Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 47)

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 47)

Thank you to all of you who ordered my new cookbook, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, I am so humbled and grateful it hit #1 on the New York Times best seller list! This would not be possible without all of you.

NYT Best Seller

This is week 47 of the Skinnytaste Dinner Plan. I am away in Park City Utah until Sunday, but I have my meals planned for the week and ordered all my groceries on Peapod this week (life saver!)

Pictured below is The Skinnytaste Meal Planner where I plan my dinners for the week (you can of course use any meal planner). Meal planning is a great way to get organized before heading to the supermarket to get ready for the week! My breakfast is usually something quick like eggs with fruit, a smoothie or avocado toast. We’re a family of four, so if a recipe serves more, it’s either packed up for everyone’s lunch or eaten the next day as leftovers. If you would like to see some of the previous week’s dinner plans, click here.

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 47)

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 47)

Monday: Cauliflower Fried Rice with Shrimp
Tuesday: Loaded “Nacho” Chicken Tostada
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Beef Meatballs with Broccoli Rabe with Zoodles
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Tortilla Encrusted Chicken Tenders with avocado salad
Saturday: Dinner Out
Sunday: Sheetpan Italian Chicken and Veggie Dinner


Original Source: Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 47)

Ultralight: The Zen Habits Guide to Traveling Light & Living Light (short read ebook)


By Leo Babauta

I’m excited to announce the latest “short read” ebook that I’ve written: Ultralight: The Zen Habits Guide to Traveling Light & Living Light.

Traveling light has become one of the joys of my life, shedding the extra weight in return for freedom, lightness, and energy.

This book contains my recommendations and methods for:

  • Breezing through airports
  • Cutting back on clothing
  • Minimizing electronics, toiletries, and more
  • Finding restaurants, apartments, recommendations for where to go
  • What you don’t need to pack
  • Developing a flexible mindset
  • My packing list
  • My favorite travel apps
  • Ultralight backpacking
  • And lots more

I also talk about applying these ideas to simplify the rest of your life, in a “living light” section of the book:

  • Living without too much stuff
  • Cutting back on clothing, books, papers, everything else
  • Finding digital simplicity
  • Dealing with the urge to buy

I’ve found that living simply and traveling light are wonderful ways to live, and I hope you’ll find use out of this book as I’ve tried to put as much useful information as I can.

The Short Ebook & the Package Deal

I’ve written this intentionally as a “short read” … and so I’m pricing it low ($4.99), so more people will be able to buy and use it.

You can buy just the ebook here (in PDF, Kindle & iBooks formats):

Buy the Ebook

But I’ve also created a package with three videos to go along with the ebook:

  1. My favorite travel gear
  2. A packing video that shows what I bring and how I pack it
  3. How I wash clothes simply while traveling

You can buy the package with the video downloads and the ebook in 3 formats here:

Buy the Package


Here’s the table of contents:

Introduction: Why Travel Light? Freedom From Burden
Part I: Ultralight Travel

  • Chapter 1: Traveling Light Isn’t a Competition
  • Chapter 2: What It’s Like to Travel with One Bag
  • Chapter 3: Why We Pack Too Many Clothes, & How to Cut Back
  • Chapter 4: Clothing System
  • Chapter 5: Electronics
  • Chapter 6: Toiletries
  • Chapter 7: Water & Food
  • Chapter 8: What You Don’t Need
  • Chapter 9: Don’t Pack Your Fears
  • Chapter 10: What Bag?
  • Chapter 11: Getting Through Airports
  • Chapter 12: Apartments & Hotels
  • Chapter 13: Getting Around Cities & Where to Go
  • Chapter 14: Longer Trips
  • Chapter 15: Flexible Mind, Flexible Travel
  • Chapter 16: Useful Travel Apps
  • Chapter 17: Travel Miles & Cards
  • Chapter 18: My Packing List
  • Chapter 19: Ultralight Hiking

