Easy Prep Recipe: Spinach Salad with Sweet Potato, Chicken & Goat Cheese



Ever shy away from prepping ALL of your food for the week because you want something FRESH -- instead of endless containers of "left overs?"

While I don't personally relate to that.. gimme ALL the PREPPED food & left overs.. I DO love adding in some fresh salads to our weekly menus!!

What's sneaky about this recipe though is that some of it IS prepped ahead & the rest can be thrown together in a snap.

You're going to LOVE this!!

Spinach Salad
with Sweet Potato, Grilled Chicken & Goat Cheese

You can keep this super simple OR dress it up.
You can always make tweaks to YOUR taste & depending on the foods you have on hand!

This recipe was actually inspired by a couple of salads I ordered on our most recent trip to New Orleans last month. We has LOADS of yummy treats while we were there, so once a day I tried to squeeze in a load of greens to keep my tummy happy.

I made a couple of adjustments to make it simpler to throw together and healthier - stuff like less dressing, a lighter dressing & fewer "extra" toppings. You could certainly make this more rich though by dressing it up for a special occasion.

Okay here it is!
& I'm T E L L I N G you.. it's just too easy!

Ingredients:

Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Chicken
Goat Cheese
Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette
(or a vinaigrette of your choice)
Coconut Oil Spray
Dried Spices of your choice + Salt & Pepper

Prep/Assembly:

Start by grilling your chicken.

This is where part of our prep ahead came into play. We grilled enough chicken for the two of us plus our 11 month old daughter to eat for dinners all week! All we had to do each day was dice our servings, heat & top our salads!

We seasoned with himalayan salt, pepper, garlic & dried rosemary. Then grilled to perfection.



I think some other DELICIOUS protein alternatives would be grilled shrimp or salmon, depending on what you have or have the taste for! We'll be trying these soon for SURE.

While the chicken was grilling, I prepped a week's worth of sweet potatoes. I washed each potato very well & the cubed them into small, bite-sized pieces. I decided to leave the skin on for added texture, but you could certainly peel them (I only peel them for my daughter, Raegan). I sprayed our potatoes lightly with coconut oil & seasoned them with himalayan salt, pepper & dried garlic.

BEWARE: roasted sweet potato bites are like CANDY & you WILL want to snack on them while they're cooling.


When it came to the day OF & it was dinner time, assembly was easy peasy.

Make yourself a pretty little bed of spinach.
Layer a warm serving of grilled chicken & diced sweet potatoes.
Crumble goat cheese ALL over.
Drizzle with vinaigrette!

I personally LOVE this Skinny Girl Raspberry Vinaigrette



Some other tasty topping ideas?!

Toss on some chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts!
You could even sprinkle a few dried cranberries over the top.
OR a fresh alternative.. dice up some strawberries!

Not a huge fan of sweet potatoes?
Go for butternut squash.. also DELICIOUS!

Lastly, switch up your dressings & try another vinaigrette.

Anyone else hungry yet??

Alrighty, friends. That's all!
I TOLD you it was too easy.



If you try something different, be sure to share it with me.
I'm always on the hunt for anything quick, healthy & easy to prep a little ahead!

I hope you enjoy this prep ahead but fresh SALAD!

PS: For any of my followers who are on the "fixate" meal plan, this recipe as I have shared it before substitution suggestions is: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue & 1 orange if you measure out each ingredient before plating!


My Postpartum Transformation: 80 Day Obsession

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

At exactly 7 months postpartum, I started a new chapter in my postpartum journey using a program called 80 Day Obsession.

After several months of fairly consistent exercise, & eating more conveniently or sporadically than clean or healthy, I felt that I had hit a plateau.

I felt STUCK in a body that I was incredibly PROUD of after a healthy pregnancy & natural childbirth, BUT one that felt so foreign to me in most other ways.

I deeply craved structure, confidence & a sense of familiarity with my routine + my body. Sure, I had made some physical (weightloss) progress since having my daughter in June 2017, but it didn't seem like a true reflection of what I felt I was capable of achieving.

I had just seen results from a close friend of mine who had completed the program around the same postpartum window I was in WHILE she was nursing & I knew I had to take the leap.

As a breastfeeding momma, I wanted to protect my supply above anything else. But my self confidence was certainly an important secondary concern. So, I signed up & ordered what I needed while we were traveling for Christmas. Then, I opened an accountability group online with about 20+ other women from across the country who decided to do the program with me. OH - my husband even took the plunge!

We were ALL in.

Shout out to my ever supportive husband, Nate! You're the best babe..

January 14th marked day one of this thirteen week OBSESSION with becoming my best self.

I had spent the week prior doing some introduction exercises that eased me into some of the movements & familiarized me with some of the equipment we were going to start using during the program - resistance loops & sliders.

I was SO so sore.

Like way more than I anticipated for 30 minute "intro" workouts.

But it got me excited because I realized that it was going to WORK for me if I really gave it my all & stuck with it!

