Happy People + Menu

Spring break is coming to an end and frankly I hate it. I love being at home with my children and getting to do fun everyday things with them. Don’t get me wrong, it can be really stressful when you actually want to get things accomplished around the house. When one child is cutting 5 teeth (seriously, 5 at one time, why is that necessary…) and the other needs your undivided attention to play mailman or fireman or policeman or superhero or whatever else he has imagined himself to be in that moment., nothing gets accomplished. Not like you had planned at least.

We didn’t go anywhere fun or special so, we had to make sure we soaked up everyday moments with each other and find happiness in the “everyday” activities. We get so caught up thinking we have to “go big or go home” when everyday life is beautiful on its own. We went to my mom’s house the first weekend of the break and you would have thought we had taken Anderson to Disney World. He loves just going to check on the cows or helping weigh the pigs. I love watching him have fun. I am simply not ready for him to grow up.

We lose that fun when we set expectations for how everything is supposed to be. When we fail to roll with the punches and find the beautiful moments in the midst of a disastrous time, it can snowball and lead us down, dare I say a path of depression. It is exhausting being unhappy, mad, or mean. I think almost every woman, maybe a few men, can attest to that. We place all of these expectations on ourselves and when we fail to meet them or when others fail to meet these, sometimes unknown, expectations we are disappointed. We can’t believe we weren’t able to accomplish the task or that someone didn’t just know what we wanted and get it done exactly when we wanted it done.

Just like with eating or working out, I set goals for myself. I try my best to eat clean, but it doesn’t always happen. I rarely put in the time to work on my fitness goals outside of my regular routine. When I do find the time to sneak some technique work in, I don’t beat myself up because I have only worked on the extra stuff once that week. I could choose to fuss at myself for having a few pieces of dark chocolate or I could track it and move on. I could not track it, continue to eat like it never happened. Then wonder why my body is not performing like it should or why the scale has been reading a little bit heavier…it is better to be honest with yourself about your effort level.

I got a new barbell for Christmas and it is still sitting in the same spot it was Christmas morning. I haven’t touched it yet. I look at it every night when I sit down on the couch after putting the kids to bed. I swear it is taunting me. I keep telling myself when the weather is nicer I will go outside in the evenings and work on my technique. It hasn’t happened yet, but I don’t beat myself up about it. I feel guilty for a moment about not putting in the extra work, but I don’t beat myself up about it.

Happiness is a choice, just like being unhappy is a choice. If you don’t like something, then change it. There are plenty of ways to get to your goal. Just scroll through FaceBook or Instagram and there is someone (even me) trying to get you to try a new diet, a quick fix, a lifestyle change (that is me), etc. Help is out there if you really want it. You have to decide whether you are committed enough to change though. I am sorry but the fad diets, the wraps, the pills, starving yourself won’t work, not for the long haul at least. Life happens and you will be tested. You will fall off the wagon. You will have to decide if you are going to choose to be happy or go down the rabbit hole of unhappiness and start back over at square one. Every. Single. Time.

Whatever route you choose to better yourself, make sure it is something you can consistently do. Make sure it is something that fits with your lifestyle. Nothing is worse than not being able to participate in life because you are too afraid you will derail your success. I have chosen to count macros and workout at the time that I do, because that is what fits with my life. Maybe the time I workout will change, but I don’t ever see counting my macros changing. I have done it long enough now, that I don’t have to track everyday, but it gives me a sense of satisfaction when I do. Choose a path that makes you happy, not a path where you are searching for the silver lining everyday. If you are miserable on the path you are currently on, change lanes, no one likes to be around unhappy people.

New Food Review

Crock Pot Thai Chicken Curry

This dish was surprisingly really good. I was hesitant on adding in the butternut squash. It did give it a sweeter taste, but not overpowering. The first time we ate it, I forgot the kale, cilantro, and lime. The second time we ate it, Josh added rice to his and I added the kale, cilantro, and lime. I liked it much better the second time, but it seemed to get a little bit sweeter from the squash. I might would have added more curry paste to give it some more spice and some cayenne or paprika. The macros on the dish were great. Without the rice and chicken, each serving (13.8 ounces per serving) was 155 calories, 4.4 grams of protein, 22.8 grams of carbohydrates, and 3.4 grams of fat. I like to add the chicken and rice separately so I get an accurate measurement.


Sheet Pan Roast Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes

Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops

Chicken Salad Wrap

Sheet Pan Roast Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes

I am always looking for something healthy to do with pork tenderloin. I have my one go-to recipe for stuffing, but I love to try new things without blowing my macros out of the water. This recipe seems very simple and it is all on ONE PAN. I am a huge fan of sheet pan dinners when it comes to meal prepping. It just makes sense.