Part II: Living Lightly

  • Chapter 20: What It’s Like to Live Without Too Much Stuff
  • Chapter 21: Less Clothing
  • Chapter 22: Books & Papers
  • Chapter 23: Less Other Stuff
  • Chapter 24: Electronics & Digital Simplicity
  • Chapter 25: Dealing with the Urge to Buy
  • Chapter 26: A Final Word on Living Lightly

Book Formats

I’ve written the book in PDF, Kindle (mobi) and iBooks (epub) formats. You can buy them all in one compressed file here for $4.99:

Buy the Ebook

If you just want to buy the book from the Amazon Kindle store, you can buy it here for $4.99. That will only be the Kindle format, though. I would love it if you gave me a good review and/or rating! (Note: It should be available in all of the global Amazon stores.)

If you just want to buy the book from the Apple iBooks store, you can buy it here for $4.99. That will only be the iBooks/epub format, though. And again, I would love it if you gave me a good review and/or rating! (Note: It’s available in all of the global iBooks stores.)

Finally, I have the three formats (PDF, mobi, epub) plus a package of three audio guided meditations for $9.99 that you can buy here:

Buy the Package

Table of Contents & Sample Chapters

If you’d like to see the table of contents, plus the introduction and first two chapters, you can download/open the PDF here:

Table of Contents & Sample Chapters


You have questions, I have answers.

Q: What do I get when I buy the ebook?

A: If you buy it using the blue “buy the ebook” button above, you’ll get a compressed zip file … when you decompress it, there will be a folder with the PDF, epub (for iBooks) and mobi (for Kindle) files.

If you buy from the Kindle store, you’ll just get the Kindle book.

If you buy from the iBooks store, you’ll just get the epub version.

And if you buy the package deal, you’ll get the three formats plus links to download three companion videos that I’ve recorded.

Q: Is there a print version? What about an audiobook version?

A: No, sorry. This is only being released as an ebook.

Q: I bought the package, but where are the video files?

A: Open the “Read me” PDF file in the folder you downloaded … there are links to download the video files in the Read me PDF.

Q: Did you do the design yourself?

A: No, I wish! The cover was designed by Dave of Spyre, and the interior was designed by Shawn Mihalik.

Q: I’m hugely disappointed and want my money back!

A: I’m sorry to hear that. There’s a 100% money back guarantee on all my books. Just email and we’ll give you a full refund. I don’t want unhappy customers.

Original Source: Ultralight: The Zen Habits Guide to Traveling Light & Living Light (short read ebook)

Tortilla Encrusted Chicken Tenders

These baked chicken tenders are coated with seasoned crushed tortilla chips, baked until golden and served with salsa! An easy, weeknight chicken dish, great for the kids, or even adults.

These baked chicken tenders are coated with seasoned crushed tortilla chips, baked until golden and served with salsa. An easy, weeknight chicken dish, great for the kids, or even adults!

I tested these a few weeks ago and got the thumbs up from my family. They are easy to make, and take less than 30 minutes – perfect for weeknight cooking! I crushed the tortillas in a ziplock bag and left it a little course for texture. The squeeze of lime on top and salsa for dipping, adds a fun Mexican-American twist to chicken tenders.

These baked chicken tenders are coated with seasoned crushed tortilla chips, baked until golden and served with salsa! An easy, weeknight chicken dish, great for the kids, or even adults.


Original Source: Tortilla Encrusted Chicken Tenders

When Athletes Inspire a Coach: My First Raw Nationals

Written by: Kevin Cann


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture taken by Jim Elli of 9for9 Media captures a moment where 1000 words may not be enough. These last 10 days have been pretty crazy for me and some of the most memorable of my coaching career.

This stretch kicked off with a local meet that Total Performance Sports puts on with the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS). This is a long weekend for us as we help lug all of the equipment around, put it together, and also break it down at the end. This is on top of coaching.

I only had one athlete competing in this meet. Danielle was the first powerlifting athlete that I ever had and this meet marked her 1 year anniversary of competing. That is right; I have only been coaching powerlifters for a little over a year.

