5 Tips to Stay Healthy on a Busy Schedule {Guest Post}

Hi loves❤

Welcome to the Kate’s Life Family. I wanted to take a quick second to introduce myself to you all. My name is Kate – and I am a lifestyle blogger from the Midwest. I write about Creativity (DIY’s, Pinterest Recipes, Organization), Personal Development, and Health & Fitness. If you want to join my family, hop on over to sign up for my newsletter. Check me out on Insta, Pinterest, and Facebook, too!

Today I want to focus in on how to stay healthy when you are living a busy life. This can be for parents who split their time between working and taking care of their kids, people who are simply overworked and don’t have much time for personal care, or can be for individuals who need a few simple steps to keep them on track. I share these tips out of experience and am still trying to find complete balance (if that even exists) between all of my avenues in life.

What Does Being Healthy Even Mean?

Being Healthy has become such a controversial topic because everyone defines this term differently. To me, being healthy is implementing changes in your life that will benefit your mind and body. They can be as big as tracking what you eat to lose weight – or a small task of drinking enough water each day. The great thing about the term, “being healthy” is YOU get to decide what that looks like for you and your life.

Creating Healthy To-Go Meals

I know, I know. If you are on a busy schedule, how are you supposed to create a few healthy meals and snacks? I get it, I do. You can create a few small meals and snacks in under 30 minutes. You can keep these staples in the pantry or fridge which will allow you to grab them when you are on the way out. A few of my favorite to-go snack are pre-portioned nuts, dried fruit, hard boiled eggs, and string cheese. My preferred simple and quick meals are: healthy pasta salad, yogurt parfaits, and Mason jar salads. I love using Pinterest to find new meals to incorporate into my busy schedule.

Schedule Your Workouts

Scheduling workouts into your calendar is one of the most important tasks to do. When you schedule your workouts, you gain the mentality that it is an IMPORTANT appointment that you cannot miss. When I was establishing my workout routine, this habit was monumental in keeping me on track. When I schedule my workouts, I put in the day and time of each workout during the week. It helps me plan out the week and work around my workout so that I can truly get it in.

Workout Wherever You Can

The one thing I learned early during my quest for fitness – is that it doesn’t matter where you workout – it matters that you worked out. A great workout can mean very different things to different people. It doesn’t mean you have to be working out at the gym, or attend a class (BUT if you do prefer to workout in those ways – make sure to schedule them into your calendar so you can make it happen). Working out at home can still be an efficient and killer workout. If you need a few tips of what workout equipment you should be keeping around the house to get in a great workout, check out this blog.

Find a Workout Routine that Works for You

If you are a busy mom, working 9-5, then taking care of the kids when you get home – a 2 hour intense gym workout MAY not be the best for you. AND if this is how you are trying to workout, and can’t get it done – you may be sabotaging yourself. Find a workout routine that will fit your schedule, abilities, and equipment available. Set aside time to discover moves you can complete that fit into your schedule – with the internet being at our fingertips these days – there is an unlimited source of information.

Take a Look at Your Spare Time

A lot of people use the excuse that they don’t have time to stay healthy and fit.

Okay.

Now look at where you are spending your time. Are you sitting on the couch scrolling through Social Media during any part of the day? Do you watch TV for any amount of time? DO YOU HAVE 20 MINUTES TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF? If not, try to take a serious look at where you are spending your time. If being healthy is a real priority to you; you will find time to do these things to improve and support your health.

Your health is your priority, but that doesn’t mean you should be putting pressure on yourself. Be understanding with yourself. You can only do as much as your life allows. The great thing about life is that we go through different seasons throughout our life. You may not have a lot of time on your hands right now, and a quick 15-20 minute workout is all you can get in. Maybe in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years – you will be in a different season which can allow you to have a different workout routine.

Find beauty in the current season you are in. Take in all life has to offer in this moment right now.

Find ways to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your routine. What works for one person – may not work for you. It is an ever-changing process that should adapt to your current life situation.

What ways are you staying healthy throughout your busy life? What are some areas you are looking to improve on??

