I hope you are well and enjoying these last few weeks of  summer.

With schools starting up again and some of us heading back into the office, life is getting  busier and therefore what is the first thing to go? Self-care of course! 

One of the most proven habits for healthy living is meal planning and prepping though many of us groan at just the thought of it.

Good news! In episode 23 of Thin Thinking, I have Hungry Girls’ Lynn Bettencourt here coming to the rescue to help us make it easy and dare I say, enjoyable.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

Subscribe and Review

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? If not, go ahead and click the ‘subscribe’ button for your favorite podcast platform! You don’t want to miss a single episode.

If you enjoyed this episode, it would be very helpful to us if you would leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts. This review helps people who are on the same weight loss journey as you to find us and soak up all the wonderful insights and lessons I have to offer.

If you aren’t sure how to leave a review in Apple Podcasts/iTunes, view our tutorial by clicking here.

Follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.

Subscribe and Never Miss an Episode


Rita Black: Does the thought of meal planning and prep for our new busier lives make you want to shut the curtains and go back into quarantine? Well, hold the door because in today's episode, I have hungry girls, Lynn Bettencourt here coming to the rescue to help us make it easy. And dare I say, enjoyable. So stay tuned and get ready.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right, the key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there, I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist, weight loss expert, best-selling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict, and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need. Not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long-term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello, everyone and welcome. And it's that back to school time again, here in California, we started a little early, I think in some states you start earlier than us, but in a lot of places you don't start till after labor day. And I don't know why they started because you know, it's hot and the kids don't want to go back yet. It's still feels like summer, but anyway, that's what we're doing. So I need someone to commiserate with my son is heading back and I have been scrambling to pull life together because he's going back to the live life school. And that means waking him up in the morning earlier than he's been used to because he's been getting up at 9:00 AM, rolling out of bed, you know, rolling over and turning on his screen and getting going. We're talking, you know, a 16-year old folk. So they don't rise and shine so easily. So that means, yeah, getting him up, you know, he's got to put clothes on other than sweats, you know, give him a lunch. You know, even though he's a junior in high school, he should be doing this all himself. Right. Well, we'll see what happens, but we're scrambling. We are scrambling. I will admit it and I'm not ashamed about it. We're just scrambling.

Rita Black: And even if you don't have a kid heading back to school, a lot of us are going to be heading back to life to the office. A lot of my clients say, September is, you know, the month that they're ahead and back. Um, if you haven't headed back already, the world is coming back and getting busy and we are in time crunches again and making it hard to eat healthfully. And for many people, the thought of meal planning just makes them want to head to the drive-thru. So that is why I am super excited to share my interview with Lynn Betancourt. Lynn, and I have known each other for years and we get into this in our interview, but Lynn is, uh, the right hand woman of Lisa Lillian, who is Hungry Girl. If you guys don't know hungry girl in the hungry girl website and the hungry girl books, um, check it out because she is a great resource for awesome low-calorie recipes. She's really evolved over the years into more organic and healthy eating, but she's always had like a low-calorie healthy option for, um, you know, those comfort foods. So she, you know, and she's hilarious. She's got a great newsletter. She does grocery lists. She really makes, eating healthy, eating low calories, super easy, always thinking of fun, desserts, even cocktails. I just find her an amazing resource for weight mastery. And Lynn has been a big part of Lisa Lillian's success and Lynn herself creates recipes for her and also, you know, has clients and helps them be healthy as well. So, and Lynn is a mom of two young children, so she's, she's got it all going on. So she's going to be a great resource for us, and she's going to be given us some strategy for planning and preparing healthy meals so that we can get our stay healthy despite the fact that we are going to be busier and more time-crunched. So let's get started.

Rita Black: Hello and welcome everybody. I have the amazing and vivacious Lynn Betancourt here with me. Lynn Bettencourt, and I go way back, which we will talk about a little bit. But Lynn is a huge part of the Hungry Girl brand. She is a recipe developer and the head of nutrition at Hungry Girl and has helped Lisa Lillian, you know, over the years I would consider you her right hand hand man. But you know, I don't know. You're probably humble. You probably don't think that.

Lynn Bettencourt: I would definitely say like, maybe like if she had maybe her right leg.

Rita Black: Okay, her light leg. Man, lady, partner. Okay. And then she is also a star, a diamond, a coach, with a Beach body. And we will talk about Beachbody because we both have an affinity for Beachbody, but she is a coach there. And she helps her clients with nutrition and fitness and really being a buddy in their journey of weight release, weight mastery, getting fit and healthy and feeling good about themselves. And Lynn will also have a great offer, a free offer for us at the end of our conversation here because Lynn, it offers so much value. So welcome. Welcome to the show Lynn.

Lynn Bettencourt: Thank you so much for having me.

Rita Black: Nice to see you. I know this isn't going to be a video. I know we're just talking but you look fantastic.

Lynn Bettencourt: Thank you.

Rita Black: You look so healthy and vibrant and, we were just talking before we turned on the recording that Lynn, when I met Lynn, she was living in Los Angeles. You had moved here from Boston, right?

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah.

