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I hear it all the time…

“I don’t have the time.”

“I don’t have the self-control.”

“I am too busy.”

“It is too confusing.”

“No one will help me.”

“It is too confusing.”

Excuse after excuse. Excuses are useless. They don’t solve the problem, they just make you feel better about not being able to accomplish something. Most of the time you are trying to accomplish a goal that YOU have set for YOURSELF. It is not a goal that your boss has set for you, but a personal goal that you just let slip through your fingers because you are too lazy to make it happen.

Every now and then I get an honest response. Some rare soul recognizes that they are just too lazy to reach their goals. Not that they couldn’t reach their goal if they tried, but they aren’t even attempting to reach it. I attempted a movement at the gym during a workout this week and didn’t get it. I wasn’t mad or disappointed, because I have not worked on that skill. If I had been working on that skill for months, then I could have taken it personally, but since I have not put in the effort what is the point in dwelling on it? There isn’t any.

If you aren’t taking the necessary steps to lose weight, gain muscle, cut fat, stick that gymnastic movement, etc. how can you possibly be upset? You don’t magically accomplish those goals or any goal for that matter. No matter the goal, it will require work. Work that YOU have to put in.

I love it when my students, say they just guessed on an answer and got it correct. Sure thing bud. You know darn well that you worked out that hard challenge question, you just don’t want to admit it. Working hard isn’t cool anymore. Putting in the effort to make the grade isn’t how the cool kids do it. We are a society of instant gratification. We want immediate success in record time and that just isn’t how success really works. To truly be successful you have to make sacrifices and challenge yourself.

Some people intentionally set themselves up for failure, so they have an excuse to quit trying. It’s true. By failing at their impossible goal, they can tell themselves that nothing will work for them and they can then go wallow in self-pity and let everyone know that there is no sense in trying. Setting big lavish goals sounds great in theory, but in order to be successful and boost your confidence to keep going, I recommend that you make that big lavish goal, a long term goal not a short term goal. If your goal is not realistic, pick another goal and set yourself up for success. Short term goals are a great way to build confidence and stamina for those bigger, loftier goals.

Ultimately you want to be successful and feel good about yourself. You don’t really want to be uncomfortable in your own skin and unhappy, but maybe you don’t know where to start. Drastically changing everything is not the answer. Not everything you are doing is wrong and sometimes small adjustments are all you need to make a big impact. If you change every little thing you are doing, then chances are you will quit before you ever see results.

You have complete control to change your circumstances. You have complete control to change the direction of your life. Control over the choices you make is in your hands and that is powerful. If you don’t like the direction your life is heading you have to make the changes necessary to change that, it won’t just happen.

At church this past Sunday the pastor talked about changing the people you are around according to your circumstances. If you lay with dogs, you’ll get fleas is what my mama always said. I wish I would have listened to that advice a little more. Our pastor made the connection between someone addicted to crack, wanting to stop, but still hanging out with the same low-level crowd that does drugs, they will never quit. It takes an extra-strong personality to constantly subject themselves to temptations and never give in. If you surround yourself with people that make good choices for themselves, you will start to adopt that behavior.

You might be intimidated to ask advice from someone that seems to have their life in order, but I promise you the circumstances they find themselves in now, haven’t always been their situation. People fall short all the time. No one is perfect, but asking advice from someone that constantly finds themselves starting over and unable to stick to those good choices is unwise. Reach out to someone that has stuck to a plan and not gone astray. Find someone that leads by example, not someone who talks a good game. As our pastor said, you don’t ask money advice from someone who is broke, you don’t seek love advice from someone who cannot stay committed. Seek out someone that you know is successful and surround yourself with those that are making the choices that you wish you were making and your choices will change and so will your chances of being successful.

New Food Review:

Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms I LOVED this dish. I was skeptical about whether I would like it or not since I am not a big fan of mushrooms. I think cooking the mushrooms in the oven really made the difference. The mushrooms weren’t mushy and with the changes I made of some ingredients, the macros were not outrageous.

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Not going to lie, I won’t be making this again. Usually, chicken breast is not dry in the least bit. I went along with the guidance of the recipe and cooked it on low for 8 hours. I should have only cooked it for 6 hours. The chicken ended up super dry and it was just a little boring. I might mix it in with my black bean tacos, but certainly not alone.


Greek Chicken Traybake

Steak Fajita Bowl

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon

Autumn Glow Salad with Lemon Dressing + Chicken Breast

Greek Chicken Traybake

This is a new recipe for me. I think by now you can tell I like to try at least one new thing a week. Some weeks are boring and the usual stuff appears, but for the most part, I like to have something new to try I really think that is a lot of the reason I am successful with my macro counting. I don’t subject myself to the same boring food all week, every week.

