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FIT {life in} FARGO with Ashley Sornsin

December 2016: Meal Prep Success in 10 Ingredients

By Ashley Sornsin and Kylee Seifert

Sorry to break it to you, but using the holidays as your reason for falling off track of eating right is just a cheap excuse. Don’t get us wrong, we say that in the most loving way possible, because we want you to succeed and get through the holidays successfully without bringing the extra holiday pudge into the new year.

We’ve made it easy for you with six recipes that only use ten ingredients to food prep with. That’s right, only ten. Because we know just how hectic the holidays can be, we’ve slimmed the grocery list down to just a few ingredients so that you can spend the newfound time taking care of the hustle and bustle of the holidays and, more importantly, get some extra family time in the mix.

We hope that you enjoy our gift of recipes to help you food prep this holiday season. Even more so, we hope that our gift will help you enjoy this magical time and be fully able to focus on the truly important things in life. Our gift of these simple recipes will:

• Minimize time at the grocery store.
• Keep you from indulging in the holiday goodie buffet at the office.
• Allow you to stay on track with your fitness and health goals.
• Keep your holiday stress at a minimum, which will help with the stress eating.
• Enjoy delicious, healthy meals throughout your holiday craze.
• Minimize time food prepping.

First off, let’s uncover the ten healthy ingredients you’ll be working with.
Sweet Potato
Brussel Sprouts
Salad Greens

Aside from these easy ten ingredients, we encourage you to play around with your favorite spices. We used sea salt, pepper and cinnamon as our favorite spices with these mixtures.

Food prepping during the holidays is essential for not only staying in line with your health and fitness, but also for keeping added stress at bay. When you’re food prepping these simple recipes, we suggest that you use just one pan or tray, if possible. Instead of cooking everything on a different tray, go ahead and throw them all together–with the exception of the ground pork and chicken.

Each of the serving sizes mentioned in the recipes is for one serving. Simply duplicate the measurements in the recipes to food prep for multiple meals or family members. We suggest writing out when you plan to food prep in your planner, then stick to that day and time. Set aside a couple hours to cut, cook, portion out and then clean up. When you’re planning out your food prep party, start out by cooking the things that take the longest, such as the squash and sweet potato. From there, get your protein cooking, your veggies roasting and then piece together the rest.


These pre-made salads can be mixed and matched for an endless amount of options. With these jars, all you have to do for lunch is grab and go. When you’re ready to eat, just dump in a bowl and enjoy. You’ll be surprised how much you can pack in these jars. We’ve combined the right mix of proteins, starches, vegetables and fruits to properly nourish your body and provide the best nutrients for a healthy and well-balanced meal. We also made our own signature vinaigrette for these salads that is delicious and we know you will love.


Chicken Apple Salad
Salad mixed greens
4-6 oz. chicken
1⁄2 cup roasted chopped sweet potatoes
1/4 cup chopped apple
1-2 Tbsp. signature vinaigrette (Apple Maple Dijon)

Pork Pomegranate Salad
Salad mixed greens
4-6 oz. ground pork
1⁄2 cup roasted squash
1⁄8 cup pomegranate seeds
1⁄8 cup slivered almonds
1-2 Tbsp. signature vinaigrette (Apple Maple Dijon)

Apple Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
(1 serving = 1-2 Tablespoons)
3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt and pepper


1. Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake well before using.
2. Salads: Layer salads in order listed, top with dressing (or keep separate), dump jar ingredients into a bowl when ready to eat.


What are they? Raw oats soaked in liquid in a jar, overnight. You get a creamy, cold oatmeal dish (or you can heat it up) that’s quick and easy to grab in the morning. Make all of the jars for the week, adding the liquid just the night before and shaking the jar to combine. You’ll have an entire week’s worth of breakfast ready, saving you time and keeping you full.

Cinnamon Nut Overnight Oats

1⁄2 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick)
1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional, but delicious)
1⁄2 cup liquid (water/milk/almond milk/ coconut milk)
1⁄8 cup slivered almonds

1. Add ingredients in order listed.
2. Add liquid night before, shake or stir in jar and cover overnight.
3. Top with slivered almonds/nuts.
4. Eat cold or heat up and enjoy.

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

1⁄2 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick)
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped apple
1⁄2 cup liquid (water/milk/almond milk/ coconut milk)

1. Add ingredients in order listed.
2. Add liquid night before, shake or stir in jar and cover overnight.
3. Eat cold or heat up and enjoy.


We love easy dinners and combining all ingredients into one pot makes it easy to not only make, but also to clean up. Cook your chicken and ground pork separately ahead of time. Next, roast your chopped sweet potatoes and cubed squash (these are also used in the salad jars). We suggest roasting on one foil-lined pan in a 400-degree oven for 20-30 minutes, lightly drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. The same goes for the brussel sprouts–cut these first, then roast. This can be done on the same pan as the sweet potatoes and squash. When you’re ready to assemble your dinners, there are a couple ways to do so:

1. Keep ingredients separate and serve on plate.
2. Combine in one-pot on stove, stir, add in your favorite seasonings or even just a pinch of sea salt and pepper and bring all flavors together into a true hash.

Pork & Apple Hash

4-6 oz. ground pork
1⁄2 cup sweet potatoes
1 cup brussel sprouts
1/4 cup chopped apple
Top with slivered almonds & cinnamon

We kept all ingredients separate on our plate, but you can easily combine the ingredients in one pan (all items are pre-cooked from your meal prepping plan.) If you keep it separate like us, the apple is raw and crunchy, but if you decide to cook all items together in a pan and reheat, the apple will soften. Top with some slivered almonds and a sprinkling of cinnamon for a seasonal twist.

Chicken Squash Hash

4-6 oz. chicken
1⁄2 cup squash
1 cup brussel sprouts
1⁄8 cup pomegranate seeds

Again, we show the ingredients separate on our plate, but this can easily be combined in one pan. Top with pomegranate seeds to serve.

Living a fit and healthy life begins in the mind. The thoughts we think and the words we tell ourselves (referred to as “self-talk”) all produce either positive or negative vibes. These vibes directly affect the way our bodies respond, either positively or negatively. The mind is amazingly powerful, so understanding the power behind our self-talk is of utmost importance. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “what the mind believes, the body achieves.” Well, there definitely is much truth to this saying.

A fit and healthy body is more than meets the eye and is defined differently for each person. Having a healthy mind with a positive mindset is one thing I believe we can all agree on. Each day, our self-talk can be positive to help build ourselves up, or adversely, be negative and destroy the relationship we have with ourselves and ultimately hold us back from becoming the best version of ourselves. As a health and wellness coach, I personally know the importance of having a positive mindset and essentially embodying positive vibes. Even I have to work daily on my self-talk and positive vibes, as well as encourage my clients to do the same. Training the mind is much like training the body. The mind needs exercise and we get that when we make the active choice and choose positive thinking. This is an exercise that we need much practice on and choosing positive words when they might not be the first words or thoughts to enter our minds.

I have been blessed with getting much one-on-one training regarding the power of positivity from a longtime dear friend of mine, Nichole Rae. Artist Nichole Rae, who is a talented artist, creative guide, author and yoga instructor, resides in Moorhead and has created an entire business around the principles of affirmations, called “The Art of Daily Practice.” Affirmations refer to the practice of positive thinking and self- empowerment. I caught up with her to have her explain her amazing work in our community. Nichole Rae so eloquently explained, “I am a creative guide. I carry the Art of Daily Practice, which is a collection of my creative practices: art journaling, yoga and affirmations through which I help to inspire and guide others to connect to their most present self. The words ‘create what you most need to find’ are words that I live by that have unfolded into my daily practice. These words have grounded me with the intention to bring positivity into my life through affirmations.”

She continued, “This practice has created a strong foundation for me to evolve and grow into myself, as well as share it with others. One year ago I set an intention to bring positive vibes into my daily life and the practice of reading out loud 108 “I AM” affirmations unfolded. These affirmations are a creative tool that raise our energy as we go into our day to day tasks with focus and clarity to carry our visions with intention and feel confident in who we are. I journaled out the prompt ‘I AM’ and began to add positive words– the things I most needed to find. I AM confident. I AM brave. I AM evolving.”

As she continued to share her awe- inspiring work with me, she explained that she teaches workshops and classes using affirmations to help guide people to create what they most need to find. Through these practices, she teaches others to bring these principles into a daily practice of their own, so anyone can experience these positive vibes.

Nicole Rae has been completely transformed through the affirmations and her Art Of Daily Practice. “When I began to practice reading my 108 affirmations out loud, that’s when the energy of these words began to transform my life. All words carry energy and this energy is either positive or negative. Affirmations carry the positive energy we need to feel positive vibes,” she said. “When you practice writing and reading these as part of a daily practice, this experience will shift your perspective. Just like anything in life, it takes practice, dedication and intention.”

My hope this month is that you, the reader, will focus on creating and fostering positive vibes through your thoughts and words, both in your self- talk and any communication you have with others. A positive mindset and attitude supported by affirmations create positive vibes. To me, these positive vibes equate to a healthy and fit mind. You hold the power to radically transform your life and it all begins with a positive mind. Define your affirmations and believe in the power of these words. Just remember: positive vibes only.

“I AM” Affirmations
This is a list of 20 words as examples, and these are my favorite. See a full list of 108 found on Nichole Rae’s website:


1) In a journal or on a notecard, write out: “I AM” ten times.
2) Choose ten words that will be your personal affirmations for the month (or as long as you desire).
3) Put this somewhere for you to read daily. By doing so daily, you’ll set the stage for a positive mindset, which allows for a healthy and fit life to follow.

Contact Artist Nichole Rae: |


September 2016 : You Are No. 1!

Life is busy. Just ask anyone around you how they are and more often than not, their answer is “busy.” So busy that we often forget to take care of No. 1. Yes, I’m talking about you. There’s something we all need and it’s the rare and highly-coveted “me time.” No this is not selfish, but rather an act of self care. This buzz word “self care” that I’m referring to is anything but selfish. Our society seems to thrive on hustling and taking no days off, which leaves the act of self care to be seen as a luxury. The busy culture is now stressed and overwhelmed, stretched to the limits, trying to do it all and always saying yes (I admit I’m guilty of this myself), which leaves no time for self care. With living a healthy and fit lifestyle and looking for balance in all areas of life, I reached out to Randi Kay Olsen Heinold, a local massage therapist, registered yoga teacher and self care expert and blogger who shares why self care is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

I met up with Olsen Heinold at her home in South Fargo, where she shared more about self care practices. Olsen Heinold recently co-opened a new space in Downtown Fargo called Sacred Earth Studio. She has created an online community called the Self Care Circle that includes a free Self Care Sunday newsletter (visit her website to sign up). Olsen Heinold says that “self care should be looked at as more of a lifestyle. Not just an item to schedule in and check off of your to-do list. Self care is tuning in and learning how to care for yourself at any given moment. This can look many different ways, from getting a massage or pedicure or taking a bubble bath, as these are many things people think of when they think of self care. The less glamorous, but more important examples are taking a moment to breathe when you are feeling stressed, taking a break from desk work to move around and stretch, saying no to something because you are maxed out, staying hydrated or choosing a healthier food option at lunch.” Olsen Heinold’s go-to self care move is regularly taking deep belly breaths, no matter where she is or what she’s doing. This instantly gets her to calm down and tune into her body and mind.

“When I am calm and tuning in, I can go from there. I can ask myself, ‘What do you need right now?’ Be it telling someone how I am feeling, taking a walk, going to a yoga class, whatever,” said Olsen Heinold.

Self care is going to look differently to everyone, but here are some tangible examples:

  • Morning routine (journaling, meditation, exercise, along with your shower, breakfast, etc.)
  • Seeing a therapist (massage, physical therapist, physiologist)
  • Taking regular times in your day to tune in
  • Understanding your body (what your body pain is telling you, knowing your own anatomy, how to deal with discomfort)
  • Eating well
  • Times of pampering yourself
  • Saying no when needed, and saying yes when needed
  • Having fun on a regular basis
  • Finding a way to be creative everyday
  • Bedtime routine and getting enough sleep

And the list goes on, but hopefully you get the idea.

Olsen Heinold has created a little corner in her home dedicated just to self care. “It’s where I practice yoga, meditate, journal. Creating a space, even if its just part of a room, is a symbol that I value myself. When space is created, action can happen and I automatically calm down when I spend time there, even if its just five minutes,” she said.

Inspired by Olsen Heinold’s self care practices, I have decided to make self care an essential part of my lifestyle. I have started to keep a few items in my car, because as my lifestyle has it, I am always on the go. However, in committing to making this a priority, I must integrate this practice where it fits in my life.

My on-the-go self care essentials that allow me to take five to 30 minutes to “tune in,” as Olsen Heinold calls it, include the following:

  • Travel yoga mat and beach towel
  • Notebook (for journaling)
  • Headphones and phone (I use the Pandora app to listen to “spa radio: set on the sleep timer for five to 30 minutes, so I am guaranteed that set amount of time.)

These few items make it easy for me to take even just a few minutes to practice self care by listening to my mind and body, calming the busyness of life and truly enjoying the moment. It didn’t take much convincing for me to give self care a try, as I believe Olsen Heinold when she sates that, “taking self care seriously will change your life. It will heal you. It will heal your relationships. It will make you better at everything you do. It will help you cope with trauma. It is the key in living a happy and healthy life.” You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain in making self care part of your lifestyle.


Contact Randi Kay:
Services Offered: Self-care mentoring, yoga and thai massage

Sacred Earth Studio:
14 1/2 8th St. S, Fargo