Psych + Menu

Here comes The Open, once again. I feel like I blogged about competing in The Open just months ago, but here it is once more for the 2020 season. With all the rule changes it is hard for me to keep track of what constitutes as a ticket to The Games and what doesn’t. One sure-fire way to make it to The Games is to win The Open. That is not my lane.

Our gym has started grouping us into teams and we “compete” whether we want to or not in The Open. It is just between us and is a great way to build comradery. You can still sign-up for the actual Open and compare yourself to the rest of the die-hard fans. For CrossFitters, The Open is like the regular season games and The Games are the playoffs, so it is a big deal for those in the CrossFit world. The gym has upped the anty and added ways to earn bonus points for your team like dressing according to the theme for that week and showing up at a different class to cheer on your teammates/friends.

I need some bonus points.

The first workout served some humble-pie to most and a select few boosted their ego just a bit. The workout had a time cap. I did not finish. Usually, I finish and typically finish well. Not this time. I knew before I even started the workout that I was not going to do well. I felt a little less pressure to perform well when I heard no one in the gym had finished. A little weight was lifted. This workout was just not in my wheelhouse. Well, not the whole workout. It was just two movements and one of those I am just not fast at. You needed to be fast on both in order to finish this one.

The “pressure” from others around me, made me want to do well even when I knew I wouldn’t. I didn’t feel like I let myself down because I already knew this workout was not going to end in my favor. I can do the movements and weight, just not fast enough. I know this about myself, so I wasn’t too concerned with being the best. I heard repeatedly things like “this is your workout”, “you have got this”, “you are going to finish”, “you will dominate this one”, “this is in your wheelhouse”…all the positive vibes.

I was completely relaxed about the workout and maybe starting to think I could pull it off a few days before I had to complete it. That was until I heard that two girls in our gym finished under the time-cap. (Put that weight/pressure back on.) I had a team I was pushing for after all. All of those encouraging words couldn’t just go to waste. Now I NEEDED to finish. It wasn’t just going to be a lackadaisical workout, which no Open workout is…but one can hope it doesn’t make you feel like you swallowed a match, need to throw-up, and your legs are made of Jell-O all at the same time.

Neither of those girls is on my team, so I felt like I really needed to show up and finish. My heartfelt like it was going to pound out of my chest before the workout. All over a workout. I was nervous, jacked-up, and plain over it before it even began. I KNEW this one was not for me. I KNEW I would not finish, but felt like I had to push even harder because I was told how well I would do. It isn’t like my life would change if I did or didn’t do well, it is all just for the sake of fitness and fun, but I really wanted to do well. I did well, but it wasn’t good enough to finish. Such a bummer.

I got myself so worked up, that I psyched myself out. I had people around me encouraging me before and during the workout. So much positive support, yet I let myself get in the way. No matter how encouraging people are around you, if you don’t believe the words they are saying then you will not do well.

The only way I know to build positive self esteem is to put yourself out there and try. If you never bother to try, you won’t know if you are capable. Keep pushing and put in the work even when you don’t want to, even when you don’t believe in yourself. You might just surprise yourself. 

It does obviously take skill to complete the work, but it also takes a certain mindset to get the job done. You can’t constantly beat yourself up and expect to get a 100 on something you are unsure of. You are more likely to perform well on a test, speech, workout, etc. if you have a positive outlook. I got in my head and psyched myself out. Needless to say, I need to start earning some bonus points for my team, just giving the workout my all isn’t going to get us a “W”.


Thai Coconut Lime Curry Soup

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Farfalle Mushroom Pasta

Healthy Turkey Chili

Cabbage Roll-Ups

Thai Coconut Lime Curry Soup

I have never cooked this exact recipe, but I have made several Thai curry soups with rice noodle recipes. I am always very conservative with the rice noodles because they are packed with carbohydrates. I am going to use the rice noodles, but make sure I don’t eat more than my usual amount of carbs so I can have a full serving that night.

The hard thing about dishes like this when counting macros is to make sure you are getting even amounts food in every serving. You don’t want one dish to have more broth than noodles or vice versa. Just weighing amounts doesn’t always work. You have to weigh out each individual ingredient to get the exact amount. I would hate to have less noodles than Josh but still have just as much recorded on my app, saying I ate more carbs than I actually had. If you are tracking, there is a big benefit in being meticulous and putting in the extra effort.

