Lies + Menu

Liar, Liar

Whether it is on purpose or not, people lie to themselves and others to gain acceptance, a better position, to impress others, to feel less guilt over a decision, etc. People lie to themselves about numerous things and conveniently forget key details as well. We stretch the truth to lessen the blow of the actuality of the situation we are in so we don’t hurt someone else’s feelings or disappoint ourselves.

Who does it really help in the long run to stretch the truth or tell white lies? A lie is a lie. No matter category you try to put it in. Sure it is a lot easier to stuff that piece of dark chocolate in my mouth before my husband walks in and asks what I am eating. None of your business…just eating all the dark chocolate. (Just kidding, I actually just don’t want to share.) Not telling him or letting him see me eat “junk” food, doesn’t make it go away. It does not disappear into thin air. It goes right to the stomach just like that healthy salad.

Pretending something didn’t happen, doesn’t make it any easier. Admitting what your faults are can make them easier to overcome. If my weakness is sweets or dark chocolate, making someone else aware of my shortcomings can give me accountability. The first step is admitting there is a problem, right?

People lie, the scale doesn’t lie.

If you are overeating and not working off that extra food, it is going to tell on you. Your pants will feel a little tight and you might even convince yourself that the dryer shrunk them…naw girl, that is you finishing off your kids’ food every night after dinner. Just because you didn’t put it on your plate, doesn’t mean it won’t count. IT ALL COUNTS. No matter what you choose to forget that you ate, it counts.

Sometimes I would like to take back some things that I have eaten so I could trade them in for the random doughnut day at school, but that isn’t how it works. I have a set amount of macronutrients that I try to consume each day. If I have already eaten a whole bagel and oatmeal that morning, chances are I don’t have room for the carbs in my lunch, a doughnut, and the carbs in my supper. I am going to have to sacrifice or make changes somewhere so I can have that doughnut instead. Eat all the cake and doughnuts you want my friend, but you better make sure you are staying balanced on your calories in/calories out or you’ll end up regretting it.

More than likely I will not want to give up the carb with my lunch or supper, so the doughnut is off the table. I would rather have a complete meal than a quick treat. At one of our faculty meetings this week we had a taco bar. Chips, salsa, guac, cheese dip, tortillas, rice…all the good stuff. I made a rice bowl, added a little guac on the side, scooped up a good bit of chicken, and topped it off with some salsa. It was pretty well balanced. Nothing excessive. I knew that I would be going out for dinner and drinks that night and didn’t want to blow my calories on a taco bar at work when I would rather indulge at dinner.

I am not going to lie to myself and forget about all the carbs and fat that chips have. I would not have forgotten about all the calories in cheese dip. I make sure to PLAN for my splurges and only splurge ONCE that day. It is not an all-day binge-fest. You get the one “cheat” meal, that you saved your calories for. On my birthday I did not overeat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had my eyes on the prize and that was red velvet cheesecake. I don’t want the GUILT that comes from eating entirely too much and I sure don’t want the GUT that comes with it either.

I do my fair share of working out, but that does not mean that I get to eat everything I want, whenever I want. In order to be successful in the gym you must also fuel your body correctly. Nothing is worse than working your butt off in the gym to not see results because of what you put into your mouth. People would rather have the mindset that they “earned” that 1,200 calorie milkshake in their 30 minute workout. No my dear, you just set yourself 2 steps back. More than likely you only burned about 400 calories and that milkshake is going to blow your macros and calories out of the water.

Be honest with yourself and find someone to keep you accountable. Don’t try to tackle a lifestyle change alone. There is power in a group of like minded people that are supportive of your journey. Find your people and set your goal!


New Food Review

California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado + Rice Bowls

So. Much. Food. For less than 400 calories you can’t beat this meal. I upped the amount of vegetables and lowered the amount of avocado. I love the creamy avocado sauce mixed in with the rice, vegetables, and chicken. I was a little impatient and didn’t let the marinade sit long on the chicken. I put the chicken on a sheet pan, sprayed both sides with low calorie olive oil, and seasoned up. I love when a marinade has tons of fresh herbs. I skipped mixing the herbs and seasonings with olive oil and used lemon juice instead.

Simplest Basil Zucchini Parmesan Pasta This pasta was everything I expected and so much more. I had planned to add chicken to the dish, but left it as a side and ate a steak with it instead. If you are a #vegetarian then PLEASE give this a try! And if you aren’t vegetarian, try it too! I was very skeptic of this dish with so few ingredients, but it was delicious and more flavorful than I was expecting!


M E N U

Zesty Shrimp and Sweet Peach Salad

Slow Cooker Rice and Chicken Pilaf

Salmon + Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

Lemon Thyme Grilled Salmon Cauliflower Rice

Spaghetti


Zesty Shrimp and Sweet Peach Salad

Oh this salad gets me so excited for supper and lunch the next day. To say I loved this salad is an understatement. I have used to zesty seasoning so many times since then and it never disappoints.

The first time I made this dish, 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!

