If you are a healthy eater like me, you probably eat a lot of lean meats (unless you are vegetarian of course.) And if you are like me, that probably includes a lot of chicken. It’s the “go to protein!” Well, I don’t know about you, but I get sick of chicken. That’s why I turn to pork or other lean meats whenever possible. Port tenderloin is lean, high in protein, easy to cook and very tasty.
While it’s easy to marinade meats, they can sometimes become tasteless or high in sugar. That’s why I often turn to a good rub. This rub is truly simple, cheap and creates a lovely crust on the meat when grilling. Plus, it packs a kick because it includes one of my all time favorite spices, Chipotle Chili powder.
While I’m not really a traditional person in the sense of roles within the home, I do prefer to do the cooking and like to provide for my family in this arena. That’s not to say that I have a problem with them fending for themselves as I believe that the best lesson I can teach my kids and husband for that matter is to do for themselves. However, after last week I have to admit that I’m suffering from a bit of “meal guilt.”
You see, last week was crazy in every sense of the word. We had just returned from a long and glorious vacation, we all returned to work . I had two tennis games, one tennis drills practice, doctor appointments for both boys, driving lesson for one boy, driving test the next day, a surprise birthday pastry, and tons of other errands. I was only home two evenings all week and was exhausted. Therefore, it was all for one and one for all in the meal department. I personally ate a lot of egg whites. However, that doesn’t exactly appeal to the rest of my family.
Because this week looks equally crazy and I don’t want my family to starve, I’ve decided to do what I’m famous for when life gets crazy and cook! Following my morning coffee, I set out to prepare meals and snacks that can be eaten all week long and everyone will like. From snacks to dinner, I came, I cooked and now we will all eat!
First, to satisfy my boys that hunger for a quick breakfast, I prepared my yummy and healthy banana bread. For the chocoholics in the house, I made double chocolate brownies. For snacks, I pre-measured non-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit, cut up Celery to be eaten with high protein Greek cream cheese or peanut butter. I also stocked the fridge with my favorite “light and fit” Greek yogurt in a variety of flavors.
For dinner, I’m catering to my boys as once again I will be out several nights playing tennis and I want them to have something yummy to eat. I’ve pre-made a huge casserole of my healthy chicken enchiladas which are on my blog. They will be delicious and only get better as leftovers. Because the way to my husbands heart is meatloaf, I’ve made a lean meatloaf which he will get at least a couple of meals out of. I will top the week off with a light and yummy chicken Parmesan which again makes great leftovers.
For me, I am grilling up some fresh salmon (yes you can re-heat salmon!) which I will eat alongside veggies or throw on a nice green salad. I eat my fish the first part of the week to ensure its quality. I am also grilling a bunch of chicken breast that I will treat the same as my fish and eat with veggies for a nice lean meal. I am roasting Brussels spouts, portabella mushrooms and zucchini as my veggies this week. The key to quick and healthy meals is ensuring that you prep healthy ingredients ahead of time so you never have an excuse to not eat your best.
In addition to my large pre-cooked meals, I have made sure that I have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, portable protein shakes and snacks ready to go. I also bought a lean turkey roast from Costco which is great as a snack of meal. In case I run short on meals, I always make sure that my freezer is packed with healthy proteins such as grilled chicken, fish and beef.
With a little good planning, you can keep up with your busy life while not blowing your diet or starving those you love. So when life gets crazy, just cook!
I recently got back to playing tennis and joined a women’s league to up the challenge. Little did I know that a big part of tennis is social, meaning eating and drinking. The host team brings a meal to treat the visiting team. It’s great fun, but can wreak havoc on your waistline. In an attempt to lighten things up while still bringing something that travels well and can sit until our games are complete I found a casserole that fit the bill. I originally pinned it from pinterest, but decided to tweak it a bit to make it quicker and easier. Everyone loved it and asked me to share so here it is!
So I recently started training a lovely young mother who came to me wanting to lose quite a lot of weight. Not unusual. I meet people all the time who want to lose weight, have lost themselves in their busy lives, have put everyone else first and themselves last. Not unusual, but common for women.
I’ve only met with her once, but right away I could tell she was serious and was excited to start her journey. While she can only train with me one time per week, she was obviously no less serious than someone training three times per week and quickly began to ask for my assistance, guidance and motivation with regards to food, cardio and exercise on her own. I’m happy to oblige.
Like with most clients, I asked her to simply track her food for the week so that she can see what she is actually consuming. In her excitement, she not only tracked her food, but began to really pay attention to how much she is consuming and restrict her calories. While I believe in “baby steps” and not over restricting, I supported her efforts and will continue to offer my assistance. She’s eager and I don’t want to squash her efforts in any shape or form.
One of the best parts of my job (there are many) is when a client discovers something on their own that I know will aide them in their journey. Because things only really make sense when you experience it on your own right? Therefore, I was delighted when this new client described a weekend outing where she went out to dinner and drinks and “was impressed that she could be completely satisfied, have wine abs not completely destroy her hard work.” In other words, she made it about the experience, not the food.
I’ve been preaching this message for years! In a world where “food is king,” we put too much focus on food and not enough on what really counts, like the outing itself, the company we are in and the activity we are engaged in. Therefore, I was delighted to hear one of my clients get this all on their own. She realized that she could still have a great time without over indulging.
If you want to be successful when it comes to meeting your health and fitness goals, check your priorities and don’t leg food rule you. Food is only as powerful as you allow it to be. However, if you totally deny yourself, you will likely give in and over indulge. Therefore, you for good, not perfection on the food front, allow yourself to be human and most importantly, make social situations about the people, not the food.
My oldest son, like many teens, loves Taco Bell. I remember loving it as a teen. It’s inexpensive, easy and filling. Most importantly, it’s Mexican. While he prefers Chipotle or other higher end Mexican food, Taco Bell is within his budget, close by and fast. As a mom, while I can appreciate all those qualities, I’d prefer he’d eat something a bit healthier. Therefore, when I saw a recipe for baked Chimichanga’s on pinterest, I immediatley repinned it.
Of course as tasty as the original recipe sounded, I felt like it could use a little cleaning up. The original recipe called for cream cheese and pepper jack which adds too much fat and calories for my taste. I changed a few things to lighten it up and it was just as delicious, but much more nutritious! I make a big batch of these babies, wrap them up, freeze and my son has lunch anytime he wants.