Rita Black: And you were just, it was before you were married. It was before you had kids. How long have you been working for Hungry Girl at that point, when I met you?

Lynn Bettencourt: A few years, I want to say like three years, but now I'm into, I think almost 14 and a half years.

Rita Black: Wow! That is amazing. I remember. Are they still running Hungry Girl out of Los Angeles out of the same place that they were running it when I went there and picked up?

Lynn Bettencourt: No. So they actually have an amazing Hungry blend if labeled Hungry Land have ordered. Now it's an amazing like building that has two kitchens and an incredible area to do all their food photography.

Rita Black: Right. I guess that, yeah, like, I mean, when it was a pretty, I mean, it was a nice condo, but yeah, because I know she now has like a magazine and, and book after book and, and TV show. So I guess you couldn't run that out of a condo.

Lynn Bettencourt: That'd be harder. Yeah.

Rita Black: You would need a hungry girl land. Okay. And it must have, it must be really fascinating, uh, helping a brand grow and being such a huge part of like, cause you guys have gone through the years, you've gone through a lot of incarnations, like getting more organic and getting healthier and then, you know, flowing with the evolution of the food evolution, like the, you know, getting healthy, what that looks like has changed a lot in 14 years. What do you say?

Lynn Bettencourt: Absolutely. I would. I've been around since before the first cookbook, which is really crazy 14 cookbooks.

Rita Black: That's amazing.

Lynn Bettencourt: Um, and it really has, it's evolved so much as a brand. I've really loved being a part of it because I think even as like a consumer, because I am also somebody who is conscious with what I eat and I've had lots of life changes over the last 14 years. And for me it's been, it's really fun to be a part of and see how like, "Oh, it's not a weight". Everything was low carb for a while there, everything was low fat. And also in that education of ourselves or educating a gigantic audience of being able to fuel yourself with really amazing, good foods for you.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: Getting that balance. It's been great.

Rita Black: What I love about the Hungry Girl. Like all, you know, just like the, I guess I would say the, what the brand represents is fun. You know, like that eating healthy can be fun. Eating even the low calorie can be fun. And I think what Hungry Girl evokes or promotes is this idea of being creative and being like that, I think we get into that chicken and broccoli had with like being good on a diet. And I think, you know, you guys just blew that all out of the water. Cause you open up one of your cookbooks or you open up a magazine or you open up any, you go to the hungry girl website, it still exists. Like, does she still do newsletters? Cause I know her newsletters were really like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. You know, it's just like pushes the envelope of like, no, this can be super creative. You can eat low calorie. It can taste like comfort food. Like, I mean, what I loved was like, you can have the comfort foods and still, and you have been at the backbone of that cause you've been developing a lot of these amazing recipes.

Lynn Bettencourt: I have been extremely honored to be part of the nutrition team and to be a recipe developer for so many years. Just, I will say our recipes are delicious. It really is.

Rita Black: They are! Oh my gosh.

Lynn Bettencourt: It's so good. Like you don't have to. I think one of my favorite things, at least it says is, you know, you can eat delicious food and still fit into your pants. That is a hundred percent accurate. I love the idea of like being a scientist, figuring out what works for you, kind of understanding, just having some ownership too, but it's also nice to kind of like loosen the reins and go, I'm just going to pick one over, you know, one of the recipes that already exist and, and see how that works.

Rita Black: What is..

Lynn Bettencourt: Really great for your whole family involved too.

Rita Black: Right. Yeah. I know. And definitely I'm sure having kids has changed your perspective on food and, and what we're going to get into is planning and preparing. But before we do, I have one question. So what is your favorite recipe that you've developed over the years? What it is you think, I mean, I'm sure there are many, but like if one popped to the mind of you, What would that be?

Lynn Bettencourt: Oh I definitely should have known that

Rita Black: Okay. Tell me five, tell me five and don't make it so hard to have to say it.

Lynn Bettencourt: It's so hard. Cause I, sometimes I don't even remember what I even started, but we have done one of my favorite things to do earlier on was take recipes from certain restaurants and kind of like revamped them.

Rita Black: Oh, okay.

Lynn Bettencourt: Um, and I want to say it's Olive Garden that has a Buffalo chicken, like, like over noodles. So I created a swap for that many years ago and of course everything that, when we're doing recipe development, our team and there's a handful of us that do it and everything goes through like this amazing channel and it gets tested a bunch of times in the kitchen and Lisa gets her taste buds on every single thing that goes through, she's hands on with a lot of the development as well. Which is why everything tastes so good. She has a very amazing universal palate. So that would, that was definitely one of my favorites, but also an enchilada chicken soup that was inspired by somebody that wrote in and we were in the kitchen and we tested it and made it like so good. It's something that I used to wow my now husband, when I first met him, I was like, it's pumpkin and soup. And he was like, this sounds terrible. And I'm like, you're gonna love it. And I also accidentally discovered how great like pumpkin and, butternut squash can be as like a refried bean slop.

Rita Black: Whoa, never thought of that.

Lynn Bettencourt: Well, I was in the test kitchen doing something.

Rita Black: Uh-uh.

