Eating for Abs

If you’ve ever done 100 crunches a day and patiently flexed in the mirror for weeks at a time, you’ve fallen into the trap of waiting for abs to pop right out and stay there.

I’ve done it, everyone I know has done it, so don’t feel bad when I say it just doesn’t work that way.

Even though core workouts and ab exercises are something you can build every day, the way you EAT is what will give you the fastest results, less bloating, make your muscles visible, and make the MOST of your workouts.

When someone’s eating inflammatory, processed foods, their stomach is usually the first place they see excess weight start to form.

MOST people trying to lose weight the wrong way say that their stomach is the hardest place to see results. When you do it the RIGHT way, it’s actually the place you may see results the fastest.

This post isn’t about which workouts to do for abs because I have my favorites in here. If you do these as consistently as possible combined with eating for abs, you’ll see the best results.

<< Access my 30 go-to recipes that beat bloating, help reduce excess weight, & boost your energy >>

My best hacks to eat for abs and make the MOST of the muscles already there go like this:

Anti-Inflammatory Foods.

Foods that reduce inflammation are SO easy to find and SO easy to include in the recipes you’re already making for yourself. Turmeric can be added to just about anything . Berries, nuts, spinach, avocado, ginger, green tea will keep your inflammation down so that your body can do it’s thing.

Dairy is also not helping the cause.

Beat the Bloat.

Processed food is one of the #1 culprits of extra bloating – especially around the stomach. Why? FILLERS. Chemicals, gums, fillers in super processed food take up space where “whole ingredients” could be and they slow down your digestion because your body takes longer to break these down. Hiiiiii stomach bloat.

But it’s OK. If you focus on MORE whole foods, you’ll naturally start to see results and you won’t even be thinking about processed foods as much. Promise.

Plant Protein

If you’re doing those crunches and planks, you’re doing awesome work to build those abdominal muscles. Usually when people grow their muscle, they’re alllllll about protein… especially lean protein. So for the longest time, I thought I needed to eat lots of chicken, eggs, powders, fish, etc. to get my protein levels up and tone my muscles. Animal fat, hormones, cholesterol, fillers, no thank yewwwwww. 

I never saw the results I LOVED in my abs until I focused on the plant protein: quinoa, nuts, lentils, seeds, spirulina, dark leafy greens, hemp seeds, etc.

The leanest of the lean – these will supply you with the protein you need if you’re eating mostly whole foods AND burn / digest just about perfectly so there’s less bloat, MORE benefit to your muscles, more fat burn, and quicker results that last.

Dark Leafy Greens

Nobody likes all these veggies by themselves (unless you’re a die hard) but ANYONE can like them when you learn how to make them taste good.

When you think about burning fat and toning your body, you want to burn food like it’s CLEAN fuel, not a dirty tank. Dark leafy greens alllllll dayyyy longggggg.

I know it can be confusing to think of EASY recipes that make these taste normal / indulgent / delish, but I’ve already done the work for you. Check out my crowd favorites right here.

Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is worth mentioning here because out of allllllll the benefits (immunity, skin, hair, weight loss, etc) it’s SUCH A GOOD WAY TO BEAT THE BLOAT. Sorry for screaming.

I know it tastes like sh*t but let’s be real, some of us drink other things that taste like poison too and we don’t complain at all.

Put a tbsp of ACV in your water daily and know it’s working hard to help you digest correctly and get to your healthiest weight.

OH, & one more thing: DON’T DO A JUICE CLEANSE FOR ABS.

Here’s why: there’s a difference between enjoying a juice and its benefits vs. drinking all juice for days at a time. You might even see results in your abs from a cleanse like that but what you’re losing is probably water weight and your digestion is freaking out because it needs fiber to actually make the most of all the nutrients you’re digesting.

Juice definitely helps you with more real food and less processed stuff, just make sure you’re also getting enough fiber.

So there you have it BUT that’s not all. I’ve been thinking of making you guys a short meal plan that’s easy to follow and that HELPS you eat for abs… 

But I need to know if that’s something you’d LOVE.

Share or comment on this post to let me know if a short & easy meal plan would help you stick with eating for abs and I’ll make it happen. Love giving you what you love, so LMK.

XO – Lupe

You may luv:

+ 30 EASY to make Healthy Recipes for Weight Loss, Energy, Beating Bloat 

+ Losing 40 Lbs, Healing from Chronic Diseases, Eating More Plants

 

 

 

Espresso Granola… *passes out*

I totally didn’t invent this BUT I’ve also never heard of it until I randomly decided to combine granola with espresso and make a dark chocolate-y caffeinated morning snack.

