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What Does a Busy Mom Eat in a Day to Stay Lean?

My husband has left for work, the kids were fed and dressed, backpacks packed and my daughters are off to school. While listening to a nutrition webinar on the speaker of my phone, I’ve cleaned up everyone’s breakfast, unloaded the dishwasher and chased Tyson, our 8-month-old lab, around the house trying to pry a tennis shoe, applesauce container, tampon (TMI, but the truth!), and a bowl that he got out of my kitchen sink out of his mouth. Thankfully dog training starts this week!!

Hello morning!

Thank goodness I can still be in my jammies another half hour to do five minutes of positive mindset work and then write to you in my home office before I get dressed and drive to two client’s homes for training sessions.

I'm guessing most of you can relate to the start of a similar busy day in your own unique way.

So, as a busy mom and business owner, how do I also find time to fit in healthy meals that keep my fitness goals in check? It is not always easy, but it is FAR from impossible. Let me show you what a day of eating looks like for Natalie Upp. This was yesterday.

6:30 A.M. – Breakfast

I started the day with green tea and vitamins while making my breakfast. I take a multivitamin, probiotic, vitamin D3, and vitamin C every day. I just keep them all ready to go in one of those 7-day pill organizers, and I keep it next to my glasses in the cabinet. The only thing not in my organizer is my liquid fish oil.

I make two whole eggs with 1 egg white sunny side up about 6 days of the week. I eat them on the side of a bowl of steel cut oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a few drops of stevia and some sprinkles of cinnamon.

8:00 A.M. – Coffee

Coffee-fix time! I poured 1 tablespoon of Coffee Mate’s Natural Bliss Sweet Cream in one of my two favorite mugs before putting adding in a large coffee from my Keurig. I drink it until it has about ¼ cup left, and then I make another small cup on the Keurig, so it still has some of the creamer taste without adding any more.

9:00 A.M. – Water

Time to start hydrating. I coach all my clients to aim to drink half of their bodyweight in ounces of water each day, and I go above and beyond this myself. It is hard to imagine that seven years ago I literally did not even drink an ounce of water a day and now I take it everywhere I go.

I fill up my 32 oz. reusable bottle three times a day. I make it a goal to have my first one down by noon, the next one down by 3pm and my third one down by dinner.

10:00 A.M. – Snack

I tend to change up my morning snack. Sometimes I’ll do an apple with natural peanut butter or some Greek Yogurt and low-sugar granola. This particular day I was on the go between clients, so I just put a scoop of protein powder in my blender bottle and took it with me. I added a little bit of water and shook it up. Two to three gulps and it was done. I paired it with a handful of cashews.

1:00 P.M. – Lunch

So, I love Aidells Chicken Meatballs. Super easy and delish! For lunch I had three of those with a half-cup of cottage cheese for my full dose of protein. While I was warming the meatballs in the microwave, I sautéed a large handful of store-bought zucchini noodles with a fist-sized portion of grape tomatoes in some olive oil and veggie seasoning in a skillet for 5 minutes. It took me 7 minutes total to prepare my quick and healthy lunch. Ta-da!

3:30 P.M. – Snack

For one of my snacks I always do a Green Protein Shake in the blender. It consists of water, a scoop of whey isolate protein powder, 2 small handfuls of baby spinach, and a half-cup of frozen blueberries. I know some of you are thinking… I don’t have time to get my blender out and clean it. It took me a max of 5 minutes to make and I just quickly rinsed out the blender right after was done. Best part is I snuck my greens in for the day without just having a salad. No excuses.

6:30 P.M. – Dinner

This night was one of the few calm nights of the week in our house. No practices, no lessons, no nothing! For me, those nights mean its time to expand my horizons in the kitchen. I had bought a bag of precooked frozen shrimp. I thawed it in the fridge overnight to be ready for dinner. First, I started my making kale chips, knowing that would take the longest. Even my pickiest daughter craves those things! Here is how I make them:


Preheat oven to 300. I put two large handfuls of fresh kale per person on a foil-lined baking sheet. I take off the hard stems so you’re just left with the soft leaves. I drizzle 1-tablespoon of olive oil and toss them with my hands. Then I sprinkle with sea salt and bake for about 20 minutes. I like mine to be a tad bit brown and be light and crunchy.

So as my kale chips were baking I chopped up a two bell peppers and threw a couple handfuls of mushrooms in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil and veggie seasoning. After the veggies were getting a little brown, I added the thawed shrimp. I tossed around until the shrimp were warm. By that time, the kale chips were done and the entire meal took 25 minutes.

Well, as you can see, I like to eat. There is no calorie restriction going on, I'm not super fancy and my foods are not coming from a prepackaged box.

For the most part, I really do not veer far from what I eat from day to day, except for my “10%” meals when I eat some of my favorite, but not so healthy foods. I like knowing what easy meals I can quickly make at any time, and I find that this helps me stay on track the best. There are times when I get sick of certain foods and when that happens, I search out a new recipe to try.

This is my system and it works for me. Instead of starting the next fad diet, I challenge you to go to the grocery store and shop the perimeter of the store. Start with easy to prepare fruits, vegetables and lean proteins and just start YOUR system.

Let’s get fired UPP,


P.S. If the thought of meal planning overwhelms you, join me on a free webinar, Thursday, March 9, called “Haphazard to Healthy: Mindful Meal Planning.” If you sign up you’ll get access to “10 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas”.

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