Lynn Bettencourt: Uh, I was actually about to shoot them because I used to do photos when I lived in LA. And I was trying to like get these enchiladas and we ran out of the filling. So I just decided to throw it in. I seasoned it up and made it look like it was what it was supposed to be. Generally. We only shoot exactly what you're going to get, but I needed a second enchilada and fill that the way I could. And we, we took a bite of it and we were like, oh my gosh, it's amazing to be able to use seasoning, to make vegetables taste like other things. So..

Rita Black: That is cool.

Lynn Bettencourt: ..it is kind of really fun journey.

Rita Black: You've heard it here first, of a butternut refried beans. I have made that enchilada soup and I have to say it is pretty awesome. You wouldn't think like pumpkin what pumpkin can do, but pumpkin is a pretty amazing versatile vegetable.

Lynn Bettencourt: It is.

Rita Black: So yeah. Now I want to get into that. You've got two little kids or is there a five and six minus 15 and as moms, but even as not moms, but people who are healthy. Right? We, I mean, we have to plan ahead and I know a lot of people hate the idea of planning, right? Like it just seems like so unglamorous and so unfun, but so we're here today to make it glamorous and fun and easy right, Lynn?

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah.

Rita Black: And what do you feel like, um, is the biggest value of planning? Like in your mind, like..

Lynn Bettencourt: Well, there's that saying that if you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. And that's probably the most accurate statement when it comes to having a plan when it comes to eating. But I mean, it doesn't have to be really hard. So I think a lot of us make it more complicated than it needs to be. And a lot of people feel like they get very overwhelmed by all the options out there and keeping it simple is really helpful. And also just being honest with yourself, if you are somebody that hates cooking, then you have to factor that in, when you're going to do some meal planning, you want to make sure you have some shortcuts or just some easy meals that you can kind of repeat. If you're somebody that will never repeat meals, then you'd have to kind of you know, factor that into your meal plan too.

Rita Black: Can I ask you, do you think there's a lot of people who don't repeat meals? I mean, I think most people repeat meals, but do you think?

Lynn Bettencourt: I personally have no problem repeating meals, but I've been a coach for more than six years now.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: And worked with people all over the map when it comes to food planning. And I know people who are married to people that will not repeat meals or..

Rita Black: Wow.

Lynn Bettencourt: They themselves need it to be constantly different. And there are ways to do that. So for example, if you're going to repeat meals, there's two ways. There's a lot of ways to do it, but one, if you're making a big, say a casserole dish, and you're like, I don't want to eat this again right now, but it was really good. Make enough so that you can freeze a serving or two.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: And we'll have it next week or two weeks from now. And you didn't do the work.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Lynn Bettencourt: You know what I mean? You just get to eat, you know, do the work once, eat twice. And it doesn't have to be in the same week. I would just highly recommend if you're not going to eat it within five days, pretty much. That's like the go-to rule for me. You're not going to eat the leftovers within five days, pop it in the freezer.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Lynn Bettencourt: That it'll still be good, but another option is changing out the protein, like keeping or change out the protein. Like if you're doing salads like jar salads, Mason jar salads are really great. You can do tuna, one day chicken one day and shrimp another day, and just slightly season it differently.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Lynn Bettencourt: Your salad be prepared. So you did all of that at once. Or you can have like slow cooker where you've done a shredded, like chicken or shredded, you know, other type of you know, protein, and then have that be used in a bunch of different ways throughout the week. So you could have that be your lunch every day. But one day is tacos one day's over salad.

Rita Black: I love that.

Lynn Bettencourt: So there's a lot of different ways that you can work within what your limits are. Time-wise what your ability is cooking-wise, and your taste buds. So like for me, I love everything Mexican, so I can eat Mexican and also Buffalo-flavored anything basically every day of the week. That would be fine with me, but that's not true of everyone.

Rita Black: Right. Can I ask you Lynn, Buffalo? What is, what is the seasoning behind Buffalo? Like, is it red, hot seasoning or what?

Lynn Bettencourt: Red hot? I mean, I live from Frank's red hot. That's my preferred hot Buffalo sauce. It's, it's the best natural.

Rita Black: Do you add anything to, or is that it?

Lynn Bettencourt: Generally, I can do it with just that. Sometimes I'll make like a little sauce. I generally don't eat that much dairy anymore. I'm pretty plant-based dairy at this point. That's even a good Derby. I think, you know what I mean? So I will add sometimes like a little bit of like either coconut oil to it or a little like vegan butter.

Rita Black: Uh-uh.

Lynn Bettencourt: But generally I can actually just do that sauce if I put a little of that sauce on my eggs in the morning. If I want a little heat, like that works for me too right.

Rita Black: Now. I love that too, so. Oh, cool. Okay, good. I'm sorry. I interrupted you.

Lynn Bettencourt: That's okay.

Rita Black: You were saying you love Mexican and Buffalo.

Lynn Bettencourt: And I think just, you know, knowing your flavor profiles, knowing your family and, you know, my kids are still pretty young. And at this point, one of them has like, is a gluten allergy. And the other one doesn't. And one has like a dairy sensitivity, the other one doesn't.

Rita Black: Wow.

