This is it. This weekend I will be co-teaching my first nutrition workshop! To say I am excited (and nervous) would be an understatement. I am overjoyed that people would sign-up to hear what I have to say. I still get so excited when someone says they have read my blog. (Thank you if you are reading this.)
I blog in hopes that someone will benefit from my experiences, that they will grow and learn something new. I blog in hopes that someone will discover that they are more than capable of making healthier lifestyle choices, than they thought. I rack my brain every week trying to think of something profound to say that might light a fire under someone’s butt to get them motivated.
I hope that when people come they will listen and learn. Maybe even get that fire lit under their rear.
Josh recently sent me an article about quality of food vs. quantity of food, in regards to counting macros. This inspired me to really look at the kinds of foods I am eating to hit my goals and if I am hitting them consistently with the food that I am preparing.
If you aren’t counting (which by now, why aren’t you?), by all means please eat quality food. Please. In my humble opinion if you aren’t counting you should be eating as clean as possible and really be focused on portion control.
I say this because you can eat a lot more roasted vegetables than you can french fries without blowing through your allotted calories for the day. If you aren’t counting your macros and you are eating fast food regularly, indulging on the chips and salsa (way more fat than what you would think in those chips), even hammering back the oh so healthy fruit…chances are you are overeating. You can overeat on healthy food too, not just the greasy fries and double-bacon cheese hamburger.
If you are tracking your macros and are seriously trying to put on some mass, it is important that you consistently hit your numbers. It is important that you consistently hit your numbers regardless, because you will constantly be in a flux and will not know if the goals you have set for yourself are truly working.
I like to vary my intake based off of the intensity level of my workout that day. If I didn’t “earn” all of my carbs, I try not to eat them all…which is so hard because I love carbs. Since I am just trying to maintain my weight, not cutting or bulking, I am more forgiving with my goals (not hitting them). I do not let myself go over my goals though, regardless of how intense my workout has been. My goals are set to mirror the highest level of intensity and frequency of workouts in a given week.
All too often I eat the bulk of my carbs before supper time and am left wishing I could erase a snack I had so I can have some extra carbs at supper time or as dessert (hello, Halo Top). Planning out your snacks and giving yourself enough macros and calories at the end of the day, so you can eat a decent supper is crucial. No one likes looking at their macro app and seeing that they can only have 36 grams of carbs for supper (me, last night).
The flip side of that, is not eating enough throughout the day and you are trying to shove 8 ounces of sweet potato down your throat to meet your goals. This is where consistently tracking and knowing what is in your food helps out. No one wants to eat 3 sweet potatoes every night to meet their carbohydrate goal or even eat 10 ounces of meat every night to get your protein in. I love carbs and meat, but sometimes I am just too tired to even eat that much (hello little Scarlett, please start sleeping through the night).
If your goal is to put on muscle or just to gain weight, then you will be eating a TON of calories. Eating quality food is great and ideal, but you will be eating A LOT of quality food to reach those goals. The beauty of putting on muscle is you get to eat a lot and the quality isn’t the first priority. The first priority is making sure you are getting those calories in. Quantity overrules quality when you are tracking your food for weight gain.
If you are doing a calorie cut, it is just as important that you are consistently hitting your numbers. You might be eating less calorie dense foods than if you were bulking, but your quality still isn’t the top priority. If you are hitting your numbers and macros accurately with fast food, more power to you, but you will be missing out on all your micro-nutrients. Which comes from all the healthy vegetables and fruits that your body needs to stay healthy.
Personally, I feel crappy when I eat crappy food so I just don’t eat it. Fried food and Cokes are not my friend. Also, I can eat MORE food if I am eating quality food, and I like to eat. If I were to only eat for quantity and neglect my quality I would probably end up using up my allotted calories early in the day and be starving the rest of the afternoon and night.
M • E • N • U
Sirloin + Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing
Pork Chops + Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes
Chicken Breast + Marinated Tomatoes with Burrata & Toast
This dish is very similar to the Coconut Curry Soup that I make already. I am going to do a mixture of this recipe with the original that I have made.
