Tough + Menu

This Monday as I ran past one of our coaches, I commented how much I hated the movement we were doing in the workout. I can do the movement but it just is not easy for me. My shoulder gets jacked-up and honestly, this movement has always just been a weakness for me. I completely avoid them when I can, because I am not as good as I want to be. Completely backward way of thinking, but it is what we all do at some point or another. I hate it because it is hard. It is hard because I do not work on it.

If something is difficult, we modify, change course and do something different, something easier that makes us feel good about ourselves or make excuses. Life is busy, who has the time to just work on a skill until it is perfect? Not me (here come the excuses). Mom of three kids, a full-time job, and other obligations just do not leave time for me to practice things I stink at. I remember when I got my first muscle-up, one of the coaches wanted me to just practice them for the entire workout. I would much rather get a good workout in than practice something that is going to frustrate me. On the other hand, I want to be good at that skill too. Finding that balance can be really hard and defeating when it just does not all fall into place.

I find myself thinking when x, y, and z are off my plate I will be able to get back to doing certain things that I enjoy. It really is not realistic to think things will ever just fall into place and flow like I want them to. Nothing ever just clicks like that, unless all the stars are aligned just right, the wind blows just the way it needs to, and my favorite song comes on the radio on the way to work. FYI- that never happens. I listen to the Disney channel on the way to and from work. If I want things to click, I am going to have to bang them together until they do.

This is not like a love relationship where it just happens and all is well, it takes work to accomplish all the things on your list. If you are not willing to put in the work, then of course you won’t see any results. If you are not honest with what you are tracking, then you won’t see any results. I cannot count how many times people have told me they are honestly tracking, eating in a deficit, and still not losing weight. That just is not so. If you say you are eating in a deficit but not losing, then you are off on what you are putting in or you are not being honest with what you are plugging into your app or your macros are way off. I might not put in the work to master a certain movement at the gym, but I own it. It is not at the top of my priority list, so I do not let it get me down. If losing weight, mastering a certain skill, etc. IS at the top of your list then you need to stop waiting for the wind to blow in the right direction and put in some work.


M E N U

Happy Labor Day

Sweet Potato Fry Steak Salad + Blue Cheese Butter

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken + Rice Pilaf

Brisket Tacos

Brisket +  Yogurt Mashed Potatoes


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

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken + Rice Pilaf

This is a great easy recipe. I love anything I can throw into the crockpot and just let it cook on its own. When I cook this I don’t shred the chicken into the dish after it has cooked. I take the chicken out and keep it separate from the rest of the dish. This makes it much easier to count my macros. It is more difficult to get the chicken out when it is at the bottom of the pot, but it makes for much juicer chicken than setting it on top to get out easily. I weigh out the rest of the food from the crockpot and divide it into 4 containers equally. A lot of crockpot meals I encounter with carrots end up being sweet, but this one is not.

Without the chicken accounted for, the macros for 4 servings the last time I cooked it was 174 calories, 5.8 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fat. Make sure to put the chicken on top of the rice mixture, so you can easily take it out and add it into the bowl depending on your macro needs. The recipe calls for you to sear the chicken but if you are in a hurry you can skip that step. It still tastes great.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
wild rice *110-130 grams 
*2 cups low sodium chicken broth
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried parsley
*10-15 ounces whole baby carrots
1 cup wild mushrooms *250-270 grams 
*boneless chicken breasts
*spray olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and pepper
4 shallots, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary 

Brisket Tacos

I thought that leftover brisket was best served in an omelet but after making these tacos, I’d be happy if we smoked a brisket just for taco meat. The first time we made these we had some leftover brisket from The Fourth of July and decided to throw some into tacos. I had some leftover Verde from that week and random toppings. Honestly, they ended up being some top-quality tacos. I wasn’t expecting to like them as much as I did.

We kept the tacos super simple, but they ended up being so delicious. To make the Verde roast the tomatillos, garlic, green onion, and jalapeno in the oven until the tomatillos are tender and soft, 20-25 minutes on 425 degrees. Throw the roasted tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, and green onions into the blender with the juice of one lime and cilantro.

If you don’t want to make your own Verde, the store-bought is fine too. 

Ingredients: 
beef brisket, smoked to temperature
1 raw red onion, diced
7-10 grams fiesta blend cheese per taco
fresh cilantro, chopped 
fresh jalapeño, diced 
squeeze of lime per taco
low carb/high fiber tortilla 

Tomatillo Sauce:
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 

Brisket +  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. My super picky, traditional eating Step-Dad even loves them. Make sure to use caution when adding in the yogurt, the more you use the sweeter the potatoes will taste.

When cooking your meat make sure you cook it to temperature. Josh follows the recipe from Meat Church pretty closely. You can find their spices and lots of other great choices locally at Baell Mercantile. If you aren’t local, I highly recommend you order some of these spices, we use them on everything.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
1 12 - 14 lb whole packer brisket (Choice grade or higher)
Meat Church Holy Cow
Meat Church Holy Gospel
unwaxed butcher paper or heavy duty aluminum foil

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

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