Go With the Flow
Going with the flow is not something I would say I am well versed in, but I am getting better. There are times in life where you can’t plan out every little detail and everything that you do plan out gets ruined. I am a planner at heart. I draw out the way I want birthday parties to look for my children, I Pinterest it all, make endless lists, and obviously plan our meals. None of that will likely change, but my ability to roll with unforeseen challenges has definitely gotten better. Being a parent and pregnant, kind of force you to go with the flow.
With each pregnancy, I have had different obstacles to overcome. When I was pregnant with Anderson, my doctor had me cease working out for a brief period. My placenta was not rising, so we had to wait and see if it would come up on its own. It did rise, but ended up calcifying at the end. With Scarlett, I had “nerve-damage” in my back, which came with a whole host of issues. She was definitely my hardest pregnancy, so far. I was a mess when I was told to stop working out and don’t want that to happen again.
I usually get the same kind of remarks on my fitness routine, but I know that I am not harming my child, I am actually making the smart choice to continue to be active and not just sit around and eat because I am expected to gain weight. I love the comment ‘better eat now, while you can.’ People love to say that to pregnant women because obviously being pregnant is the only time it is acceptable for you to purposefully gain weight. I know it is said in a joking manner, I am not that dense. It is just funny to me, because I do still monitor my weight and what I eat when I am pregnant.
I do worry about putting on too much weight and being able to get it off. I have met with so many women that tell me, after their kids are in their late teens, that they still haven’t managed to get the baby weight off. You can only control how much weight you gain during pregnancy to a certain extent. I do not want that to be the mom still trying to lose the baby weight 17 years later. I can go with the flow and be okay gaining some weight, but I am going to need that weight to come off so I can get back to feeling like myself.
Being pregnant can feel like it has absolutely nothing to do with the mom. Your whole existence is centered around a child that you are expected to bring into this world without any complications, that is happy, healthy, that you magically get sleeping through the night. (All wishful thinking.) If you have other children already, then Mama, you really do not have your own identity. I get it…boy, do I get it. If you breastfeed, then your body is not just your body for a long time. Like two years of devoting your body to growing and nourishing a child. Not to mention the other children at home that need all of your love and attention or they might perish (don’t forget your husband too). It is the best and the hardest job ever.
One thing that I will not give up during my pregnancy unless ordered to by my doctor, is my fitness routine. I can/do modify all my workouts, depending on how things feel that day. There are things, like sit-ups, box-jumps, and muscle-ups that are completely off-limits, but other than I just go with the flow. I can’t push myself to a point where I am completely uncomfortable anymore. I have to dial it back and listen to my body in a different way.
Before I was pregnant, I would push myself to that uncomfortable point and hold it. I am not afraid to work hard and hold a pace to get a workout done. When you are pregnant your mindset has to change and you can’t feel bad about scaling things down. While I am sure that I can do box-jumps still, they just are not smart for me to do. I do step-ups instead because the risk of falling just is not worth it. I have caught myself feeling like I am “cheating” because I am doing an easier movement, which is silly- I know this, but I still want to make sure what I am doing is challenging, but safe for me.
I have to make sure to feel things out when I get into a workout and really treat my pregnancy as an injury. You don’t know what is going to hurt or feel fine until you do it. Some days, running is the worst and I feel a ton of pressure and other days running feels great. It is just one of those things that I am unsure of how I will feel until I get into it and that is where my plan changes. I don’t keep the same, ‘I can handle this for x-amount of minutes’ mindset because I can probably handle it, but my child might not be able to.
Being able to quickly change your game plan, instead of just giving up altogether is an important trait to possess. If you give up with every obstacle or twinge of pain, you will never reach your goal. Life is full of obstacles and roadblocks, being a parent has definitely taught me that. Nothing that you plan, goes according to plan, and you often need two back-up plans. Unless you are single, your life is not just about doing what makes you happy and ‘doing-you’ all the time. You have to be able to adapt and make changes without losing focus on your goal.
