Focus + Menu

Many of you know (or many might not know), that I recently had a c-section. Well, recently being almost 7 months ago, but some days it feels like yesterday and others it feels like 2 years ago. There are certain things that still bother the incision and can leave it sore and swollen for days (yay…cue the women that say c-sections are easy).

While most women are reserved when they are pregnant, I am not. I don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to overeat and become lazy. I had a very sleepless and painful pregnancy this time around, but that did not stop me from pushing myself in the gym. I never pushed to a point of hurting myself, but I didn’t hold back if I was feeling good. This led to a PR on literally EVERY. SINGLE. MOVEMENT. So awesome for pregnant me and so terrible for non-pregnant me.

I am still struggling to get back to my pregnant PR numbers. Not 4 or 5 months pregnant, like 9 months pregnant PR-ing my power clean…taking a bar, a heavier bar than ever before from the ground, around my big ol’ belly, and nailing it. Somehow, now I can’t even come close to doing my pregnant PR weight. After almost 7 months, I am still not fully back.

SO. FRUSTRATING.

Having to take off 6 weeks to heal was hard. 6 weeks of doing absolutely nothing. A lot of strength was lost during that time. It wasn’t just wait 6 weeks then jump right back into it. You have to ease back into things even after the 6 weeks. It is hard to give yourself grace and not beat yourself up that you can’t do what everyone else is doing. I have had several workouts that ended with different movements than they started with. Sometimes, you get into a workout and it just doesn’t feel right, so you switch mid-workout and keep grinding.

I like to position myself in the front of the room facing the board. This way I am not focused on what everyone else around me is doing. This is easier said than done, when you are struggling to get back to your normal-self in the gym. Movements that you used to breeze through and finish in record time, now take twice as long and your body has somehow forgotten how to move. It is hard not to compare yourself to people in the gym that on average completed workouts in the same amount of time as you did and lifted the same amount of weight as you did (pre-delivery).

Now you are just hoping to end a lift at the weight other girls are starting their sets with.

I always preach that you make time for things that are a priority. I so badly want to get stronger on certain lifts and for that to be a priority, but life won’t let it right now. For a mom there is just no time to step outside and go work on your back squats in the afternoon, so the next time the gym programs back squats you hit that PR pregnancy number.

Switching your focus to everyday victories so you don’t dread going to the gym on strength day, is one way to save yourself from yourself. I know I get in my own head, when I already know I am not going to meet my, and others’ expectations.

If you change your focus and expectations for that day/situation/movement/weight, you will have a positive outcome and feel more motivated.

If you are always focused on getting that PR but aren’t able to put in the work to obtain that number, you are setting yourself up for failure. This is true for everything in life, including losing weight. Let’s say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. If you are losing 2 pounds a week (which is a healthy amount to lose in a week, losing too much too fast can result in loose skin) and you are feeling discouraged, because you have read about people that lose 5-8 pounds every week. So you end up quitting because you aren’t seeing results fast enough.

Instead of focusing on your daily accomplishments like eating healthy, exercising, your weekly weigh-in; you focused on the big picture and felt defeated. Change your focus, look at what you can do today to help get you where you want to be and it will happen before you know it! If I focus on jumping back to my PR weights, I will continue to feel defeated and beat myself up. Instead, I need to focus on the things that are within my reach and feel satisfied in what I can accomplish.


MENU

Caribbean Jerk Pulled Pork

Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Caramelized Pork Tacos 

Grilled Chicken Blueberry Feta Salad

BBQ Sandwich

 


Caribbean Jerk Pulled Pork

Guess what is on sale this week?!

Boston butt, of course! In twin packs, so I can cook this butt in a special sauce and cook the other butt for sandwiches because school is starting back for me on Monday and I am going to need some easy meals to get me through.

Instead of doing my usual pork tacos with salsa verde, I am going to make a yummy pineapple salsa. The great thing about this dish is, if you are watching your carb in-take you can opt for low-carb tortilla, put over rice or make a sandwich if you aren’t concerned about your carbohydrates.

The last time I made this I didn’t buy canned pineapple and I am not going to this time either. I prefer to have fresh ingredients over canned goods. I am going to buy 6 ounces of pineapple juice so I have plenty of juice and don’t lose any flavor. This recipe calls for avocado oil, I don’t already have avocado oil in the pantry and Josh is doing a cut, so I am going to skip the oil in the salsa. Oils add a lot more fat than you might be aware of to a dish and aren’t even needed most of the time.


Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

I had this meal on heavy rotation for a while, but haven’t cooked it in a couple of months. This meal is so simple to cook and tastes so delicious. I love the way garlic and ginger taste together.

If you are counting your macros (fingers crossed you are), this meal is a little difficult to track. You want to get an even amount of kale and chicken. If you weigh out servings one person can have more protein and the other more carbs. You want to have a perfect balance in each serving.

After cooking this meal several times I would recommend to wait to add the chicken. Top each bowl with the amount of chicken that will meet your goals. What you have left to measure out is the rice noodles and the kale.

The kale tends to clump together making it difficult to get an even amount of noodles and kale. You can scoop out the kale and noodles separately and weigh them to get adequate portions. If you don’t separate them you will end up not having an even number of noodles but your serving size will reflect noodles and kale, not just the mound of kale you scooped out.

I do not use a rotisserie chicken for this meal, though it is far easier. It has more fat in it than my macros can accommodate and it is more difficult to figure an entire chicken into my macro count than just chicken breast is. I also use low-fat coconut milk, instead of the full-fat coconut milk that the recipe calls for. These two substitutions alone eliminate a lot of fat from this meal and make it much more macro friendly.


Caramelized Pork Tacos 

This is not made with boston butt, but boneless pork loin! We stocked up on a few pork loins when they were on sale a few weeks ago. I am excited to try something different with the pork loin than my usual pork chops or stuffed pork loin.

I like to cook meals as the recipe states when I am first attempting them. I know the sugar is to caramelize the pork, but the sugar seems unnecessary to me and I will be skipping it. There is a “chili sauce” which is a mixture of hot sauce and mayonnaise. I am skipping this sauce. If I feel like the recipe needs more heat, I will add sriracha, but I will not be using mayo.

If you are going to create a recipe in your macro tracking app, I would make a recipe for the salsa and the ingredients that are being used for the pork. These can be combined into one recipe, if they have the same serving sizes or into two different recipes. You will need to weigh your pork before you cook it and then weigh it after to determine the portion sizes you want to eat.

Sometimes Josh wants a larger portion than I do. When this happens I will weigh out my ideal portion size and use that to create the total amount of servings. If he wants a larger serving size than myself, he will plug-in 1.5 servings or 2 servings, whatever he actually ate based off of my portion size.

I hope you don’t get tired of pineapple after this week. Since this recipe only calls for one cup of pineapple, you can get away with buying only one pineapple. I know we will want to snack on some of it, so we are going to buy two. Don’t forget your low-carb, high fiber tortillas!


Grilled Chicken Blueberry Feta Salad

I made this salad about a month ago and it really surprised me. I was not expecting to walk away being wow-ed by it. It seemed too simple to leave an impression but even Josh loves it.

With Josh on his “cut” these next few months he bought fat-free feta to see if we could tell a difference and I am happy to say that there was littl, to no difference. There is little to no carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein per serving! I was pretty shocked at how much protein such a tiny amount of cheese could have.

We will likely either have almond or avocado, but not both. If you want some crunch, eat the almonds. If you want creamy, eat the avocado. If you want all the fat, have both! Make sure you weigh out your salad dressing as you are making it so you can calculate the fat in the dressing as well. I always create recipes for dressings, salsas, or sauces when I meal prep. I don’t want to add more fat or carbs to my meals that I am unaware of.


BBQ Sandwich

The boston butt on sale this week comes in twin packs. This means by crock pot will be working overtime, but it also allows me to cook one of the butts specifically seasoned for sandwiches and the other seasoned for the jerk bowl/sandwich/taco.

Since I am cooking two butts, I will have to start one super early and start the other later in the afternoon so they both have adequate time to cook. If you are in a pinch and don’t have time to cook both in the same day, start the second butt one morning before you leave for work. The crock-pot will stay warm enough during the day to keep your meat fresh.

I like to rub our meat down with yellow mustard and season with garlic powder, Pike’s Peak seasoning, salt, pepper, and fill the bottom of the crock-pot, an inch deep, with a vinegar-based bbq sauce or vinegar/apple cider vinegar and soy sauce.

I love a simple BBQ sandwich but don’t love all the carbs buns add to my macros. I will eat one sandwich and then get a second helping of just meat.


Don’t forget the list!

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