I will do a review of this dish next week and let you know what I think or you can check my Instagram account this week to see a real-life, nonprofessional photographer image of it and get my honest opinion. Overall, it seems super healthy and I will be making minor adjustments.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 red bell pepper cut into 2 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper cut into 2 inch pieces
1 red onion cut into eighths
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1 lemon
2 large chicken breasts, cut in half or 4 chicken thighs
*chicken breasts (3-4 for 4 servings)
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2/3 cup black olives
1/4 cup chopped feta (omit for Paleo/Whole30) 
*nonfat feat crumbles

Steak Fajita Bowl

I loved this marinade when I made steak skewers a while back. The last time I made this I turned it into a bowl and it was perfect. It was the right amount of spicy and sweet! I made sure to let the steak sit overnight in the marinade after cutting the sirloin into strips. I choose to eat sirloin steak because it is the leanest cut and cheapest (bonus).

I plan to let the steak sit in the marinade overnight again and cook it on the stove in my cast-iron pan. I will sear the vegetables with olive oil spray, salt, and pepper. I don’t want the vegetables to get super soft since they will be reheated to eat later, so I will give them a good char with the cast-iron pan as if they were grilled.

Make sure you check to see the changes I am making to the marinade and to the amounts used of other ingredients!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

about 8 metal skewers (or wooden skewers, soaked in water for 10 minutes)
*omit skewers and cook pieces in a cast iron skillet 
*1/2 cup prepared rice per bowl 
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
*omit oil 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
*4 tablespoons
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
*1 ounce
*smoked paprika, cayene, lemon zest, lime zest, salt, pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
about 1.5 pounds boneless top sirloin steak center cut, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, diced into bite-sized pieces
*2 green bell peppers, 1 red bell pepper 
1 large zucchini, diced into bite-sized pieces
*1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash
about 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, diced into bite-sized pieces
*1/2 cup per bowl 
salt and pepper, for seasoning to taste, if desired
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil for garnishing; optional

30 Minute Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Pineapple Salsa Verde

This recipe is pretty identical to the 20-minute shrimp tacos I have made, 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 a jar of premade Verde. Add the Verde, garlic, jalapeno, and spices to a mixer pulse together until blended well. These fajitas always turn into rice bowls for me instead of tacos. I love salsa so much and the macros are 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 maybe avocado to top it off and you are set!

*Changes I make to fit my macros

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips 
*pulled pork
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

Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon

This is seriously, the best. I love a good pasta, but always feel like I will kill my macros when I add a sauce to it. This is not the case with this sauce.

I do not think I could handle the dish with all the fat that was originally intended for it to have. It is super-rich and creamy with the modifications I made. Since I don’t consume a lot of fat, The last time I made this I was pretty strapped on fat for the rest of the day, but it was well worth it.

I have yet to use it on salmon, I just like my salmon to taste fresh and not be heavy. You could top this dish with pasta, rice, or some sort of mash and it would be great! I don’t recommend using the cauliflower mash though, just because the flavors would really clash. I used Carba-nada the last time I made this and it was a great choice!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

4 salmon filets, skin on or off (your preference)
*2.5-3 pounds shrimp or chicken breast
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*omit oil 
2 tablespoons salted butter
*1 tablespoon
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream
*3/4 light coconut milk & 1/4 whole milk 
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
* low fat cream cheese 
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
*80 grams reduced fat parmesan
4 cups fresh baby spinach
juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving 

Autumn Glow Salad with Lemon Dressing + Chicken Breast

It has been a long time since I made this salad, I am almost positive that it has never made an appearance on the blog. I love a good salad, that is more than just lettuce and the boring typical toppings. My kind of salads have homemade dressings, toppings that you would not think to use, and never have lettuce. This salad has all of those things and more!

Make sure you want the carbohydrates because this is packed FULL of them. Between the quinoa, apples, and sweet potatoes you can easily lose track and eat way more carbohydrates than you think. Just because they are “healthy carbs”, does not mean you need to go overboard with them. Make sure you track what you are eating and of course eat a good deal of chicken with this so you aren’t leaving the table still hungry. If you do leave the table wanting more, go split a container of Halo Top. 🙂

Ingredients For the Salad
1 cup freekeh or other grain (quinoa, bulgur, etc.)
*quinoa 1/2 cup prepared per salad
1 head cauliflower
2 sweet potatoes
*3-4 depending on size
1 tablespoon olive oil
*spray olive oil 
1 large apple
*1-2 apples split between 4 salads

For the Lemon Dressing1 
bunch parsley (about 1 cup), minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
⅔ cup olive oil
juice of one lemon (more to taste)
1 teaspoon agave (optional)
*1 ounce honey 
½ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
*Add-in cooked sliced chicken breast

E N J O Y !

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