I LOVE dark chocolate, I LOVE coffee flavor, and I love granola in the morning. It works.

I’m not a fan of getting granola from the store, and here’s why.

Obviously it tastes good and sometimes I will, BUT I like being in control of how much sugar goes into it. The reason it tastes so good store-bought is because they don’t necessarily limit refined sugars as much as they should, even organic or different sugar sources are a little too much for me if it’s more than a pinch.

We don’t want you to have a sugar rush in the morning… because it leads right to a crash. SO. I make my own.

<< Access 30 EASY Healthy Recipes for energy + quick cooking + healthy weight  >>

And (when I’m not burning it), everyone nearby thinks I’m baking dessert or something delicious and indulgent. So get ready for the best smelling kitchen in the game, my friends.

Here’s what you need:

Here’s what to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, mix the oats, flax seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter/coconut oil
  • When the oven is ready, spread this mixture evenly on a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes mixing halfway through, OR until the granola is as crunchy as you want it to be. Watch it every few minutes to avoid burning.
  • When the granola is done, remove it from the oven and place it back into your mixing bowl.
  • Here’s when you add the espresso beans, dark chocolate almonds. If you add them while the granola is hot, the dark chocolate melts nicely and evenly allll over. yum.
  • Store in a cool dry place and eat throughout the rest of the week. On smoothie bowls, in cereal, by itself, with a little almond milk.

Don’t burn this, guys. This temp + baking time is ideal for me, but you have to watch it carefully the first time you make this or when you switch up the temp. Some people like baking it for longer at a lower temperature, so just be careful.

With that said, this granola is BOMB. COM.

My favorite thing lately is putting making my PB Banana Smoothie a little thicker than usual so it’s a bowl, and then putting this granola on top. Sigh.

Enjoy, PLZ tag me in your pics making this so that I can get new inspo and know you guys liked the recipe! Hope you love it as much as I do.

XO- Lupe

You might luv:

+ Wellness Guide

+ 30 EASY Recipes for healthy weight, energy, toning, + more

 

Guac… The Real Skinny Fat

Let’s talk about skinny fat.

We all know strong is the new skinny (thank GOD) and more and more girls are getting on board with treating their body well and accepting the results that come from doing that.

Treating your body well is the action – your BEST, strongest body type is the result. If we do it right, that result looks different for everyone. 

<< Download 30 EASY Recipes for Healthy Weight + Access ALL Guides + Challenges >>

If you’re working towards your best bod, PLEASE don’t be scared of eating fats… because fats are one of the things that will get you closer to that.

Think about it… you want the food you eat to either burn as energy, grow your muscles, improve your mental health or immunity, OR help you reach your healthiest weight. Am I getting that right?

If it helps, healthy fats can also be known as skinny fats. They’re clean fuel, they protect your body and keep it warm like healthy fat should, they improve your skin, they absorb nutrients, AND they help regulate your hormones. Gimmeeeeee: avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut milk, etc.

They DON’T clog your arteries as badly as animal fats do, they don’t come with processed chemicals and fillers from processed foods that mess with your digestion, fat burning, healthy weight, and skin.

SO with that said, let’s enter guac city and share my easy recipe that can help you add some healthy fat to dip your chips in, add to sandwiches, dip veggies in, and more:

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 pinch himalayan pink salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • optional: 1 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • optional: 1 tbsp chopped jalapeno or spice of your choice

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and mash together with a fork. You’ll DEF want to adjust the amounts as you go. You might like a little more lime juice, you might like a little more spice.

TIP: I’m OBSESSED with these multigrain chips lately and you need to know why. So not only are they made with healthier ingredients than most (like quinoa, flax seeds, ru joking??) but they’re the only tortilla chips I’ve found so far that are NOT SO SALTY. aka – they don’t make you feel puffy or tingle your mouth when you’re done because of all the extra sodium. Bye, bloat. 

AND: I need to ask you a question…

What do YOU like to eat? Healthy or not. I love making recipes for you to try new healthy options and it’s SO much fun when you guys tell me some of your favorite meals. That way, I can make sure I’m showing you health hacks for foods you actually like. So tag me (@healthyandhustling) in your favorites so I can help you get the body you want. Thank you to the girls already doing this. ILY.

Off to record a new episode today + maybe making this guac tonight while I have a heart attack over the Bachelorette. Garret 4ev. Thanks for reading!

XO – Lupe 

You might luv:

+ healing your relationship with food

+ hacks & snacks

+ 30 EASY Healthy Recipes for healthy weight

99 Problems but Meal Ideas Aren’t 1

We all have a lotttttttt going on.