To be 100% honest it was SO 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 to each salad. It is tedious, but worth it to get the exact macros. When I made this dish before, 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

Ingredients: 
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined  
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 
*omit 
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 
AVOCADO VINAIGRETTE 
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 

Slow Cooker Rice and Chicken Pilaf

The last time I cooked this, Josh dubbed this a fancy chicken and rice. Complete compliment coming from him. His Granny cooked the best chicken and rice. If I can cook anything close to that, I am honored.

This recipe calls for the chicken to be pan seared before placing it into the crockpot. Most of the time I am in such a big hurry cooking 5 meals that I forget that step. It really has not made much of a difference. I love cooking chicken breast in the crockpot, It always turns out moist, but it does not stay together as if it was cooked in the oven. The chicken will shred.

I make this as simple as I can. I just throw it all in the crockpot and season it all really well. I put the chicken on top so I can keep it separate. 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, 44.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.3 grams of fat.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 1/2 cups wild rice
*3/4 to 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
*14 ounces 
1 cup wild mushrooms, torn
*284 grams 
2 pounds bone-in chicken breast and or thighs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit oil 
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and pepper
4 shallots, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary 

Salmon + Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

I love, love, love when Josh cooks salmon for me. Salmon is by far my favorite fish and he knows exactly how to cook it. I prefer to grill our salmon, but if it is cold, the oven works just fine. We use lemon zest, lemon slices, garlic powder, onion powder, and Tony Chachere’s seasoning. Rub or spray the fish down with olive oil, season, and wrap in tin foil.

I have not made a beet salad in a long time and this one is my favorite one! It has oranges and uses orange juice in the dressing. I make sure to weigh out my orange juice and not to over do it on the orange slices. The juice is where you will really get a lot of calories if you are not mindful. To track your dressing, make sure you are weighing every ingredient. Get the total weight of the dressing and then divide into equal servings.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Salmon:
Salmon 
1 lemon (zest and slices)
Tony Chachere’s seasoning  
Garlic powder 
Onion powder  

Vinaigrette:
1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
* I leave out the olive oil 
2 Tablespoons Honey
* 1 Tablespoon Honey 
1/2 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
* 1 Tablespoon Mustard 
Pinch Salt/Pepper

Salad:
Fresh Baby Romaine or a Peppery Greens Salad Blend
Micro Greens
4-5 Cooked Beets - cut into chunks
Goat Cheese Crumbles
* 1 serving per salad  
1 Orange - segmented 
* 1/4th of an orange per sala 

Lemon Thyme Grilled Salmon Cauliflower Rice

I am actually not going to be using salmon in this dish. Since I am going to be grilling salmon this week, I don’t plan on using salmon in this dish. Definitely not the same, but it will work. Pork usually takes on flavor well and doesn’t have a distinct taste to me.

I am not going to use cauliflower rice, because I would need another side dish to add the carbohydrates in. If you need a low-carb option for supper, keep the cauliflower rice and eat on. If you are using regular rice, you could layer this in the crockpot and even use chicken breast to make it that much more simple. I love cooking chicken breast in the crockpot, it turns out so juicy and falls apart. So good!

*Changes I make to fit my macros

Ingredients:  
Salmon & Squash
2-4 salmon fillets more or less, depending on size
*chicken breast or pork chops 
1 large lemon juice and zest
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
2 large garlic cloves minced
olive oil for cooking
2 small zucchini squash cut lengthwise
*3-4 zucchini
Cauliflower Rice
16 oz cauliflower rice fresh or frozen
*jasmine rice cooked normally or with add-ins
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large lemon juice and zest
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or oregano
Salsa
8 oz baby heirloom tomatoessliced in half
1 avocado sliced into small chunks
*omit
1 tablespoon fresh thyme minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
*omit oil
lemon juice from 1 lemon
sea salt flakes to taste
red chili pepper flakes to taste

Spaghetti

The spaghetti sauce I use is adapted from a bolognese lasagna sauce. It is a thicker sauce, with lots of meat and vegetables. I love it.

To make the sauce, dice the onion and bell pepper, and saute’ with the minced garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan (mushrooms are not in the lasagna). Once the mushrooms have cooked down, drain any excess water. Add the vegetables to a large pot, along with the canned tomatoes. Once the meat has cooked thoroughly, drain and add to the tomatoes and vegetables.

Stir in the milk and wine, if you are going to put those in. Let the spaghetti simmer on low. Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce if needed. The amount of tomato paste you add depends on how thick you want your sauce to be. I use to add the whole milk and wine but have recently opted out of putting it in. It is delicious with or without the wine and milk.

I like to add dried oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, and any other Italian herbs I have on hand.

Ingredients:  
4 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
1 can Tomato Paste (about 1 cup)
3 cloves Garlic
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
8 ounces Mushrooms (diced) 
2-4 pounds 80/20 cooked and drained (depending on amount of people serving, I use 3.5 pounds typically and always have leftovers for the kids)
8 ounces Whole Milk (optional)
4 ounces Red Wine (optional)
Italian Herbs 

E N J O Y !

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