Much Love,

Kate

Easy Roasted Lemon-Garlic Shrimp (Skinnytaste)

Some crazy days lead into crazy dinner nights! Tonight was one of them. I got the kids all set, but what about me? Well… what about an easy and yummy meal just under 10 minutes from start to finish? This Easy Roasted Lemon-Garlic Shrimp recipe from Skinnytaste is a winner! I love the taste and simplicity of this go-to meal for mommy.

Enjoy!

Melissa

Easy Roasted Lemon-Garlic Shrimp (Skinnytaste)

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs shelled and deveined jumbo shrimp (36) **I only did ½ pound for myself of large raw shrimp from the Seafood section at Wegmans**

    2 cloves garlic, minced

      1 tablespoon olive oil

        1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

          1 lemon, juice of

            1 tablespoon chopped parsley

              Instructions

              Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray 2 large nonstick baking trays with cooking spray.

              • Combine the shrimp, garlic, oil and crushed red pepper together in a bowl and stir to combine.

              Arrange the shrimp on a baking sheet in a single layer.

                Roast 6 to 8 minutes or until the shrimp turns opaque.

                  Squeeze lemon over the shrimp and garnish with parsley.


                    Taco Pizza

                    Ok so this next one is one of my specialties. I call it the “Taco Pizza” only because I use a taco shell as my crust, there is nothing else “taco” about it. I have told you all before that I am really bad when it comes to eating lunch. I usually skip it, because it is too hard for me to come up with something easy to make. The one day I was in the mood for pizza, but the kid was napping, and I had no cash for pizza delivery. I brainstormed, and came up the the perfect solution! Let me introduce to you to… the Taco Pizza! Easy, healthy, and delicious, especially if you are a pizza lover like me.

                    Enjoy!

                    Meghan

                    “Taco” Pizza

                    Ingredients

                    1 soft taco shell – I used a low calorie one, I think it was Fiber One

                      2 tbsp marinara sauce (or you could use a pizza sauce, but I didn’t have that available)

                        ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese (shredded)

                          Toppings: broccoli, oregano, garlic power

                            Instructions

                            Preheat oven to 375 degrees

                              Line a baking sheet with foil

                                Put just the shell on the baking sheet and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned

                                  Add sauce, cheese, and toppings

                                    Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted

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                                      Buddha Bowl

                                      I have been becoming more and more adventurous with my recipes, and I stumbled upon this Skinnytaste recipe and it looked so good and so easy.  Spoiler alert… it was both of those things! The flavors really complimented each other, and the pecans added a crunchy texture, which was to die for!  The only thing I couldn’t do myself was make the eggs. No matter how hard I try, I cannot make sunny-side-up eggs to save my life! I had to call in the big guns, aka my husband to do that part. Thanks, babe! Enjoy!

                                      Meghan

                                      Buddha Bowl

                                      Ingredients

                                      4 cups broccoli florets

                                        2 cups cubed butternut squash

                                          1 small onion, sliced into ½ moons

                                            1 tablespoon olive oil

                                              1 small (4-ounce) Hass avocado, sliced

                                                Olive oil spray

                                                  4 large eggs

                                                    Kosher salt

                                                      Freshly ground black pepper

                                                        2 cups cooked brown rice

                                                          ¼ cup chopped pecans

                                                            Instructions

                                                            Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

                                                              On a large sheet pan, toss broccoli, squash and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste.

                                                                Spread veggies out in an even layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until crisp tender.

                                                                  Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat and lightly spray with oil.

                                                                    Add eggs, one at a time, leaving space between them. Season each with a pinch of salt and pepper, cover and cook until whites are just set and yolk is still runny.

                                                                      Divide rice and roasted veggies evenly among 4 bowls.

                                                                        Top each with 1 ounce avocado and 1 egg and 1 tablespoon pecans.

                                                                          Serve immediately.

                                                                            Ground Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

                                                                            I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner and he said “something Mexican flavored,” so here goes my first attempt at enchiladas! The were relatively easy to make, and I had most of the ingredients at home already, which is always a win! Give them a try! Enjoy!