The weekend prior to kicking off the program, I made a meal plan, grocery shopped & food prepped for the upcoming week.

Heads up to my breastfeeding mama friends out there reading this: I ate in "maintenance" instead of "weightloss" during this program to be sure I was eating enough calories to maintain my same milk production! Feel free to comment below if you're starting the program & want to know how to make meal plan adjustments if you're nursing!

We had EVERY meal prepared, snacks included.


Starting a meal plan that not only had me eating clean, but also on a timed schedule - I did NOT want to leave anything up to chance. I know that when I get "hangry" or rushed that I don't make the best food choices. Who's feeling me? Needless to say, we were completely prepared for our first week!

The other items that came in handy for me all 13 weeks of the program were my supplements (all of which fit in perfectly to the timed nutrition meal plan):

my daily dose of chocolate superfoods, a pre workout formula, a electrolyte blend & a post workout formula.


Shakeology is my daily superfood blend that tastes like dessert, but acts like 5 salads. It's nutrient DENSE, improves digestion, naturally aids in weightloss & curbs the sweet tooth! Not to mention, it was an easy, CONVENIENT meal I could count on every day!


The pre workout formula is called energize.
It's plant based & doesn't include lots of the harmful, icky ingredients you'd find in the majority of options you'd find in a GNC. I took this for EVERY single workout to boost my energy & endurance, plus to sharpen my focus & reaction time during exhausting workouts.

This supplement is actually one of the official sport nutrition supplements of the North American Iron Man!


The electrolyte blend is called hydrate.
Mamas, let me tell ya. This stuff was great during workouts, replenishing everything I was losing through sweat. BUT, it has also been great for my milk supply! Most sports drinks that lactation specialists will advise you to drink for your milk has a TON of sugar, artificial coloring, etc it. This stuff is golden!

Lastly, my post workout formula is called Recover.
It's made with a high quality whey protein & contains the BCAAs + some other ingredients that promotes muscle recovery while lessening soreness. 
This supplement is actually one of the official sport nutrition supplements of the North American Iron Man!

OKAY.
Moving on.

We streamed our workouts every day with our digital fitness library called Beachbody on Demand. Imagine a netflix for workouts with hundreds & hundreds of options.. that's basically what it is!

We knew how many variables there would be in life that we could NOT control for three months, so we decided to make a pretty big routine adjustment to minimize the chances of missing our daily workouts. We also didn't want to take away from family time OR our productive, work time during the day. ENTER early morning breakfast & workouts!

We started waking up around 5:15am to eat our pre-workout meal, drink our energize & head out to our garage for a 6am sweat session.


Those were some early and COLD mornings for a while!!
*they were also some GREAT moments of quality time for Nate & I*


But we persevered & got it done.
We even had some virtual workout buddies for a while!
Without a DOUBT, having people to LEAN on made a huge difference.
I felt empowered & surrounded by people who were in the trenches with me.

MAJOR shout out to my Gracefully OBSESSED ladies who helped get me through via our virtual accountability group!!

After my first month//phasewhich was definitely the hardest as I was detoxing & getting accustomed to the plan/routine, I was a BELIEVER. The "numbers" weren't flashy, but I was starting to feel & see a difference!


See the CHANGE for yourself!

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

From 7 to 8 months postpartum, the obsession became real.
Not with weightloss.
Not with inches shed.
Not with abs.

..I became obsessed with the journey.

With seeing what I was made of.
With being my best for my family.
With setting an example for my daughter.
With feeling PROUD of myself & my efforts!

So I kicked off month//phase two.


The workouts were a "little" harder & while the meal plan stayed the same, we got REFEED DAYS!! What the heck are those? Well, besides a gift from God.. HA.. they're a day added to the schedule every two weeks to boost depleted glycogen levels before the intense leg day workouts.

Say hello to these goodies we got to eat every other week!

Having those refeed days was the MENTAL boost we needed to press on.
And honestly, having them to count down to made the rest of our time go by so quickly!



Peek at the chick pea brownie & chocolate peanut butter bites recipes via these links!!

The end of month//phase 2 brought me to nine months postpartum.
Hitting that milestone made me extra reflective on the fact that my daughter had officially outside the womb as long as she was inside.

I was reminded again of how amazing our bodies are. How wondrously God created them to nurture & birth life - then to recover while it continues to sustain our babies while breastfeeding.

So incredible!
Be PROUD of yourselves, mamas.
You were fearfully & wonderfully made.

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

I was feeling STRONGER. More in control. & honored to be my sweet baby girl's daily inspiration!


The discipline that 80 Day Obsession was creating in my schedule, fitness & nutrition began seeping into other areas in my life. I felt determined & resilient. Which is kind of a big deal because when we got some hard, surprising news about moving across the pacific this fall - I didn't fall off track. Having 80 Day Obsession to focus on helped me work through those fears & feelings.. In the past, I would have probably given into SERIOUS anxiety + binged on sugar and wine. CHOOSE your outlet! Make it something productive.



