#ProfessionalGal Amanda Smith is the founder of Amanda’s Kitchen, an online resource where you can find custom meal plans and personal/weight loss coaching (plus some amazing food pics – check out her Instagram – WARNING: you may start to feel hungry!).
We had the opportunity to talk to this motivated entrepreneur – she shares tips on meal prepping, how to stay alert throughout the day and even shares a delicious Carrot Ginger Soup recipe that makes us very excited for the cooler days ahead! Read the full interview below:
Do you have any tips on how to meal prep for the week?
- Make a plan. Make a list of healthy foods you want to make. Choose realistic, simple recipes that can be made that are desirable to eat. Find out what you need to make them, and make a grocery list.
- It’s the little things…I pre-cut my lettuce and veggies to save me time, I plan on what proteins I should have throughout the week (ex. Monday: salmon, Tuesday, chicken, Wednesday: tofu…) to get a variety of protein sources, so I don’t get stuck eating the same thing every day.
- When I prep salads, I like to add paper towel between my veggies so they don’t get soggy + put my dressing on the side in a mini container.
- When I know I’m going have a busy day and not be home until dinner, I always prep my food! Not only do you save time, energy & money, but you learn portion control.
For women that are not caffeine drinkers, how do you remain alert throughout the day?
- It all begins with sleep, get whatever makes YOU feel good.
- Stay away from refined carbohydrates (anything white and sugar) because they will cause your energy levels to spike and then crash just a few hours later (also leading you to want more!). Keep in mind I do not restrict myself if something looks really good and I want to try it – I just don’t include those foods in my everyday diet.
- Lastly, having anxiety can suck the energy out of you! It’s exhausting. Doing yoga or even a 5 minute meditation in the morning can make a huge difference.
What is your to-go breakfast that will last you until your lunch break?
Basically all my breakfasts that you see on my Instagram (check out Amanda’s Instagram)! But these are my favorite three: Berry Fibre Smoothie, Egg White Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal, Egg White Omelette with a side of PB&J.
Do you have any advice on how to stay active during the day for young professional women who work at a desk from 9-5?
To be honest, it’s SO easy to make excuses. The reality is, you have three options:
- Either wake up early and get it done before work (no snoozing! – you’ll feel great and get it out of the way!). You have to choose between netflix the night before or working out in the a.m.
- Use your lunch break to do a workout then eat at your desk after your workout.
- Workout after work (good luck! In order to do this you NEED to have an accountability partner! A friend/sibling/parent… anyone!).
We know sleep is very important. So, what is your advice (and your own routine) for maintaining a healthy sleep schedule during the work week?
Apple just introduced this new feature called “Bedtime” and I absolutely LOVE it! It can be used to remind you to go to bed and make sure you get the amount of sleep you want. So when I receive a bedtime reminder the night before alarms are set to go off. Mine is customized because I like to get a notification 30 mins before bed (then I’ll leave my phone in my kitchen and go upstairs). I like it because it keeps me accountable to get my 8 hours!
Take us through your approach with someone who wants to lose weight.
When one of my clients want to lose weight, it’s important to figure out why they’re overweight and how they got to this point. Why do they overeat? Is it because they just love desserts? Are they binge eaters? Too much partying? Lack of planning? Lack of sleep? Are they lonely? Do they find comfort in food? Are they just used to eating poorly?
I also like to know why they came to me, what are their goals, what is their weight history.
My standard approach process is a consult where we figure out all of the above and I make them a meal plan, and the month of coaching starts. At that point, my client has full access to me: They get a portfolio and plan developed by me, a full analysis of your current eating and exercise regime, a meal plan designed just for the client…with portion sizes, recipes and everything you need to succeed, tailored to your needs, preferences, lifestyle and goals!
What is some advice you can give someone on a weight loss journey?
- To take it one day at a time. Don’t get discouraged.
- It’s very important to keep a food journal. You have to be aware of what you’re eating. With that being said, stop estimating. Buy yourself some measuring cups and a food scale.
- There will be sacrifices but there are always alternatives. Instead of dwelling on what you need to give up, focus on the “why” you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Don’t do the all or nothing approach, it never works out. FACT: 95% of diets fail!
- Get a coach or find someone to help keep you accountable. It should be someone who will listen to you when you’re frustrated or tired, and also cheer you on!
- All the small changes have an impact. Don’t go crazy and cut out every single bad food all at once. Start out by cutting one thing out, like soda or sweets, and then slowly add on to that.
- You never have to sacrifice taste while looking for healthier options!
- Make sure that you have a variety of recipes because eating the same thing prepared the same way can get boring.
- Be active constantly! Don’t be lazy, walk to the coffee shop, park a little further,
- Eat things that will satisfy you. So stick to the three keys: protein, fiber and fat which keep you full.
Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1C diced yellow onion
- 4 large carrots (or 6 medium)
- 4C vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 small potato
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil, and sauté the onion with a pinch of the salt for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent (not brown).
- Add the veggie broth, carrots, potato, ginger, turmeric & salt, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low & simmer for 15-20 mins, until the carrots are soft (you can stick a fork through)
- Transfer the soup to a blender on high until smooth and creamy.