I wasn’t that strong then, and even though my lifts have gone up substantially, I am still not that strong. In spite of this, Danielle put her trust in me to get her as strong as possible in this sport. I have been coaching a long time, I have a graduate degree in the field, and I thoroughly understand the scientific principles of getting strong. However, I knew I needed to get better as a coach.

You see, Danielle made me a better coach before she even started training with me. I got serious about my training and started training 3 days a week with Murph, the owner of TPS. He taught me everything I know about how to truly get people strong. When I am handling my athletes at meets I literally think “What would Murph do?” Taking a job at TPS was the best thing that has happened to my career.

I sought out Boris Sheiko to write my programs. This taught me how to apply those scientific principles I knew so well from grad school to the sport of powerlifting. His programs also taught me how hard you have to work to get better at this sport, as well as my mindset approaching training and competing. The structure of my athletes’ programs, their volumes, intensities, and peaking cycles are heavily influenced from Boris Sheiko and what I have learned from him.

When Danielle started she could squat 210lbs, had never benched, and pulled 275lbs. Her best meet lifts are now 320lb squat, 180lb bench, and 380lb deadlift and an 880lb total knocking on the door of being elite. She increased her total by 90lbs after her first meet, and 45lbs in this most recent meet. She has also gone 26/27 on the platform with the only miss being her third attempt bench in the second meet.

This was not achieved lying on a bed of roses. Danielle had been dealing with a pec injury that required her to see a doc a few times and for us to really modify training on a daily basis. On top of this she started back up with grad school and had been dealing with the loss of some close family members.

Through all of this she showed up every day to train, and train hard, often dealing with both physical and mental pain (although she does complain quite a bit). She reminded me that if you want to be elite it comes at a price, and sacrifices need to be made.

Her test 3 weeks out from the competition did not go well at all. I had to keep reminding her to trust the taper. Everything was feeling like shit, we had been at this for a year, and we were right back to day 1, she had to trust me once again that things were going to be ok.

For the first time ever at a meet, she was nervous. However, she went out there and went 9/9 and hit a PR on all 3 lifts with that 45lb PR in total. Her total places her number 3 in her weight class for RPS. She fought through a tough squat on the third attempt and grinded out a deadlift at the end. This fired me up so much that all I wanted to do was grab a bar and lift.

The Thursday after the meet I flew down to Atlanta to coach Ashley at the USAPL Raw Nationals. Ashley used to work the front desk at TPS and moved to Vegas about a year ago. Around 8 months ago she reached out and asked if I would be willing to write her programs.

Ashley is strong as shit and has been lifting for a couple years. This is completely different than taking someone that is a beginner. On top of this, she is a competitive weightlifter and strong(wo)man. I needed to figure out a way to take an already strong athlete, make them stronger, while navigating training days around training for other sports. Many people say this can’t be done, that you can’t be good in multiple sports. However, I am cocky enough to think it can be done.

I analyzed the last few months of her training. I looked at her volumes and intensities, as well as her plan with weightlifting. John Broz does all of her weightlifting stuff, and I do the powerlifting. We share similar ideas on training, so it works well for Ashley. She can just look at the paper and train. Weightlifting is an accessory to the powerlifting stuff at this point, as the weight she lifts there is a very small percentage of her max lifts. So it is not very taxing from that standpoint, and also helps with her mobility and explosiveness. The Strongman work teaches her heart, and to push through.

Ashley expressed a strong desire to see where she can take powerlifting. We came up with a competition schedule to get her used to competing and qualified for raw nationals. In these meets she had hit meet PRs in all 3 of her lifts, including a 275lb squat, 187lb bench, and 402lb deadlift at 125lbs bodyweight.

This was not only good enough to qualify her for nationals, but good enough to get her a primetime spot. This means she is competing on the live stream, Friday night, against the top 10 strongest girls in the 57kg weight class. As her first non-local meet experience, this was a bit nerve wracking for everyone.

