Starting next week I will start a round of consultations to kick off a nutrition class, it’s not too late to sign up! I am really excited about this round of classes. The last program focused on learning about MACROs, planning for meals, and just an overall look at your current diet and making small changes. We are going to run a 7-week program with lots of informational videos, benchmark workouts, personalized goals, etc. I am pumped to have something I am passionate about to focus on.
The big difference between this class and the last one is we are going to set MACRO and calorie goals. We are going to get really familiar with whatever tracking app they choose because let’s face it, the app can be half the battle when it comes to learning how to plug in food. Food labels are not 100% accurate and neither are tracking apps, which makes macro counting an uphill battle. It can feel so daunting learning how to navigate a tracking app on your own, then learning how to calculate macros, and get just the right amount of food on top of that…it is enough to make someone quit before they even begin.
I started working with one couple just before this class began, they were eager to start losing weight and didn’t want to wait for the class to start. I really like working with couples or pairs, because there is such a greater sense of accountability. All I can see is what they plug into the app and all I know is what they tell me they have done. Their significant other or friend really knows what they are doing and can keep them in check. I wish I was there with them all day to see what they are eating and their activity level, but I don’t get paid for that and pretty sure no one wants me and my kids in their house all day, ha. My “job” is to set the goal and their “job” is to stick to it. If we both do our jobs we will see results.
Often times, the plan gets deviated from. Either someone eats way less than I recommend or they blow their calories out of the water on the weekend, completely ruining all the hard work they accomplished during the week. I work out with the couple that I am working with now and was so excited to hear the positive things they had to say about tracking. Neither feels hungry or like they are punishing themselves by foregoing certain foods. With counting macros there are no foods that are off-limits per-say, but there are foods that just are not smart to eat if you are diligently trying to reach your goal. Take for instance the free chips at the Mexican restaurant you are dying to go to right now. A basket of chips is going to be roughly 500 calories…no wonder you are full before your actual food comes. Those chips have more calories than most meals I ever eat. They are good, but not good enough for me to devour every time I go. Maybe once in a blue moon, I will eat them but I make sure to cut myself off before I eat the entire basket (which is hard to do).
I never feel like I am punishing myself for not eating something, which is exactly what this couple conveyed to me this week. I know the value of sustaining from certain foods and I feel like I am being smart. It is their first-week tracking and already they are starting to time their meals, plan for things like wine, rest days, running errands, and navigating eating on vacation. I am so excited when I get clients that really want to put in the effort to make a change. Mental toughness is a large part of sticking to tracking and getting off the weight. You have to want it bad enough to do something about it, simply wanting the weight to come off isn’t enough. No amount of reading my blogs or listening to me ramble on about nutrition will make you want to make the changes necessary or pinning healthy recipes will get you where you want to be.
You can say ‘I will start one day’ or you can make today, day number one. The only one that can make that choice is you. There are endless options to get you started…lots of fad diets, pills, wraps, and even freezing off your fat (none of which I believe is long-term). The biggest kicker for me is finding something that is long term and sustainable for my lifestyle. I don’t want to jump on any bandwagon diet just to have to get off because it actually doesn’t work for my lifestyle and isn’t practical. Counting MACROs is not for everyone, but it has kept me balanced for 4 years, changed my body composition (for the better), helped me lose baby weight twice (and confident I will lose the third round of baby weight too), taught me about what is in my food, what is actually healthy, carbohydrates are not bad for you, everything in moderation is a good rule to live by, and so much more. Educating yourself on food and being consistent is much more powerful than any fad diet or quick weight-loss scheme.
New Food Review:
Shrimp Wedge Salad + Old Bay Breadcrumbs + Hot Sauce Dressing Need a lot of protein and nothing else? No need to grab just a protein shake or plain boring meat…this dish is all protein and so good! Having a meal that doesn’t have a lot of carbs or fat is the perfect meal to have dessert or maybe a cheese board or a couple of glasses of wine. Most people have a hard time getting protein in but go over on carbs or fat. Make sure to look at the changes I made to make this macro-friendly.
Roasted Lemon Artichoke + Browned Butter Pasta I liked this dish but didn’t love it. The broth was super good, but I just felt like it could have used more than just artichokes and chicken. This pasta is so good and light! I am not typically a fan of artichokes but lately, they have grown on me. The broth alone in this dish was fantastic too! With #carbanada pasta you don’t need much chicken, so if you are not in the mood for meat but need the protein give this pasta a try. It’s been my favorite for a while.
M E N U
Pork Chops + Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Salad
Pork Chops+ Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Salad
This cauliflower chickpea salad is one of my go-to sides when I am going to a potluck gathering. I usually leave out the quinoa because for some reason people cringe at quinoa the way they do with kale, so I just skip it.
There is really no reason to add the oil unless you like the taste of it. For me, it is unnecessary to have all the oil of the fat. I sound like a broken record but I don’t like the invisible fats, I much prefer to taste my fat and have it be actual food like avocado or bacon. I will spray my pan with olive oil but I do not add oil to my dressings.
