Sometimes I have no idea what I am going to write about until someone gives me inspiration through a comment, their actions, another article, a post, etc. Last week I got a little inspiration from a guy in my gym after I had finished my workout.
Let me paint the picture first. We had a workout with a beginning and ending run of 650 meters, with some work between. The weather here as been completely dry for weeks on end, until I went out for my last run. Totally soaking wet by the time I came in from the run. The whole workout took me less than 20 minutes, knowing I would be out of town that following Monday, I decided to stay and do a second workout. Nothing too fancy, but still soaking wet from the run in the rain and now sweating.
To be completely honest, I am not one of those pretty girls when they workout. I joke with Josh that it is a good thing we are married, because I would be hard pressed to find anyone to date me if they saw me when I worked out. My RBF shines almost as bright as my red face, my long thin hair never manages to stay in a ponytail holder (I would pay good money for someone to invent a ponytail holder than keeps my hair in place through double-unders and GHDs), so I literally look like a hot mess.
I know what I look like, trust me I try to avoid the mirror so I don’t have to see just how red my face is. I mean, y’all it gets beet red. I wish I had a picture to show you. The hair is a mess and I am probably still gasping for air when the next class starts to come in as I’m leaving the gym. I have just learned to embrace my messy appearance when I workout. I used to judged the girls that got up early to do their hair and makeup before coming to workout, but I get it now. The last thing you want to be concerned with when you are going for a PR, is if someone is judging your just rolled out of bed hair or face. Heaven forbid some pulls out their phone to video you and you don’t look like the Nike models fake running.
“You look disgusting.” My only response was, ‘I know’.
I was a soaking wet, two workouts in, jump rope in my mouth while I fixed my thin, long, wet hair so I didn’t look like a wet dog…“you look disgusting” was just the comment I was hoping for. The jump rope in my mouth probably didn’t help my disgusting factor. My only gold nugget was that at least it wasn’t a total stranger telling me how bad I looked. It got me to thinking though, these are the kinds of comments people are afraid of. This is why so many people are afraid to come and it’s really not even the things people WILL say that keep them from coming, it is the things they DON’T say.
We are all so wrapped up in what other people are going to say and even think about us, that we don’t truly do what we want to do. This is mainly my ladies that care. Josh could care less if his shorts and shirt match when he goes to the gym. He’s going to sweat and throw heavy weight around. He isn’t off to sell a big insurance policy or go to an important meeting. He cares about the work he is putting in during the workout, not what he looks like when he’s doing it. If you need to do your hair and makeup before you come workout, do it. If you need to wear compression clothes to suck it all in before you come workout, do it.
I can promise you that the last thing on my mind when I go to the gym is how pretty everyone looks. There are those, obviously, that do care and will voice their concern over your appearance. Those people don’t matter. My non-opinion of what you look like doesn’t even matter. What does matter is if you show up. That’s it. The work that you are doing is the only thing that counts.
It doesn’t matter if you have expensive lifters to squat in or Walmart shoes. You don’t need the $150 leggings to get the job done. You can kick butt in $20 leggings just the same. My face might be as red as a fire hydrant, my hair stuck to my face and falling all over the place, but I can guarantee that I tried my best and pushed harder than the person concerned about everyone else’s image.
New Food Review
Roasted Carrots with Beet Puree, Goat Cheese, and Hazelnuts This dish was very simple to make. I was expecting the beet puree to slow me down and make it a little more complicated than my other beet salads, but it was great. I opted out of all the oil in the puree and used water and lemon instead. I love lemon juice in salad dressings, so I knew it would pair well with the beet puree.
Garden Herb Shrimp Scampi Linguine 100% I will be making this again. We actually ate this with our neighbor for his birthday. I was a little nervous to serve a meal-prepped dinner that I have never had before, but it turned out SO good. Josh actually couldn’t stop eating it. I am glad that I did a mixture of chicken and shrimp. Usually 3 large chicken breasts can feed us for 4 meals, so I used 1.5 chicken breasts and 1.5 pounds of shrimp. There were 4 adults and 1 child eating on it and I still had enough left for 2 or 3 people. I highly recommend cooking this and even serving it to company!
Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil Josh’s verdict is he likes this apple butter pork chops better than the peach pork chops. We didn’t get to try this fresh out of the oven, so that might have made a difference. When you meal prep, everything is technically leftovers, and it would always be nice to taste it in all its freshness-glory but that doesn’t always happen. I loved this and even added some rice to it so I could soak up all the sauce. Delicious! The feta, rice, basil, and peaches were so good. I tried to get a piece of everything with the pork in every bite. Per serving, with 1/2 cup of cooked rice, 6 ounces of pork, and 10 grams of non-fat feta it was 471 calories, 50.9 grams of protein, 38.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 11.4 grams of fat.
We will be heading to the beach this week but if I was here all week, this is what I would cook.
I loved, loved, loved this dish and so did my youngest child. The orzo alone is worth making as a side dish without the stuffed chicken.
Calculating the macros on the chicken were a little difficult since each piece of chicken doesn’t weigh the same and each person doesn’t eat the same amount of chicken either. Next time I make this dish, I am going to weigh out each piece of chicken before I stuff it and make each piece the same. You can always freeze the excess chicken and make fajitas or a bowl with it later on.
It was easy to put the same amount of honey and goat cheese in each chicken breast, just making sure each piece of chicken is the same is the key to getting the macros 100% correct. I ended up making two recipes, one for the pasta and another for the chicken. I made the pasta and chicken into 4 servings.
