Holidays + Menu


Family. Food. Traveling. Happiness. Stress. All the things.

For me, the holidays means traveling to my mom’s house in Bartow, Ga. It is about a 3 hour ride. Naps have to be timed for the drive, food packed up, entire closets packed, because you never know with this Georgia weather, and all the hunting gear packed up too. There is a lot of preparation that goes into my family gatherings for the holidays. One thing we always do is make a meal plan for the week.

We have (basically) 3 households coming together to spend 5 days together. We may have all grown-up eating the same foods, but our tastes have changed a lot since we left the nest. My two brothers are in their early twenties and will eat all the basic southern food, with a few “fancy” things thrown in there. My step-dad won’t eat it, if it doesn’t sound American. He is your basic meat and potatoes guy, and will not be trying anything new…asparagus is about as far as he will go. My mom will try new things, but has her go-to meals that she sticks to, and nothing spicy. My sister is a (seafood eating) vegetarian and will not touch the “American” things that my step-dad won’t let go of. I am somewhere in the middle. I am not going to eat any fried food or a bag of chips with lunch or supper, but I am down for mashed potatoes and meat (if it fits into my macros).

Before we even get to my mom’s house, we make a menu for the week. Everyone says (the women) what they will be making for each meal. Somehow there is always something for everyone. Usually Sarah (my sister), has to make her own separate dish since she is in the minority. I will usually eat some of what she makes, but don’t want to eat up all of her food. We have very similar taste in food, I just like to add meat to my meals.

I will admit, I did not track my food or workout (after Tuesday) this week. I mean, how can you track dressing? I am sure I could have made a recipe in mymacros app, but I didn’t. Even though I didn’t track my food intake or workout this week, I didn’t gain any weight over the course of the Thanksgiving holiday. I have been tracking my food long enough now to know if I have overeaten that day and how to plan for big meals. Instead of having my usual large breakfast, whole bagel, and oatmeal, I had one egg and half a bagel. Making that small change to my typical breakfast, freed up a lot of calories for turkey, dressing, and goodies. My mom keeps dark chocolate stocked in her pantry and that alone requires me to change up my typical eating, so I don’t go over my caloric intake. It is hard to not walk into her pantry and grab a piece or five through out the day.

I like to track my food though. I like to know for certain what I have had to eat that day, not just a rough guess of what might have been in my food or eating until I feel full. Tracking has just become part of my daily routine and I like routines. I like a schedule and routine, it keeps me sane and on track. Planning a head by putting food into my app for the day, packing healthy snacks, and meal prepping keep me in line. If you prep your food and track it, you are less likely to overeat/under eat and grab fast food during the week. The holidays don’t have to be stressful and full of unhealthy food. Plan your family dinners ahead of time, even if that means making a dish just for you, make it. Don’t let the holidays derail your success, but don’t miss out on the joy of the time either.

M • E • N • U


Pork Loin Chops + Beet Salad

Sirloin Steak + Broccoli Soup

Saucy Coconut Curry Soup

Pork Loin Chops + Sauteed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, Pine Nuts


After being gone all week, I need to come home and have some easy meals to make. This chili is probably one of the easiest meals to make. Other than browning the deer meat, it all goes into one pot. I don’t add any “extras” like cheese or sour cream to my chili, so it is really healthy. It calls for celery, onion, and a bell pepper. It is close to a vegetable soup, with some meat thrown into it.

The last time I made this chili I used 22.6 ounces of cooked and drained venison (if I don’t have venison I use 80/20) and made it into 6 servings. Each serving was 328 calories, 28.3 grams of protein, 31.8 grams of carbs, and 9.8 grams of fat. The protein was a little lower than what I normally like, but the amount of meat was less than normal. If you want more protein, up the meat in the chili. If you want less carbohydrates, you can use one can of black beans and kidney beans, instead of the two cans that I typically use.

Pork Loin Chops + Beet Salad

Josh made the mistake of telling me that he would not mind having beets every week…well here you go. Beets are so great at cleansing your system and just making you feel healthy all week. This salad is meant to be a meal, but I don’t like scallops so I make it into a side dish. A little bit of goat cheese goes a long way, so I never skip that in a recipe.

To make life easy, I boil the beets. Once the beets are cooked all the way through, let them cool. Once they are cool enough to touch, rub the skin off and rinse. If you have not tried beets yet or do not like the red beets, at least try golden beets. These are not your grandma’s pickled beets, they are delicious and good for you. I am going to skip the olive oil in the dressing, because it just isn’t necessary.

I like to get a pork loin and cut into to pork chops and save the rest for stuffing at a later date. I cook my pork chops at 425 degrees and usually use a single seasoning like, Tony Chachere or a seasoning that compliments the side dish.

Sirloin Steak + Broccoli Soup

My sister made this soup for me after I had Scarlett. She made a huge pot of it and I know I ate on it for at least a week. I love this broccoli soup, one because she came up with it and two because it is so tasty without having a lot of ingredients. She made her soup for Thanksgiving dinner and everyone loved it. My step-dad, immediately wanted to add cheese to this and you might want to as well, but I promise you it doesn’t need it. We top it off with a little bit of hot sauce, the thick good stuff not Texas Pete and you are good to go.

To take a break from the pork chops I am going to grill a few sirloin steaks. Sirloin is not everyone’s first choice of steak, but it is the leanest and I actually prefer to eat this cut of meat when we are home. We use Pike’s Peak seasoning on all of our steaks. Pike’s Peak has black pepper, sea salt, white pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, minced green onion, and parsley if you are up for making your own rub.

Saucy Coconut Curry Soup

I like to combine this recipe with the first noodle bowl recipe I ever tried, Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Bowl. Both soups are great, but have different methods and a few differing ingredients. A few things that are similar are the broth, noodles, red curry paste, and coconut milk. I use light coconut milk to cut down on the fat. If you aren’t worried about macros (you should be though) use a rotisserie chicken and save yourself some time and effort.

I like the method of cooking the noodles separate and not mixing them into the soup, until you are ready to eat them. This makes tracking your macros so much easier. The last thing that I like is mixing it up with different vegetables. You aren’t just limited to the kale or squash. We happen to have gotten a lot of squash just before Thanksgiving break, so I am going to use that in our soup. The first time I use squash and zucchini in this soup, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked it. I was not expecting it to compliment red curry paste and noodles so well.

You can boil chicken breast or put them in the oven to put in your soup. If you are vegetarian, you can skip the meat all together, it won’t miss it. If the soup is too thick, add chicken broth or vegetable broth and it will thin out the soup. I am also skipping the coconut oil she used in this recipe.

Pork Loin Chops+ Sauteed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, Pine Nuts

Like I said, we got a lot of squash just before the holiday break. I didn’t take it with me to my mom’s to cook, so I have plenty to use this week. It is so nice when you get free vegetables that you can use all week, in several different ways. I don’t really go for the boring sauteed zucchini, squash, and onions so this recipe is perfect. It is still your easy sauteed vegetables, but with a twist on flavor. If you are watching your fat intake, don’t go overboard with the pine nuts. They might be small, but they carry a lot of fat. I typically only use 1-2 Tbsp in the entire recipe. I would definitely use less than 3 Tbsp of oil if you can. Spraying your pan with olive oil verses pouring out the oil would use less oil.

I like to get a pork loin and cut into to pork chops and save the rest for stuffing at a later date. I cook my pork chops at 425 degrees and usually use a single seasoning like, Tony Chachere or a seasoning that compliments the side dish.

Don’t forget your list!


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