Training + Menu

Lately the desire to blog and work out just is not there. I feel like the deck is stacked against me and the temptation to quit is strong. Thomas is not sleeping and going to the gym alone before the 5 a.m. crew is tough when sleep comes in short spurts. I tell myself to go or be fat, but the desire/drive just is not there nor is the time. When I am telling you that sleep comes in short spurts, I mean it is worse than a newborn baby. Every hour or so he is waking up. School is winding down, which means I actually need to be ramping up my teaching squeezing in all the last-minute info for standardized tests. We are moving into a new house in a few weeks while trying to sell the house we are in, which leaves me unable to pack up our house.

It feels like life is a mess right now.

I was able to make it to the gym once last week and to the endurance class on Saturday. I should have gone Sunday too, but went for a walk with the family instead. After my endurance class, I decided I needed to go run because of my lack of exercise that week. I swear that was the hardest mile I have ever run. I had my mind made up that I would run 3- 650 meter laps. Nothing crazy, just a quick run. On my run, I was trying to convince myself that only doing two laps was fine. Then only doing 2 laps and 400 meters would be okay. I ended up running the 3 laps, but honestly, it felt pointless. Mentally I needed to run and not stop but physically that one run did not amount to much.

I have worked with women in their 50s/60s that have told me they still have baby weight to lose and I can see how that is possible now. Before I thought that sounded crazy. I can see how the pounds just never come off and you eventually give in to that being the new normal. I still have a few pounds to go before I am where I used to be. I am where I started when I had Anderson (weight wise), but not back to where I started when I had Thomas. I am nursing, so I do not expect that from my body just yet, even though I am ready to have my body back. When I had Scarlett someone told me my gym days were over and I did not believe them. Right now if someone told me that my gym days were over, I might believe them. It is so hard to fit it in even attempting to go at 4 a.m., Thomas just is not having it.

After I got finished with my run I was talking with a friend and asked her how things were going. She made the comment how it is much easier to stay dedicated and track when she is training for a race. I have never run a race or had anything specific to train for, but I understand now how that would force you to make time to work out. It is so easy to just quit and try to maintain than fight through sleep deprivation when you are just trying to get by. I don’t need to lose a crazy amount of weight, I am not running a marathon, I am just doing life and life does not require me to lift heavy things or run fast at this moment (but I really want to). I just tell myself every morning, maybe tomorrow I will get to go or it will get better soon. I am not going to give up and just maintain where I am at. I want to be better and will not be satisfied with a “mom-bod”. No thanks. So if you are just doing life like I am and things are not ideal, don’t just give up. I am still tracking even though I am discouraged, I am not a quitter and will eventually get back to me.


M E N U

Spaghetti

Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad + Blue Cheese Butter

Simplest Basil Zucchini Parmesan Pasta

Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Salad

BLT Chopped Salad + Corn, Avocado, Feta


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

Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad + Blue Cheese Butter

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 *3 ounces cooked potato per serving
*spray olive oil 
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 (8-10 ounce) *sirloin steak
6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
*10-12 per serving cherry tomatoes, halved
*0.5-0.8 ounces avocado per serving 
*1-2 tablespoons butter
*40-50 grams reduced fat blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
*1 lemon juiced 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
*0.5 ounce honey
*1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Simplest Basil Zucchini Parmesan 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 are not 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 will either add shrimp or chicken to this meal. 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 carba-nada pasta, then add in the chicken that I need (usually not much since the pasta I use 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. I also really like the chickpea pasta noodles.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
1 pound pasta, *carba-nada pasta or chickpea pasta
*6-7 depending on size zucchini and or yellow summer squash, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt and black pepper 
*1 tablespoon butter
* 3/4 cup 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

Roasted Chickpea Cauliflower Salad

This cauliflower chickpea salad is one of my go-to sides when I am going to a potluck gathering. I usually leave out the quinoa because for some reason people cringe at quinoa the way they do with kale, so I just skip it.

There is really no reason to add the oil unless you like the taste of it. For me, it is unnecessary to have all the oil of the fat. I sound like a broken record but I don’t like the invisible fats, I much prefer to taste my fat and have it be actual food like avocado or bacon. I will spray my pan with olive oil but I do not add oil to my dressings. 

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
*2 cauliflower heads
the finely grated zest of 1 lemon
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*zero calorie olive oil spray
1 1/2 cups cooked, patted dry on a clean tea towel
a handful each of fresh mint leaves, flat leaf parsley, coriander (cilantro), roughly torn

jalapeno lime dressing:
*diced pickled jalapeños 2 Tablespoons 
the juice of 2 medium limes 
*green onions 
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

BLT Chopped Salad + Corn, Avocado, Feta

I always make this salad into a bowl and add chicken for extra protein. The first time I made this, I was very unsure of how this would taste with only a little seasoning and chicken. Honestly, it was so good, I was pretty surprised.

I love this bowl because you can completely customize it to your macros. With there not being a sauce the only thing to factor in is your food. Sauces can eat up our calories and macros if you aren’t careful. If you need to keep things low carb, you can always eat it as a salad.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
*1/3 cup cooked rice per bowl or arugula + lettuce (low carb)
*10 grape tomatoes, per serving
*0.5 - 1 ounces cooked bacon per salad 
*pan seared sweet corn 60 grams per salad  
*0.5 - 1.0 ounces avocado per salad 
*15 grams non-fat feta per serving   
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tablespoons salt
1/4 tablespoons pepper 
*cooked chicken breast

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