Breakfast: Steak, avocado, egg whites with onion
Snack: Mixed nuts
Lunch: Mixed green salad, tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese, turkey patty, salsa
Snack: Almond butter with celery
Dinner: Fajitas with my better half (Stayed strong and had no chips, no tortillas, no rice)
My go-to meal… Well, kinda.
I am a bit OCD about meal planning. Just ask my wife. I go grocery shopping weekly and like to make my list based off of pre-planned meals. For me, that means I do not buy stuff we don’t want/need and limits the amount of food that spoils. It has also been extremely helpful to kick off the week by having all of the meat prepared. That usually means chicken, turkey burgers, possibly a roast or pork loin. Most always, it is the turkey burgers.
I take 1lb of lean ground turkey (or even ground chicken) and mix in 1 egg, some onions or shallots, approx. 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic, and occasionally some chopped peppers. Cook them up and toss them in the fridge. Having them handy has proven to be my go-to meal when I don’t do so well with planning, or get tired and lazy when it comes to cooking lunch or dinner.
They work so well to just heat up and toss into just about anything. I have used them to make lettuce wraps (above) or my personal favorite is a big salad. With some mixed greens, red onions, salsa, and half an avocado, these turkey burgers make a great addition. Above all else, having the meat ready saves so much time.
Breakfast: egg whites, turkey bacon, avocado, strawberries, coffee.
Snack 1: hummus deviled eggs, apple
Lunch: salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, reduced fat feta, salsa, left over turkey burgers.
Snack 2: Got so busy at work I actually forgot to eat it.
Dinner: whole grain penne pasta, low far marinara, ground turkey.
Today went a little better than yesterday. At least it was planned out somewhat.
Post-WOD: Light vanilla soy with Progenex
Breakfast: 2 Kashi Go-Lean waffles, egg whites, scrawberruhs, coffee
Snack 1: Reduced fat peanut butter and a banana.
Lunch: Mixed green salad with onions, reduced fat feta, cherry tomatoes, turkey burger, and salsa.
Snack 2: Chobani and almonds
Dinner: Last minute decision to meet up with the wifey right after picking up our girls. Always a little nerve wracking eating out as it is too tempting to do bad. Splurged a little with the chips and salsa but did great with the meal. Ordered off the light menu and got a great 6 ounce sirloin with a big helping of broccoli.
Nothing went as planned today. Best part is that the day is over.
Breakfast: Turkey bacon, Ezekiel toast with sugar free jelly, spinach omelet with reduced far feta cheese.
Snack 1: Egg whites & apple
Lunch: Bad planning on my part and running around got the best of me, so I made a quick shake (soy milk, berries, fish oil, sun butter).
Snack 2: Plain Greek yogurt with chopped pecans and blueberries
Dinner: Had turkey wraps in mind but the meat wasn’t thawed out in time. Made a toasted turkey sandwich on Ezekiel bread with red onion and spicy mustard, served with sweet potato fries.
Will do better tomorrow…
Salmon & Veggies
I work hard at a lot of things, and being a good husband and father is included in that. I don’t normally talk about that here because I figure it might bore some of you. But I want you all to know that it is just as hard for us to eat healthy as it is for some of you.
When I get off work, I go pick up our girls. Since my wife gets off work a little later than I do, we can’t really wait on her to get home and cook dinner. That really isn’t fair. What kind of husband would I be if I sat on the couch until she got home from work, then asked her what we were going to do about dinner? Anyway, I take a small snack and 2 waters for the girls when I pick them up. It keeps them occupied until I get home, get everyone settled, let the dog out, throw on some shorts, and start cooking dinner.
My wife has had some challenges at work the past few days which means she doesn’t need any extra crap when she gets home. Our home is our safe haven. That is how it should be. That is how it always will be. As I was cooking dinner for the girls, I wanted to have something ready for her, too. She has admitted to struggling with eating right and I knew if I didn’t have something ready she would have a hard time selecting something healthy. Not sure how I timed it as well as I did, but I had food for the girls as well as our meals ready around the time she walked in the door. All she had to do was walk in and sit down to a healthy meal with the rest of the family. I mean, what good is having a woman if you aren’t going to take care of her, right?
For us, I had 2 salmon filets (sriracha for me because that’s how I roll) and then sauteed some veggies. Its pretty simple and tastes amazing. Brown chopped onions in some olive oil. Toss in some chopped asparagus, low-sodium soy, and 1 clove of garlic. As they start to cook, toss in some baby bella chopped mushrooms and cook on low. I started the veggies first and then threw the salmon on the Foreman.
As hectic as life can be at times, this was a pretty quick meal to make and was full of flavor. I’ll take a meal like this over anything that could be handed to me via drive-thru window any day.
Paleo day one… So far so good. The portion for lunch was gigantic. I won’t lie, I’d love a glass of milk right now. I may kill someone for some peanut butter before this is all over with. But I’m sticking with it. Cool thing was that my wife decided to do it with me. Amazing how much easier it is when we are both on the same meal plan.
Haven’t done this in a while… Here is what I had to eat yesterday. What I found was that making up my mind to take pictures and blog about it, changed what I ate. Not that I feel like I eat bad, but its different when you think people will be watching.
- Fiber One cereal with reduced fat milk
- Hummus with celery
- Tuna Pitas (with chopped onions and light Italian dressing)
- PB&J with reduced fat peanut butter, sugar free jelly, on multigrain bread
- Egg whites
- Bagel thin (plain)
- Turkey bacon
- 2% milk
I rarely eat breakfast for dinner unless it’s time to go shopping. Last night I would have rather had fish with some veggies. As I have said before, I don’t really follow any specific plan (other than no red meat). I am not paleo, zone, Weight Watchers, vegan, vegetarian, don’t count calories or points. I try to mix up what I eat, focus on smaller portions, several times through the day. I don’t have anything against any of those programs. As long as they are healthy and they work for you, that’s great. This works for me and I enjoy what I eat.
I have found on CrossFit days I am more hungry than on the days that I just run. When I go to CF I often times bring 2 extra snacks to work, but they are much, much smaller than my regular snacks. Normally they consist of a few hardboiled eggs or pieces of fruit. Also, on CrossFit days, I usually have Progenex mixed with either unsweetened soy or almond milk. Since I have that, I don’t have milk for breakfast. Try to balance it out.
I also have upped my water intake. I drink at least a gallon of water a day now.
Captain’s Log: Star Date 199
Kinda crazy to think that tomorrow will be day 200 for us. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be seeing day 200 of a lifestyle change. Normally I give up way before this.
I wrote before about going back and trying the Biggest Loser book one more time. The average daily calorie intake for me would be about 1700 which I have found, is not enough. The first time through it worked because I had very little physical activity. That has changed considerably since then. Since the activity has picked up, as do my calories. When starting the book back, I stayed hungry. Vastly different than the first time. I would get home and want to graze on stuff in the house (dangerous). Either that or I would be so hungry before a meal that I would want to eat more than my regular portion. So rather than give in and eat crap, I am going to do what feels right for me and that is to increase me calorie intake, but to do it with healthy food. Normally I have 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. Yesterday I brought a little extra food with me to have in between all of that and it helped tremendously.
Here is how it went down:
Breakfast (About 7:00 a.m.; post CrossFit):
- Egg whites
- Turkey sausage
- Wheat breakfast thins
- 2% milk
9:00 a.m. - 3 hardboiled eggs
Snack #1: - Hummus with whole grain pita slices (Seriously, go make this)
Lunch (About 1:30 p.m.):
- Low-sodium turkey sandwich with tomatoes, onion, and spicy Dijon mustard
- Mixed green salad with tomatoes, reduced fat feta cheese, low fat Caesar dressing
- The mother of all fluid that is not water: Crystal Lite
3:00 p.m. - Large banana
Snack #2 (About 4:00 p.m.):
- The second best yogurt: Voskos (Chobani is still the reigning champion)
- Raw almonds
- Turkey Pitas (Ground turkey, mixed greens, with a little dab of Sirarcha)
- Steamed broccoli
- Glass of 2% milk
For water, I have really gotten used to drinking a lot of it. Since yesterday was a CrossFit day, I drank more than usual. I had about 96+ ounces of water.
So I ate more food and didn’t feel bloated or fat. I actually felt better. Like I was giving my body what it needed to keep moving. This is where I have wanted to be all along. Eating healthy (not some restrictive fad diet) to fuel my body and know in the back of my mind that I am not worried about the number on the scale the next day.
Before I started eating clean, I hated mushrooms. Couldn’t stand them. But I always loved pizza. Still do. So I gave this a shot and actually really enjoyed it. So if you are skeptical about mushrooms, try it and you may be surprised.
- Portobello mushroom caps (about 5” diameter)
- Low-fat marinara sauce (1/2 cup)
- Lean turkey Italian sausage (1/2 cup, cooked)
- Shredded fat-free/low-fat mozzarella cheese (4 tablespoons)
- Grated Parmesan cheese (2 tablespoons)
- Basil (1 tablespoon)
- Preheat over to 350
- Clean the mushroom caps, remove the stems, and place them on a baking sheet with the stem-side facing up
- Spoon the marinara sauce on each mushroom cap, then the sausage, and then the cheeses.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Top with basil (optional)
Per Serving: Calories: 97; Protein: 10g; Carbs: 7g; Sugars: 2g; Fat: 3g (1g Saturated); Cholesterol: 22mg; Fiber: 2g; Sodium: 305mg
Note: In the photo, the 2 mushroom pizzas were served with 1/2 cup of cherries which is not factored into the nutrition info above.
Myth: It is more expensive to eat healthy
When we started buying groceries for our journey to health, we used The Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start as our food Bible. It laid out 3 meals and 2 snacks every day for 30 days. Since we followed the book, we did not eat out. At all. We waited until the 30 days (even though the book recommends waiting only 2 weeks) was over to have our first cheat meal. One comment I heard (and still hear) over and over again was “It costs a lot to eat that way” or “It costs too much money to eat healthy”.
I am tired of hearing that. Here is why…
Before we changed up what we were eating, my wife would eat breakfast out almost every day of the week. She would grab dinner at a fast food place on her way home from work at least 3 times a week. She estimated breakfast to be $5 and dinner around $7. That is about $46 a week for her alone. I usually brought my lunch to work, but would think nothing of getting fast food on my way to work, maybe 3 times a week. I would eat lunch out maybe twice, but my lunches cost a little more because I always had the extra-sized value meal. We estimated that I would spend $35 a week eating out. On the weekends, we ate breakfast at home on Saturday and Sunday, but typically ate out the other meals. For our family, that meant at least $35 a pop or $140 a weekend. Oh, we budgeted $125 a week on groceries. If you add that up, a conservative estimate would be about $340 - $350 per week in food.
Approximately 65% of our money was spent eating outside the home.
Yes, eating healthy and buying health foods from the grocery store costs more money. Yes, our grocery bill is considerably higher than it was. We now budget $250 per week for groceries and some weeks we do go over. However, we are not eating out. We do not get fast food. We plan our meals and take our food to work. We eat meals together at home. While our grocery bill is higher, we have no other food expenses because they have all been eliminated. So what we budget at the grocery store is what we eat. End of story.
According to my math, that is a savings of $100. Doesn’t look like it costs more to eat healthier after all.