Junk + Menu

Hi, my name is Jackie and I have been eating way too many sweets.

The first step is admitting you have a problem right? Well, I have a big problem and I am doing it to myself. I have been baking since I got home from the hospital with Thomas and never looked back. I have been eating several cookies a day, like really 4 a day. Rarely has my cake plate been empty in the last 3 months. I love to bake and have really loved eating all of the sweets.

I know that I need extra calories to get me through workouts, nursing, and pumping. Those extra calories don’t need to come from junk though. I am not trying to bulk, just trying to maintain my supply, while getting back into shape. I have gotten down to what I feel like is an okay weight, ironically I weigh what I did before I had Anderson. I am not back to my pre-pregnancy weight but don’t feel like I need to be since I am trying to nurse and pump. That is something I have had trouble with mentally. My jeans are still tight and I want to drop my weight. I want to get back to where I was and I know that I could, but my priority is nursing right now.

Side note to all you ladies that are pregnant and wanting to nurse, your body will not belong to you again for a while. These past three months of nursing have felt extra long and I am not looking forward to pumping at work.

The number one rule of losing weight, maintaining, or bulking is calories in vs. calories out. If you want to lose weight, all you need to do is consume less than what you are burning, it really is as easy as that. Since my weight has stayed the same for the last month, I am in a maintenance phase. The calories that I am taking in are the same that I am burning, which is nice considering the number of cookies and cakes that have been consumed.

Once you have your caloric in-take nailed down, the macro breakdown comes next. My macro breakdown has not been consistent. My calories are balanced, but I have been taking in more fat and carbohydrates than I really need to be. Protein is king and should be my number one priority. I am not sure if this is scientifically proven, but personally, I feel like everyone has a certain spot their fat accumulates. I gain fat in my stomach first and that is the last place that I lose fat. I would not mind one bit if my fat went to my chest or butt instead of my stomach.

Eating the extra carbs and fats doesn’t help my situation. If my macros were balanced I would be getting in the calories that I need and slowly chipping away at the fat that my stomach area loves to hold onto. I never had abs before, but I also didn’t have this thick layer of fat either. I am doing it to myself. I know that I have to jump back into my healthy habits and really start tracking my food if I want to get back in shape and maintain my supply. Knowing and doing are two very different things though.

I start back work on Monday, which I am not looking forward to. That means meal prepping will pick back up. I didn’t bother meal prepping much on maternity leave because I was home and I didn’t want to take away from family time on the weekends to cook for three hours. When I did meal prep I did it on Monday when it was just Thomas and me. Man, I am going to miss being home with him. I am going to have to get back into the habit of prepping because I will not want to cook every evening, so get ready for some easy meals. I lucked up and got two new crockpots for Christmas, so things are about to get really easy. I have possibly the tiniest oven ever made, so having two crockpots will help cut my cooking time down for sure.

This week is another short holiday week, so the meals I am linking likely won’t be cooked. I wish I was cooking this menu, I wouldn’t mind eating any of this. We go to Josh’s dad’s house for New Year’s Eve for supper and fireworks, then back for New Year’s Day for lunch. It will be nice weather so I am sure we will grill and play outside. Make sure y’all eat your greens and peas.

Happy New Year!


Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole

White Chicken Chili

Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops  + Yogurt Mashed Potatoes

Lemon Parmesan Salmon+  Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

Cabbage Roll-Ups

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole

The first time I made this, it was solely for my husband. I am NOT a casserole girl. I don’t like the idea of all the mayonnaise and cream of whatever people typically use in casseroles. This recipe has neither, so I was excited to give it a try. He is a true lover of casseroles with all mayonnaise and cream of whatever though.

I put my own spin on this and it turned out to be so great and healthy! I was so surprised, I have made this several times since and have even made it for a few friends. It is a great comfort dish without all the guilt.

This is not easy to track because it is all mixed together. There is no way that each piece cut will have the same amount of chicken or cheese. It will be precise on the macros but the slices themselves won’t be 100%.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*spray olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
*10-20 ounces baby carrots sliced
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons salted butter
*1 tablespoon
1 1/2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
*1 cup jasmine rice
1/2 cup dry orzo pasta (use gluten free, if needed)
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for topping
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
*2 cups
3 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup whole milk or canned coconut milk
*non fat milk 
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
*100-180 grams depending on how cheesey you want it to be

White Chicken Chili

I have two different chili recipes that I use for white chicken chili. One has very few ingredients and the other just gives you more options as far as flavor goes. You can’t really go wrong with either one.