The weight cut was easy. She was able to eat a little and drink a little throughout the day and weighed in at 56.2kg. Squats were the biggest concern for me going in. She wasn’t very confident in her abilities to squat. However, she went 3/3 on her squats and hit 298lbs on her third attempt. A 23lb meet PR. We were all pumped.

Next, we went to bench. She has an extremely strong bench for 125lbs. She went 3/3 fighting through 193lbs for a hard fought 6lb meet PR. Everything was going smooth.

Now we were on to deadlifts. This is HER lift. A couple of the girls were capable of 400lbs, but she was right there with them in her abilities. In my head I had a sigh of relief. What can go wrong during deadlifts? This is her strongest lift and we are in a great spot.

She opened at 374lbs which is easy for her. Bar flies up, but slips out of her hand before she receives the down command, three red lights, and no lift. I wasn’t too worried about it, shit happens and the weight was easy. Told her to hold onto the bar like her life depends on it for the second rep.

She holds onto the bar, but receives 2 red lights and 1 white for a soft knee. In my head I am thinking “Are these judges F’ing kidding me!?” However, I tried to not show too much emotion as I never want to be too high or too low, as either of these can hurt the lifter.

I could see how upset Ashley was. She was sitting between attempts trying to hold back tears. I am sure anger, frustration, and panic were all stewing in her head. I needed her to control her emotions enough to make a technique adjustment to get those white lights. I told her that she can’t lean back so much and has to stand tall and lock those knees.

This adjustment is not easy to make while staring down a potential bomb out in the first big meet of your career under the lights of prime time. These aren’t just my athletes up there, these are friends. I was nervous myself. I was standing between Chad Wesley Smith and Steve Goggins. These guys have been doing this forever, I have been doing this for a short period of time. The thoughts of doubt crept into me a bit here, but I had full confidence in Ashley to overcome this.

Not only is she physically strong, but she is extremely mentally tough. She made that adjustment and got 3 white lights. She went from bombing out to being the 5th best in the nation at 57kg. That picture above captured all of the emotions. Ashley started to cry and I was so pumped up and happy for her I was screaming on the platform. That was 20 minutes of held in emotions coming out in a split second.

At the end of the day she hit a squat, bench, and total PR, placed 5th in the country, and qualified for the Arnold in March. This was a huge success, even though it did not feel like it through the deadlifts. Ashley got in line for her drug test, I went to the bar, got a beer, and sat by myself drinking it for 20 minutes to catch my breath.

I was so proud of these girls. They have inspired me to be a better coach and lifter in a mere few hours. Watching them display mental toughness as well as physical strength was amazing, and I look forward to many more of those moments. Athletes are always thanking their coaches at the end of meets, but here is my thank you to them. They help me as much as I help them. Thanks to my amazing wife as well for traveling all over the place to support me as a coach and as an athlete.

So they say a picture is worth 1000 words, but this one must have been worth 1,760.

Original Source: When Athletes Inspire a Coach: My First Raw Nationals

Episode 339 – Ali Bouzari – Culinary Science


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This week we have guest Ali Bouzari. Ali is a culinary scientist, author, educator, and co-founder of Pilot R+D, a culinary research and development company based in northern California. As a chef with a Ph.D. in food biochemistry, Ali has helped to lead the charge in changing the way we think about cooking by teaching and developing curriculum at top universities, from ivy league schools to the Culinary Institute of America, and collaborating with the country’s most innovative restaurants. Listen in as we talk all about culinary science, the taste of food, and the building blocks of foods that bring it all together.

Download Episode Here (MP3)

Guest: Ali Bouzari

Twitter: @AliBouzari
Instagram: BouzariAli

Book: Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food




30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

Buy the book


Original Source: Episode 339 – Ali Bouzari – Culinary Science

End of Busy: A Deliberate Life vs. Reactive Life, with Jonathan Fields

By Leo Babauta

Every day, we get caught up in busyness — reacting to what comes at us, lost in the thousands of tasks and emails we have to deal with, and we are so busy dealing with all of it that we get stuck on autopilot.