Lynn Bettencourt: So a lot of times I'm still, even if I was going to make one dish, it very rarely checks off all the boxes. So right now my kids, even if they are getting tacos and everybody's getting tacos, I'm still kind of making some modifications for their meals. So that's something that I have to bring to the table and that I'm aware of. Not every family will make a separate dish for their kids, but I am because of their specific needs at this time.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: And, you know, I think, you know, part of it is just knowing whatever your personal dynamic is around food. And once you know that you can look at your schedule ahead, you know, how many days are you out of the, you know, out of the house this week, do you have soccer during, you know, during your week on Wednesday and also a game on Saturday? How much does that affect your schedule? Do you have to have ready to go things on those days? Because you know, you're going to end up at a fast food place, if you don't, or, you know, you don't want to end up with not enough food. So you do want to make sure that when you're looking at your schedule, can you repeat meals? How can you make things work maybe more than once, if that's possible, you know, is there a night where your family can kind of help cook or does it have to be kind of made ahead and what do you have to do on the weekend to kind of prepare? So just once you do it, a couple of times, you have a really good idea of what your schedule and your life looks like. Now I'll do it like once a month where I can see all right, generally, because I am a parent, generally, most things fall on the same nights. You know, we always have a practice on Wednesday.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: And have a game on Saturday and that's the same for the whole month. So I kind of know once I've looked at it, once the next four weeks are going to be a similar style. And, you know, I might just have one type of protein that's ready for lunches, or I might have one type of make ahead breakfast because maybe that's what it is when you're trying to get to school. Cause I know that's coming up right now, so I want to make sure my kids have something good to eat and that I have something good to eat when we're running the door. Because the last thing I want to do is come back home and then be starving and then eat all their leftover.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: You know, waffles, whatever I made them that day. So just being prepared and understanding like your actual schedule and being okay with the fact that it's a learning curve, but you'll get better at it. The more you do it. And that's pretty much the same as everything, right? Like the more you practice, the better you get.

Rita Black: I want to ask you, well, one thing I want to say for those of you who are still skeptical about planning ahead, because I think the, what the resistance points are our brain will throw up is, you know, we're not used to it and, and our brain, you know, if it's not used to it, it wants to stay the same. But I think not planning. I mean, how much time, honestly, Lynn, do you think it takes to do what you're saying? Like if you're sitting down, when do you sit down and plan your meals? Like, is it on a Sunday? Is it on a Monday? Like when do you do your meal planning?

Lynn Bettencourt: So my personal secret to success, what has worked for me,

Rita Black: Uh-uh.

Lynn Bettencourt: Is spreading things out because I am a mom to littles and I never know like what kind of added, I mean, granted, they're a little bit older now, but generally you don't know when your kids are going to be in a bad mood or when all of a sudden something's going to happen. So I spread out my planning over three days. So what I do on Fridays is I look ahead at the week and I see kind of like what I'm going to need meal wise. And I usually jot down like ideas for what I want to eat for that week. And then I leave it alone. I don't do anything with it. That takes me less than 30 minutes. Easy. A lot of times, for me, it's like 15 minutes. If that, on Saturday that's when I set my grocery list up on my, because I, I know that a lot of people have come to love this part of the, you know, pandemic life that we have is we would have groceries to pick up, you know, or have it delivered to our house. So that's what I utilize. I've been utilizing it for a long time. I go online, It allows me to see what my sales are. So I feel like I'm spending less money. I'm not picking up extra things that I don't need because I'm hungry at the store or because it looks good. And I set up that grocery order on Saturday mornings, usually for pickup on Sunday morning or sometimes Saturday afternoon, just so I have it.

Rita Black: So you order it. And you, you do it online and then you go to the grocery store and they have it ready for you?

Lynn Bettencourt: Yes. So I, if I do on Saturday morning, it'll be, it could be ready as early as the afternoon on Saturday for me to pick up where I am. And a lot of times, you know, if I've heard one of the things, the pushbacks that I've heard on doing that is people don't like the produce that's chosen. I feel very good about the store that I go to. I love the produce. I pick, I very, very rarely have an issue with it, but my suggestion and what I have done when I wasn't using the store I'm using now is I would put everything else on the order and have that ready to go. And then when I would go to the store to pick up my order, I would just run in and get only the produce that I didn't get check out with the produce and then go pick up the order at the side of the building. So I didn't to go through any other aisles, all of the stuff that I don't really need to be a part of, you know, that's the same, no matter what it is, I was just picking out my courteous.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: That's another option.

Rita Black: That's true.

Lynn Bettencourt: If it's taking you about 20 minutes longer. But I have found too that it's really nice to be able to just do all this ahead and you save the time. And I know a lot of people hate grocery shopping. So

Rita Black: I think the thing with produce now is like, when I really honestly think about buying produce, most of what I'm buying is in packages. It's not, you know what I mean? Like cauliflower is all chunked up. It's not like I'm buying a head of cauliflower and I'm picking it out. Like my favorite part is just like cauliflower pieces, broccoli pieces, romaine lettuce is prepacked like so much of what you're buying isn't contingent upon your picking it out. I mean like tomatoes are, but.

