Blog + Menu

For those of you new to my blog, my name is Jackie. I am a fourth-grade teacher that has a love for CrossFit and good, healthy food. This blog truly started out of boredom. I was home on maternity leave with my second baby and had binge-watched all the shows I cared to on Netflix. I am a productive person naturally and like to have projects and lists to cross off. Not that raising a baby isn’t “job enough” for me or that looking at her pretty face wasn’t enough, I just wanted something more to do. With my first child, we sat and made lots and lots of Christmas decorations together while on maternity leave. I didn’t have anything like that to occupy my time this time around.

I had seen several people in town start blogs and businesses from blogs…surely I could figure it out. It was in fact, not that simple and included a price tag that I was unaware of. Even still, I was determined to do it. I really enjoyed writing down my thoughts and feelings and knew this would be a good outlet for me. After all, just sitting scrolling on my phone while nursing wasn’t really getting me anywhere. I needed something more for myself than being a teacher, wife, and mom that meal preps, who’s alone time is spent at a 5 a.m. CrossFit class. All of those things are great, but I needed something that was just mine.

This blog for me is like deer hunting (or any kind of hunting) is for my husband. It is definitely a labor of love and requires more time than I realized when I first started. My goal behind starting this blog originally was to open people’s eyes to meal prepping. It has evolved into more than that now. I have my own TED talks every week and throw in some good food that can be altered to meet my macro needs on top of that. What I post on my menu is what we actually eat and what I meal prep for us.

For me it is more than just meal prepping, counting the macros of what we eat is more important than the actual prep. I love to prep because it saves me a lot of time during the week, but I also weigh out all of my ingredients as I prep. Macro counting is truly what I do well and can really dial most people into the numbers that are right for them (ONLY if they are consistent, I can only do so much).

I don’t pick the usual meal-prep food, because I know I would burn out on eating the same thing for my main meals. I can eat the same thing at breakfast and for snacks, but lunch and supper need to be different. What I find helpful is to make enough of my 5 meals to have for supper and lunch the next day. This allows me to save some money, alleviates the headache of figuring out macros from takeout or school lunches, and I know that what I am eating is good and healthy.

Meal prepping for me is just a habit that is easily done. If I am going to spend an hour in the kitchen cooking one meal every night, I might as well just spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen one day to get it all cooked. Then I have the rest of my week to enjoy time with my family. I don’t weigh it all out and put it all in Tupperware when I cook it because I don’t think I have enough Tupperware for that and my macro needs change can easily change. If I want a doughnut one day then I don’t need to have the same amount of carbs that night with supper. My macros don’t just come from the healthy food, it is anything that I put into my mouth.

My hope for this blog is for people to see that they don’t have to eat a low carb, low fat, little to no calories to lose weight. You can, in fact, have carbs…bread, bagels, pasta, wine, fruit, etc. and lose weight. Protein is king. Consistency is king. Meal prepping and meal timing is just an extra bonus if you can get that down. Knowing what you are eating is powerful and I hope that through my blog I can shed a little light on that. I post all the food that I eat on my Instagram page and always post the total macros and ingredients used. I hope you keep following along.


M E N U

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp Tacos + Creamy Jalapeño Special Sauce

Spaghetti

Greek Chicken Traybake

Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad + Blue Cheese Butter

Lemon Parmesan Salmon + Corn Tomato and Avocado Salad


Sheet Pan Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp Tacos + Creamy Jalapeño Special Sauce

I made this last week and loved it. This is probably my new favorite sheet pan. I decided to use tenderloin instead of shrimp and it was amazing. I can’t imagine using a better cut of meat than that. I technically used the trimmings from the whole loin as we cut it into steaks to use for later.

This week, I am going to use chicken breast and add the avocado and corn into a tortilla shell. The pineapple was so good with this. I am going to add in some red onion and a bit more shallots to the pan.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
*chicken, shrimp, or steak
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*spray pan with olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
flaky sea salt and black pepper
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
*1/3 cup per serving
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
*2 shallots + red onion

CREAMY JALAPEÑO SPECIAL SAUCE
1 jalapeño
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
*100 grams non-fat greek yogurt 
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons honey
*0.5 ounces 
1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

*optional toppings 
1 ear raw or grilled corn, kernels removed from the cob
warmed corn or flour tortillas, plus mashed avocado, for serving
*served over rice 

Spaghetti

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

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, to simply cut down on the calories. Save the wine and just drink it. 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. I don’t use noodles anymore with my spaghetti. If you still want noodles, Carba-nada is a great low-carbohydrate noodle option!