Back to my official month//phase TWO progress photos.. check it out!

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

 I wrapped up my eighth week of the program at the 9 pound weight loss mark!

Alright - let's talk about my FINAL month//phase (3) of the program.

At this point, our routine felt like second nature!

Cravings were gone & our bodies were operating in peak condition.
We welcomed the challenge that the new workouts brought each day/week.

We were determined to finish S T R O N G.. as a team!

 

I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret.
These workouts have you training like an ATHLETE.
But the meal plan.. oh the meal plan makes SUCH a difference.

When you follow the timed nutrition & eat approved foods, you're literally priming your body for change.

Three of these last four weeks did NOT produce a numerical change that I could document. It DID, however, really start to transform my body mass.

My "mom bod" is usually SUPER soft.
Who's feelin me?

And while it mainly depends on if I'm engaging muscles or what position I'm in, I noticed a MAJOR change in how toned my body was starting to look!

You can NOT out train a mediocre or poor diet.

If you're going to invest the time into this program - you better do it ALL the WAY if you want big results!!

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

I remember the day we finished week 12/13.
What a REWARDING feeling.
A feeling of being unstoppable.

We weren't done yet though.
We still had PEAK week.


Had I not been nursing, I would have done a carb deplete to really maximize my results & lean up (which the meal plan teaches you how to do!)

BUT, since I still wasn't ready to "risk" my milk supply dropping at nearly 10 months postpartum, I followed the training plan but stuck with my existing nutrition routine.

It was actually really fun to spend the week doing workouts from each of the three phases we had completed!!



Victory was so close we could nearly taste it.. or maybe we were tasting imaginary cheeseburgers. HA

Sure enough..

On Saturday, April 14th we GRADUATED!

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

We celebrated around 10pm that night with some ice-cream in bed (ben & jerry's forEVER!!) & then hit the sack for a different type of early morning.

The next day, we celebrated by taking off for a family trip to MEXICO.. courtesy of helping people in their health & fitness journey in 2017.
One of the awesome perks of being a beachbody coach!


Oh.. Did I mention this gig is my job?
Because it sure IS!

Being my BEST, strongest self.
Positively influencing my family.
Encouraging others.

It's how I help pay the bills.
And it's the bomb diggity.

Email lindseykollar@yahoo.com to find out more!

I'm so grateful for 80 Day Obsession.
It was the change I needed in my postpartum journey in SO many ways.

My final results were..
10.5 inches GONE & 11 pounds DOWN.

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

80 day obsession, 80 day obsession results, postpartum fitness, breastfeeding, exercise while breastfeeding, postpartum progress, beachbody on demand

I was actually "smaller" after 80 Day Obsession than my pre-baby body! Although HEAR ME when I say that certain areas were & are still very different.
And that's A-OKAY!

Y'all.
Weight & inches lost aside..

I GAINED in a major way from this program too.

I gained so much confidence.
I gained mental strength.
I gained physical - specifically CORE strength - FINALLY.
I gained disciplined & daily routine.

And those things, the things that can't be measured by scales or BMI..
Even down to being able to comfortable tuck my shirt into my pants..
Or wear a bathing suit without being afraid to eat or drink or lean over!

Those were the REAL victories for me!



Here's the FINAL thing I want to leave you with though.
And YES - I'm going to say "if I can do this, YOU can too.."

But I need you to know that this is truly doable!
I know you might be reading this blog & thinking that it's too intense. Or maybe just too much work with everything you have to juggle.

But there were SO many un-photographed moments during our 13 weeks where we ate steamed broccoli right out of the bag, hit PAUSE on our workouts multiple times thinking how done with it we felt & thought about hitting snooze to skip a workout after being up all night with the baby..

Where there's a WILL {or want}, there's a WAY though.
Am I right?!

Here's the honest truth!

Is it hard?
Definitely - but you WILL get stronger & you CAN modify as needed!

Does it require DAILY work & effort?
100% - but that's what makes it so rewarding & even produces LIFESTYLE changes!

Does it require planning?
You bet it does - but you'll come to appreciate the planning & realize that it saves time in the long run.

80 Day Obsession isn't for the faint of heart.

It's for those with a fierce or desperate heart for change in their lives or bodies - to be better than yesterday!

& with a mind determined to keep going no matter what.

Because it's NOT an overnight, quick fix, y'all.

It's an OBSESSION with the journey & with the PROCESS of getting healthy from the inside-out!

If you want to start this program, simply email me at lindseykollar@yahoo.com

I'll even send you information on how you can work through the program in one of my private, virtual accountability groups where I share meal plans, recipes & more!

I promise - if I can do this, you can to.
You're stronger than you know!

Time to get OBSESSED


Please remember, friends: I'm sharing MY journey & experience here on my blog & am wanting to encourage YOU to care for & challenge yourself. I am not a personal trainer, nutritionist or physician. It is ALWAYS important to consult with your practitioners for individualized recommendations with your health, prenatal or postpartum care, etc. Be your BEST you!!