I might have to make substitutions and change the purpose of my workout, but I have yet to miss a day of working out. I have remained consistent during this pregnancy because I know that there will be a point where I won’t be able to come because I am healing and bonding with our third little one. I know that my body and mind will need a break, but then it will also need that time back in the gym. If I push too hard too soon, I will do more harm than good. Putting in the work now will allow me to recover faster and get part of myself back quicker.
New Food Review:
Healthy Chicken Parmesan Kale Salad I like this salad for a few reasons. It is low calorie, super easy dressing, and you can easily change up the toppings to make the salad feel like something completely new. One of the simplest salads with a dressing you don’t even need to track. All you need is lemon juice + white wine vinegar + seasonings and you’re set for easy go-to dressing. The original recipe only called for red onion + Parmesan. I opted for reduced-fat Parmesan, although freshly grated would have been tasty. The finely ground Parmesan was a good call because it literally stuck to every bite and (obviously) lowered the fat/calories. I added blueberries to the salad when we ate it for supper but decided to add sun-dried tomatoes at lunch today. Next time, I’m going to throw in some homemade croutons and maybe bacon, along with the sun-dried tomatoes.
Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad + Blue Cheese Butter Y’all. This. Salad. Is. Amazing. If blue cheese and butter on a steak are wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’m already daydreaming of eating this one again. I’m so glad that I left this salad until the end of the week because the other new salad I tested out doesn’t hold a candle to this one. I made some decent changes so that it would not be high in calories and it ended up fantastic. I used reduced-fat blue cheese, lowered the butter amount, left off the avocado, skipped the oil, and used sirloin steak. All of these changes landed me a healthy and super tasty steak salad!
M E N U
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Pulled Pork Sandwich
There is no link for this recipe because it is so simple that you don’t need anything to guide you. I love being able to get a pork butt to cook it one way and make two completely different meals. Usually, I will have a sandwich and tacos or a pork bowl on the menu.
I used to cook the meat in the crockpot for 8 hours on low. Now, we smoke the pork butt on the RecTec util it is to temperature and use the honey bacon bbq seasoning from Meat Church. Delicious. If you can’t get that seasoning, what we used to put on our meat is a great go-to basic seasoning that can be used for any recipe.
To season, I evenly coat all sides with yellow mustard, then season with proffered seasoning. Once the meat is in the crockpot I add in soy sauce and apple cider vinegar so the meat does not dry out and soaks up some extra flavor. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, let it cool and then separate the meat from the fat. It really does defeat the purpose of healthy tacos and sandwiches if you leave the fat in there. Plus it is just gross.
I do not add the BBQ sauce until I am ready to eat each serving. I make sure to weigh out my sauce for every sandwich before I put on the bun. I make sure to get a low carbohydrate sauce, so I don’t over waste too many of my carbs on the sauce. Simply put the bowl on the scale, weigh out the meat and the sauce in grams or ounces, depending on the nutritional label. Toast your bun, top with the meat, and pickles, and enjoy!
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 1 Boston Butt honey bacon bbq spice OR Paprika Salt Pepper Yellow Mustard Onion Powder Chili Powder Garlic Powder 1/4 cup Soy Sauce 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar Brioche Bun Pickles Low Carbohydrate BBQ Sauce
This recipe is pretty identical to the 20-minute shrimp tacos I have made, which are delicious. If you haven’t made them yet and you have some shrimp on your hands, 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. This is my go-to bowl when I want to use pulled pork in a taco or rice bowl.
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!
I interchange pork and chicken breast in this recipe often. Since I am making pork sandwiches this week, I will have extra pork on hand. Pork is probably my favorite way to eat this bowl, so I am really looking forward to this meal.
*Changes I make to fit my macros
Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips *chicken breast or 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 ROASTED PINEAPPLE SALSA VERDE: 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 1-2 cup diced pineapple *1/4 -1/3rd cup per serving
I said I was already daydreaming of eating this one again and I wasn’t lying. I do not usually ever put something on my menu two weeks in a row, but this one deserves a do over pronto.
