Dirty Eater Confessions Continued: Tips and Recipes
When determining what you should eat every day for your goals, you should do some research about the percentages of fats/oils/carbs in your diet. I personally don’t believe in following a low carb or low fat diet and completely avoiding those foods (unless your doctor has prescribed this kind of diet). Contrary to popular belief, there are GOOD carbs and GOOD fats that are NECESSARY to make sure everything is working correctly, i.e. you have sustainable energy throughout the day (carbs), your joints and heart are working well (healthy fats), etc. This chart is a good example or starting point, but you may need to refine it as you find out what works best for you.
Personally, I have always struggled with getting enough protein every day (I generally shoot for 1 g per lb of body weight when I am working out a lot so my muscles are fed, but I’m sure that’s not for everyone). I can usually eat about 100 g without feeling like I am force feeding myself chicken, so if I want more than that, I usually supplement with a shake. Be careful if you decide to go this option. These shakes can have a lot of extra crap in them that you do NOT need. Make sure you get something with simple ingredients, no food coloring or other weird stuff (that's a good general rule for anything you put into your body). My favorite is Jay Robb Whey Protein. I get it from the Vitamin Shoppe and it mixes well (and tastes good) in water or almond milk. It also had the most grams of protein, as compared to the other healthier options. I would not recommend supplementing your protein with more than one shake a day. If your stomach can’t handle whey, look for a soy or egg protein option.
For snacks, I like the obvious fruit and fresh veggies, boiled eggs (or egg cups-see below), plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter and nuts (be aware of serving sizes), avocados, tuna, triscuit crackers (only wheat and salt as ingredients, as compared to other crackers), hummus.
As I mentioned, I haven’t yet started trying to buy all organic, mainly because I don’t believe the grocery store’s labeling/advertising. Also, most of my veggies and potatoes are homegrown by my industrious parents. IF this is something you are concerned about, and your budget doesn’t allow for eating 100% organic all the time, check out this web site http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/index.php and look to this “Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen” Chart to make sure that you are spending your hard-earned money on the most healthy options.
The products on the left are tested to have the most pesticides;
the products on the right are safer bets to buy non-organic.
Disclaimer: I’m not a cook. At all. I follow recipes, and wouldn’t begin to know how to come up with something myself. That said, these are not my recipes, except that I’ve excluded stuff I don’t like or added stuff I do! I pretty much eat the same main things EVERY day with a few variations. You don’t HAVE to eat the same thing every day, but if you don’t, well then I guess you have to be more creative than me, a better cook, and have more time on your hands than I do (the first two aren’t that hard haha!) See www.heandsheeatclean.com for more recipes. A lot of mine are variations from here. Also see Brande, my lovely friend, fellow triathlete, and certified personal trainer’s website www.brandemcdonald.com for examples of meal plans and more ideas for variety. www.fitmencook.com also has some awesome, adventurous ideas and recipes.
It helps if you can raid friends', family's, neighbors', boss's, strangers' gardens whenever possible. Just kidding. Seriously, don't do that without asking!
Meal Prep/Food Prep
Every week we grill up a package of chicken breasts (this is “food prepping”). I usually eat chicken on a salad or by itself with some veggies or purple potatoes. Lately, I’ve been putting together the sides each night, but depending on how far you want to go and how time crunched you are during the week, you may want to cook that up on your food prep day, measure and divide your servings and put it in a container with your main dish (“meal prepping”).
If you are just starting “meal prepping”- measuring out everything ahead of time and putting it in ready to heat and eat dishes, the food scale will be your best friend. You will start to understand serving sizes (prepare to be UHMAZED!). It’s important to precisely measure instead of guesstimate if you are concerned about hitting certain macros. (See logging in my earlier post. My Fitness Pal app really makes this a breeze.)
My breakfast is either oatmeal or yogurt with plain granola (I buy whatever has the least sugar) and sometimes some fruit (trying to get better about that). Scrambled eggs on weekends.
