Risk + Menu

“Without risk, there is no reward.”

You must be willing to give up something, which seems important to you now, to reach your goal. There are things in your life right now, that you think you can’t live without. The things you cling to, that won’t allow you to reach your full potential, are toxic. You feel as though you can’t possibly control your cravings or stop the emotional eating, but you can. Food and/or drinks should not be seen as a stress reliever, emotional release, or even a reward. Food is fuel, some of it just taste much better than others and some has ZERO benefit to your macro or micro-nutrients.

Cheat days are something I have mixed emotions about. I don’t believe in being strict on my macros all the time, but a “cheat day” implies that your current diet is a punishment. You might not realize it, but you are grinding through the week, healthy as can be and daydreaming of all the food and drinks you will indulge in. Then what happens the next day…do you intermittent fast, do you just keep going like it’s a normal day or does the over eating carry over to the next day? If you are not disciplined enough to jump right back on track, I would steer away from cheat days. I am not saying don’t indulge, but indulge within your macros.

A good place to start would be IF (intermittent fasting). IF allows you to save the majority of your calories for that meal. IF is sustaining from eating for 12-16 hours after your last meal (including sleep), then consuming your daily calories after that point. IF has been known to help with inflammation and weight loss, among other things. Some people might not be able to mentally sustain from eating for that long, for others it will be no problem.

If you know that you cannot control your eating, don’t purposefully over eat once a week and then spend the rest of the week trying to regain control. That is a viscous cycle. It seems pretty simple to me, food is just food. My thought process behind food is more than likely not like others though. For example, once I have had a great piece of cake, from a 5-star restaurant, I don’t want just any ordinary cake. I know what the best tastes like, so why would I even bother with something mediocre? I know the bakery back home makes the best doughnuts I have ever tasted, so it is very unlikely that I will go grab a doughnut from just any old doughnut stand. Honest, they are the best…I used to get TWO chocolate doughnuts and one hot ham and cheese for breakfast every morning before I went to work. Why risk messing up my macros, when it isn’t going to be that great or live up to something I have already had? 

I don’t see the point in ruining my macros with one meal, like on a cheat day. That one cheat meal typically happens on a day you are not working out, so you aren’t burning as many calories as possible to counteract your extra calories, and that one meal is usually contains more calories that what you consume in an entire day. It really isn’t hard to do that…no one in their right mind believes that chips and dip are healthy, look up the amount of fat in a serving of chips from Surcheros…550 calories,  57 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein. (Sorry, not sorry. Foregoing the rice in your burrito so you can eat the chips, doesn’t even come close to comparing to the amount of calories the chips have.) If you just go out for chips and dip and then eat your normal meal, you are add far more calories to your meal than you realize. Knowledge is power, even when it comes to food. Pushing that chip basket aside is much easier for me to do when I know what is in my food.  

Looking up the nutritional information of your favorite foods might not be on the top of your to-do list, but it needs to be. Learning how to track your food might not be on the top of your to-do list either, but it should be…just in my opinion. Not pushing tracking on you, but if you know how much you are actually consuming, then you can pin-point your problem easier than if you just start eliminating food. This is going to be time consuming, you are going to feel like it’s too much, and will want to stop before you even get started. Learning new things can be challenging and scary. Figuring out what you actually need to be eating to fuel your body and reach your goals can be empowering. You are in total control over what you put into your body to reach the goal you have set for yourself.

New Food Review 

Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Salad

I loved this salad. I kind of hated that I planned two totally different salads back to back, because it was hard not to compare the two. This salad had an amazing dressing. The fresh rosemary on the chicken and in the dressing were key. I used a TON of rosemary because other than salt and pepper that was the only seasoning used. I did not use any oil and stuck to the bacon and avocado as the main sources of fat. I didn’t go crazy with the amount of fat, but it was plenty for me. I kept the bacon under an ounce and used one ounce of avocado per salad. I will definitely be making this one again. Check my Instagram for specifics on amounts I used! 

Zesty Grilled Shrimp, Bread, and Sweet Peach Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

This salad stole the show. I mixed chicken breast and shrimp to get a higher dose of protein and actually went back to add more shrimp to the dish for lunch the next day. Josh thinks this is the best salad I have ever made and I would have to say it ranks pretty high. I have been wanting some new go-to salads and I came out a winner with the two that I picked this week. This salad would work well with salmon as well. The sauce is perfect and the peaches with a bite of shrimp, corn, and tomatoes in one was delicious. I will being using this rub on fish in the near future! 