The pork is super simple, so we will likely just hang out with the kids while the grill does the work. I love Josh’s new RecTec grill. It is seriously just like an outdoor oven…so easy to use.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: Pork chops (1-2 per serving) Preferred seasoning Chickpea + Cauliflower Salad: 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets *2 cauliflower heads the finely grated zest of 1 lemon fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper extra virgin olive oil *zero calorie olive oil spray 1 1/2 cups cooked, patted dry on a clean tea towel *1 can 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 cup cooked quinoa *omit quinoa 1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped *omit almonds a handful each of fresh mint leaves, flat leaf parsley, coriander (cilantro), roughly torn jalapeno lime dressing: 1-2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped *diced pickled jalapeños 2 Tablespoons the juice of 2 medium limes 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil *omit oil 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives *green onions fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
This was meant to be a side dish or maybe even a vegetarian main dish. I like to add grilled chicken to mine and make it a full meal. I have used it as a side dish and it is great. Adding in the chicken instead of just eating alongside the chicken, really changes it.
I don’t think I could ever get tired of this dish. I loved this dish so much. It was beautiful. It was delicious. Since Josh will be going on a cut I am going to decrease the orzo a bit, but not too much. It already sits around 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving, minus the chicken and pepper calculated in. Not too bad.
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. It is crazy simple and so good. Tracking the macros for this meal isn’t too hard. 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. I weigh out the peppers after they cook, then stuff them and heat up when I am ready to eat. Easy breezy.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 3 red bell peppers, halved *4 peppers, one per serving 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 *130-150 grams 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives *70-80 grams 2 pepperoncini, chopped *60-70 grams 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, chopped *Omit nuts 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese *10-15 grams non fat feta per serving Lemony Basil Tomatoes: 1 cup fresh basil, chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved *10-15 per serving 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
THIS TOAST. Dear goodness gracious, this meal is SO good. If you haven’t ever tried the salad version I highly suggest you do before you eat this toast because you won’t ever want to go back to the salad version. I have not made this is a long time, but I have just about convinced Josh to up his calories and since I am pregnant, why not have the bread version!
With that being said there are a few things that I will NOT be doing that they do. 1. frying the bread 2. using mayonnaise 3. pouring olive oil over the final product 4. sugar
We used a fresh whole grain loaf of bread last time. I sliced it pretty thick and it held up great without having to fry it and did not get soggy with all the toppings piled high on it.
Instead of using mayonnaise, I used non-fat greek yogurt and it was great. I like to top my toast off with dill and it was the perfect addition. Josh usually has two eggs soft boiled with this meal and two packs of tuna. I opt for one of each.
If you are watching your carbs, you can opt for the salad version or thinly slice your bread.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 4 large eggs *1-2 per serving Juice from 1 lemon 1 lb. tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces *10-15 cherry tomatoes per serving 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced A pinch of sugar *omit Kosher salt ½ cup mayonnaise *non fat greek yogurt 1 small garlic clove, finely grated 1½ tsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar ½ tsp. hot smoked Spanish paprika 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling *omit 4 slices sourdough bread 2 6–7-oz. jars oil-packed tuna, drained Flaky sea salt Freshly ground black pepper ½ cup torn mixed tender herbs (such as dill, parsley, basil, and/or tarragon) ¼ cup oil-cured black olives, pitted, flesh torn *10-12 grams per serving
I am loving some pasta dishes right now. Pasta and bathing suit weather don’t exactly go hand in hand, but this body is not trying to get bathing suit ready. I am going to be nice and plum this summer, baby #3 isn’t hiding one bit so I might as well embrace it. The wonderful thing is I can eat the pasta and weather I am trying to look cute in a bathing suit or help my baby grow, I can do that with counting MACROs. Honestly, I don’t worry about eating pasta or try to avoid it, I just make sure to track it.
Right now, I am all about the light spring/summer dishes, but with some easy carbs. I am going to add some chicken breast for extra protein or you can eat this as a side dish. If I use carba-nada, I won’t use a lot of meat. If I go with orzo I will need to carefully track my pasta and make sure I don’t go over on the carbohydrates. I will do a review on this recipe next week.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 1/3 cup olive oil *spray olive oil 5 cloves garlic smashed 6 medium to large heirloom tomatoes finely chopped 1 cup fresh basil + more for serving 1 pieces carrot cut into four *don't calculate for macros- will be removed the rinds of 2-3 parmesan wedges *don't calculare for macros- will be removed 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 pound penne pasta *carba-nada or 130-150 grams orzo 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese *60-70 grams reduced fat parmesan cheese 4 tablespoons room temperature butter *1-2 tablespoons pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese *skim milk ricotta cheese black pepper 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved *10-15 cherry tomoates per serving
This dish is beautiful, really tasty, but it can be difficult to track! When I make this I have to make sure I stuff the loin with one serving of the stuffing and then have the rest as servings for the side. I always have a hard time not getting the pineapple to completely burn up and roast in the oven. If you are uncomfortable with stuffing the loin, just cook the pork and eat it on the side.
If you still want to roll the rice mixture in the loin, here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to cut the meat. I am going to omit the squash so I can have more rice with each serving. To keep the pineapple from burning in the oven, you can line the baking pan with parchment paper or test it out on the grill!
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice *1 cup rice uncooked 1 teaspoon salt 6 slices thick cut bacon chopped *0.5 ounces cooked per serving 8 ounces button mushrooms sliced 10 ounces fresh or frozen spinach thawed if frozen 1 cup roasted pistachios *omit pistachios 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled *20 grams non fat feta 1 pound pork loin roast 1/2 cup grainy mustard 1/2 cup brown sugar *20 grams pinch of cayenne pepper 1 cup medium pineapple peeled 1 medium delicata squash halved, deseeded + sliced into half moons *omitting squash for more rice