Personally, I like saving salads for dinner so I don’t have to cart all that to work or waste time preparing it on my lunch break, plus it’s something lighter to eat on nights I get home late. Eating before 7 p.m. every night is just not feasible for me. Rather than skipping out on your calories for the day because you are worried about eating too late, I recommend trying to be smart about what you eat late if that’s your only option (i.e. don’t eat super heavy pasta or slow digesting food late at night then try to lay down. Bleh!) Fueling your body is so much more important than timing of your food, in my humble opinion. Anyway, I like to save my already divided, microwavable foods for lunch, but as always, go with what works best for you. These lunches are usually either meatloaf, or my current daily staple is honey chipotle ground chicken with brown rice. This seriously takes about 10 minutes to cook up, and tastes pretty darn good. Can’t beat that combo. We eat a lot of brown rice. It’s pretty good for you as far as carbs go. Quinoa is also excellent for you and probably even a better choice. It’s very flexible too. Eat it hot for breakfast, or with cucumbers and peppers for a quinoa salad, for example.
I like my dinner to look like a rainbow. If you have never had the distinct
pleasure of eating a purple potato, stop. Go eat one. I'll wait.
I also will sometimes make up a lot (8 cans usually) of tuna salad and eat that on my salad or as a snack with triscuits or sub the crackers with sliced cucumbers (TRY IT).
I try to have fish once a week, but personally don’t like to reheat it, so I save it for nights when there’s time to cook. (Who am I kidding? Jason cooks all the meat in my house, it’s no secret! I’m a lucky girl.) And I don’t like red meat, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for tips on that! Ground turkey is pretty much our best friend.
1 1/2 cups chopped onion & red peppers
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup liquid aminos
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp tomato paste (no salt added)
3 lbs extra lean ground turkey (or ground chicken breast)
1 cup quick cooking oats
4 egg whites
2. In a large saute pan, cook the onions & peppers with salt, pepper, & thyme until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
3. Add garlic, soy sauce, chicken broth, & tomato paste, mixing until heated through.
4. Set mixture aside to cool.
5. In a large bowl combine ground turkey (or chicken), egg whites, oats, & sauteed mixture (cooled).
6. Mix by hand until all incorporated & press flat into the 9X13 Pyrex dish.
7. Spread ketchup in an even layer on top of the prepared turkey (or chicken).
8. Place in the oven to bake for 1 hour & 20 minutes.
Makes 24 servings (not in my household!)
4 cans of tuna, drained
1 single serving cup of Chobani plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 chopped pickle (because I love pickles and if you don’t you’re just wrong!)
Honey Chipotle Ground Chicken:
Makes four servings. Use it in a salad with guacamole, make tacos, add it to your scrambled eggs, or just mix it in with brown rice or quinoa!
1 lb Ground Chicken Breast (if your grocery store doesn’t carry it, ask them to throw packaged chicken breasts in the grinder while you shop)
1 Tomato, diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Chipotle Pepper Spice
Honey (drizzled over cooked meat - no more than 1 tsp)
1. Coat pan lightly with olive oil.
2. Place meat and garlic in pan, cook under medium-high heat until meat is cooked through. Drain.
3. Turn heat to medium, add in cumin, chipotle pepper spice, oregano, and diced tomato and continue to cook until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
Serving Size: 4 oz
Macros (per serving):
Protein 25 g
Protein 25 g
Carbs: 3 g
Fat: 1 g
(picture in last post)
You will need a muffin tin to make these.
Use one whole egg OR two egg whites per tin.
Two cups of chopped and sauteed veggies of your choice (and/or meat).
Add a little milk if you’d like your egg cups to have a lighter, fluffier texture.
Measure and weigh the veggies BEFORE cooking them (for those of who who are tracking)
Scramble all your eggs/egg whites in a bowl. Add your veggies. Pour into muffin tin that’s been sprayed with oil.
Put in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Select a lean ground meat, turkey, chicken or beef.
Set over to 350F
Chop 1 c spinach into pieces
Season ground meat with onion powder, cayenne, garlic, pinch of salt.
Mix the spinach in with the ground meat
Make meatballs or patties weighing 2.5 oz. (use your scale!)
Bake in over for 15-20 minutes.
The recipe I took this from used bison meat (where do you even find that!?) and the macros were:
17 g protein
9 g fat
You can plug this or any recipe into MyFitnessPal app and it will calculate your macros for you. Bam!