The only three meal prep dressings you need!!
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These dressings are so easy and it’s amazing how versatile they are! I love them because besides making any bowl of greens shine, they can also serve as marinades, dips and sauces for proteins, pasta and roasted vegetables! They are the only dressings you’ll ever need!

They can spice up your meal prep and make yesterday’s chicken dish taste like a whole new experience! They are lower in salt and sugar than the dressings you purchase in the store not to mention lower in calories! Make up a batch of these healthy dressings for your meals! Enjoy!

Recipes below and make 1/2 to 1 cup each.
 

Balsamic: 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons diced shallot.
 

Ranch: 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon of dried parsley, dried dill, onion powder, garlic powder, pinch of dried thyme.
 

Honey-Mustard: 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, dash of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.
 

These dressings will last for 1-2 weeks in airtight containers in the fridge. Also, don’t forget to salt and pepper as needed!

Kathryn MarrisComment
How To Start Meal Prepping
Meal Prep!

Can you believe it? It’s 2019!! I’m a goal setter and so I spent some time this week planning goals for my finances, time and health. Do you set goals for the year? If you do I have something that will help you achieve more in all these areas.

What is it? Meal Prepping.

When you meal prep, you can save money on your groceries (and skip the expensive fast food drive through), save time by preparing your breakfast, lunches and dinners and help yourself stay on track with your health and fitness goals by controlling what you eat!

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of meal prepping, but you want to receive the benefits of it, I’ve got you! Here are some tips!

meal prep

1. Begin SMALL. Begin with the meal you have the most difficulty making healthy choices, eating out, or not eating it at all!

Maybe breakfast is the tough meal. You might think, “I’m running late. . . aw, just skip it!”  But breakfast is such an important meal for you to eat! So, if you struggle with breakfast, then start with prepping your breakfasts.

Are you regularly tempted to sneak out at noon for some greasy fast food? But you really don’t want to because of the cost and it wrecks your fitness goals? Then begin with your lunch. 

Do you find dinner time in your home is chaotic at best? People come and go with different schedules and you can’t seem to feed them anything but what you grab on the way? Are you exhausted when you get back from working out and you know your body needs a good nutritious dinner? Then dinner is the meal you start with.

Once you have determined what meal to begin with, pick one recipe that will hold up well in the fridge. If you need inspiration, check out my recipes (this sheet pan chicken thigh dinner is a good one!) or follow my Instagram (@katmarris) for some meal prep inspo.

2. Then PLAN. Planning is important for successful meal prep.

I always make my grocery list the day before I shop. Then I am not hurried and forget something I need in a recipe. If you don’t have any containers (glass or plastic) that you can store your meals in, be sure to add that to your list!

3. Then IMPLEMENT! Pull together the ingredients you need for your recipe and begin working through the steps.

When the meal is completed, divide the food into portions in the containers, cool and place in your fridge!

If prepping for multiple people, you can even write their names on the container so they get the meal made just for them! Brian requires more protein and food in general than I do, so we put colorful tape on his container tops so he grabs the right one for lunch as he dashes out the door!

After a time or two you will feel more confident and ready to add a second meal, or maybe more! Once you get comfortable with meal prepping, you will find it becomes an important part of you meeting your goals and will miss it on the weeks you are out of town and just can’t prep!

Wrap

If you want more information on how to start meal prepping your way to a successful year financially, time management wise and in your fitness goals, be sure to sign up for my Tasty Tuesday weekly email and I will send you my Meal Prep 101 guide that includes some easy, fast and delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks!

Do you feel like you are ready for more? Want to meal prep but the thought of coming up with recipes and grocery lists and counting calories every week is just overwhelming? I’ve got you covered!

With my Ready, Set Go! Meal Prep Program, you receive a weekly meal plan with menus, grocery lists, nutrition information, recipes and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare it all in either a one-hour power prep or a regular 2-3 hour session. In a short time, you can have all your meals prepared and ready to help you meet your important goals for the year!

I am here to help! Let me know if you have questions! And let me know how you are doing with your meal prep!!

Kathryn MarrisComment
My 30 Day Gut Health Journey
Oranges

Do you know how important your stomach is? It not only allows us to enjoy delicious foods, but the trillions of bacteria found in your stomach are the foundation of wellness in the body! A large presence of bad bacteria can lead to numerous health issues from anxiety, yeast overgrowth, constipation and more!

Over the summer, I had to take really strong antibiotics for a staph infection. While I’m grateful for doctors and modern medicine, the antibiotics absolutely destroyed my gut bacteria! 

After my two month treatment, I was struggling with:

  • Low energy

  • Digestive issues

  • Acne

  • Sugar cravings 

  • Bloated stomach  

 

While I was happy to be free of my infection, I was really bummed about all the issues I was struggling with.

The stomach bloating was the most discouraging, I had been working my butt off to be diligent about my fitness routine but no matter what I did or ate, I always looked like I had just eaten a monster burrito, double the beans, double the cheese.

