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 about on Netflix. I like to be productive, I like to have projects and lists to cross off. During the pandemic-break, I worked hard in my yard until it got too hot and then took to scraping paint off the trim in my house. I cannot stay idle for long, which is how this blog came to life. With my first maternity leave, Anderson and I made lots and lots of Christmas decorations together. I didn’t have anything like that to occupy my time with my second, Scarlett. I sat with her sleeping in my lap and my computer propped up on a pillow.
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. If you look at each recipe I have a list of the ingredients. I keep the original ingredients list and put an asterisk under each item I change and how. What I post on my menu is what we actually eat and what I meal prep for us. When I post a menu I don’t want to alter the original recipe on my blog, I just want to show you how you can make simple changes to create a healthy dish, and I always link the original recipe.
For me it is more than just meal prepping, counting the macros of what we eat is more important than the actual prep. I only meal prep because it saves me some time during the week. Macro counting is truly what I do well and can really dial most people into the numbers that are right for them (IF they are consistent). It is funny, my 5-year-old informs his friends in class about their protein consumption and why they need to eat certain foods. I would bet that he is one of the few kids his age that can spit out that kind of information. Do not worry he eats plenty of junk food and candy too.
I don’t pick the usual meal-prep food, because I know I would burn out eating the same thing for my main meals. I can eat the same thing at breakfast and as snacks, but lunch and supper need to be different. Not everyone is like that, but it works for us. It would make it a lot easier if I just meal prepped a ton of chicken every week with the same vegetables, but I need some variety. 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. I can easily fix our lunches for the next day when I am weighing and plating supper for that night.
Meal prepping for me has become a habit. 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 a week to get it all cooked. I did take off this past Sunday morning from my usual super stressed and rushed meal prep before church, to just sit and relax with the kids while Josh was turkey hunting. I cooked a few small things before church but cooked most of them that afternoon. Once we move into our new house and the whole family is outside enjoying the pool and weather, I will not be waiting to do my meal prep in the afternoons. I do not want to miss out on the fun for the sake of meal prepping. It is never a glorious task, most of the time there are toys scattered everywhere and a baby on my hip, but I manage to get it done.
By cooking most of our food on Sunday, I am able to have the rest of my week to enjoy time with my family. I love when the weather gets warm enough to grill. Honestly, it helps me out a lot because I can put Josh in charge of grilling the meat, it is one less thing for me to do and we love being outside. I don’t weigh out all of our meals on Sunday and put them in Tupperware when I cook it because I don’t think I have enough Tupperware for that and my macro needs 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 healthy food, it is anything that I put into my mouth.
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
Pulled Pork Sandwich
I have a lot of favorites, but honestly, THIS is on the very tip-top of my list for salad favorites. It is the most amazing flavor and you can go as light or heavy on the sweet potatoes as you want. I go easy on the butter and make sure to pick a lean cut of steak so I can have more potatoes. If you like a high-fat meal, go crazy with the butter and steak, but keep the potatoes to a minimum.
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 us.
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 *2-3 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 *1-2 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
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 season with 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 preferred seasoning. Once the meat is in the crockpot I add 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 it 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 hand, 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 this 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
We were going to have stir fry this week, but Josh killed a turkey so we will be using the vegetables I cooked to eat as a side with the turkey. If you still want to have stir fry, give zero-carb pasta a try rather than eating rice, just make sure you rinse it really well. If you are not going to add in meat, give carbanada a try! I love my carbs, but if I can keep my carbs minimal on the meals I still have room for some yummy snacks.
We are going to smoke the turkey breasts after they sit in a brine for a few days. I will post the process on my Instagram.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 2 cups fresh broccoli florets *1 bundle 1 red bell pepper 1 yellow summer squash (or zucchini) *2-3 medium squash 4 oz. asparagus (woody stems removed) *1 bundle 4 oz. mushrooms (about 1 1/2 cups) *200-300 grams 3-4 green onions 8 oz. tempeh (optional) *omit Optional garnish: sesame seeds, cashews, peanuts, green onions *green onions FOR THE TERIYAKI SAUCE: 1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce, coconut aminos) *low sodium soy sauce 2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or 3 Tbsp. maple syrup) 1/3 cup vegetable broth or water 2 tsp. rice vinegar 1-2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp. ginger, freshly grated (I peel my ginger) 1 Tbsp. cornstarch (or arrowroot or other thickener*) *optional
This is one of those meals I could have every week and never tire of. Enchilada Tuesday might be my favorite thing, but I could eat just about anything wrapped in a crispy tortilla with (some) cheese. I need to get some of the ground deer meat out of the freezer, so I am going to use ground deer instead of chicken or shrimp.
Do yourself a favor and make these! You won’t be sorry. For goodness sake, don’t skip putting the tortillas in the oven for supper. We are going to eat them over rice instead of in tortillas for lunch since I don’t have access to an oven at work to toast my tortillas (tortillas at supper and rice bowl for lunch).
Originally I had 28 grams of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I subtracted the weight of the peppers because I’m not going to eat those. I added them to the sauce for flavor. I only want to calculate what I’m actually going to eat. Instead of using ground chicken or pork, I used chicken breast to not add to the fat content.
To lower the macros a bit you can use one tortilla and eat the extra meat in a bowl. I did this for Josh and split his portion of cheese and avocado sauce between the tortilla and bowl. PS- wait to add the enchilada sauce to the meat until you have your meat portioned out. This makes the macros more accurate. Lots of extra little steps, but it allows me to be as accurate as possible. Most food labels round-up on the calories, so I need to make sure my method is flawless to not add more errors to the calculations.
If you are back at work and do not have access to an oven, I would opt to skip the crunchy tortilla. A crunchy tortilla in the microwave is not going to taste very good. Keep the tortilla and stuffing separate, heat the meat with the sauce, then assemble with cheese and avocado. Keep your fat intake in mind when using the avocado and cheese. It is delicious but can easily put you over on your calories.
We have had this over rice and it was amazing. I skipped sauteing the onions and left them crunchy for the bowl. Rice would be a better option if you are reheating this for lunch.
*Changes I make to meet my macros
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for rubbing *spray olive oil 1 pound ground chicken, beef, or turkey *ground venison 1 yellow onion, chopped *2 onions if sauteeing for 4 servings 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo finely chopped, use to your taste *30-50 grams 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce homemade or store-bought *100-120 grams 16-20 corn tortillas warmed *1-2 high fiber/low carb tortilla per serving or rice 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese *20-22 grams per serving *optional toppings- pineapple salsa, shredded lettuce, and pickled onion, for serving LIME AVOCADO CREMA 1 avocado, halved *3 ounces 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños juice from 2 limes kosher or flaky salt