A twist on cheat meals

I went out to dinner on a cheat meal night and was craving a burger. The restaurant burger and fries totaled to 1273 calories. Mind you, it would have been a little less without the bacon and fried egg but some cheat meals are worth the extra calories!

During the week one day I was craving a burger but it wasn’t a cheat meal day. So I decided to make a healthier version of the cheat meal I love. The burger is topped with a little cheese, cilantro, tomato, onion and a tsp of chipotle catchup. The fries are lightly tossed in olive oil, pink salt, and pepper, then baked. The homemade burger and fries totaled to 599 calories. That’s less than half the calories of the restaurant version! This is a great trade for the restaurant version if wanting a healthier twist on a cheat meal!

When you’re doing a healthy diet, you don’t have to eat boring meals. Granted I wouldn’t recommend eating a homemade burger and fries every day. That’s a little more red meat than you need and there are better options than white potatoes. But this is definitely a great option on occasion. I love to take my favorite restaurant foods and mimic them at home in healthier ways. It beats eating baked chicken, rice and broccoli every day like I used to do! Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. You just have to be cautious of what you are putting into the meal or on the meal.

Happy eating!

Smoothie Truth

It kills me when one of my friends says they drink a smoothie on a regular basis instead of eating meals. I will admit I grab a smoothie sometimes when I’m out and about because it’s convenient. My husband does it too. We love them! Smoothie king is our guilty pleasure! BUT we try to eat regular meals as often as possible and not supplement a smoothie in place of a meal.

Smoothies tend to have way too much fruit in them. They also have syrup which the fruit was sitting in, that’s incredibly high in sugar. I don’t know many people who get veggies in their smoothies so you’re basically getting an overload of sugar. The average fruit smoothie is 500-600 calories with around 49-60g of sugar. That’s twice the amount of sugar you should have in a day!

If you are making smoothies at home, this can be a different story. I will still argue that they shouldn’t be replacing meals. However, you can work them into your diet to your benefit! I make a “smoothie” protein shake. In my protein shake I mix protein powder, fruit, spinach, milk and sometimes an avocado. This is my post workout drink. The difference is that there is WAY less sugar than the smoothie places! I measure out the amount of fruit I need for one serving. I also add in spinach for extra magnesium and iron which is great for you post workout!

Remember, just because it has healthy items in it, doesn’t mean it’s the best option. Read your nutrition labels. Check the sugar and fats! And for goodness sake, don’t replace meals with smoothies on a regular basis. Occasionally is ok. Eat your fruits and veggies in the proper portions!

Mustard vinaigrette chicken

Ingredients:

•1/2 oz apple cider vinegar

•8 oz asparagus

•2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

•1/2 oz feta cheese

•1 tbsp grainy mustard

•1/2 oz light brown sugar

•2 zucchini

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400. Trim ends off asparagus and dice zucchini. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.

Combine vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl.

Grill chicken on grill (I used stovetop cast iron) for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to baking sheet and baste with 1/2 vinegar mixture. Place in oven for 15 minutes.

While chicken cooks, place asparagus on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook asparagus for 10 minutes.

Toss chopped zucchini in a bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place zucchini pieces on stove top grill. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes.

Once food is cooked, plate food and top chicken with remaining vinaigrette and top asparagus with feta. Enjoy!

Workout clothes

Isn’t it crazy how new workout clothes make you feel like you get a better workout? I swear if I could get a new outfit every day I’d have the best workouts! Ok maybe not literally but I’d feel great about how I looked. Positivity in yourself definitely benefits you in so many ways. I used laugh (internally) at people who bought cute or matchy little outfits for the gym. I thought it was so ridiculous to spend a lot of money on something that’s just going to get sweaty and gross. But I understand it now. Those outfits made them feel good about themselves which in turn made them feel like they could do a better workout! Did the outfit change their workout? Maybe a little. They might have been more comfortable and able to move better. But it didn’t help them lift heavier weights or do more reps. It’s all about the mental game. When you feel good about yourself and what you’re wearing, that positivity boosts your mood. A positive mood can give you more energy therefore fueling your workout!

If you’re someone who feels better about themselves when they get a new workout outfit, then treat yourself every so often and get a new one! Make it a reward when you hit certain milestones! It might actually make you work harder and push towards that goal!

Salmon with wild rice

Ingredients:

•2 salmon filets

•2 garlic cloves

•2 tsp grainy mustard

•4oz grape tomatoes

•1 tsp butter

•1/4 oz of parsley

•1/2 cup wild rice

•2 cups broccoli

Recipe:

Bring medium pot of wild rice with 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Lower temp to simmer and cover. While rice cooks steam the broccoli.

Halve tomatoes. Mince garlic. Stem parsley. Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper.

Place a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil. Cook salmon on each side for 4-6 minutes until browned. While salmon cooks, make the tomato topping. In a pan on medium heat add butter and let melt. Add 1 tsp of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and half the parsley. Stir occasionally till tomatoes blister. Add mustard and a pinch of salt.

Plate broccoli, rice, salmon and top the salmon with the tomato topping. Enjoy!

Poblano pepper chicken

Ingredients:

•2 Chicken Breast’s

•1/2 oz butter

•8 oz butternut squash cubed

•8 oz carrot chopped

•1 tsp chipotle powder

•2 garlic cloves

•1 poblano pepper

•1 oz shredded chihuahua cheese

•1 oz shredded cheddar

•1 cup brown rice

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 25 minutes. While chicken cooks, stem and cut poblano peppers. Mince garlic, and mix with poblano pepper. Sauté on a non stick skillet. Cook until lightly charred 1-2 minutes). Set aside.

Place carrot and butternut squash in pot and fill with water till covered. Boil until tender, 7-10 minutes. Drain water and mash with potato masher. Mix in butter and chipotle seasoning. Cover and set aside. While cooking mash, boil brown rice in 1 cup of water till tender. Drain and set aside.

Mix together poblano pepper mixture and cheeses. Remove chicken from oven and place mixture on top of chicken. Place back in oven and cook for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Place mash and rice on plate. Plate chicken on top of rice and serve!

What you eat

I went to lunch with a friend recently and she told me she was wanting to lose weight. She asked me what I typically eat in a day so I explained. I start my mornings with a solid breakfast, then a snack, then lunch, then another snack, then a post workout protein shake, and finish with dinner. None of my meals are huge but they are a good size to where I’m not still hungry after.

When we went to order our lunch I ordered a a grilled chicken salad with no cheese and salsa instead of dressing. My friend ordered a fruit smoothie. This is where people get it all wrong. Food is not your enemy if consumed in the proper amounts! A fruit smoothie isn’t a meal. It’s a snack. Yes fruit is good for you but in small amounts. Your body processes fruit as a sugar. If you want to lose weight, fuel your body properly. Give it the nutrients it needs to burn fat….veggies, proteins, fats (avocado), etc. I wish people would stop being so scared of what they eat. Educate yourself on foods! If you don’t know where to start, then ask!