This week we have Jenny Wheeler, a Primary School Teacher, Mum, Recipe Developer and clean eating advocate. Jenny has a passion for health and fitness as well as helping others live their best life.
Through her Instagram, Sunday meal prep sessions and soon to be released eBook; she wants to inspire people to create healthy habits that will help them to live a healthy happy life without restrictions and crazy food rules.
By sharing recipes and meal prep ideas, she wants people to get excited about choosing to eat healthily and see that eating healthy doesn’t need to mean eating only grilled chicken and salads.
Jenny sees food as fuel - "It has this incredible power to nourish our bodies and to help us feel energised and amazing each day." She believes education about food is the key to success in improving our health and eating habits.
Jenny's Typical Day
My week starts on Sunday. Every Sunday I plan out my meals for the week, fill my fridge and pantry with lots of wholefoods and do a 3x day meal prep. I share my 3x day meal preps on my insta stories every Sunday to help inspire others to create some healthy meals and to start their week strong.
I love to start my day with exercise. I lay out my clothes the night before so I don’t have to think about it when I wake up. I never used to be a morning person but now that I have made it a habit, I can’t imagine starting my day any other way. I find if I can just push past that first 5 minutes where my brain is telling me to go back to sleep and get up and get going, my body does the rest. I get up at 5am to train at the local gym before work. I like to do a mix of cardio and resistance training.
As soon as I get home at 6:30am I eat my meal prepped breakfast. Meal prepping saves me time and helps me make healthy food choices when I am time poor in the mornings. I make sure I eat a breakfast that is high in protein which keeps me feeling full throughout the morning. My favourite breakfasts are oats, berry crumbles, puddings, protein French toast, and pancakes. Food definitely tastes better after a workout!
Snack time! I love snacks. I remember when I was trying to lose weight and thought that “snacking was cheating” and I’d try and see how long I could go between meals. I’ve learnt that my body performs at its best on 3 meals, 2 snacks and of course a little dessert every day. My grab and go morning snack would be an apple and a small handful of roasted almonds. Oh and coffee. An almond milk cappuccino with extra chocolate to get me through my busy morning.
For lunch, I like to create meals that are easy and convenient. I balance my meals by making sure I include a source of lean protein (such as chicken or fish) good carbohydrates (sweet potato, brown rice, greens or salad) and a serve of healthy fats (avocado, nuts). This helps keep my blood sugar stable and helps with my 3 pm sugar cravings.
Some of my favourite meal prep lunches are: turkey, sweet potato and quinoa Buddha bowls with avocado or my Whole Food lunch box with crispy chicken strips, mango salsa and chill lime yoghurt. You can find all these recipes on my Instagram page.
One of the main reasons for starting my health and fitness journey was because I was badly addicted to sugar. I would add sugar to all my meals and snacks and experience really bad afternoon slumps. I make an effort, even when I’m busy to eat a high protein snack mid-afternoon. This helps keep my sugar cravings under control and stops me from overeating at dinner. My go-to mid-afternoon snacks would be a protein bar with clean ingredients or a protein smoothie with almond milk, banana, a scoop of protein powder, almond butter and cinnamon. Adding the cinnamon helps to stabilise my blood sugar during the afternoon.
I like to keep my dinners clean, simple and fresh. The secret to eating healthy is to keep your meals simple. A typical dinner for me would include a source of lean protein such as chicken or fish, lots of greens (broccoli is my fave) and always a serve of roasted pumpkin or sweet potato. I love stir fry, healthy nachos, fried rice or nourish bowls. I always look for new ways to add extra veg into my meals such as grated zucchini in my morning oats or spinach in my frittatas and smoothies. Adding extra greens to my meals helps satiate my appetite and gives me a boost of antioxidants.
I believe we should all have a little happiness in our day and for me it is dessert. When we deprive ourselves of the foods we enjoy that’s when we tend to overeat and make poor food choices so I always allow myself dessert every night. I love making healthy versions of my favourite treats so for dessert I would have a few squares of dark chocolate, one of my sugar-free doughnuts or a piece (ok maybe 2) of my choc cherry chunk slice.
I have connected with some truly inspiring and remarkable women on my health and fitness journey including Leah Itsines and JSHealth but I am most proud of the moments when someone tells me because of you I didn’t skip a meal today or I made the time to eat a nourishing breakfast. That’s what inspires me to continue to create and share my recipes, meal prep ideas and clean sugar-free treats. I honestly love it.
Recipe: Pumpkin and Vanilla Protein Pancakes
1 x cup cooked and mashed pumpkin
3 x scoops vanilla protein powder (I use HappyWay)
1/2 cup egg whites
1 x TBS coconut oil or ghee ( for cooking)
1 x tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 x tsp cinnamon
1 x TBS sugar-free maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 x tsp baking powder
1 x tsp bicarb soda
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Add coconut oil to a pan.
Pour 1/3 cup pancake mixture onto the pan.
Cook until lightly browned on both sides.
Serve with fresh fruit, greek yoghurt and maple syrup.
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