Everyone acts like their schedule is THE busiest, that they have THE most to do, that they have THE best excuses.

Except a year from now, those excuses are the difference between the girls who get their sh*t together and the ones who are still complaining about not being where they want to be – habits, body, lifestyle, job, whatever.

If you’re an excuses kind of girl, you can X out of this, I’m not for you. 

If you’re the girl who WANTS to get her sh*t together and says “I want this, just tell me what I need to do”, welcome to the party.

The #1 excuse I hear when it comes to healthier eating is:

“I don’t know what to eat.”

Can you BELIEVE it. With Google, with Pinterest, with blogs like this, with Instagram.

I think, I hope, what people mean by this is:

“I want meal ideas that TASTE GOOD and will get me that body I want, that are easy to make, that make me feel good, that are new & exciting.”

If that’s what you’re looking for, here are some EASY, HEALTHY, & DELICIOUS meal ideas that will not only help you reach a healthy weight… they’ll help you improve your energy, help you STAY FULL, eat essential nutrients for your body, taste delicious, and you can add whatever you love to them.

These are the CORE meals I ate almost every day when I was losing 17 lbs and most of my clients take these ideas and adjust based on what they love to eat.

Every single recipe for the ideas you see here can be accessed on the Healthy & Hustling Recipe Ebook:

Loaded PB Banana Toast:

Loaded means it’s not just PB and banana – I like to add essential superfoods & nutrients to anything I make, even when it’s as simple as a piece of toast for breakfast.

Easy Fruity Protein Pancakes:

Guess what? You can make protein pancakes without powder… You can use real, EASY plant-based protein sources and sneak them in here so that each serving contains at least 6g of protein. Plus, they just taste delish.

Sweet Berry Smoothie:

If you know you should be eating more greens, this one’s for you. There are so many ways to overpower something like spinach in a smoothie, and here’s my sweetest way to do that.

Easy Lunches to Prep:

 

Start with the basics – the essentials that will keep you satisfied & full – and then add your favorites from there.

Soups that make you FEEL good:

I don’t believe in eating super processed soups that have tons of sodium & animal broth – the bloating, inflammation, & dehydration aren’t my thing. Plus, I’ll show you how to make a veggie-heavy soup taste great anyway.

Spicing up the basics:

You can only pay $11 for a bland avocado toast for so long. My easy, cheap flavor hacks will make you never want to order one from the store again.

Snack City:

Snacks & hacks are a HUGE part of eating healthy. If you don’t have some staple healthy snacks that are balanced enough to really keep you full until your next meal, wyd? Try some of my faves.

Crowd Fave: Smoky Tofu Scramble

You guys are loving this one. Probably because tofu generally tastes like sh*t and the texture is annoying & creepy? But not in my book. I’ll show you the perfect spice blend to make it smoky, easy to eat, & delicious.

Loaded Oatmeal:

AKA – How to make Monday mornings taste good AND start your week on the best note. Not only is oatmeal a killer meal for healthy weight, the superfoods I add to mine make it taste anything but bland and give you the boost of magnesium & omega-3’s you really need to start your day off right.

For the weirdos who like fruit in their salads, I feel you:

I’m about this lately. I think fruit belongs in a salad because 1, your sweet tooth gets satisfied and 2, you need to make salads anything BUT boring if you’re actually serious about sticking to healthier eating.

Just call me the smoothie queen:

My veggie-packed smoothies will make you feel anything but boring, and here’s why: I know which fruits to add to them so that it tastes like you went to your local juice bar and got their best shake. You should love what you’re making, period.

ACTUAL crowd fave: Smoky Chipotle Potato Lettuce Tacos:

These are my FAVORITE thing to make, period. You can literally have a taco night and put whatever you want on these, but the key is to season the potatoes just right. YW: You can now have a healthy taco night, babes. Bring on the margs.

Healthier jelly:

When you’re eating healthy, one of the biggest changes you can make is to cut the fake sh*t. By fake, I mean preservatives & unnecessary added sugars. Jelly is a huge culprit of this, BUT you can make a 5 minute healthier version using fresh berries and easy natural sweeteners. LMK how you love this one because you can put it on toast, oats, pancakes, you name it.

I mean, it’s really just beautiful food:

So do you see what I mean when I say there’s literally NO room for excuses?

If you’ve read this far, you’re serious about trying something new and making healthier eating something EASY & fun.

Each of these (& more…) are the core recipes I use and STILL USE – that’s key, you need to make it a lifestyle – to live my best, healthiest life.

Less bloating, less confusion, less stress, less junk – MORE plants, more energy, more feeling incredible, more balance.