There is a local restaurant in town that makes white chicken chili that he adores, so I tried my best to find a recipe that could hold its own. If I tweak the recipe that contains very few ingredients, then it is a hit. If you leave out the sour cream and refrain from grabbing the crackers, this is a super healthy meal and a great option for these cold days.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

6 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
*4-6 depending on broth
3-4 C. Cooked & Chopped/Shredded Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (1 1/2 lb.)
2 (15 Oz.) Cans White Beans, Drained & Rinsed
2 C. Salsa Verde
2 Tsp. Cumin
Salt & Pepper to Taste 
*add in: onion, cilantro, jalapeno 

Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops  + Yogurt Mashed Potatoes

One night we decided to make some mashed potatoes to go along with our steak. Friday and Saturday night is usually not planned but we still try to keep pretty healthy. I saw that I had some non-fat Greek yogurt in the fridge and threw it in there. Josh thought it was sour cream and I just let him think that until he tasted it. Once he gave the approval, I let him in on my secret. Since then that is how I have made our potatoes, even for guests and they have never been able to tell the difference. Make sure to use caution when adding in the yogurt, the more you use the sweeter the potatoes will taste.

I was so nervous about the macros the first time I made these pork chops. I was not familiar with apple butter, I just assumed it had to be loaded down with carbs like jelly was and then adding apples too! I couldn’t imagine that these would be good for my macros, at all. I just knew that I would be blowing my carbohydrates for the day. I don’t usually calculate macros before I decide to cook a dish, typically I can make some pretty good guesses on what needs to be altered to make things healthier. 

The second time I increased the apple butter and it still did not push my macros to the limit. I was so happy to find a new tasty recipe for pork chops. Just like chicken breast, pork chops get really boring after a while if you don’t mix things up. This is the perfect recipe to mix things up with.

To make sure each pork chop has the same macros for apple butter, I add it to each chop individually. I make sure that each pork chop gets the same amount. Each pork chop will weigh differently, but they will still have the same macros for the apples and apple butter.

*Changes I make to meet my macros 

2 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick
*4-6 pork loin chops 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*zero calorie olive oil spray 
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons salted butter
*1 tablespoon 
12 fresh sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons apple butter
*around 50-70 grams depending on your macros
1-2 honeycrisp apples, cut into wedges
*2 apples, for 4 servings
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 

Yogurt Mashed Potatoes: 
900-1000 grams red potatoes 
65-75 grams non-fat Greek yogurt 
1 tablespoon butter 
6-8 ounces fat free milk 
salt, pepper, minced garlic, fresh diced rosemary

Lemon Parmesan Salmon+  Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

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. This is probably one of my favorite meals to make. I love this salmon and this beet salad never disappoints.

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.

This recipe has oranges and uses orange juice in the dressing. I make sure to weigh out my orange juice and not to overdo it on the orange slices. The juice/dressing is where you will really get a lot of calories if you are not mindful. To track your dressing, make sure you are weighing every ingredient. Get the total weight of the dressing and then divide it into equal servings.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

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 
*10 grams reduced fat parmesan per serving

1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
*omit oil 
2 Tablespoons Honey
* 1 Tablespoon Honey 
1/2 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
* 1 Tablespoon Stone Ground Mustard 
Pinch Salt/Pepper

Fresh Baby Romaine or a Peppery Greens Salad Blend
Micro Greens
4-5 Cooked Beets - cut into chunks
Goat Cheese Crumbles
*1 serving per salad  
1 Orange - segmented 
*1/4th of an orange per salad 

Cabbage Roll-Ups

I haven’t cooked these in a while, I usually forget about them until I have grown tired of spaghetti and chili. They seem very difficult to make just because of their presentation, but I promise they are super simple. Josh killed a deer recently, so we have a lot of ground meat on hand again. We had just run out this week and had to buy ground beef at the store. I really prefer ground venison over ground beef. I still use 80/20 ground beef in my app because it is the closest match when tracking.

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 each 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. 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
*9 grams
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
*400-500 grams
1 lb ground pork
*around 40 ounces ground beef or venison 
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
*51 grams 
2 tablespoons water
*enough water to thin down, around 1/3 cup 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *