back in my bones, crush my morning workouts, and feel like myself again!

It IS interesting isn't it...how freedom works differently during different phases of our life. Freedom for me in the beginning part of the year was indulging in carbs, sweets and anything else I wanted to while consuming nourishing foods 80 to 90% of the time...and mostly plants. But now, I am finding freedom in structure, in routine, and in more nourishing and wholesome foods. My struggle lately is that with SO many events, family get -togethers, and the laziness of summertime, I've made excuses as to why I can't take better care of myself. And I am now realizing that I am worth way more than excuses, and just because there is an event or two, doesn't mean I should embrace the unhealthy choices every other day of that week (all or nothing people out there??I know you understand). It IS okay to "clean up" your diet in a healthy way that doesn't trigger restrictive habits, so that is precisely what I am doing to do. Feeling nourished and free is so important, but feeling sluggish is not freeing to me, so in this season, cleaning up my diet does sounds freeing and OH so good. 

Even though we are going away this Friday for Church family camp, I am still going to meal prep and plan for the next 3-4 days so that my husband and I can feel more like ourselves again. And since July marks the middle of the year, why not make some new intentions for the second-half of the year, while cleaning up our eating a bit!


- Run 2x/week

- Hammer and chisel workouts 4x/week

- Cleaning schedule for our new house! It is much bigger than our itty bitty apartment, which took about 20 mins to clean from top to bottom, so I definitely want to get into a better routine now that there's more space to clean!

- Put pictures up in our new home

- Eat at home 5 nights out of the week

- Meal prep!

And speaking of meal prep, I am doing my best to use up what we have at home and pair those foods with healthy vegetables and carbs to last us through the week! Here's the plan!

Breakfast: eggs, oatmeal, fruit, Shakeology


Proteins: Tilapia, chicken, turkey (we had all this on hand at home already, yay for the freezer!)

Vegetables: green beans and broccoli (I am SO over salad lately, so sauteed vegetables are winning this week)

Carbs: roasted potatoes, rice

Snacks: carrots, nuts, Larabars, Justin's nut butter packets, bananas


Keeping things basic and simple is the best way to not only stick to healthy choices, but also make the healthy choice the easy choice. And it is helpful in the money department as well! I am excited to get back to my routine, clean up my diet, but also maintain a healthy and balanced mindset in the process! It is possible as long as you show yourself grace, love, and keep things as simple as possible! ;) 

Easy Meal Plan Staples

Meal planning can be overwhelming for a lot of us! I've had to find a balance between

  1. meticulously controlling every breakfast, lunch dinner
  2. planning out meal options so I know what to shop for, and...
  3. letting the week take control and eating out every night.

Let me tell you, all three of those have happened! 

Sometimes I buy too much and all the food goes to waste, sometimes I don't buy enough and find myself at Trader Joe's 3-4x/week. And don't even get me started about BUDGETING! My husband and I have been really careful since getting married because we have been saving for big things, and the area we found that I spend the most is on groceries. I LOVE grocery shopping and trying out new things, but most of the time, simple is always better, especially for the bank account! I've found a way to make foods we love that won't break the bank, and will still nourish us.

But what about the freedom part? Isn't meal planning and prepping too controlling? I would say, no!

Sometimes, when you are trying to eat in a nourishing way, but also not let food  rule your life, it can be hard to know how to meal plan and prep so that you know you have healthy options on hand, but also feel freedom and flexibility in the process. The way I like to go about it is to have staples for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that we can alternate throughout the week. We usually alternate meals, and we don't find ourselves getting bored especially when we use different seasonings and ways of eating! Below are some of my staple meals and what I haul each week from the grocery store to make it happen!


1. Taco seasoning. Listen up, Trader Joe's has THEEEE best taco seasoning out there. When we first got married, I had Vasken buy me about 10 packs. And when we ran out, Trader Joe's ran out...for 2 months. I was so sad, and tried to make my own mix (which I know is possible), but sometimes convenience wins, and TJ's seasoning just tastes better. Our local trader just got these packets back in stock, so I hoarded them again and have been using this taco seasoning to season turkey meat (both tacos, and burgers), lentils (taco seasoning + salsa= amazing!) and beans and rice dishes. Make your life easier and go get a few packets of this seasoning mix, you won't regret it! 

2. Rolled oats! These are so versatile. I like making a big pot of oatmeal at the beginning of the week (add 1-2 T of chia seeds for extra gooey-ness!) or making a breakfast oatmeal cookie! Plus, oatmeal is full of fiber and other goodness to help us feel full in the morning. Top with fruit and your favorite nut butter and you're good to go!

3. Justin's nut butter packs. I am OBSESSED with these! Healthy fats on the go can be hard to find, but these make it so easy! Just give them a little massage before tearing them open and they have the consistency of melted peanut butter. I eat a packet daily with a banana or apple, or just on its own!

4. Cut up veggies. Sometimes, we can get burnt out from salads, which is why I always love having some cut up veggies to snack on! My favorites are carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet mini bell pepper! Dip in hummus or guacamole for added flavor and a dose of healthy fats!