Access your recipes right here & get started on feeling your best – I hope you LOVE these as much as I do.

XO – Lupe

Certified Holistic Health Coach

You may luv:

+ Grocery hacks you need this week

+ Cravings menu

Grocery Hacks You Need This Week

I think I need to stop drinking coffee before I go grocery shopping because I get a litttleeee bit too excited.

I’m a foodie to my core, even though yes, this blog is fun and I create recipes FOR you, this is really what I eat – all I have to do is document. I love to cook, I love making it easy, I love making it healthy, I love taking pics, I love to eat. lol.

<< Download 30 EASY Healthy Recipes for energy, healthy weight, toning, & your best routine yet >>

So I guess if you’re a psycho foodie like me I will always have your back, but if you’re a normal person just looking to eat a little healthier, you’ll always have a place here too.

Before I share the hacks I use to keep my grocery shopping healthy, affordable, and easy, I should probablyyyy point out some mistakes I’ve also made so maybe you can avoid them.

BIGGEST GROCERY MISTAKES:

  • Following a grocery list you didn’t edit & buying tons of food you won’t use this week. It’s tempting to get it all, but you’ll be overwhelmed if you overdo it and start wasting food.
  • Restricting yourself to only healthy food because we all know treats have to be part of the equation if we want this to really work.
  • Not trying anything new each week to keep it interesting
  • Not planning actual meals or at least having an idea of what you’ll cook that week. The worst is when you have all these ingredients and no idea what to do with them.
  • Going to the grocery store hungry
  • Going to the grocery store with no idea in the world of what you’ll get. Don’t get sucked into the vortex like that.

SO with those out of the way, here are my best hacks to not waste food, get the most for your money, and start with a healthy foundation. Get your pen & paper out and brainstorm. 

OH. And if you want the FULL GROCERY LIST I use every week, download it here. All ingredients on one printable page just for you my love.

START W. YOUR GREENS.

Most of you are reading this because you want to eat healthier, reach a healthy weight, or get into a great routine. All of those goals can be reached by starting out with MORE greens in your day. So what I like to do is pick 4-5 essential veggies that can be used in a few different ways and get some meal ideas going for them. For example, spinach = stir frying, tofu scrambles, smoothies. Broccoli = roasting, stir-frying, curry. Spring mix = my daily salad. Red cabbage or raddichio = salads, stir-frying, garnish, etc. Now you know that maybe a few meals this week can be salads, stir fries, curry, roasted veggies. Great place to start.

WHAT FRUITS DO YOU ACTUALLY LIKE?

Now for the fruits. I personally love to have a fruit as part of breakfast and then snack on some later in the day. So I only pick fruits that make sense and that I know I’ll use. I love smoothies, so bananas. I eat toast with healthy fruit jelly & peanut butter, I eat oatmeal bowls, so berries. I like to snack, so grapes and maybe oranges or mangos. I drink lemon water, so that’s easy. Anything else is either a treat or me trying something new.

GRAINS, NUTS, SEEDS, OILS, SPICES.

Now that you have an IDEA of what some meals will be this week, which grains, nuts, etc. do you need for those specific meals if you don’t have them already? For a stir fry, I’d need brown rice. For my salad, I’ll need quinoa. For my breakfasts, I’ll need flax seeds, cacao nibs, nut butters. Oils and spices I usually already have, but do a double check.

HEALTHY SWAPS & SNACKS:

My general rule is to pick about 3 healthy snacks that I can pick from all week. That way you KNOW there are healthy options around, right? Mine are usually a flavored hummus (this one is what I got this week), multigrain chips, a cucumber or peppers to chop and dip in the hummus, and then avocados to make guac and add to salads. THEN once I have the healthy options, I’ll try something new also, (usually more processed) like the quinoa puffs I tried this week or a new flavor of popcorn.

CONDIMENTS:

I always base condiments off the meals I have plans for. So maybe a soy sauce for the stir fry. Creamer for my iced coffees. A clean dressing I enjoy for the salads. But usually those are already around, and are the last thing I double check after I have some meals planned.

DON’T RESTRICT: TREAT YO’SELF.

Finally, the indulgences! Guys. Please don’t restrict yourself and try to never snack at home again on something unhealthy. What would be more effective is if you pick 1-2 and have them around, so you KNOW you’re going to indulge a couple times and can plan ahead for it. Do what you know how to do: enjoy it, savor it, stop when you’re full, and feel good about it. For me, that might be an ice cream, wine, or a vegan meat alternative if I’ve been craving something like a burger or chicken nuggets. Do what you’ve gotta do, girl.

