All or Nothing + Menu

Somewhere along the way we, as a society (or maybe it’s just me when it comes to dark chocolate), seem to have adapted an all or nothing attitude when it comes to food.

If only we had that attitude when it came to personal relationships, workouts, work, throwing parties, etc. Either give it your all or don’t do it, wouldn’t that be great?! Reminds me of how I told Josh the first night we met, that if he didn’t want to marry me then he didn’t even need to talk to me. Ha.

Well, this is not the type of ‘all or nothing’ we have with food. Our mentality with food is much more complicated and detrimental. I personally struggle with this from time to time.

• • • Got a bag of dark chocolate covered almonds. I better eat all of them now so they don’t stay in the house too long. Where is the self control?!

• • • Got a new pint of Halo Top, I better eat the whole thing, it’s not that bad for me after all. Where is the self control?!

• • • Memorial Day…better get that apple pie and ice cream. I better eat the rest of the pie so it doesn’t stay in the house and tempt me. Where are you self control!?

So we eat all the delicious snacks or none. We can’t have just one small piece of pie, we need to polish off the pie. We can’t have just 5 dark chocolate covered almonds, we have to grab 5 each time we walk by the container. If we do have just half of our child’s ice cream, we pretend that didn’t even happen. It did. That is part of your macro count now, but you ignore it. That random spoon full of peanut butter you swiped. It happened. That is part of your macro count now too. Whether you sit and eat the entire bag of almonds or 5 every time you walk by, you end up with the same result.

Food is purposeful. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Food is not meant to be abused. Food is not meant to be an escape. Food should not come with a guilt trip.

The beautiful thing about counting macros is knowing how much food I CAN eat. I CAN enjoy National Doughnut Day. Not half a dozen doughnuts, but one really good doughnut, because that DOES fit in my macros. I know that after I have that one doughnut, I have about 160 more grams of carbs left to eat. If I choose to eat the doughnut I have to be willing to give-up some of my regular carbohydrates.

I don’t have to eat ALL the doughnuts and completely binge to feel satisfied. Eating all the doughnuts or binge eating, only leaves you feeling guilty. I don’t have to go run 3 miles because I ate one doughnut. If it fits in my macros, I can have it. You have to be willing to hold off on the chips and salsa or tortilla or bagel or fruit if you want that doughnut.

This ‘give me all the food, so I can get it out of my house’ mentality, does not teach you self control. It is okay to have a piece of pie on National Pie Day or a doughnut on National Doughnut Day, emphasis on A – ONE piece or ONE doughnut. Here is a list of all the National Food Days, if you care to indulge in them all.

That is “flexible dieting”. I hate the word dieting, because it is just how I eat, I am not on a diet plan. I am on my very own custom macro plan. Just because you count your macros doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every now and then. Just know that having that one sweet does not ruin your day of healthy eating. That one sweet is not an excuse to say ‘screw it, I already ruined my day’ and eat every sweet you see.

If you count your macros you know what fits and what doesn’t. If I eat a doughnut then I know I am going to have to eat more low carb vegetables that day because I won’t have as many carbs available to fill me up. Counting macros gives you control over what you can eat. It’s not a diet of, don’t eat this or you can only have that.

If it fits, you can eat it.

With that said, you are not going to meet your goal running through fast food joints everyday. It is going to require REAL food, not protein bars and shakes. Keep on eating real food and give yourself A treat every now and then IF IT FITS!

M • E • N • U

Grilled Legs & Thighs + Garlicky Kale Salad

Steak Tacos 

Pork Chops + Beet Salad with Orange Dressing

Pork Chops + Roasted Eggplant Bowl

Chicken Stir Fry

Grilled Legs & Thighs + Garlicky Kale Salad

Josh and I used to eat legs and thighs several times a week. They are cheap and taste sooooo good. It really is hard to beat a good grilled chicken thigh. We are going to get boneless, skinless meat to cut back on some fat, after all we are going to the beach soon. Can’t start adding in extra fat right now.

If you are wanting to cut back on some fat too, grab some boneless, skinless meat or opt for grilling chicken breasts instead. I would definitely baste these bad boys as you go.

Optional sauce: 2 Tbsp Stone ground mustard, 1 Tbsp Honey, 1-2 Tbsp Sriracha (or more if you like it spicy), 2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar, add water if needed.