What if we could get out of that trap, and live a more deliberate life?

This is what I recently talked about with my friend Jonathan Fields, who is releasing his new book today: How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science and Practical Wisdom.

You can read Jonathan’s responses to some of my questions below, and watch us talk about mindfulness, uncertainty, and living a good life in this video:

Living a Deliberate Life

Leo: A lot of us get caught in the trap of busyness — reacting to what comes at us. And often it feels like a status symbol, being busy. But this busyness isn’t a part of the Good Life prescription, is it? Can you talk about why it’s a problem?

jfields-bw-1Jonathan: Busyness has become a bit of a lightning rod. In one camp, we’ve got busyness as a status symbol of hustle and achievement (though, often it’s neither). In the other, we have busyness as a signpost of failure and surrender.

Truth is, I’ve come to see busyness as more of a symptom of a bigger problem, rather than a cause. Being busy, alone, need not be a bad thing. What makes it good or bad is why we’re busy, what we’re busy with, and what we’re giving up along the way.

Being busy as a reaction to the compounding agendas others, to what they’ve chosen to heap into our lives, without considering whether any of it matters to us, that’s a problem. It drops us into a state of mindless autopilot busyness, reacting rather than responding. It leaves us watching our lives fill with unrelenting pace, screaming past us, without ever stopping to choose what matters, be present, cultivate meaning, joy, connection and vitality, and experience each moment through the lense of choice and presence. We end up busy without a cause, and it leaves us utterly gutted. Empty.

Being busy from a place of meaning and intention, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If our days, weeks, months and life are populated by a stream of experiences, activities and people that keep us engaged much of every day, including things like moving our bodies, sitting in meditation, expressing our voices, engaging our strengths, deepening into service and meaning, working and playing with people we cannot get enough of, choosing only what truly lifts us up and matters deeply, we end up crafting a life of intention, joy, vitality and meaning. Are we busy along the way? Yes! But, that type of busyness leaves us full, not empty.

And, that adds to a life well lived.

Leo: You tell the story of a woman you had in mind while writing the book, a woman who is overwhelmed by a sense of busyness, who reacts to other people’s agendas, who realizes she’s living an “autopilot life.” How do we seem to slip into these autopilot lives?

Jonathan: This is where it gets a little scary. The challenge is that we never really choose to live reactively. Instead, it just kind of happens. A little bit, every day. Until, one day, we wake up and realize, “my life is not my own.”

Think about it. Did you choose, “I will begin checking my email first thing before I get out of bed, and then respond to what everyone else says is important today?” Was there a moment where you said to yourself, “I will respond immediately, in real time to every email that hits my inbox, every to-do I’m tasked with and every status update on Facebook?”

Not likely, you just started doing it, and the technology that supports this behavior is the perfect intermittent reinforcement machine. In short order, it becomes habit. And, it all went down, bit by momentary bit, by surrendering to seemingly innocuous prompts that end up adding up to autopilot, reactive mindlessness.

There’s no blame here, it’s become the social norm to build a life this way. But, just because it’s the norm, doesn’t mean it’s good.

Question is, now that you know, what will you do moving forward? Choose with intention, or continue to surrender to a life of default reactive busyness, bundled with the annihilation of agency and intention?

Leo: What’s the alternative to the reactive, autopilot life of busyness that you recommend for a good life?

Jonathan: Awareness and intention. We need to break the cycle of mindless, reactive living and reclaim a sense of choice, agency and intention. We need to step back into the driver’s seat of our lives. To say, “I get to choose. My days, my years, my life belongs to me. Other people’s agendas, stories and will are not the primary driver of where I place my attention, my gifts, my love and energy.”

If we want to fill our days with activities, experiences and peoples, so be it. But, let’s start making those choices actively and proactively. Mindfully, from a place of filling our lives with connection, vitality and meaning. Not reactively, because we’ve never stopped to own the responsibility and the blessing of choice.

Leo: How do we start to move from autopilot to this direction?