                                                                            Meghan

                                                                            Ground Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas

                                                                            Ingredients

                                                                            2 teaspoons olive oil

                                                                              1 large yellow onion, diced

                                                                                3 cloves garlic, minced

                                                                                  1 pound extra lean ground turkey

                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste

                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

                                                                                        1 teaspoon dried oregano

                                                                                          salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

                                                                                            2 tablespoons tomato paste

                                                                                              1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained

                                                                                                1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

                                                                                                  1 whole lime, juiced

                                                                                                    12 (6-inch) low carb flour tortillas

                                                                                                      1/2 cup low fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

                                                                                                        1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

                                                                                                          1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce, divided

                                                                                                            thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

                                                                                                              light sour cream, for serving

                                                                                                                Instructions

                                                                                                                Preheat oven to 400F.

                                                                                                                  Grease a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

                                                                                                                    Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

                                                                                                                      Add onions and cook for 2 minutes.

                                                                                                                        Stir in garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds.

                                                                                                                          Add the ground turkey; season with cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                            Continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring frequently.

                                                                                                                              Stir in tomato paste until well incorporated.

                                                                                                                                Stir in beans, chicken broth, and lime juice, and bring to a boil; cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.

                                                                                                                                  Remove from heat.

                                                                                                                                    Place 1 tortilla on your working surface and spoon about 3 tablespoons of the turkey mixture onto one end of the tortilla.

                                                                                                                                      Roll up the tortilla and set aside.

                                                                                                                                        Repeat with remaining tortillas and ground turkey mixture.

                                                                                                                                          Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of previously prepared baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                            Arrange rolled up tortillas seam side down over the enchilada sauce.

                                                                                                                                              Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

                                                                                                                                                  Remove from oven and let stand few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                    Garnish with sour cream and green onions.


                                                                                                                                                      Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach

                                                                                                                                                      I was in the mood for pasta, but I didn’t want just regular pasta with red sauce. I stumbled upon this Skinnytaste recipe and I had to give it a shot! I wouldn’t say it was difficult to make, but it did have quite a few steps. However, it was worth it! The creaminess of the butternut squash, paired with the spicy sausage was delicious! Give it a shot and let us know what you think!

                                                                                                                                                      Meghan  

                                                                                                                                                      Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce, Spicy Sausage and Baby Spinach

                                                                                                                                                      Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                      11 oz (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage

                                                                                                                                                        1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced (I bought chopped)

                                                                                                                                                          1 tbsp whipped butter

                                                                                                                                                            10 oz pasta, wheat or gluten-free (I used whole grain)

                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup shallots, minced

                                                                                                                                                                3 cloves garlic, minced

                                                                                                                                                                  2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

                                                                                                                                                                    2 tbsp fresh shaved parmesan cheese

                                                                                                                                                                      4 sage leaves, sliced thin (I did not use these)

                                                                                                                                                                        kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

                                                                                                                                                                          Instructions

                                                                                                                                                                          Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft.

                                                                                                                                                                            Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                              Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

                                                                                                                                                                                Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 – 6 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (I used about 1 cup) to thin out the sauce to your liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Add baby spinach and stir in parmesan cheese and sage. Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Serve with additional parmesan cheese on the side if desired.


                                                                                                                                                                                          Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                          You all know how much I love my slow cooker meals… maybe it’s because they are easy, maybe it’s because I am lazy, but in any case, this one is fantastic! There are minimal steps for this recipe, and not much to prep before sticking it in the crock pot. I even made more than I needed so I could take it for lunch a few days this week. Check it out and let me know what you think! Enjoy!