I have been craving some heavily seasoned chickpeas, but haven’t come across a recipe that peaked my interest. This recipe is simple but packs a punch with the tahini dressing and heavily spiced chickpeas. If you are feeding two people for two meals (2 suppers and 2 lunches, like I do) then I would get two cans of chickpeas instead of one.

This recipe calls for roasting your garlic with the chickpeas to use in your dressing. Don’t forget this step because it will make a huge difference in the salad dressing!

Make the chickpeas and dressing ahead of time to make meal prepping easy!

Steak Tacos 

So when you click the on the link for the steak tacos, you will not see steak tacos. Don’t be confused. I loved this salsa so much from the menu two weeks ago, that I need it in my life again, ASAP. I can’t lie, I didn’t love it with the chicken because I botched the chicken. The only saving grace for that dish was the salsa.

This time I want to just use the salsa for steak tacos. I am going to skip the marinade, but I am sure it would be tasty to marinate the steak overnight. I put the marinade as an option on the grocery list.

I would recommend making the salsa ahead of time. Cutting and chopping can be very time consuming. Add in weighing, measuring, and inputting your food into your macro counting app and you have spent a good 30 minutes (without interruptions) in the kitchen just making salsa on a weeknight. No. Thank. You.

Make sure you grab some low carbohydrate tortilla or some delicious jasmine rice!

Pork Chops + Beet Salad with Orange Dressing

Pork chops are a go-to meat for us. They have a better flavor than a chicken breast in my opinion and more protein too. What’s not to love? I am going to throw a big batch of pork chops in the oven, at 425 degrees so we can have them for 8 servings. Since I am doing such a big batch for the week, I am not going to worry about making a sauce for these. I will let the side be the main attraction.

This beet salad is so delicious. I made it for weeks straight when I first discovered it. I think it is the perfect beet salad to try if you have never given beets a shot, but really want to! If you haven’t tried beets yet, go with golden beets first then try the red ones.

This recipe says to roast your beets. I like to boil mine, because it just seems easier to me. You literally can’t mess up boiling beets. I once boiled out all of the water and had charred the skin on the beets. I peeled the skin off and the beets were still perfect! Try not to let your water boil out though. I simply cut the greens off the beets, rinse them off, put them into a deep pot, cover completely with water, and boil them until I can stick a skewer through the center of each beet. After the beets have cooked through, run cold water over them, and rub the skin off, once they are cool enough to touch.

I typically use half an orange on each salad or 1/3 cup of orange slices. Make sure you boil your beets ahead of time and make the dressing!

Pork Chops + Roasted Eggplant Bowl

I posted a similar eggplant recipe last week, but this one is not a salad. I had some leftover eggplant after we ate the salads and some quinoa from another recipe. I needed a quick side so I threw together quinoa, roasted eggplant, feta, pine nuts, and a honey-balsamic dressing. It was so simple and so good! I am going to add in some basil for good measure this time around.

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Salt both sides of the eggplant and lay the cut eggplant on paper towels and cover with paper towels. This step is important because the skin on the eggplant can be very strong and bitter tasting. The salt pulls out the excess water. Allow the eggplant to sit for 30 minutes and pat dry.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch cubes, toss the cubes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the eggplant 30 minutes or until tender and roasted to your liking. Cook quinoa according to package. Mix together 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbsp honey.

Foe my salads I mix together 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup eggplant, 1 tsp pine nuts, 1 inch cube of feta, top with torn basil, and drizzle with the dressing.

Chicken Stir Fry

Josh whipped this up one weekend for lunch with some leftover veggies and chicken. It was so simple and good that we are making it again! The mushrooms, red and green peppers, and onion were already chopped, so he just sauteed them in the pan with 1 Tbsp of EVOO. He chopped up the chicken while the veggies cooked down. Then he added the chicken to the pan to cook down with the veggies. He seasoned the vegetables and chicken with salt, pepper, soy sauce, and teriyaki marinade. Lastly, he added 1 cup of cooked jasmine rice to the pan to heat up in the pan and soak up some of the flavor.

If you are tracking your food and don’t want to create a recipe or feel like you aren’t getting an accurate count on your protein, carbs, and fat, you can keep all the ingredients separate and measure them out individually.

Don’t forget the list!

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