I love the spicy Thai red curry paste and coconut milk. The other recipe I use has minced garlic and ginger, sauteed before adding in any of the sauce. I will keep that part of the first recipe. I am also using low-fat coconut milk instead of the full fat.
One thing I like is how Half Baked Harvest doesn’t add her noodles until she is going to eat the dish. But…I love how the noodles soak up the sauce and it gets super thick when you cook the noodles in the sauce. I am going to try it the way she suggests this time and see how I like it. I think it will be much more soupy and you will really taste the curry and coconut. It will be easier to track how many noodles we are getting per serving by adding the noodles to the bowls once we are ready to plate them. When everything is all mixed together it makes it more difficult to track.
She uses random vegetables in her garden to complete this dish. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, use it! If not, pick your favorite vegetables from the grocery store or farmers market.
I am going to add chicken breast like I do with the “original” coconut curry soup that I have made. I like to top the soup with my desired amount of chicken breast so I know exactly how much protein we are getting.
Sirloin + Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing
This recipe is a great marriage between the beloved cauliflower-chickpea salad and the roasted carrot + chickpea salad I love to make.
I love lemon tahini dressing. Tahini lasts foooorever in the refrigerator and pairs well with any dish that has roasted chickpeas. This recipe is perfect for meal prepping. You can roast the cauliflower and onion on one pan and the chickpeas on another or in a pan on the stove, while you chop vegetables or prep meat for another meal. Make the dressing ahead of time and wait to add it to the dish the night of.
Sirloin is not everyone’s go-to steak, but it is the leanest steak and we have found that it is very tender (if you tenderize it) and flavorful.
Pork Chops + Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes
This recipe is super simple and tasty. Eggplant is typically very bitter if you do not salt both sides and let it release moisture. I have cooked this before the night we plan to eat it and it does not make a big difference either way. If you don’t meal prep this, at least cut the tomatoes and eggplant, and salt the eggplant.
This recipe doesn’t direct you to salt the eggplant, but I would. I have chosen not to salt before and regretted it.
I love the lemon, garlic, and basil mixture that gets brushed onto the eggplant. Then the balsamic vinegar drizzled on top with torn basil, really sets it off.
Buy the heirloom tomatoes. Your taste buds will thank you.
We are going to grill the pork chops when we put the steaks on so we aren’t having to fire up the grill twice. If you aren’t planning to grill, you can obviously put the pork chops in the oven while you work on another dish.
Chicken Breasts + Marinated Tomatoes with Burrata & Toast
Technically these tomatoes are an appetizer, but I need to try these. With the burrata cheese and toast this can easily be a side dish for me. This cheese is high in fat, so make sure you weigh out your serving if you are being conservative with your fat in-take. 28 grams of cheese has around 6 grams of fat. I love cheese, so it will be hard to limit a creamy cheese like this. Tomatoes are such a summer staple and I want to eat as many fresh, juicy heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes as possible before fall arrives.
I don’t cook your regular spaghetti sauce, I mean when do I actually even do any “normal” food.
This sauce is a variation of a lasagna that Josh cooked for my birthday one year that is technically a bolognese recipe that he got from his brother, Caleb. It is a thick sauce, with lots of meat over spaghetti squash. If you are used to a thin, out of the jar spaghetti sauce this is definitely not that kind of sauce.
This sauce starts with cooking down a yellow bell pepper, onion, garlic, and mushrooms with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. While you cook the vegetables down, brown and drain the ground beef. Once the yellow bell pepper mixture has cooked down add the meat, tomatoes and one big can of tomato paste (depending on how thick you like your sauce). I like to use roasted diced tomatoes, instead of the regular diced tomatoes. Stir in 2 to 4 ounces of red wine (Pinot Noir and drink the rest) and 2 to 4 ounces of whole milk. Once the sauce has mixed well, just let it simmer. The longer it cooks, the better it gets. Salt and pepper to taste and add in Italian spices. Fresh basil is a must!