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah, it depends too. Cause that's one of the ways to save money is there are still heads, you know, that you can get a cauliflower loose at a lot of stores or at least where I am and the same thing with like, you know, yes, you can buy zucchinis spirals already done, or you can buy those zucchini fresh. But again, generally, like I know like strawberries, yes, they're in a package, but sometimes they don't look great. That's I think that's the only time I've ever, I tend to do my produce when they're off season, when they're in season, everything is pretty beautiful. So right. You know, right now we're at the end of the summer and everything's still for the most part looks pretty good, but we're going to start entering those months where you might want to just pop in and get your produce and that's, and that's a decision that's up to you. Like if you feel good about the produce they pick, then you're good. And then Sunday, what I'll do is I'll look at what I need to prep. If there's anything I need to cut ahead. I like to, depending on the, you know, the season, if I'm doing salads, which I'm still in summer mode, you know, at the end of the summer mode right now, I will still do jar salads, Mason jar salads, which are great because you can actually prep those ahead. You know, you just put the protein on the bottom.

Rita Black: Tell me about the Mason jar salad. Cause I don't, you're in North Carolina. That sounds very Southern, but I, uh.

Lynn Bettencourt: Oh. I've been doing them for years. I feel like I started, maybe it has been..

Rita Black: I think I've seen it in Hungry Girl. Like I've, I've seen that Mason jars, they're beautiful.

Lynn Bettencourt: They are.

Rita Black: But what do you do? You buy some Mason jars?

Lynn Bettencourt: So yeah, so I mean, yeah, I guess I do live in the South now. So I've had Mason jars for awhile, but, you put at the bottom, you know, whatever the sauce or the dressing is that you have, and then you put your protein generally there, from using a packet of tuna. I will wait to put that on just as a heads up, but then you use your like chunky vegetables. So, you know, cucumbers, tomatoes, those sorts of things. Um, and then you can add like your cheese, if you want to add cheese, that is really great for that or your strawberries, things like that, that kind of salad right there, that sounds so delicious right? And at the very end, that's where you put your spinach or your romaine or whatever greens that you're using. So that way it stays as far away from the wet dressing that makes and then you seal it and it actually stays all week. So I used to, I know this is going to sound funny. There used to be a salad club where I lived in Savannah and we would get together. Everybody would bring a bunch of ingredients. We'd throw things into our jars and we'd all have, you know, five different salads.

Rita Black: Wow, so, and then you like could have five salads for the week and then when you eat it, do you eat, how do you eat it? Do you take, you unscrew it and put it on a plate or do you eat it out of the jar?

Lynn Bettencourt: I personally would dump it into like a big bowl or a plate. Other people just shake it up. And when you shake it up there and then you can eat it out. So if you are at your office, if you're back to your office, you can go ahead and just eat it out of the jar. So you're not,

Rita Black: Do you leave enough room at the top so that when you shake it there's, then it all gets all shook up. So that..

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah, I find too with like lettuce in general, it'll kind of like shift just a little tiny bit. So it'll give you a little bit of room. It's not like a soup, you know.

Rita Black: Okay, I love that idea. I'm that, Okay. I've learned something powerful here today. Well, you've lots of good ideas already. Uh, so yeah, that one thing like that thought I had was it is we are resistant to it, but I honestly think when we are not planning, the chaos of not planning, like I think people think, oh my gosh, it takes so much time. I don't have time. I can't get my mind around it. But when you think of the chaos and the mental anxiety that not being, and then overeating or going out for, you know, like then feeling sick because you ate junky, you know, drive-thru food, it actually saves time. It really saves time. And it saves mental anguish and even being mad at yourself, all that stuff. I mean, I, so I think what you're talking about, Lynn, like you said, it takes time, it takes preparation, but ultimately your ahead of the game, and it's so much easier at the end of the game, when you got your Mason jars and you just reach in there and you get your Mason jar and you shake your Mason, like what could make anybody happier than that?

Lynn Bettencourt: I know. And it's great because when you start to get into the cooler weather, which is hopefully right around the corner for everybody, you'll be right into soup season and then you can use those for soups.

Rita Black: Ah, I love that beautiful idea.

Lynn Bettencourt: I, uh, I will say, I mean, when you're setting yourself up for success, like that's one of the ways and it really doesn't take that much time. That 10 to 15 minutes on say Friday, and then Saturday you've set up your order and then you go pick it up. It's like, you know, 30 minutes, if that, and you've done it from like phone or wherever you do your ordering from or your comfort of your home. And then Sunday, prep as only as much as you want to be. So if you want to prep overnight oats, that's something else that you can do in your Mason jar. And that's really easy to do, I guess I'm, I probably should be a spokesperson for Mason jars at this point. But, I mean, whatever it is that you need to prep sometimes casseroles prep really well. And it's just nice to have some things ready to go like that chopped vegetables, just have them ready. So they look really pretty in your fridge and that's what you want to go for. And having that kind of done just takes off the pressure. And just looking ahead at your week, if you're like, okay, I know we're going to be out of the house before dinner two nights that week. If I just prep those as much as I can. And then I only have to like last minute, cook them or just throw them into the oven right when I get home, it makes things so much easier.

