Expectations + Menu

Goals vs. Expectations

My brother “joked” with me the other day that I had to workout to be athletic and he is just naturally athletic. He is right. I was not thrown into t-ball, gymnastics, or dance as a child to become “naturally” athletic. (I wish I would have been, but I was not interested in that at a young age.) At 31, I am currently in the best shape of my life and I have worked hard for that. My glory days were not in high school, they are now and I am fine with that. I set goals for myself and have certain expectations that I try to hold myself to.

For me there is a big difference in goals and expectations. The two can be easily mixed though. It might sound completely ridiculous, but CrossFit has taught me a lot about myself and a lot about sticking to my commitments. I don’t like to give up on anything and have probably been called stubborn a time or two, strong willed sounds a bit nicer though. Once I set my mind on something, I want to see it through. I don’t like to set expectations for myself until I can test the water. I am not a fan of setting myself up for failure, so I will wait to set an expectation for myself that is actually achievable. There are many variables that can determine whether you have a good workout that day. The ideal circumstances aren’t always there.

When I am completing a workout for time, I don’t set a time limit for myself before I start the workout. I have a good idea of what I am capable of doing and how quickly, but the best way to know what you are capable of, is to do the work. I am one of those people that constantly watches the clock and analyzes my progress to make sure I keep a steady pace. I don’t jump out the gate going as fast as I can possibly go, that just leads to a burn out. I like to see how fast I can do the first few rounds or the first half of the workout and then I set my expectation. If I can do 3 rounds in 12 minutes, I want to complete the next 3 rounds in no less than 14 minutes. I give myself some grace for error, but not too much that I just allow myself to be lazy.

My goals are much bigger than my expectations. My goals take up a lot of time and more effort than just one workout. Honestly, I have not reached a goal in a very long time, but I have surpassed many of my expectations. My physical goals are mostly gymnastic movements and are not on the top of my list to do in my spare time. My other physical goals are reaching certain PR numbers. They are important to me, but I know that large goals take time and don’t happen over night. My ability to hold myself to my expectations, gives me the confidence I need to keep going and not give up just because I haven’t reached a big goal lately.

If losing weight is your overall goal, don’t expect to drop all the weight in one month or even the first two months, especially if you are making a lifestyle change and not just trying one of those new pills or wraps. Set expectations for the day that allow you to feel confident and keep you wanting to reach your goal. If you are only focused on the number on the scale you will get bogged down. You can set other expectations, like running time/distance, the ability to bend over/get off the floor/get off the couch without discomfort or straining. There are lots of other ways to measure success that don’t have to be related to the scale. Keep going and as always, feel free to reach out if you need help getting started!


New Food Review

Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde

I can’t say that this was my favorite recipe or that I will ever make it again. I have never used lemon peel in a salsa before and that was really all I could taste. After eating it for supper, I decided I would finely chop the salsa even more and add some lime juice. Maybe it was just in my head that I did not like it, but it didn’t seem to make a big difference. I also think I went too heavy on the cinnamon, so that was a big factor too. The macros were great though and it would make great “cut-food” if you are currently cutting calories. I would just half the amount of lemon peel and definitely watch your cinnamon powder!


M E N U

Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops

Hamburgers + Asparagus Avocado Tomato Salad

Black Bean Tacos + Avocado Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Healing Bowls + Turmeric Sweet Potatoes + Lemon Dressing

Greek Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers


Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops

I was so nervous about the macros the first time I made these. I was not familiar with apple butter, I just assumed it had to be loaded down with carbs like jelly was and then adding apples too! I couldn’t imagine that these would be good for my macros, at all. I just knew that I would be blowing my carbohydrates for the day. I don’t usually calculate macros before I decide to cook a dish, typically I can make some pretty good guesses on what needs to be altered to make things healthier.

Well, these pork chops did not break my macro bank and I could have honestly used more apple butter than I did the first time. The second time I increased the apple butter and it still did not break the macro bank. I was so happy to find a new tasty recipe for pork chops. Just like chicken breast, pork chops get really boring after a while if you don’t mix things up. This is the perfect recipe to mix things up with. If you have carbohydrates to spare, you can add some rice, make a good salad, or add a sweet potato on the side.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
2 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick
*4-6 pork loin chops 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*zero calorie olive oil spray 
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons salted butter
*1 tablespoon 
12 fresh sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons apple butter
*52 grams
1-2 honeycrisp apples, cut into wedges
*2 apples 
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 

Hamburgers + Asparagus Avocado Tomato Salad

We don’t make easy quick meals like hamburgers often enough around here and honestly, the window of perfect warm weather sans bugs for grilling doesn’t last long. Josh will just have to brave the weather, gnats, and mosquitoes for this one.

I used to make this salad at least once a week during the summer before Anderson was born. It is so creamy and delicious with the avocado and the dressing. Not to mention it is beautiful and screams summer time.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Hamburgers: 
80/20 ground beef + seasoning 
Brioche buns 
Lettuce 
Heirloom tomato
Onion 
Pickles 
Ketchup 
Mustard 
*keep it healthy, no extra toppings & opt for lettuce wrap if needed 
 
For the Salad
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
*omit
2 teaspoons lemon juice
*one lemon juiced
2 teaspoons dijion mustard
*2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper 

Black Bean Tacos + Avocado Cilantro-Lime Sauce

This is dish is originally intended to be meatless, but I need more protein than what the black beans provide. I used to use tilapia with this dish, but there was a huge tilapia scare about 3 years ago, so we stopped using it all together. It was only “safe” to buy the fish from one certain place, so I quit making these and haven’t thought about them until Josh brought them up this past week. I had to scroll to the very bottom of my Pinterest board to find these.

To add protein to this dish we are gong to use shrimp instead of fish. Fish is a great add-in, but we have been on a shrimp kick lately. I am going to use the same spices as I did on the zesty shrimp salad with the shrimp. It is the easiest little spice mix and tastes amazing.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Two 15 oz. cans black beans
*1 can 
1 cup salsa
*Fresh salsa in the produce section 
1 tsp. cumin
Corn tortillas
*high fiber/low carb tortilla 
TOPPINGS OF CHOICE
Lettuce, tomato, onion, roasted red peppers, corn, avocado, cilantro, dairy-free cheese, etc.
*cilantro, lime

FOR THE CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE
1/2 ripe avocado
*3 ounces 
3/4 cup cilantro (stems removed)
Juice from 1 lime
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil (omit for oil-free)
*omit 
1 tsp. agave (or other sweetener)
*1/2 ounce honey 
1/8 tsp. salt 

2 pounds shrimp 
Zest of one lime and one lemon 
1/2 ounce honey 
*zero calorie olive oil spray
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika  

Healing Bowls + Turmeric Sweet Potatoes + Lemon Dressing

I am throwing it back with lots of meals I used to cook frequently this week. This bowl is meant to be meatless, like a lot of meals I make, but I am going to leave out the egg and use pork loin thinly sliced. I could eat the sweet potatoes the way they are prepared here without the rest of the bowl. I typically use quinoa instead of brown rice, but whatever you have on hand or prefer to eat, but also skip the quinoa if I want to eat more sweet potatoes.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
a swish of olive oil
*zero calorie olive oil spray
1–2 teaspoons turmeric
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
lemon herb dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice
*2 lemons juiced 
1/3 cup olive oil
*omit oil 
1 small clove garlic
2 teaspoons agave
*1 ounce honey 
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
healing bowls:
poached or scrambled eggs
*thinly sliced pork loin
brown rice or quinoa
*omit if keeping carbs low 
arugula or spinach or greens
pistachios or other nuts for topping
*omit nuts   

Greek Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers

Again, another meatless wonder that I stuffed with meat anyway and it turned out wonderful. I don’t think I could ever get tired of this dish. I loved this dish so much. It was beautiful. It was delicious.

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 used 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, but the orzo is so good. I am going to make the kids their own patch of pasta, because last time Scarlett ate most of mine.

Tracking the macros on the peppers was not super difficult. I made sure each pepper had the same amount of pasta, chicken, and toppings so that no matter which pepper was picked, they were the same.

*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 olives 
*76 grams  
2 pepperoncini, chopped 
*66 grams 
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, chopped 
*Omit nuts 
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

E N J O Y !

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