I will review this recipe next week and let you know what I think about it. Make sure you check below to see the changes I am going to make. I love carbs just as much as the next person, but be smart and don’t overeat on the potatoes. I am adding in some peppers to give it some more volume and flavor too.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

2 lbs boneless pork tenderloins
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1/4 cup
6 TB high quality balsamic vinegar
*8-10 Tablespoons
2 heaping TB pure honey
*1 ounce
1 whole head garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs baby potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch small pieces
*1 pound
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch small pieces
*Add in 2 bell peppers

Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

This is one of my favorite meals, hands down. I know you might be thinking soup, in April…trust me this isn’t your typical soup. I don’t use the rotisserie chicken because, 1. it is hard to accurately track in my app and 2. it has more fat than I need. I have boiled my chicken breasts and cooked my them in the oven, both turn out fine. The oven is just more tedious than boiling, and boiling doesn’t have as much flavor.

If you are going to track this meal, a few key things to know: the kale will bunch up and is difficult to separate into equal servings. I recommend that you scoop it out without all the liquid and portion it equally into your bowls. There is no need to weigh the kale out, just eyeball servings. When you add it to your app, make sure you put in how much it would have been in its raw state, not the cooked state.

Second, it is easier to top your dish off with the desired amount of meat, rather than mixing it all together. Third, weight the noodles out the same way you did the kale, but don’t just eyeball it. Weigh out equal amounts. Try to leave the sauce in the pot as the last thing you portion out. You don’t have to make a recipe in your app to include the kale and chicken because those can be added in on their own. The noodles and sauce are what can be in your recipe. Even though in your app the noodles and sauce are in the recipe together, making sure you weigh out equal servings of everything individually, will give you a more accurate count.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 tablespoon olive oil
*spray pan with oil
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece of ginger)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
6 cups (48 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
*4-6 depending on how soup(y) you want it
1 (13- to 14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
*Low Fat Coconut Milk
6 cups thinly sliced lacinato or Tuscan kale leaves (from 1 large bunch)
Kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
1 (2-pound) plain rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (about 4 1/2 cups)
*Chicken Breast
Chopped fresh cilantro, thinly sliced red onion, and lime wedges, for serving

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

This recipe is pretty identical to the 20 minute shrimp tacos I made a few weeks ago, which were delicious. If you haven’t made them yet, run and go make them now! Seriously, one of my favorite salsas yet, so I am excited to try this version. I hope it lives up to the hype.

I will do a review on these next week, but I can already tell you that I am going to love them! The shrimp version had more ingredients in the salsa, but I like that this recipe is a bit more simple. The only thing to really track in the salsa is the pineapple and tomatillos. She kept her pineapple pretty chunky based on the images, so don’t worry with chopping it too fine. The tomatillos are awesome roasted with the other vegetables and meat. Really, so good. I can’t wait for y’all to try this dish!

*Changes to meet my macros

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*Spray with oil
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6-8 small flour tortillas, warmed
*High fiber/Low carb tortilla
crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
mashed avocado and limes, for serving
*Omit cheese or avocado

6 small tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño
4 green onions
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup diced pineapple

Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops

I made these about a month ago, they were amazing. My only regret with this dish, is that I didn’t have more apples. I wanted to play it safe because I didn’t have much experience with apple butter. I had actually never had apple butter until I made this. Josh had it growing up quiet often and has finished off the giant jar he bought for this recipe.

I didn’t prepare any sides for this the last time, because like I said I was playing it on the safe side assuming the apples and apple butter would eat up a decent amount of my macros. Per serving this dish only had (without the pork chops) 89 calories, 0 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of fat. I will definitely be upping the amount of apples and apple butter this time.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

2 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*Spray pan with oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons salted butter
*2 Tablespoon
12 fresh sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons apple butter
*36 grams for 4 servings
1-2 honeycrisp apples, cut into wedges
*2 gala apples
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Chicken Salad Wrap

This chicken salad is not like your local chicken salad sandwich with mayo, pecans, and grapes. Honestly, it is boring and very healthy. You MUST season this dish like there is no tomorrow and add some hot sauce to the wrap as well. I like to drizzle sriracha on my chicken salad once I have it wrapped up in a low carb, high fiber tortilla shell.

I always boil chicken breasts, just because it is easier when meal prepping. If you aren’t worried about macros or meal prepping, a whole rotisserie chicken would be much easier. Since my chicken is pretty bland from boiling I have to season it a lot more than if I was using a rotisserie chicken. I love that this meal doesn’t have any actual mayo. You make your own with egg, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. I don’t use any oil in this mayo and it makes it extra lean and cut friendly. The last time I made this I had 26.8 ounces of cooked chicken breast. It made 6 servings, each at 134 calories, 27.1 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.7 grams of fat, without a tortilla.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 whole roasted chicken or 2 pounds of chicken
½ cup finely chopped celery
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
⅓ - ½ cup Paleo mayonnaise (see recipe below)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
1 large egg, at room temperature (very important to be at room temperature)
2 teaspoons lemon juice, at room temperature
1 cup light olive oil (or 1/2 cup olive oil + 1/2 cup avocado oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, optional

E N J O Y !

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