Lynn Bettencourt: Even if you don't have kids, you know, that kind of stuff just really makes a big difference. And then setting yourself up a second way, you know, not just like the pre shopping and taking care of all that, but also your, your plan B, because I think one of the things that was a very humbling thing about being a parent is I think I can plan ahead. I think I can do all these things, but I'm often reminded that I am not in control of many things in my life. Thank you too. I like to blame parenthood for everything, but in reality, you know, you don't know when your husband's going to eat your leftovers, that you were planning on having Wednesday.

Rita Black: That's what husbands do, Lynn. They just give you the damn leftovers.

Lynn Bettencourt: It especially happens when you have delicious recipes. I find all of a sudden, you know, I cooked actually a bunch of chicken this past weekend and you know, my husband's been throwing it on every single thing that he's been eating. He's like, oh, it's just really good. I'm like, I know, but I'm now I'm also going to have to do it again on Wednesday. It's a slow cooker, so it's easy, but I'm like, I'll just have to do it again because I'm going to need it to get me through the week. But, there's, you know, it's, it's nice to have that kind of conversation. You can also label things and say, you know, that's my lunch. Please don't eat it because I'm gonna eat it on Wednesday. But having a plan B of like those frozen servings that you didn't want to eat two weeks ago, you know, that you popped in your freezer. Those are great to have as backup. Having a frozen meal is also a good option. I just highly suggest if you are going to use that frozen meal of any kind that like you bulk it up with more vegetables, usually there's like a ton of sauce and not a lot of contents on those.

Rita Black: Do you mean like something that is prepared at something else? Okay.

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah, so, I mean, it can be frozen or even if something that you picked up at the grocery store that was like, pre-made that you just popped in your freezer. Maybe it wasn't like sold that way. It was like fresh at the time, but you're like, I just want to make sure I have, you know, some food it's nice to have, but the other thing is, too, is that other part of setting yourself up for success is finding what you're capable of and what you're not. So for example, if you are not a great cook or if you don't have a lot of time to prep on Sundays, because your Sundays are already full, understanding that if you can get things that are pre-cut or pre-packaged those vegetables that are already chopped for you, um, or the ready to eat protein like tuna or the already cooked chicken, or, you know, ready to eat shrimp, even hard-boiled eggs, you can get a lot of different kinds of foods that are already done for you. And using that as part of like your lunches and your dinners, especially if you're cooking, you know, not for a family one night, if you're just really cooking for yourself. And you're, it's a lot easier to do too, but having them on hand and having that kind of like plan B makes a big difference.

Rita Black: Yeah. I agree with you that, because so many, I mean, like, I don't know if you have experiences, Lynn, but as I get older and my clients get younger, a lot of millennials, for whatever reason are, I mean, at least in LA are not cooking. They're like, they've been too busy. They never like, their parents weren't cooking. So they never learned either. Like, it was very much a generation of let's go and grab a dinner at a restaurant or take out or whatever. And so I have people who are literally, I really only know how to use the microwave. Right. And, and I want to be healthy. So how do you know, like aside from like going to cooking classes or, you know, like my son is so funny cause he's, he's 16. Oh my God. He drove for the first time today. Lynn, let me tell you that's a new, that's a new horizon.

Rita Black: My daughter actually was a worst threat. My son's because he does video games. He's a pretty good driver so far so good. But anyway, but he will watch YouTube and he will make dinner. He's like, okay, mom, I want to make, I want to try to, he made this amazing lentil soup the other night. He just learned like watched YouTube and made the recipe. And uh, you know, he's following some guy, chef, who's a real dude and you know, these are the dude lentil soup, you know, and it's like, okay, cool. You know, whatever. But, like I was going to say what you're saying about buying something ahead of time, freezing it or having it like the rotisserie chicken or the, um, you know, the, even like trader Joe's or any, you know, like you go in and you can get those, you know, stuffed peppers or whatever, so you are cooking them, but, but then you're adding something to it.

Rita Black: You know, something I did in the pandemic that I mean that I got better at, as a pandemic was, you know, we would get, we would grab food like Indian food or, Chinese food. And I would, instead of using the rice, I would use like shredded. So I would bring my own stuff from the kitchen. Cause we were getting takeout. It wasn't like we were eating there, but I would have shredded lettuce be the base for the Curry or the.. whatever the sauce was or whatever. So I, wasn't getting a bunch of rice. If we go and get takeout, often I'll get something and then I'll come home and I'll make a salad or a vegetable to go with it, you know, at the same time. So it doesn't necessarily have to, like, you could do a Mason jar and get takeout if you don't have time with your family, but you're just getting that like, uh, nutrition and the lighter, the less caloric, you know, it's not all just, you know, fast food. It's, you're adding some nutrition and you're adding symbol to it.

Lynn Bettencourt: Absolutely. And, and there's no shame in the semi-homemade, you know, if you're, even if it's food assembly, which I think is a lot of how Hungry Girl really started.

Rita Black: Right.