My doctor suggested I start taking a probiotic and after much research, I chose to partner with and use Silver Fern Brand because of the quality of their products, and they are just the sweetest folks you’ll ever meet! 

So I decided to challenge myself to a 30 day journey to take control of my gut.

The journey had it’s ups and downs. Some days I felt like I wasn’t seeing any progress. And I did find that I had more breakouts in the first week, but I was feeling better overall and my energy was increasing! By week two my skin was clearing up and my stomach was starting to flatten!! By week three I was free of my digestive issues and it was so nice to eat a meal and not have my stomach hurt!

I’m so happy to report that my results were beyond what I had hoped to achieve! My energy levels are up, I no longer have stomach pains and digestive issues after meals, my acne has cleared up, my sugar cravings are reduced and my bloated stomach is quickly receding! I know I still have more to go in my journey, but it feels so good to be addressing these issues instead of suffering.

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I’ve had so many messages from you guys asking exactly what I took and ate during this journey that I wanted to document it for you! And please if you have ever struggled with any of the issues I have experienced or any of the issues that that indicate a gut bacteria imbalance, take control of your gut health and feel better!! Don’t suffer!

Here’s what I did to get my gut back on track and my tips for you! 

1. Take a probiotic and digestive enzyme! 

If you do nothing else for your gut health, this is the BIGGIE! One of the biggest reasons we experience digestive issues or any of the struggles I mentioned is due to a lack in beneficial bacteria and too much of the unhealthy kind. Feed the good bacteria in your gut!!  

I took my probiotic with my breakfast every morning.

Before you buy a probiotic, make sure you research it as not all are created equal! I used the Ultimate Probiotic by Silver Fern Brand. It’s a broad spectrum probiotic and has a 100% survivability rate which means the probiotics don't die from your stomach acid (aka make it basically pointless).

I also took the Digestive Enzyme which I found SUPER helpful! Bye bye heartburn and gas! 

They saved me when I ate hard to digest foods like salads, bowls of pasta at birthday parties and smoothies! Digestive enzymes work by breaking down the food you've just eaten and helps make it easier for your stomach to extract the nutrients. They take a ton of stress off your stomach.

I took my digestive enzyme before most meals.

2. Eat a clean diet! 

I didn’t do anything super extreme here, but I kept my diet balanced and full of fresh vegetables! I tried to eat less sugar and reduce dairy and gluten which I know bother me. I drank lots of water and green tea. 

3. Get your fiber!

Something I had struggled with was not getting enough fiber in my diet even though I was eating vegetables and whole grains. As a way to boost my fiber intake I also took the Tino™ Natural Prebiotic Fiber supplement. It’s water soluble, high fiber supplement that helped keep everything moving along if you know what I mean *wink wink*! 

I used the fiber supplement every day in my coffee or a smoothie. 

4. Switch your protein powder! 

I had been using a whey protein powder that made my stomach hurt so bad! I never really connected that the protein powder I had been using was causing me trouble until I switched to the Plant Based Organic Protein Powder with Gut Health Boost by Silver Fern Brand. 

Holy guacamole! I’m never going back to a whey based protein powder! This protein powder caused me ZERO discomfort and I had no gas from it. If you’ve ever used a protein powder and then had to go to gym with a stomach full of gas, you can relate! 

I used the protein powder in smoothies, breakfast bars and energy bites. I used the protein powder almost every day.

Hopefully you guys found this helpful and I’m always here if you have additional questions!! I also did a review on my YouTube channel if you’d like to check it out!!

ALSO if you want to try any of these products use code “freshandbalanced” at checkout for %10 off!


**This post and my journey was sponsored by Silver Fern Brand. I only recommend products I use and love!**

Kathryn MarrisComment
Mug Apple Crumble

It’s raining apples!! I love the fall and the excess of apples it brings! Besides using it’s crunchy sweetness in salads, oatmeals and stews I love a good apple crumble. My mouth is literally watering thinking about the apple crumble my Mom used to make for us kids!!!!

I think a good apple crumble should have a couple of key characteristics. Sweet soft apples, crumbly oat topping and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Okay I’m seriously hungry now…

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I love apple crumble so much that I don’t trust myself to make a whole pan! I would eat it all in a couple of hours…I wish I was kidding but I’m not! I love making an apple crumble in a mug because it uses less dishes and is perfect portion control!

**Pro tip, make sure your mug is microwave safe before making this recipe! :) Not speaking from personal experience or anything lol!

Give it a try and enjoy!!

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Mug Apple Crumble

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients For The Crumble:

  • 1 medium sized apple, peeled, cored and sliced

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon oat or coconut flour

  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats

  • 1 tablespoon raisins

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon rolled oats

  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Instructions

In a large microwave safe mug, mix sliced apples with all crumble ingredients. Mix together topping ingredients (except for ice cream) in a separate small bowl and pour on top of the apple mixture.

Microwave for 90 seconds or until apples are soft. Top with scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Kathryn MarrisComment