Jonathan: Step one, own that we’ve got a problem. Step two, begin to cultivate a daily awareness practice. For me, it’s a sitting mindfulness practice, bundled with daily prompts that keep me “dropping into” the moment. These train your brain to become increasingly more present and aware of what’s really happening in life.

One you become more mindful, you start to see the opportunities to swap intention for reactivity all around you, and you begin to choose choice, rather than succumb to pace and mindless surrender.

This is so important, it’s actually why I’ve devoted an entire chapter to it in my new book, and even created guided audio practices to help you begin the practice.

Leo: What might a day of awareness and intention look like, just so we can visualize what this might mean?

Jonathan: This’ll be completely different for each person. It’s so important to honor the very real-world demands of your life, and not hold yourself to the opportunities and constraints of anyone else. But, here’s an example.

You wake and, wait for it, do not check your device. Not email. Not instagram. Not facebook or snapchat. Not even texts. Just lie in bed, place one hand over your heart, the other over your abdomen, eyes closed and breathe for a few moments. Note how you’re feeling as you enter the day. Calm, stressed, energized, fatigued, focus, distracted? No need to change it, just notice, and know that is going to play into the way you move through the day.

You roll quietly out of bed and find somewhere to sit comfortably, eyes half-closed, allowing your attention to rest on your breath for a brief, seated mindfulness practice. Anywhere from 3 to 30-minutes. From there, maybe you’ll close by setting an intention for the day. I always close my morning practice with a brief loving-kindness or “metta” incantation. This is how I’ll bring myself to the day. Then, you write down the single most important thing to accomplish, the one that actually is meaningful to you.

You head into the kitchen, grind some coffee and make a cup, or a pot if you’re brewing for more than one. As the coffee brews, you take single action, spend less than 30-seconds, that connects you with someone you care about. Maybe you text a friend to say, “just thinking about you and sending wishes for a great day.”

While you sit with your coffee, you know that the next few hours are your peak creative time, your window to get your most meaningful work done first. Especially, if it’s your most challenging work. But you also know that you need to get the “checking siren” out of your head, so you quickly spin through email and more. Still, you cap it at 5 minutes, and commit to only responding if there is true urgency. Everyone else can wait. This is your day, not theirs. They may be renting space in your device, but not your heart and head. You then come back to your computer and spend the rest of the morning creating, not consuming or managing.

Then comes a little movement break, just 10 or 15 minutes, because you know it’s good for your body and brain, followed by a lunch break. After lunch, you feel great, because you’ve already accomplished what matters most, so you settle into more of a managing and socializing and meeting mode. Catching up online, but still limiting time to 30-minutes and starting with the things that matter most. In the late afternoon, you walk-n-talk with your colleague or anyone else who wants your time, leaving your phone in your pocket the whole time, giving them your attention. Later in the day, you exercise for 40 minutes, then settle in to read or relax, spend time with friends and family and start to ease toward dinner together.

After dinner, more relaxation or creative time, and, if you need, catching up with any lingering tasks that really matter. Then you spend the evening in a wind-down mode, journaling a bit, reflecting on your day, how it went, how you feel, what you learned, what can bring into tomorrow, writing in gratitude, sharing conversation with an intimate partner, family or friends, and settling in to read, watch a movie or whatever else you enjoy.

Now, does this sound somewhat Utopian? Sure. But, many elements of it, on any given day, can become mindful anchors, moments that allow you to touch back down into your life. The idea is simply to make it yours. To keep finding ways to be present, mindful and focus your attention and actions on the people and activities that fill your Good Life Buckets, rather than empty them. Those will shift on any given day, too, so be open to the possibility of unforeseen experiences and the need to adapt on the fly.

htl-3d-cover-1-crop-247x300Leo: Thanks for the amazing info and inspiration, Jonathan! To everyone: I highly recommend checking out Jonathan’s new book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science and Practical Wisdom.

Original Source: End of Busy: A Deliberate Life vs. Reactive Life, with Jonathan Fields