Lynn Bettencourt: Pull these things together and put them on a plate, you know, from what already exists out there, you know, it was an evolution for us to actually be, you know what I mean, a lot of us can do a lot of amazing things with food and in the kitchen now that I know I couldn't do 14 years ago. And as true secret is, I didn't know how to cook growing up. I wasn't taught by my mother. I loved my mother dearly. But she has many gifts. Cooking is not one of them. And it wasn't until college that I really ever cooked anything at all. And I was a very fly by the seat of my pants, learn as I go kind of person.

Lynn Bettencourt: And that is definitely true. And I've evolved as a developer and as a recipe lover by what is driving me in the moment. So I'm like your son where I was eating a lot of vegan, gluten-free foods over the pandemic. And I was turning to stars on YouTube who were making bacon out of the daikon radish, which was amazing. And it was so good, but I was like, I'm going to watch the video first and then I'm going to choose a bunch of different things. I'm going to see what I can try. And I think that's why it's really fun if you are a millennial or younger and you're on TikTok and you're watching those videos, like those are great source of inspiration. You don't have to, there are so many magical things that are happening in the world right now, and people are able to share it. So it's okay to go on YouTube and find some inspiration or go on TikTok and try that hack, but also know that it's okay if you're just doing some food assembly, especially from most of your meals, like that is a great way to stay on point with your goals and you know, what you're getting, you know?

Rita Black: Yeah. Definitely. And I think it's, I mean, you have to stick with it as trial and error, you know, you get, I mean, once you say you have your favorite, like I have my favorite go-to, you know, I know it takes me 10 minutes to assemble. I got it down. I know the family is going to love it, but it takes trial and error. It's, you know, for every winner recipe that I know to throw together, you know, I had to go through 10 clunkers to, and have my kids turn their noses up at it.

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah, I feel like you start to know too, which kind of, and it's okay to evolve. You know, that's also a huge thing of it, but you'll start to know who you can turn to. We can trust for certain recipes. There are some that are just putting it out there, you know, and others that are tested as many times as are ours are with so many different taste buds on it. And if it actually makes it to the email, into a book, into a magazine, you know, it's been tested and tried and true. And I think once you realize where your palate is, where somebody else's is, and you're like, oh, Ooh, I love that person's stuff. And explore with them, you know, check out everything they have on their blogs, check out everything that they are putting out there on Instagram and, and really explore with them and be brave in the kitchen. I would say it's not nearly as scary as it seems to be. And I know, I wish I could hold everybody's hand if you are nervous, if you are one of the people that are kind of afraid or you just don't cook because no one ever taught you, have some faith, I mean, I'm a recipe developer and no one ever taught me how to cook.

Rita Black: That is amazing. Well, and that is really great advice. And I do say, you know, I think we get overwhelmed with the identity, uh, you know, like with the shift, I say, you know, we aren't, um, it's not about dieting. It's about, you know, being an apprentice of weight mastery. And I think food is, you are also have to think of yourself as an apprentice. You are not going to start out, you know, knowing what to do and throwing it together. If you haven't really done it, but you just start one little thing at a time. And, um, like you said, great advice, get curious, and find people you like, and who would mentor you. Well. So speaking of that, so let's talk about beach body because you are a coach with beach body. And, and I was telling, uh, well, Lynn, I think I ended up on beach body. Cause I'm, I worked with, the woman who runs unplugged meditation. And I have a bunch of hypnosis, um, about weight loss on beach body, which is a platform. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about beach body and, and Lynn is a coach. So we were like, Lynn was like, I saw you on beach body. I was like, I know it's crazy. How did I end up on beach body? But anyway, I'm on beach body, but Lynn, you're a coach. So tell us about that on beach body.

Lynn Bettencourt: Um, yeah. I have been a coach for six years now. I'm gonna start I'm in coach of beach body. And I love that's another company that has evolved a lot over the time that I've found with them. It's amazing. But what you're on is the Beach body on demand platform. It's a digital platform, it's actually changing to BODI very soon.

Rita Black: What?

Lynn Bettencourt: B O D I.

Rita Black: Oh, okay.

Lynn Bettencourt: So there, there's some really fun things that are happening, and they're expanding their library even more. They're going to have options for people on bikes. So there's a lot of cool things that are happening. And what I love about it is that it has every type of workout, whether your prenatal, postnatal, if you love dancing, if you just want to have meditation or yoga and just work on your mental state, which is a hugely important part of his journey, because honestly, like if you're just working on your body and you're not working on your mind too, generally, it's not going to, in my experience, it's not going to stick.

Lynn Bettencourt: When you're working on the whole package and you're, you're growing as a person and working on your physical body at the same time, it's an amazing combination. And they really have a lot of support for that. So there's now also multiple nutrition plans. So whether you just don't know how to count macros and you want to make it easy for yourself, there's a plan for that. There's also one that just really focuses heavily on eating a lot of vegetables, drinking water, and just having really good and positive, you know, mindful habits, which I also love. And I am certified to coach both of those as well and how cool the whole package is just really incredible. It's as much as you want it to be. So there is a total solution as they kind of say, like, if you are looking for everything, they have everything, but if you're looking for one thing, they have that one thing too. So there's every type of workout from just strength. If you're a performance athlete, which I was a collegiate athlete. And so that really speaks to me. I love those workout programs. They have really intense ones. But they also have like bar and they also have, like I said, like country line dancing workouts, they have a little bit of everything. It's a lot, a lot of fun to work with and help people kind of navigate that world, figure out where they should start and then where they should graduate through.

