Change Your Eating, Change Your Life!

Last week, I talked about how I needed to reevaluate my current nutritional intake and begin to make further changes to improve my health.  I am off for two weeks, so I have more time to read, learn and come up with a new plan of action.  My current goals are to: 1) Improve my health; 2) Improve my sleep; 3) Feel stronger; 4) Lose weight.  I have to accept that though I love to cook, my work schedule makes it hard to do much during the week.  I also admitted to myself that I do not wish to spend my entire Sunday, especially in nicer weather, cooking for the week and/or meal prepping.  I am looking to simplify my life, but make healthier choices by avoiding quick fixes.

I spent my first week off, reading and creating my plan of action for the remainder of the summer.  I will try out this routine while my work schedule is not a full one and hope that I can create some solid habits for when the school-year begins.  I mentioned last week, that I really liked a few of the recipes on the Paleogrub website.  They seemed to meet my criteria of healthy, simple and delicious.  Further, they do not require massive amounts of obscure ingredients.  In fact, I had many of the staples already on hand.  I decided to purchase the Paleogrub Cookbook and their ten week meal plan.  The meal plan is simple to follow and tells you exactly what you need to prepare all meals.  It gives you a specific plan for each day that includes recipes and directions for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The Paleogrub Cookbook is digital and once downloaded includes a search feature that is very helpful.  You can follow it exactly as written, or as in my case select the meals that you like.

I know that it is not realistic for me to think I will cook every single meal included in the daily plan.  Some days, I just want a smoothie for breakfast and that’s fine.  Also, what they say serves two people really serves my husband and I with enough leftover for lunch the next day, which is perfect for my work week.  Depending on how much you actually eat, I think you may not need all the lunches listed.  What I did this first week was preview the week and make a plan for what I wanted to cook.  I selected three dinners and one breakfast.  Knowing I will have leftover for lunch, I only selected one lunch this week simply because the photograph looked so appealing.  The plan also conveniently creates a shopping list for you, but I found that it included items for the entire plan as written for the week.  Since I am customizing, based on our personal likes and needs, I did have to modify the shopping list.  This was easy enough to do though, I simply emailed the list to myself and did an edit.

I do not make any money recommending this plan to you, I merely wanted to share that I thought it was good.  The meals are laid out separately by week and I downloaded them to my computer and now have them to return to.  I have noticed the scale moving down this week, which makes me happy.  I don’t feel hungry, or deprived and I feel like I look forward to both cooking and eating my meals.  Here are two recipes that I enjoyed eating this week.5E61D052-1C6F-4EF7-B01C-F7D8B8E13C6B

Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • For roasted carrots
    • 1 pound carrots (assorted colors or just orange ones) peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
    • ½ tsp ground cumin
    • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
    • 2 garlic, minced
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Rest of ingredients
    • 2 small avocados, pitted and sliced or cut into chunks
    • 3 cups arugula or salad greens mix
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • ½ lime, juiced
    • salt, black pepper to taste

I followed this lunch recipe pretty much as written, with only two changes.  Instead of arugula, I used spinach and chopped romaine.  Additionally, I only used one avocado as I felt that was enough for us.  The salad had a bit of a kick as written, so either I added too much red pepper or it needs a bit less.  My husband loved the kick, so it was fine, but next time I will use a bit less red pepper.  I measured by eye, so it could be that I added too much.  Always adjust to your personal taste preferences.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut them into ½ inch pieces.
  3. In a bowl mix the ground cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots and toss to combine.
  4. Spread the carrots into a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 25 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, place the avocado, arugula or salad greens and warm carrots.
  6. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lime juice and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  7. Divide the salad between serving plates and serve.

This recipe made enough for two to eat salad with ample leftover for next day’s lunch.

ThaiPorkPatties

Thai Pork Burgers

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. minced pork
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 green onions, finely chopped 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp honey

I followed the recipe pretty much as written, with just one change.  I was not able to find fish sauce and googled what a substitute could be.  I used coconut aminos in place of the fish sauce, but you can use soy sauce as well if you don’t have that on hand.