M E N U 

Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

Zesty Grilled Shrimp, Bread, and Sweet Peach Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

Chicken Stir Fry 

Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde

This is a new recipe for me. I am loving all the summer recipes with the different salsa verde options. You can mix and match them, change up the meat, and it is like a new recipe each time. I am going to change the verde a little to omit all of the oil. If you aren’t worried about your fat intake, then keep the oil. Just your basic EVOO can have 130 calories, per tablespoon., I would rather eat 130 calories of extra food, not oil. I am going to add more lemon juice and puree 2-3 tomatillos to make up for the lack of liquid.  I am going to add jasmine rice to my dish and make it into a bowl. You can always leave it as it or throw it into a low carbohydrate tortilla or opt for cauliflower rice. I hope you like this one! I will let you know what we thought of it next week.   

*Change I make to meet my macros

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*zero calorie olive oil spray
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*more lemon juice, 2-3 tomatillos pureed
1 small lemon, halved and seeded (or 1/2 of a lemon)
1 shallot, halved
1 ripe mango, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
fresno or jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
kosher salt
*1 cup cook jasmine rice

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

This has become a staple on my menu now. I usually cook this at least once a month. It is one of the simplest dishes and turns out great every time. Throw everything into the crockpot, set it on low for 6 hours, and you are done.

I don’t shred my chicken into the dish. I take it out in whole pieces and add it to each bowl in the amounts that I want. This makes tracking my food a lot easier. After taking out the chicken I weigh the entire pot of rice and vegetables, mix it well, and create my servings. Then I top my bowl of rice and vegetables with chicken.

The last time I made this, without chicken factored in, per serving I had 220 calories, 8 grams of protein, 44.3 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.3 grams of fat.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 1/2 cups wild rice
* 1 cup
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
* 2 cups 
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 11-12 ounces baby carrots 
1 cup wild mushrooms, torn
* 284 grams  
2 pounds bone-in chicken breast and or thighs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and pepper
4 shallots, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

This recipe is pretty identical to the 20 minute shrimp tacos I made a while ago, which were delicious. If you haven’t made them yet, run and go make them now! Seriously, one of my favorite salsas yet. 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. The tomatillos are awesome roasted with the other ingredients. If you can’t find tomatillos, you can use verde and add garlic, jalapenos, and spices to a mixer, pulse together until blended well. These fajitas always turn into rice bowls for me instead of tacos. I love the salsa so much and the macros as so great that I can have a lot of it. If you are going low carbohydrate, then skip the rice and just eat in the tortilla or alone. Some fresh cilantro, lime, and avocado on top would really set this off.

*Changes I make to fit 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 or rice
crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar cheese mashed avocado and limes
*Omit cheese OR avocado
6 small tomatillos, husked
*verde if you can’t find tomatillos
1 jalapeño
4 green onions
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup diced pineapple

Zesty Grilled Shrimp, Bread, and Sweet Peach Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

I know I just made this salad, but it was so good and I acquired a bunch of peaches from my mom while on vacation for the Fourth of July, so why not?! I did a mixture of shrimp and chicken last time, which was a great cheap way to get more protein in. The chicken was great, but the shrimp were right on the money. So good. The lemon and lime zest mixed with the spices, and one ounce of honey…such a good combination! It was frustrating trying to calculate the macros for this dish, because there are so many separate parts to it. I put everything into one recipe on my app, but keep all the ingredients separate to divide evenly onto each salad. It is tedious, but worth it to get the exact macros. When I made this dish last week, the macros were 286 calories, 42.2 grams of protein, 20.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 5.7 grams of fat. I did add some extra shrimp for the second day, because the calories are very low and the shrimp was amazing. 

*Changes I make to meet my macros

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
*1 pound shrimp, 2 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
*zero calorie olive oil spray
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon honey
*1 ounce
zest of 1 lemon and 1 lime
kosher salt and pepper
4 thick slices ciabatta bread
6 cups mixed greens spinach or arugula
1 peach, thinly sliced
*245 grams (split into 4 servings)
2 ears, grilled corn, kernels removed
*1 cup sweet corn
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved if large
1 avocado, halved and pitted
*3 ounces
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded, if desired
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*4 Tablespoons
1 pinch of kosher salt

Chicken Stir Fry

There is no link since he made the recipe up using vegetables we had on hand at the time. I am leaving out a few ingredients and making some slight changes.

Cut up the vegetables and season well with salt, pepper, 1/4th cup soy sauce, and 1/4th cup teriyaki marinade. Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks while the vegetables cook down. After 5-8 minutes or once the vegetables have started to soften, add the chicken to the pan to cook down with the veggies. Lastly, he added 1 cup of cooked jasmine rice to the pan to heat up in the pan and soak up some of the flavor. I am skipping this step, because tracking the macros with the rice added makes it more difficult than I would like. If you aren’t worried about tracking your food, then add the rice to the pan. I will pour the extra sauce onto my rice in equal amounts.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

3 chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Heads of broccoli 
3 Zucchini sliced 
1 Onion 
Soy Sauce 1/4th cup 
Teriyaki Marinade 1/4th cup 
Jasmine Rice- 1 cup cooked

E N J O Y !

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