Josh loves to challenge my macro cooking abilities and boy did I deliver. I made several changes and left a few things off, intentionally and unintentionally. I skipped the avocado because I did not want it to be too much on the fat side. I had plenty of fat leftover at the end of the night for a snack, so it was a good choice. I used reduced-fat blue cheese and sirloin steak to keep the fat at bay as well. The recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of butter, but I used 1.5 tablespoons for 4 servings and it was plenty for me.
To track this I weighed out the steak amount first and then put on the butter-cheese mixture. The size of the steak does not matter as long as you input it separately into your macro count, but the serving size of the butter-cheese mix needs to be the same for every salad.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 3 small-medium sweet potatoes, cut into matchsticks *2 or less ounces cooked potato per serving 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil *spray olive oil 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder kosher salt and fresh black pepper 1 (8-10 ounce) ribeye steak or 1 1/2 pound flank steak *sirloin steak 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved *10-12 per serving 1 avocado, sliced *0.5-0.8 ounces per serving 4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature *1-2 tablespoons 3-4 ounces gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled *40-50 grams reduced fat blue cheese 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil *1 lemon juiced 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 teaspoon honey *0.5 ounce 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard *1 tablespoon 1 small shallot, finely diced 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
I put up a whole bunch of squash and zucchini when companies were selling it by the bushel a month or two ago. I love having vegetables like this on hand to make easy meals. Granted the frozen vegetables are only good for pasta or soups, but who doesn’t love a good pasta?
This pasta was everything I expected and so much more the first time I made it. I had planned to add chicken to the dish the first time I made it, 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 a little skeptical of this dish with so few ingredients, but it was delicious and more flavorful than I was expecting! The great thing about this pasta is there is no cream used. The sauce comes from the mashed zucchini, butter, and cheese. Healthy-ish.
I am going to add chicken to the dish this time. To track everything accurately I will leave the sauce, noodles, and meat separate until ready to plate. I weigh out one serving of the cooked pasta, then add in the chicken that I need (usually not much since the pasta has a good bit of protein), and then weigh out a serving of the sauce.
I discovered carba-nada pasta a while back and I can’t tell you just how happy I am to find a substitute for pasta that isn’t a vegetable. It has 15 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.5 grams of fat per servings. It really is so good! I don’t mind spaghetti squash with my spaghetti, because it is chunky and loaded with other vegetables. For just a regular pasta dish, I don’t want mushy noodles. I want some consistency with my noodles. Carba-nada was the answer to this solution.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 1 pound pasta, use your favorite cut *carba-nada pasta 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil *omit oil 3-4 medium zucchini and or yellow summer squash, chopped *6-7 depending on size 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme kosher salt and black pepper 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup grated parmesan or manchego cheese * 3/4 reduced fat Parmesan cheese 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped lemon juice, for serving (optional) *meat of choice on the side or mixed in with the pasta
This isn’t a new recipe for me, but I have not made it in well over a year. That is what happens with more seasonal recipes. The fun, colorful salsas get tucked away for the summer time dishes. I am going to make this a bit different than it is intended.
I want to eat this with black beans, like from the black bean taco I made last week, in a tortilla, without the rice. I want to really pile on the salsa and mask the chicken. Being pregnant meat is just never very appealing to me, so it is all about the toppings and seasonings right now. You could definitely eat this with fish or shrimp and over rice and it would be fantastic.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: Chicken Marinade 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (can also use thighs) *chicken breast 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, separated *1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, separated *omit oil 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, separated 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lime zest, separated 1 tablespoon honey *0.5 ounce 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon cumin, separated 2 and 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, separated Mango Avocado Salsa 1 ripe mango *1/3 cup per serving 1 ripe avocado *0.5 ounce per serving 1/4 cup finely diced red onion 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, optional Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper Optional: cilantro-lime rice or quinoa (see recipe notes) *add in black beans, serve in toasted tortilla