                                                                                                                                                                                          Meghan

                                                                                                                                                                                          Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                                          2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 can (4 oz) chopped mild green chilies, drained

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup chicken broth

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 yellow onion, diced

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cloves garlic, diced

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tsp cumin

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ½ cup of Monterey Jack cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ½ cup of crushed Tortillas

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A few pinches of cilantro

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 avocado

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salt & pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Instructions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Place chicken in crockpot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine, tomatoes, chilies, chicken broth, onion, garlic, cumin and pour over chicken

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Take chicken out, shred, and add back to the crockpot for another 20-30 minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just before serving, add tortillas and cilantro, and stir.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Add to bowls, top with cheese avocado and more tortillas if desired.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seven Layer Tostadas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I feel like I have been living under a rock for my whole life because I JUST discovered tostadas recently (see BBQ Tostadas Recipe ), and I am now obsessed! I found this Seven Layer Tostadas recipe and had to give it a shot. I’m grateful my husband is not a picky eater, and is dealing with my new obsession of tostadas. The real recipe is vegetarian, but my husband’s one request is that our meals have some sort of meat, so I added ground turkey. I guess maybe I should call this eight layer tostadas?? In any case, they were so easy to make, you know how I love that, and so good! I would add these to my weekly meal rotation! Give them a shot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meghan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seven Layer Tostadas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 can (16 oz.) refried pinto beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 1/2 cups guacamole (purchased or homemade guacamole)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup light sour cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tsp. Taco Seasoning Mix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup finely grated low-fat cheese such as Four Cheese Mexican Blend

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup chopped tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup sliced black olives (or use a 4 oz. can sliced olives)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4-6 flour tortillas, 6 or 8 inch inch size

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ⅓ pound of ground turkey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  olive oil for greasing baking sheet, about 1 tsp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Instructions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 450F

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cook ground turkey until brown and add ½ tsp of taco seasoning mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Put flour tortillas on the baking sheet with a touch of olive oil and toast tortillas in the oven until they’re crisp and barely starting to brown, turning several times. This will take less than 5 minutes so watch them carefully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While tortillas are crisping, put the refried beans in a bowl, stir to break them apart, and microwave 2-3 minutes, or until they’re hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stir the remaining taco seasoning mix into the sour cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chop the onions, slice green onions, and slice the olives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Put crisped tortilla shell on a plate and top with:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a thin layer of refried beans (1-2 tablespoons)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    a thin layer of guacamole (1-2 tablespoons)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      a thin layer of seasoned sour cream (1-2 tablespoons)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        several generous pinches of finely grated low-fat cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted then top with chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced green onions, and sliced olives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serve right away, with salsa or hot sauce if desired.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spinach Turkey Meatballs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Usually once a week we have a pasta night. It is mainly due to being easy to make, and to be honest, we love pasta! Our normal pasta night consists of penne/ziti/whatever is in our cabinet, marinara sauce, and frozen turkey meatballs.  I thought to myself, how hard is it to make meatballs? Well, the answer is… not hard at all! There are so few ingredients, and even fewer steps to make them. My husband doubted my ability to make meatballs because I never had done so before, but he couldn’t stop raving about them! Give them a try. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meghan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spinach Turkey Meatballs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 egg, beaten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup soft bread crumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tablespoons grated onion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon seasoned salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 pound ground turkey

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Instructions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a bowl, combine spinach, egg, bread crumbs, onion and seasoned salt. Add turkey and mix well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shape into 2-in. balls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Place meatballs in a greased baking pan/sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bake, uncovered, at 400°F for 20 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Finished Recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was in the mood for Mexican food, but I didn’t want tacos since we had made them a few nights prior.  I was doing a little recipe grazing, and stumbled upon this one. I am so happy I did too. It was so easy and really fulfilled my want for Mexican food. It also sent my husband for seconds and thirds!  I am not sure if I didn’t fill the peppers to their fullest, or if the peppers I bought were small, but I had enough leftover for another meal! This was a win! In the freezer they go! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Meghan 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 4 large Red Bell Peppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 cup Cooked Rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1/2 cups Frozen Corn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 10 ounces Canned Black Beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 cup Salsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 2 cups Mexican Cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Instructions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rinse black beans and thaw corn. Combine it together with cooked rice, cheese and salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cook ground turkey in a skillet until brown and add taco seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Combine meat with the rice mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cut bell peppers in halves and remove seeds from the bell peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stuff each piece with the mixture. Top with some Mexican cheese (I ran out, so I used sharp cheddar)and bake for 30 minutes at 350 F