I will cook my noodles separate and add them to each dish separately.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

2 14 ounce cans premium coconut milk
*1 can light coconut milk 
1 heaping Tablespoon Thai curry paste
1 bunch cilantro roots, rinsed well
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
*3-4 cups depending on how soupy you like it
1 carrot, shredded
*15 ounces whole baby carrots
4 or 5 lime leaves
2 stalks lemon grass, halved lengthwise, woody leaves removed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
*1 Tablespoon
2 limes zest and juice
a small knob frozen ginger
*lots of fresh grated ginger
a handful bean sprouts
8 ounce package rice noodles
1 bunch cilantro leaves, rinsed well
2 or 3 green onions, thinly sliced
a sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce 
*1 tablespoon

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. You are supposed to sear the chicken before putting it into the crockpot, but I have skipped this step before and it has still turned out just as good. Josh refers to this as a “modern chicken and rice” like what his Granny used to make. It is 100% a compliment.

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

Farfalle Mushroom Pasta

Josh specifically requested this dish. Pasta + mushrooms = his jam. He L O V E S mushrooms, me not so much, but in this dish they are great. It is just a texture thing for me. They don’t really have a taste on their own, but with the right seasonings and in just the right dish, I can scarf them down.

This dish has quite a bit of carbohydrates, it is pasta after all. The macros, per serving, were 349 calories, 11.6 grams of protein, 39.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 5.1 grams of fat. The last time I made this, it was 10 servings. This is without any meat.

This time I am going to use the carba-nada pasta that I have fallen in love with. I was going to use these for the rice noodle bowl, but decided to stick with the rice noodles. They are a completely different texture so I am not sure these noodles would do the dish justice. They are thick like the farfalle pasta, so I know it would be a good fit. You can pick these up at Publix if you are local, so far none of the other stores here carry them. I am going to bake some chicken breasts and add them to the dish.

*Changes I make to meet my macros.

16 ounces uncooked whole wheat farfalle pasta
2 tablespoons butter
*1 tablespoon 
2 tablespoons oil
24 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini and shiitake)
*680 grams 
1/4 cup minced garlic or shallots, or a combination of both
a splash of white wine (about 1/3 cup)
*2.4 ounces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
*1 cup whole milk 
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth (as needed)
*2 cups Vegetable broth
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups spinach, chopped
6 ounces goat cheese
*4 ounces

Healthy Turkey Chili

Finally some cold weather just right for soups and chili! One of my co-workers had chili this past week and it really made me want some. I love this meal because once you get everything into the pot, it just simmers to perfection. I love the way the house smells on Sunday.

The recipe calls for turkey, but I always use ground venison or 80/20. Keep in mind when you look at my changes that I am making enough for my kids to eat during (fingers crossed they will) the week and for Josh and I to have for supper and lunch. Typically this makes around 7 servings for us. Each serving is 391 calories, 35.6 grams of protein, 25.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 16.5 grams of fat.

1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
*2-3 pounds 80/20 or ground venison
1 bell pepper -red, green, yellow or orange (I used red and yellow – half each)
*6-7 ounces of green bell pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
*4 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
*2 cans black beans
1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Garnish (optional)
shredded, low fat cheddar cheese
fresh parsley

Cabbage Roll-Ups

These seem difficult to make just because of their presentation, but I promise they are super simple. There are two key players in this dish that can blow your macros out of the water, the rice and hoisin sauce. The hoisin sauce is key though, don’t skip it, but don’t get too happy with it. You have to mix it with water and then cover the cabbage rolls with the diluted sauce. KEY.

In order to make these you will want to break the cabbage leaf about 1 inch from the bottom, fill the top of the leaf with an equal amount of mixture (if tracking), then start rolling from the top to the bottom. The break in the leaf allows the rolls to sit freely. I lay my cabbage leaves on the scale, then put equal amounts of the mixture into the leaves. The larger leaves will hold more so I make those two servings and the smaller leaves will be a single serving.

If you are basing your measurements off of the changes I make, keep in mind that I double all of my recipes to have for lunch the following day.

Each roll was 190 calories, 18.7 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 9.2 grams of fat.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
*0.5 tablespoon
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
*8 ounces 
1 lb ground pork
*around 40 ounces 
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
*reduce to 3/4 cup if cutting calories 
1 large carrot, shredded
*4 ounces matchstick carrots 
3 scallions, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
*2 tablespoons 
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 large head Napa cabbage, leaves separated and thick white core removed
¼ cup hoisin sauce
*3 tablespoons 
2 tablespoons water
*enough water to thin down, around 1/3 cup  

E N J O Y !

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