Breakfast: steak strips, sweet potato fries, guac, and jalapeno peppers (All WLC compliant, by the way).
The best part about this was the prep time took next to nothing. Sure, it took some time to cook the sweet potatoes but we have done exceptionally well at meal planning and prepping this week.
I cooked the majority of the meat on Sunday. Last night I cut up the sweet potatoes and got the pan ready to cook. This morning most of the hard work had already been done, so it took a lot less time.
Over the weekend I had written out a meal plan and went shopping based on that. When you have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, a job, etc. life gets hectic. This planning and prepping might seem over the top, but this week we have done a great job at it and I am amazed at how much stress this relieves.
Last night when I got home and my wife was at the gym, I didn’t have to stare into the fridge and wonder what to cook. I just looked at our meal plan and did it. I knew we had the ingredients, some of which had already been prepared. That peace of mind has been helpful for us but most importantly, allowed us to stay focused and not deviate from eating clean.
Meal planning for the week…
Writing this out could be considered OCD, but the time it saves and peace of mind it brings makes it worth doing. We decide what we want for the week then I make a grocery list based on this. It makes meal prep easier and also reduces the “extra” food we would be tempted to snack on throughout the week.
Since we are doing the Whole Life Challenge, I pay extra close attention to the labels and ingredients. It astonishes me the crap that is in our food. Stuff that says all natural, sugar free, etc. usually has some sugar alternative or other garbage in it.
By paying closer attention to what we buy, I feel better about what I am putting in my body now.
Today it really hit home… I graze.
I was making lunch for the family and it was almost instinct to go grab something out of the pantry while I cooked. Since we are doing this whole challenge thing, it caught me off guard big time because I am really paying close attention to what I eat. But this really got my attention. I feel like I have basically programmed myself to eat while I make something to eat.
Earlier in the day the girls wanted a snack and I went to get them something. I caught myself about to take a small handful of their crackers before I made theirs.
What’s the big deal, though, right? Well, for some folks, it isn’t. And that is perfectly cool if that is you. But for me, this grazing thing is holding me back. My meals are on point and I have always felt pretty good about them, but what happens in between is doing the damage. Grazing in the kitchen while I make food, for me, has to be something that I program out.
Having been home with the girls that past 2 days it has actually been good practice for me. The challenge is primarily responsible for keeping me in check because I have to log my day and I have been flawless with this so I don’t want to put a dent in it now. Will power is there, just got to get over this initial hump and all the shock that has come from the things I am discovering about myself.
One of the best tips I ever received was with regards to food prep. I shop once a week and usually make a batch of burgers. More times than not, they are turkey burgers and I have a few different recipes I like. This makes a huge difference during the week when making lunch, etc. Having the meat prepared saves so much time.
There are days when I am running late getting my food together for the day. A burger and greens makes an easy salad. Toss in a bit of salsa and I can skip dressing, eat clean, and be full. When my wife is at the gym and I am cooking for the girls, I can toss in a batch of sweet potato fries in the oven and the meat is already prepared. I have even cut up sweet potatoes the night before to save some time the next day.
Thinking ahead just that little bit makes such an amazing difference throughout the week.
File This Under: Things I Don’t Understand
I pass this McDonald’s on the way to work every morning. Rarely is there ever a time when someone is not in the drive through. I got a kick out of their remodeling project recently. People were pulling into the parking lot with a puzzled and almost frightened look on their face upon realizing that McDonald’s was closed. After a few days, this giant sign appeared. I guess the orange construction cones and yellow tape circling the building were not enough clues.
Directly across the street from this McDonald’s sits a Wendy’s and Mrs. Winner’s, both out of business, buildings sitting vacant. For some strange reason, Wendy’s had their awnings all painted white after closing.
Anyway, a few days after this sign appeared, McDonald’s opened the drive through. Not the entire location, just the drive through. Immediately it was packed. It made me wonder how people knew it was open again so quickly. Within a few days of that the entire location was back to normal after the remodeling was finished. I find it truly sad that people swarm to a place like this yet our local community could not support a place like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or some place that actually served real food worth spending money on.
