Burned + Menu

Ain’t no tired like mama tired.

I am slowly burning my candle at both ends. Something has to take a backseat and the first thing to fall to the side seems to have been my blog. At the very latest I like to post my blog on Monday, it is Tuesday. Sunday is ideal, but Monday posts are happening more often than not. I love my blog and have been at this for three years, but there is little time for long lengthy posts (which most people come for the recipes anyway). Honestly, I do not have much energy or thoughts burning inside of me that I just have to blog about.

I have spoken before about juggling glass balls and rubber balls. I cannot possibly keep everything going at 100% with a full-time teaching job, part-time macro/nutrition coach, mom of three (five, three, and five months), meal prepper, laundry-doer, 4:30 a.m. workouts, blogging, buying and selling a house, etc. something has to drop. It is a miracle if I make it to the gym, but I haven’t quit entirely. The last thing I want to do is quit the one thing I have that is for me. I certainly do not want to quit what is going to help me get into the shape that I want to be. I do not want to feel dissatisfied with the appearance and capability of my body. I know that in order to get to where I want to be, sleeping in is not an option, but I could really use the sleep. The simple fact is my body will not simply get itself into shape.

It is funny to me that people still just assume that your body is meant to be in the shape that it is in. You are not bound to the circumstances that you are in. If you are tired of being out of shape, if you are tired of carrying around extra weight, then do something about it. It really is that simple. Some people just like to complain, it is easier than making the changes that are necessary to reach those goals. Fad diets and starving yourself are not going to get you where you want to be for the long haul. Consistent diet and exercise are your best bet. It might not happen quickly, but it will happen.

Yes, we all have busy lives. Yes, you will have to make sacrifices. Yes, it will be hard. No one is born in shape and I bet if you ask the fittest girl on the street if she is happy with herself, she could find something to be dissatisfied with. Most people want to improve, even the most in-shape person wants to continue to excel and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are completely happy with your body image, gym performance, diet, health, etc. I need to pick your brain. I am by no means depressed about where I am at, but I am at a place where I am dragging myself to the gym out of necessity, not for pleasure. I have fun once I am there and so happy to see my 5 a.m. people, even if it is in passing. It does fill my tank when I get to go, but boy is getting there extra hard lately.

Here’s to staying the course and getting it done. I am at least going to give it the ‘old college try’ and not give up.


M E N U

Hibachi

Chicken Blueberry Feta Salad

Healthy Taco Dish

Bourbon Burgers +  Sweet Potato Fries

Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup


Hibachi

We winged this one a bit but I used this link for reference on the homemade yum-yum sauce. I made a few changes to ensure that it was macro-friendly. I linked a similar recipe for the dish if you need to reference how to cook hibachi.

In the past when we got together with our friends we always seemed to be cooking hibachi. It was not the healthiest version though, there was always a ton of oil used on the rice and vegetables. We opted to use very little oil and only 1 tablespoon of butter. We kept the rice, vegetables, and meat separate in order to track it all correctly. I have not eaten yum-yum sauce in a really long time, so I cannot really say if this is a good dupe or not, but I liked it a lot. It ended up making six servings and was pretty spicy. If you do not like spicy just leave out the cayenne.

We have a RecTeq bullseye and used the round flat top griddle to cook our hibachi. If you do not have a grill or flat top, you can always cook it on the stovetop in a large wok.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
chicken breast
matchstick carrots
3-4 medium zucchini 
4 heads of broccoli
1 onion or green onions 
8 ounces mushrooms 
soy sauce

sauce:
Tomato paste
*70-80 grams
Melted butter
*omit
Garlic powder
Paprika
Mayonnaise
*non-fat greek yogurt
Sugar
Cayenne pepper
Water
*add water to your consistency preference
*add in sqeeze of lemon juice

Chicken Blueberry Feta Salad

In an effort to keep the macros balanced, I try to cook two or three “heavy” calorie meals and two or three light calorie meals every week. I will alternate the high calorie and low-calorie meals between lunch and supper so I don’t go over my allotted carbohydrates every day. I don’t worry about which meal of the day has the high carb or low carb, I just focus on keeping it balanced.

With this salad don’t skip making the dressing, don’t try buying some store-bought version, because it won’t be the same. Any dressing made with lemon juice is right up my alley. I skip the olive oil and just up the amount of lemon juice and it makes it extra healthy. I don’t mind eating fats but I would much rather save my fat for the almonds or avocado, not the olive oil.

For the chicken, you can grill it if you are firing up the grill this week anyway or simply season well and put it in the oven while you get the meat ready for the other dishes. I love cooking my chicken covered on the stovetop, I don’t have to watch it like a hawk, it cooks super fast, and stays juicy.

I like to put a lot of blueberries in each of my salads, but you can put from 1/2 cup to a whole cup. Strawberries are also in season right now and would be a great addition if you can’t get good blueberries. The strawberry patch is a great place to go to, to get a break from in-home quarantine.

Usually, I pick between almonds of avocado. I don’t want to go over on my fat because of one dish. Typically 1/4th of an avocado is 1 ounce. 1 ounce of avocado is 50 calories, 0.5 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of carbs, and 4.5 grams of fat. You can add both, just make sure you watch the calories, fat adds up quickly. Two ounces of avocado is 100 calories and that would is about a fourth of what I would want my total calories to be for one meal. In my opinion, it is just a lot of calories for something so small. Just make sure you weigh it and track it.

*Change I make to meet my macros.

