It’s that time of year again. Coughs and colds, not to mention head-spinning vomit scenes from the Exorcist cutting room floor if you’re unlucky enough to be hit by a real flu. Hooray for winter! If your little one has recently started daycare or school you can expect several viruses in your first year, and unless you intend to stop cuddling each time she gets the sniffles, chances are you’ll come down with a few sniffles yourself. (more…)
Sneak out after bedtime for an evening workout that’s fun, fresh, challenging, AND suitable for the needs of prenatal and postpartum women!
Pregnant & working 9-5? Back to work soon? We’re delivering more classes for mommies who work during the day but still want to be a part of the BB community. (more…)
When you’re eating healthfully, and especially when you’re trying to take off those stubborn baby pounds (or not put on 100 of them during pregnancy), pasta doesn’t generally appear often on your meal plan. This recipe borrows all those amazing lasagna qualities — filling, protein-packed, saucy, big-batch comfort food — minus the belt-unbuckling carb binge regrets. Indulge in this low-carb lasagna casserole this week!
It’s not that pasta is the devil, but it does quickly spike your blood sugar and promote fat storage with its very high starch content. Not to mention that pasta is just SO easy to overeat. There is, after all, a huge difference between the 80 g serving of pasta indicated on the package and the bowl you fill up at the end of a long day, isn’t there? Keep pasta as one of your faves, and enjoy it on a night out, or for a fancy Saturday night family dinner. For the average dinner choose more nutritious carbs, like the tomatoes and sweet potatoes in this recipe, to fill you up without filling you out. If you know what we mean.
This makes a huge batch and the extra slices are perfect hot lunches for grownups and littles. Reheat in the oven in foil, and keep the extra sauce for the leftovers. Kiddos LOVE this casserole.
Bonus? This lasagna feeds everyone for about $3.00 or less per person but tastes like a million dollars. OK, it’s not caviar…let’s say it tastes like 10,000 dollars.
[Tweet “Slow cooker lasagna that’s LOW CARB to fill you up without filling you out. >> #BBresults”]
paleo slow cooker lasagna
for the casserole:
- 3 lb lean ground beef, bison, or a mixture of pork & beef
- 10 eggs, beaten
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 2 medium-large red onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1-2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1-2 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- sea salt & black pepper
for the sauce:
- 1 jar passata
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped/minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head spinach, washed & roughly chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano or basil (or 1-2 tsp dried)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan (optional)
1. Grease slow cooker insert well with coconut oil. 2. Heat large skillet over medium-high & brown meat (in batches, if needed); add onions & garlic and continue sautéing until meat is cooked through. 3. Add spices/herbs, salt & pepper to meat mixture and sauté 1 minute more until fragrant. 4. Slice sweet potatoes about 1/8″ thick and microwave 1-2 minutes or steam briefly in a large pan or steamer basket until slightly softened. 5. Layer sweet potatoes into bottom of slow cooker insert until just covered; spoon about 1/4 meat mixture on top, and continue layering to finish with top layer of sweet potatoes. 6. Season eggs with salt & pepper, and pour evenly over casserole. 7. Cook on low 6 hours (cool slightly before slicing to get the best lasagna “squares”).
8. Meanwhile, or before eating, heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat; sauté onion 3-4 minutes until softened. 9. Add garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1-2 minutes more until fragrant. 10. Add passata and chicken stock; bring to a boil and reduce to low to simmer 20-30 minutes. 11. Add spinach, fresh herbs, and parmesan; simmer until spinach is wilted. 12. To serve, slice casserole and pour sauce over each portion; garnish with additional basil and parmesan, if desired.
Meet Andie from our Bloor West location. Andie joined BB 3 years ago after her first son was born, and continued training through her second pregnancy and after baby #2. Now she’s pregnant again (way to go, Andie!) & training three times per week with her BB personal trainer & in our group classes. She’s fun-loving, hard-working, & always somehow looks like she just came straight from the beauty salon. Overall, pretty impressive. Thanks, Andie!
The first few weeks with a brand new baby are no joke. Constant diaper changes, sleep measured in minutes rather than hours, worrying if it’s too hot or too cold in the house, not to mention figuring out breastfeeding (while cursing yourself for not listening better in your prenatal classes). It’s totally overwhelming and all consuming. With all that work keeping your brand new baby alive, it can be really easy to forget about yourself – and you are important too, mama!
The more nutrients you can cram into your mouth between marathon nursing sessions, the better – you need to eat well to produce milk, and although you may feel like you are physically falling apart, you will fall apart just a little bit less with the right about of protein, healthy fat and smart carbs.
We’ve been there and lived to tell the tale, so here are some tips from one mom to another about how to keep yourself nourished while you get through those first few months.
1. The freezer is your friend.
While it’s always better to buy your veggies fresh, frozen vegetables are a really convenient alternative. You save time chopping, and veggies are often frozen at their peak ripeness so you’re actually saving a lot of the nutrients by not letting them waste away in your fridge. The easiest dinner out there: stir fry some frozen veggies in sesame oil, add a protein (you can buy pre-cut chicken or beef strips if you are doing this with one hand), top with tamari and you have a stir fry. Is it gourmet? No – but it’s quick, easy, healthy, and foolproof!
If you have the time and energy before baby comes, try to make some freezer meals that you can easily transfer from freezer to slow cooker or oven.
2. Meal-sized green smoothies
We know that it’s always better to sit down to a real meal than to drink your calories, but smoothies can be a great way to quickly consume a lot of nutrients without a lot of prep work. It’s important to put an emphasis on the GREEN part – too much fruit and you’ll get an unneeded blood sugar spike that will leave you hungry for more sooner than you’d like. Try to use 2-3 green vegetables, 1 frozen fruit, and then jam pack your smoothie with some more caloric goodness – try full fat greek yogurt, almond butter, avocado, chia seeds, or young coconut!
3. Batch cook and eat leftovers
Now is not the time to attempt a new recipe every night. Find delicious one pot/slow cooker meals that you can make in large batches and save for leftovers. Think: Chili, stews, soups, rice and beans, enchiladas, curries…all of these work really well. Freeze individual portions for yourself for lunches!
Here are some big batch recipes from the BB vault:
- slow cooker pulled chicken chili
- flexitarian chili
- spiced butternut squash soup
- “instant” sausage, kale + chickpea soup
- vegetarian red lentil stew
- southwest kale + oat meatloaf
- 5-ingredient breakfast casserole
- paleo slow cooker ‘lasagna”
4. Eat when you are hungry and don’t think about dieting
Listen to your body and have a snack whenever you feel hungry, regardless of what time it is. It’s not like you are following a normal sleep schedule, anyways! Being in tune with hunger and cravings will help you to ensure you are getting everything you need to produce nourishing food for baby. Breastfeeding burns calories like crazy, but the thing is we need to replenish those calories in order to keep producing! It’s not the time to worry about weight loss.
5. Prioritize fat.
Your growing baby (both before she was born and now that she is drinking milk) is relying heavily on fats for her nutrition and one tough fact of motherhood is her needs sometimes come before yours; any sleepless mommy can tell you that! Healthy fats such as virgin coconut oil, olive oil, animal fats including butter and full-fat dairy (especially from grass-fed and/or organic sources), and the fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds will all top off your body’s supply and help you make rich, nutritious milk for your breastfeeding babe. Healthy fats also help ease symptoms of fatigue and confusion due to sleeplessness.
Fear not, eating fat does not make you fat; the two types of fat are totally different. If you’re concerned about dropping the baby weight, build your meals around healthy portions of protein, fat, and veggies, and limit starchy carbohydrates more than you might have during pregnancy while eating to your appetite. It’s that simple!
Do you have any advice to share? What are your go-to make ahead recipes? Share in the comments!
- thank you to our dear friend Michele Crockett Photography for the adorable image -
Every year we like to bid adieu to the stroller fitness season with a Halloween week costume contest at all BB postnatal locations and classes! We can’t wait to see this year’s little parade!
Bring your baby in costume to BB during the week of October 27th through October 31st for a chance to win! The cutest costume at each class (the most difficult decision your trainer will make all year, we swear…) will win its wearer’s mommy a FREE BB class added to her current registration.
We’ll also have our trainers snapping photos that we can share on social media for you to keep, to remember that first Hallowe’en with baby, and your days at BB! Feel free to bring your own camera/camera phone and tag us @bellybootcamp when you post!
Even if you don’t win, it’s a chance to get one more use out of that infant Halloween costume before you throw her in the carrier on Friday night and start inhaling tiny Snickers bars.
Sometimes, you miss breakfast. Or maybe, instead of eating a figure-friendly, craving-stomping, high protein breakfast, you grab a coffee or three and a muffin, and bury your face in your laptop until you realize it’s 1:30 p.m., breakfast and lunchtime have both passed, and you are HANGRY.
What to do? You could eat a few pieces of toast slathered in butter and another cup of coffee. Wipe the drool from your face! That’s not lunch. That’s a blood sugar spike waiting to happen. (more…)
A huge part of fitness — especially bodyfat-oriented goals — involves the fuel that goes into the body you are trying to sculpt and strengthen. You can hit the gym and kick your own ass around the block five days each week, but if you are eating processed foods and/or overeating on a regular basis, you’ll never see the results you deserve.
Lights! Music! Dryness! Welcome, autumn, with all your winds and rains and “dews” that look suspiciously like “frosts…” It’s been a blast, but we at BB are happy to wrap up the 2014 stroller fitness season and launch a fun (and dry) season of our popular indoor Belly Bootcamp fitness with baby!
The BEST Results. The MOST Fun.
Thanksgiving. A statutory holiday for belts. Dig out your stretchiest waistband and most flattering top. It’s turkey time.
There are plenty of silly recipes out there for low-calorie holiday meals. Let’s face it. We only really give ourselves a free pass to eat to our heart’s content a few times per year. And let me tell you, straight-up: overeating at Thanksgiving dinner will not make you gain weight. Overeating at Christmas dinner will not make you gain weight. Overeating at every meal from Thanksgiving to January 1st will make you gain weight. Do we see the difference? (more…)