Paleo Chicken Tenders
Made this the other night and it was amazing. Not just amazing, but THAT amazing. I used to love wings & fries and never could have imagined that I could have eaten a health version that tasted just as good.
Wings & Fries
Out of all the recipes we have tried recently, this by far has been the best. Probably the best chicken I have ever had as well. We wanted to try to make some wings so Gina went and grabbed a recipe. Given that she is currently doing the Whole Life Challenge, she modified the recipe just a little to make it compliant, but overall its still the same.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sage
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 package of fresh chicken wings
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375° and line a baking tray with foil.
- Combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika powder, peppers and herbs in a large mixing bowl.
- Cover the chicken wings with the oil, and dip each wing in the almond flour mixture until evenly coated.
- Place onto prepared baking tray. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Cover chicken with oil again (sea salt for taste). Bake for 45 minutes or until crisp and cooked through.
- Add your optional hot sauce of choice.
I was shocked that hot sauce was WLC compliant. Turns out, it is. We have been really digging through the ingredients lately. Talk about an eye opening process. Anyway, if you want instructions on the sweet potato fries, check this out.
This was an awesome meal. I bought drumbsticks instead of wings, as you probably can tell from the photo. Gina just doubled up on the ingredients. We made at least 12 of these, enough for MANY meals. Very filling, very tasty.
We aren’t the strange ones
Part of the Whole Life Challenge the wifey is taking on involved going out to eat but still following the parameters of the challenge. It was proof of how far out of whack our restaurants have become.
We stopped at a Moe’s on the way to a friends house and I really got a kick out of watching my wife question one of the employees about what all is in the food and how is it cooked. It was eye opening actually. Granted, I am not signed up for this challenge so I am not bound by the rules, but I do try to stick to it as closely as possible because this will only help Gina. That being said, really reading labels, questioning places about our food, and digging into what we have been eating is extremely intriguing.
But it causes some confusion when we do it. Some of the looks we get when asking about our food range from puzzling to inconvenienced to downright irritated. But it is our food. If we have a right to question anything shouldn’t it be that? Or have we as a society grown to the point that it doesn’t matter what we eat as long as it is cheap and can be quickly tossed out of a drive through window?
My wife said, “I just feel strange sometimes asking about our food.” My response?
We are not the strange ones. Trying to eat healthy, clean, and as natural as possible should never be viewed upon as being strange. The “American Diet” or “Western Diet” is what is strange. That is what is broken. We shouldn’t feel strange at all for wanting to take that back.
Made this and love it. Not that the other smoothie I made last week wasn’t good, but this one was much smoother. Got the recipe for this via @simplegreensmoothies on Instagram. If you want to give it a shot:
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 1 peach
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 2 cups of green grapes
Mix the coconut water and spinach up first. Then drop in the fruit and mix again. This makes a very generous portion. In fact, it made 2 shaker cups full of smoothies.
Since the wifey is doing the Whole Life Challenge, it means she is really looking at the ingredients of what she eats. I am very impressed with how well she is doing so far. I am not being as strict as she is but doing all I can to support whatever meal decisions she needs to make to stick to the plan.
Recently, I have been trying to stop using salad dressing. One of those things where I am too tempted to pour too much on my salad than I should. If I can eliminate it all together, that’s good right? I have been using organic salsa instead of dressing and dig the flavor. After looking at the ingredients, the wifey said she has to nix the salsa. The only option was to make it ourselves, so we did. Gotta say, our homemade batch is far better than anything in the store. It tastes even better on my salad (mixed greens, red onions, baked chicken).
I have been feeling so much better in my clothes. I still refuse to get on the scale. This morning, I put on my belt and noticed I was in the last notch. Can’t lie, I wanted to jump around the bedroom. Before I locked the eating down, my pants were getting tight. I was in the last hole in the belt, but the last one that came with the belt. At one point a while back I had to punch a new hole in the belt but had to stop using it. To get back to the hole I punched is a big thing for me. It means I am going in the right direction.
Chalk one up for clean eating.