SO check out some of the meals you thought of when planning this way. Notice that you automatically thought of veggie-based meals. Isn’t it easier to START with a stir fry that includes veggies instead of planning some elaborate pasta meal and THEN trying to figure out how to add more greens?

At least, that’s what works for me.

If you’re feeling good and want my full grocery list, you can download it here and print it out.

For more hacks like this, you can also try the weekly health planner and how to create a balanced plate.

These are skills you need to make your healthy eating last, feel in control, and love how you feel. I hope these hacks help you out and if you want more, just say the word.

XO – Lupe

DON’T FORGET: Download your FULL Healthy Grocery List right here for more ideas. 

Protein Shakes? 7 Ways to Add Clean Protein

I didn’t really want to make this post because protein shakes could be made of anything, REAL food or not, and they work super well for some people. If you’re loving yours, do your thaaang.

TBH, I also have had weird experiences with them, so I’m super hesitant to recommend brands of protein shakes to clients and any of my followers who ask.

But I’m going to do my best because this is a VERY commonly asked question and I want you guys to have my real opinion as a health coach (especially one who advocates for plant-based nutrition).

SO here’s the deal: If you can keep your ingredients REAL, plant-based, and organic, that’s obviously the best combination for any food, not just protein shakes.

I’m not a fan of adding shakes or powders to smoothies for extra protein, and here’s why:

  1. We usually overestimate how much protein we need. If you’re eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, your body is already getting enough protein, and the BEST protein for lean muscles and overall good health. Protein deficiency is not really a common thing. Animal agriculture-backed companies also love to play the protein card to almost scare you into not thinking you’re getting enough. I found this clip from one of my favorite documentaries, What the Health, specifically about how much protein you need. So basically, if your smoothie has plant-based sources of protein from whole foods, you’re getting enough to satisfy a full meal’s worth.

2. Processed shakes and powders, by nature, have extra preservatives and chemicals you don’t need. I’m a big fan of cutting those corners… remember, if you’re looking to burn fat or build muscle, you want CLEAN fuel, not the extra stuff.

3. If you’re packing a smoothie or shake with lots of ingredients, chances are it’s pretty high in calories. I don’t count calories, but I recommend only putting the amount of food you’d actually eat WHOLE into a shake. So if you wouldn’t eat a whole banana, a cup of almond milk, a spoon of peanut butter, a cup of spinach, etc. all in one sitting, maybe edit the amount you’re putting into the smoothie so that it satisfies you rather than over-fills you. Shakes and powders add extra calories of something (protein) you don’t necessarily NEED extra amounts of, which can actually slow you down from hitting your goals if you are overeating (or overdrinking).

With that being said, obviously your doctor is the main authority here. AND…

If you have made the choice that you DO need the extra protein and are looking for a great way to include that, I have some of MY guidelines that help me make the best informed decision:

REAL FOOD ONLY! There are sooo many options to choose from when it comes to shakes and powders, so a great guideline is to make sure you can read (and pronounce) as many ingredients as possible.

PLANT-BASED IS KEY. If you can find a vegan/plant-based protein powder that basically just pulverizes real plant protein sources, I’ll give that the OK. Back when I drank them, I was a big Philosophie girl and added this one to my shakes all the time.

KEEP IT SMALL. That is, keep your powder portions small. Remember, anything processed is awesome if you use it to SUPPLEMENT your whole foods, plant-based diet. So a little bit here and there is nothing to worry about, and it’s great that you’re making the effort to be mindful, right?

EXPERIMENT W. WHOLE FOOD OPTIONS: Here’s my favorite tip. I make protein shakes alllll theee tiiiiimeee! Except what works best for ME is to get my sources from as many plants instead of shakes as I can so that the energy in my body is clean & easy to digest.

Because I’m all about doing it this way, here are some of my favorite plant-based protein sources to mix & match and add to my shakes & smoothies instead of powders:

GROUND FLAX SEEDS: 6g protein per serving.

CHIA SEEDS: 4g protein per serving.

PEANUT BUTTER: 4g protein per serving

SPIRULINA: ~4g protein per powder serving (it tastes BAD but is one of the best plant protein sources)

SPINACH: ~2g protein per 2 cup serving

CACAO NIBS: 4g protein per serving

SILK PROTEIN NUTMILK: ~10g protein (an awesome way to add extra if you want to!)

So obviously, you have options. Do what’s best for you, listen to how you FEEL after you experiment with something, and stick with what makes you feel good.

I hope these options and reasoning helped you make the best decision for you!

As always, any questions, just comment below & let me know how I can help you out.

Thanks for reading, babe!

XO- Lupe 

Certified Holistic Health Coach