Ingredients: 
 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
 8 cups mixed salad greens
 1 cup blueberries (* or strawberries)
*1/2 cup to 1 cup per salad 
 1 large avocado sliced
*1 ounce or less per salad
 1 cup almonds
*9-12 almonds per salad 
 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
*10-12 grams non-fat feta
 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced 

 Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
*omit oil 
1/3 cup lemon juice
*add more lemon juice 
2 tablespoons honey
*1 ounce of honey 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
*2 tablespoons 
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Healthy Taco Dish

This will be my second new recipe this week. At the end of my pregnancy, I stayed away from new dishes, because I literally could not eat without getting indigestion and just felt horrible most of the time. I haven’t made anything new in a while, so I am itching to find some new good healthy recipes.

This is a taco casserole, but I am going to leave the rice out so that can be added on its own according to each person’s macro needs. I think this could even be thrown in a tortilla and be great. The recipe also does not want you to strain your meat before adding in the vegetables, but I am going to cook the meat, strain in, weigh it, then add in the vegetables. I am going to do this so I can get an accurate weight on my meat, rather than straining after I add in the vegetables. You might want to strain a second time once the vegetables are cooked to get out the excess water from the vegetables.

If you are adding rice to the mixture while it cooks in the oven, you will need to add the broth. If you are going to add rice to each serving after it has cooked, then you will not need the broth. The vegetables and tomatoes will prevent the meat and veggies from drying out. If there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid to your liking, add in 1/2 to 1 cup of broth. You don’t want it to be soupy, but don’t want it to dry out either.

Remember that the changes I make are not only for macros but also to ensure that I have at least 4 servings for two very hungry adults, plus some extra for the kids. We eat these meals for lunch and supper. Leftovers are great for tracking macros, since you already know what the macros are!

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
*20 ounces or chopped chicken breast
½ medium onion, diced
*1 onion
1 small bell pepper, diced
*4-5 ounces
2 small zucchini, diced
*3 squash or zucchini 
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
2 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning (or store-bought)
1 (14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 ¾ cups beef broth
*beef or chicken depending on meat used and if adding rice
½ cup frozen corn
*80 grams sweet corn
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
*cooked separately  
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, divided
*20-30 grams fiesta cheese per serving
Optional toppings: Salsa, diced avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, pickled jalapenos, etc.

Bourbon Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries

B E S T burger I have ever had is from Liam’s in Thomasville and it is back on their menu. I am still trying to perfect our burger to match theirs. They are well known for their cheese, so it was not just your basic cheeseburger by any stretch of the imagination. Usually, we don’t eat cheeseburgers and try to keep it super healthy, but every now and then we do. I would be happy just to recreate their method of cooking the burger and onions. Josh started adding in bourbon to the burgers, because he loves bourbon, and it was the best choice. Literally, the best burgers he has ever cooked.

Hamburgers will never go out of style and can be healthy if you don’t smother them in cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise. When I track my hamburger I weigh out my meat after it has cooked. This is controversial in the world of tracking food, but I think that it makes sense. The fat is going to cook out of the meat, so I don’t actually end up eating all of the fat that was originally in the raw meat.

I am going to add some sweet potato fries with the hamburgers for the kids. I will eat them as a snack later on, but not with this meal. You can always mix a packet of ranch seasoning with non-fat Greek yogurt to dip the sweet potato fries in for a healthy snack.

Hamburgers have your fats, protein, and carbs (if you eat a bun). The only thing I do is eat a second hamburger patty without a bun to get in more protein. Macro-wise there is no reason to add a side dish. I know everyone loves fries with their hamburger but you are doing some major calorie intake if you do that.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients
Hamburgers: 
80/20 meat- onion powder, garlic powder, season all, chili powder, 1-2 tablespoons burbon, pepper 
Brioche buns 
Heirloom tomatoes 
Lettuce 
Onion 
Yellow mustard 
Ketchup 
Pickles 

Fries: 
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
*spray olive oil 
2 tablespoons cornstarch
*omit
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
fine sea salt, to taste

Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

This simple dish packs a big punch. I don’t use the rotisserie chicken because it is hard to accurately track in my app and it has more fat than I need. I have boiled my chicken breasts and cooked them in the oven, both turn out fine. The best way to go is on the stovetop covered. Juiciest chicken breast and you can still season them well. The chicken will even crisp a little bit, so good.

If you are going to track this meal, a few key things to know:

The kale will bunch up and is difficult to separate into equal servings. I recommend that you scoop it out without all the liquid and portion it equally into your bowls. When you add it to your app, make sure you put in how much it would have been in its raw state, not the cooked state.

Second, it is easier to top your dish off with the desired amount of meat, rather than mixing it all together.

Third, weigh the noodles out the same way you did the kale, but don’t just eyeball it. Weigh out equal amounts. Try to leave the sauce in the pot as the last thing you portion out. I am going to use pasta zero to cut down on the calories. Rice noodles taste amazing, but I don’t want all the calories that come along with them.

You don’t have to make a recipe in your app to include the kale and chicken because those can be added in on their own. The noodles and sauce are what can be in your recipe. Even though in your app the noodles and sauce are in the recipe together, making sure you weigh out equal servings of everything individually, will give you a more accurate count.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:  
1 tablespoon olive oil
*spray pan with oil 
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger (about a 1-inch piece of ginger)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
6 cups (48 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
*4-6 depending on how soup(y) you want it
1 (13- to 14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
*Low Fat Coconut Milk 
6 cups thinly sliced lacinato or Tuscan kale leaves (from 1 large bunch)
Kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
*pasta zero
1 (2-pound) plain rotisserie chicken, meat shredded (about 4 1/2 cups)
*Chicken Breast 
Chopped fresh cilantro, thinly sliced red onion, and lime wedges, for serving 

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