Rita Black: I love that. So if somebody wanted to check it out, they have, do they have a seven-day free trial?

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah. They have 14-day free trial and it is totally free to do for 14 days. Um, they're really amazing. I will say their customer service has just really gotten so amazing over the years. They're so good if you're like, oh, I forgot that one day. I meant to cancel it, on the Monday or whatever. They're really good. They work with everybody. It's, it's really grown as a company. They really value the people that, you know, love Beachbody and they value the people that are willing to give it a try.

Rita Black: Yeah. That's so cool. And so if they, would you be able to give me a link like that they find, and then they could find you too on Beachbody?

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah. Absolutely.

Rita Black: Okay, cool. Well then, then I'll put that in show notes for sure. I, yeah, I like my, everybody, it seems like is on Beachbody. My virtual assistant is on Beachbody. I get, you know, just by having my hypnosis on there. So many people have come through to the shift weight mastery process from Beachbody. Like it seems like Beachbody is a place where all the cool people are hanging out.

Lynn Bettencourt: It is. And I mean, what I love is, so, like I said, I've been an active coach for six years and the whole time, what we've really done is build our community. So what makes us a little bit special in my group specifically is I do offer five and seven day menu plans. Usually once a month is the less likable, a little bit too crazy. So usually once a month, I'll do like kind of like of like free little challenge if you will. And that's a lot of fun. We'll all eat the same menu and we all support each other and there's usually three workouts in there too. And then we also focus hard. Sometimes we'll be like, okay, we're all going to do this program together. And we support each other throughout that journey. And it's just, it's become like a little mini family, which was especially good over the last year and a half.

Rita Black: That is so awesome.

Lynn Bettencourt: Yeah. Cause you can't go to the, you couldn't go to the gym and some people still don't feel comfortable necessarily going to the gym. And it's a great way to get a killer workout at home and also have people that are cheering you on.

Rita Black: Well, I think a lot of people, myself included realize the value of being able to work out consistently in a class situation from home and not having to add a half hour going to the gym half hour coming home. Like the time saved is incredible. And then yeah, being able to be at home and especially if your kids are young and not having to have to deal with all of that, but you can still workout while they're there. It's, you know, really, really great. So, and you are offering a free seven-day menu plan. In the show notes, I will have that link as well. Um, is that what you were talking about a little earlier? Like you, you create these every month or within beach body?

Lynn Bettencourt: So actually what I'll do is some of the recipes are my own. Some of them are inspired, you know, by hungry girl or I'll label them if they're actually hungry girl recipes.

Rita Black: Okay.

Lynn Bettencourt: Some of them are from the, like Beachbody does have an amazing recipe database. Now they've changed much over the years that some of them are from Beachbody. So it's a little bit of mix and match menus. Sometimes it's a very specific meal plan where you do repeat menus. It kind of depends on what the group collective is generally working on. Sometimes we're like in between programs. So it's a little more flexible other times we're working on a very specific program. So it might kind of be tailored to that, but no matter what the month is and no matter what the theme is, it's always approachable for somebody brand new. And let's be honest, sometimes it's nice to not have to figure out what's for dinner and what's for breakfast. So I do that work for you.

Rita Black: I love that. I know. I knew you are somebody who's great at figuring that out. Well, thank you. It has been so great to see you. And I'm so happy you are happy where you are in North Carolina. Yeah. And that your kids are finally going to both be heading off to school. That is, I know it's going to be hard, but at the same time, you're going to be like, oh my God, I've got my time back.

Rita Black: I don't know what I'm going to do with seven hours a day.

Rita Black: Believe me, you'll find out very quickly and you will love it. But yeah, no, that's, that's great that your kids, I know. And like I said, your kids are the age my kids were when I think I met you around the age. So, and now so cherish them because man, it goes fast. I'm telling you, your kids are going to be driving like mine pretty soon and..

Lynn Bettencourt: Not ready for that.

Rita Black: But you do your pants. All right, Lynn, it was lovely to see you. I want you to get to bed cause I know it's late east coast time. So, thank you so much for your time. It was such an honor to speak with you and thank you for joining us.

Lynn Bettencourt: Thank you so much for having me.

Rita Black: Okay, everybody, wasn't that awesome? Lynn is so cool. Anyway, everybody just take a nice deep breath in and know that we can do this. We can plan. Just let's say it together. We can plan. We can prepare, we can plan. We can prepare, we can do this, and make sure to grab Lynn's free planning guide in the show notes. And again, thank you, Lynn. I just remember meeting you so many years ago. I mean, gosh, I, and you know, it was before you were a mom before you were married. I mean, I just, so it's really great, seeing how you've evolved in the, the self-care and health industry, um, you know, just as a practitioner and as somebody who puts it out there to people. So thank you for joining us here today. And for you guys, let's have an amazing week and let's take some of this planning and preparing and put it into action, have an amazing week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door of the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Do you want to dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release, tips, strategies, and more, and be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking: Unlock Your Mind For Permanent Weight Loss.