5. Beans + Rice! When on a budget, beans and rice are a dream come true. I love the Cuban black beans from TJ's. I mix in some brown rice, salsa, taco seasoning, and some frozen fire roasted bell peppers, heat it up and there you go! A delicious burrito bowl! Use as a topping on a salad or sauteed veggies to still get your greens in!

6. EGGS! I feel like eggs go without saying, but they are a delicious and nutritious protein source for us! Yes, even the yolk! The yolk is full of healthy fats that help with hair, skin, eyes, and pretty much every other organ. Plus, each egg has 6-7g of protein in them depending on their size! Scramble them, boil them, fry them, and enjoy!

7. Salad+chip+hummus makes the world go round. This is my go-to lunch combo when time is tight and options are few. I always have the ingredients on hand to make a salad, plus have some kind of healthy chip and dip. Usually, I go for the veggie flax chips or sweet potatoes chips from Trader Joe's! (Can you tell where I do most of my shopping??)

8. Shakeology! Last but not least, my healthiest meal of the day is Shakeology. This whole-foods shake is jam packed with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and more. The best part for this dietitian is that it comes from all whole food superfoods, no weird powders, fillers, or chemicals. I refuse to call it a protein shake, because it's not! It's full of so much more, which makes it incomparable in my professional opinion to other powders on the market! If you'd like to know more about it, please don't hesitate to reach out and ask questions!

If you need help simplifying meal planning and prepping, don't worry, I've got you! It's taken me years to hone in the skills to make this process as easy and as nutritious as possible. I hope this list helps you all, and if you ever need more ideas or added support or info, use the contact me button above to get in touch with me! I love hearing from my readers and helping in however way I can! Have a great Thursday, all!

Half-marathon training, plans, and goals!

First of all, happy extra day of the year, folks! It's exciting when it's a leap year...an extra day to do whatever you'd like! However, I'm at work :) but I digress....

Yesterday was my last day of Hammer and Chisel. I can honestly say that I have never felt stronger or more accomplished than I do now! I'm so excited to have completed this program from start to finish and shown up every day for my workouts! I'm a little sad it's over, but I know I can do it again anytime (yay for home workouts!) I plan on doing another round starting May 2nd, but for the next 60 days, my focus will be on my half-marathon coming up on May 1st! 

I LOVE running; we seriously have a special connection (sorry Vasken). This will be my 6th half marathon and my favorite one...in Orange County by the beach. I'm beyond excited to begin training this week, but I also don't want to make the same over-training mistakes that I've made in the past. I used to run 6-9 miles/day, no stretching, no strength training, and call it a day. I have busted my knee and hip multiple times while following this "plan" and I don't want to do that again. Which is why I am incorporating strength training and other workouts along with running. My goal is to do 21 day fix/Hammer and Chisel workouts 3 days a week, and run 3 days a week, with one rest/stretching day. I know I'll need to take this rest day with all the training I'm doing, and above all I'll need to sleep and nourish my body well! 

I'll follow this plan for the next 5 weeks, because in mid-April my hubby and I are headed to PARIS for our one year wedding anniversary! I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT! It's our first trip to Paris and we are looking forward to it so much! We come back a week before the half marathon, but we are excited to run and explore the city together (and carbo-load like heck before the half marathon HAHA). Overall, I'm not too worried about this trip because a) it's Paris, b) we plan on running, and c) I always have Beachbody on Demand to take with me if I want to mix up my workouts and stream them in our hotel room! 

Then, after the half-marathon on May 1st, I will be starting another round of Hammer and Chisel! So excited about the flexibility we have with these programs and how I can do them all from the comfort of my home :) total win in my book! 

So! My workout plan for this week is as follows: 

Monday: did total body cardio fix this morning; I had totally missed this workout!

Tuesday: run 3 miles 

Wednesday: upper body fix 

Thursday: run 2 miles + 10 min ab fix 

Friday: run 4 miles  

Saturday: Chisel endurance

Sunday: day of REST! :)  


My goals for this season are to really nourish my body well. I have been practicing intuitive eating but am really watching my nutrition using the container system from 21 day fix as well. This meal plan jives with me because sometimes my intuition tells me I'm too hungry or not hungry enough and I miss out on getting nourished fully. I'll be following the second bracket of containers and am going to try and stick with the balance and portion control this program provides! 


It is so important to get ENOUGH food in order to be healthy. You really don't have to eat less, you really just have to learn how to eat right. I want to eat RIGHT during this training time because I know my body will need allllllllll the nutrition it can get if I want to maintain my muscle that I've gained from Hammer and Chisel! That's what I love about this meal plan: I am amazed and how MUCH food is approved and how nourished and energized I feel from eating in such a balanced way. 

So, that's what is coming up for me! I hope that you find a way to have fun today, eat some yummy food, nourish yourself, and find joy in all you do! :) Happy Monday!