The pasta was 181 calories, 5.9 grams of protein, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and 3.8 grams of fat. The chicken stuffing was 87 calories, 3.2 grams of protein, 7.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.8 grams of fat. I chose to leave out the chicken in the recipe and add that separately since the pieces of chicken were all different. I knew there was 0.25 ounces of honey and 18 grams of goat cheese in every chicken breast, so I subtracted that from the weight of the chicken once it was cooked.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled *74 grams 1 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for serving * 1 container 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped * omit 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves kosher salt and black pepper 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, add to your taste 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound) 2 tablespoons honey * 1 ounce 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil * omit or spray olive oil 1 tablespoon salted butter 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1 cup dry orzo pasta *162 grams 3 cups low sodium chicken broth *2 cups 1/2 bunch kale, roughly torn 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
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 the “mayonnaise” and meat heavily. I always add some hot sauce to the wrap as well, a drizzle of sriracha once I have it wrapped up makes it so much better.
I typically boil the 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 one 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 26.4 ounces of cooked chicken breast. It made 6 servings, each at 132 calories, 26.7 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.7 grams of fat, without a tortilla.
If you are cutting out carbohydrates, you can skip the tortilla all together and just eat it with a fork. I have done this when I was in a meeting that happened to be during my lunch time. I didn’t think anyone would want to see me chewing on a wrap so I just ate it with my fork and skipped the tortilla.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
1 whole roasted chicken or 2 pounds of chicken
* chicken breast
½ cup finely chopped celery
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
* 2 lemons
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
* chili powder, cayene, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme
1 large egg, at room temperature (very important to be at room temperature)
2 teaspoons lemon juice, at room temperature
* 1-2 lemons juiced
1 cup light olive oil
* omit oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, optional
* 2-4 tablespoons or to taste
I feel confident in saying that I could eat this every day of the week for 3 months and never get tired of it. I loved this dish so much. It was beautiful. It was delicious. I felt fancy just stuffing the peppers and adding in all the extras. It was great.
This is one of those meals that you tuck away in the back of your mind for the next time you have company and want to impress them without having to try too hard. I simply loved it and the macros weren’t that bad either. You could definitely cut back on the amount of orzo used and bring down the carbohydrates. I cut back to 1 cup, but I might even do 3/4 of a cup this time so I don’t feel as strapped on my carbohydrates next time.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 3 red bell peppers, halved *4 peppers 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil *spray olive oil 3 sprigs fresh oregano kosher salt and pepper 1 cup dry orzo or quinoa *285 grams or less 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olive *76 grams 2 pepperoncini, chopped *66 grams 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, chopped *Omit 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese *non fat feta Lemony Basil Tomatoes: 1 cup fresh basil, chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil *lemon juice crushed red pepper flakes zest from 1 lemon kosher salt *add cooked chicken breast to peppers
In an effort to keep the carbohydrates balanced, I try to cook two-three “heavy” carbohydrate meals and two-three light carbohydrate meals every week. I will alternate the high carb and low carb meals between lunch and supper so I don’t go over my allotted carbohydrates every day. I don’t worry about which meal of the day has the high carb or low carb, I just focus on keeping it balanced.
With this salad don’t skip making the dressing it or try buying some store bought version, because it won’t be the same. Any dressing made with lemon juice is right up my alley. I skip the olive oil and just up the amount of lemon juice and it makes it extra healthy. I don’t mind eating fats but I would much rather save my fat for the almonds or avocado, not the olive oil.
For the chicken, you can grill it if you are firing up the grill this week anyway or simply season well and put it in the oven while you get the meat ready for the other dishes. I like to put a lot of blueberries in each of my salads, but you can put from 1/2 cup to a whole cup. I also pick between almonds of avocado. I don’t want to go over on my fat because of one dish. Typically 1/4th of an avocado is 1 ounce. 1 ounce of avocado is 50 calories, 0.5 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of carbs, and 4.5 grams of fat.
*Change I make to meet my macros.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup blueberries
* 1/2 cup to 1 cup per salad
1 large avocado sliced
* almonds or avocado
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
* non-fat feta
1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
* omit oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
* add more lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
* 1 ounce of honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 2 tablespoons
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
I always try to plan a sheet pan meal or crockpot meal or both! I decided to use chicken instead of salmon the last time I cooked this meal and will do so again. I didn’t mix my herbs with oil, I simply chopped them and sprinkled them over the chicken. You can always add lemon juice to the herb mixture and paste the mixture over the chicken.
The last time I made this dish the macros were easy to calculate. I kept everything separate so I could weigh it all out without making a recipe on my app. For 1/2 cup of jasmine rice, 6 ounces of chicken, 3 ounces of green beans, and 20 tomatoes, it was 295 calories, 38.7 grams of protein, 32.8 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.7 grams of fat.
Ingredients: 1 LARGE FILET WILD CAUGHT SALMON (OR 4 INDIVIDUAL FILETS) WITH SKIN-ON AND DE-BONED * Chicken breast FRESH GREEN BEANS, WHOLE 2 PINTS HEIRLOOM CHERRY TOMATOES 2 SHALLOTS, SLICED 3 GARLIC CLOVES, ROUGH CHOPPED SALT AND PEPPER, TO TASTE 4 TBS+ OLIVE OIL * Spray with olive oil 2-3 TBS. BALSAMIC VINEGAR FOR HERB MIXTURE: 8 CLOVES OF GARLIC HANDFUL PARSLEY, THYME, OREGANO, BASIL AND A LITTLE ROSEMARY, CHOPPED 1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL *omit oil SALT & PEPPER
E N J O Y !