Once I tried spaghetti squash I never went back. It really is not that difficult to make. I cut my squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, spray with olive oil and bake in the oven on 425 degrees until I can stick a skewer all the way through the squash to the outside (not through the outside). I allow the squash to cool and then use a fork to scrape noddle-like strands out of the squash. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash is 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of fat.

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 
2-3 spaghetti squash or noodles of your choice

Greek Chicken Traybake

I love this dish! This dish is so light, easy, and delicious. Right now I need all the food, but being pregnant I get full quickly and end up regretting all the food. If you have never been pregnant just imagine that one time you ate so much you felt sick and needed to throw up. It is like that all the time. I am craving light food. The heavy meals just make the feeling worse.

This dish was SUPER healthy and full of flavor. I stopped people to recommend it to them that are watching their calories. I don’t usually do that. I added rice to my meal because I do need the extra calories, but without the rice, it was the perfect “cut meal”. Make sure you try this one, it would be great for a large crowd and sure to please everyone! 

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients 
1 red bell pepper cut into 2 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper cut into 2 inch pieces
*10-12 ounces total bell peppers
1 red onion cut into eighths
2 cups cherry tomatoes
*around 50 
165 grams 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
*omit 
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
*15 grams per serving
1/4 cup chopped feta (omit for Paleo/Whole30) 
*12-14 grams per serving nonfat feat crumbles

Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad + Blue Cheese Butter

I seriously want to cover everything in this blue cheese + butter + basil mixture. It is SO delicious. I’m not usually a blue cheese kinda gal, but this recipe has really changed my mind.

I made a lot of small changes to this recipe to make it work for my macros. The only change I want to make for this time is to make more sweet potatoes, they are seriously so delicious on this salad and great to have for a snack later on.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
3 small-medium sweet potatoes, cut into matchsticks
*2-3 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
*1.5 tablespoons total 
3-4 ounces gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
*45 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

Lemon Parmesan Salmon + Corn Tomato and Avocado Salad

Oh my goodness, I didn’t think I would like salmon any other way than how we normally cook it, but this was great. High protein, low carb, low fat. This left all the room for some good snacks. We have some snapper in the freezer, so I am going to use that instead. If we run out, I will go grab some salmon. We love our fish around here so there are never any leftovers.

Usually, I like salmon our way and try to never deviate from it, but this was too good not to try. Since purchasing a  RecTec Grill, we don’t wrap the salmon in tin foil any more with it being on a pellet grill. It does have a different taste to it, but I really loved it the last time we ate it. It is well worth the money in my opinion.

I made the corn salad with the yogurt as the recipe said for supper, but opted to go without the yogurt for lunch the next day. The yogurt wasn’t bad, just left a taste in my mouth that I wasn’t a fan of. Without the yogurt, the salmon and salad had such a fresh taste to it. I left the corn and chickpeas cold both times, next time I’m going to roast them and then top off with the tomatoes and herbs. I can’t wait to eat this!

If you are like me and just want to stick with the basic salmon and have the salad on the side, I think that would be great! 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, wrap in tin foil and cook until it is done. We don’t flip our fish, we just set it off to the side if it is cooking too quickly and let it slow cook.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*spray olive oil 
kosher salt and black pepper
4 (5-6 ounce) salmon fillets
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
zest of 1 lemon
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
*reduced fat parmesan

CORN SALAD
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
*lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
1 pinch crushed red peppers flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
1 can (14 ounce) chickpeas, drained
4 ears grilled or steamed corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
*omit or non-fat feta
1 avocado, diced
*0.5-1 ounce per serving

LEMON YOGURT
*omitting yogurt sauce for taste reasons
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
*non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
kosher salt

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