Directions:

  1. Heat the grill to medium heat.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and stir well.
  3. Using your hand, form 6-8 small patties.
  4. Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

I got four nice size patties out of a one pound package or organic ground pork.  This dinner recipe was enough for two with leftovers for lunch the next day.  The patties had a very nice taste.  We topped ours with a spoon of homemade paleo mayonnaise with a pinch of onion powder, garlic and cayenne pepper.

If you try either of these recipes, please let me know how you enjoyed them.  If you have a recipe to share, please leave me a message below.

 

To check out Paleogrubs recipes and meal plan, please visit their site at – Paleogrubs

 

 

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Eating vs. Exercise

I’m off the next two weeks and already realize on day two that if I had more time, I’d likely be in better health.  This morning, I got up and went to my usual 5:00 AM class at the gym.  I figured it would be better to do this run based workout session during vampire hours than in the hot sun.  I was the last to finish the six rounds, which consisted of running, jumprope and hang power cleans, but I did them all.  I’ve been working hard at the gym trying to get myself on track again, yet each morning when I step on the scale the numbers are within the same range.  Thankfully, I use the scale daily to ensure I’m not creeping up; but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed I’m not trending down rapidly for all the work I’m doing.

I’ve written and reflected on this before, but it’s definitely time to go there again.  While I am seeing some gains in my running pace and measurements, I am not seeing huge gains on the scale.  If I am honest with myself, I need to look to my nutrition because I know that you can’t out exercise a bad diet.  In fact, research shows that about 70% of weight loss actually comes from your dietary choices and only 30% from exercise.  I actually believe that for me exercise matters more than 30%, but there is no denying the impact eating clean has on my weight.  Here is a video that demonstrates this 70/30 theory, but I definitely don’t agree with his statement that “cardio is a joke”.   Cardio to me is an essential component in a balanced workout routine.   – Eating vs Exercise

My food choices really haven’t been too bad, so it’s not totally that, but it is summer and we have been on vacation so there definitely are extra calories being taken in through my beverage choices.  Sorry, but who doesn’t love a nice cold glass of sangria, beer or vodka on a nice hot day.   I’ve also had a hard time maintaining a schedule since we got back from the beach and have hardly been cooking.  I’m not saying we are eating out every day, I wish that were the case, but my intake hasn’t been the most balanced and I’ve not said no to fresh ice cream when offered.

I know what to do and funny, now that I’m off already have the motivation to cook – maybe I need to retire to get healthy.   I love to cook, I just lack motivation when I’m at work all day and I’m tired of spending my entire Sunday in the house meal prepping.  There has to be a better way.  I’ve been researching meal planning options for meals that take 30 minutes or less to cook.  I found many on the Paleo Grubs site and planned my week with easy, healthy meals –  Keep it simple silly is my new mantra.

Today after my workout, I knew I needed a nice healthy breakfast so I came home and cooked a recipe I love.  It’s super easy and super delicious and really hit the spot.  Here’s the link to this delicious breakfast, which I would never have time to make on a work day.  It could be a wonderful weekend treat after a tough workout for you though, so I hope you give it a try.

Sweet Potato Hash & Eggs

I generally follow the recipe as written, but I used white, sweet potatoes just because if it’s orange I think it tastes different.  I know it doesn’t, but since they were available I used the white ones.  Carmelizing the onions is a MUST as it truly enhances the flavor so much and I added a bit of red pepper to the process.  I used hot turkey sausage and boy did they add a nice kick to this mix.  I definitely did not eat all that food, I shared with my husband, the recipe is for two (2).

I’ve written on this topic before as my life seems to keep cycling through the same mess.  If you have time, please read – You Can’t Out Exercise a Bad Diet

I’d love to hear how it’s going for you this summer.  Drop me a line below and please, if you have any quick, easy meals, include a recipe.