It’s Food Friday! This meal plan is ALOT of food by volume because it’s all whole foods instead of packaged meals.
Here’s what I eat in a day (minus a serving of fruit that went in my post workout recover)
I’m in the 1500-1799 calorie range for weight loss. At 5’9″ and 163ish pounds, it seems a little low when these workouts are burning 500-600 calories (per my Apple watch!) I’m finding myself looking at the clock to see if I can eat yet. Our trainer has empowered us to adjust up for more food if we are hungry or tired. She said most people ended the program eating in maintenance since the workouts are intense. I’m going up one bracket next week.
Honestly, I’m nervous to “mess this up” but I’m learning to listen to my body, trust my decisions, be flexible and leave behind fear, perfection and “eat less to weigh less” mentality. Now I’ll fuel my body and push to failure. Win!
Had to post this morning since when I usually blog we were at hubby’s championships. They made it to the semifinals when they didn’t expect to get past game 2. It was a good but late night.
I almost kept the girls home and cooked and blogged but I want to go support hubby. It was a good choice because I got to see all his goals! (Normally he plays defense on his other teams. It’s was fun to see him shoot at the goal instead of protecting it!)
So this morning I’m food prepping amaranth as a healthy carb for my meal plan.
While not technically a grain (it’s a seed), gluten-free amaranth has a nutritional profile similar to grain. Originally from Peru, its cultivation spread through Central and South America and played a crucial role in Aztec rituals and their diet. Amaranth contains more protein than most grains, is considered a complete protein, has three times as much calcium as other grains, is rich in iron and magnesium, and is the only grain that contains vitamin C. It has been shown to lower blood cholesterol in patients with coronary disease and hypertension.
I get mine in bulk from The Head Nut at Reading Terminal Market
- Dry Amaranth
- Water or broth
- I always put my instant pot on Sauté mode while I’m grabbing things. It gives the Pot a chance to heat up before I dump stuff in.
- Add 3-4c water or broth. I usually add 4c of water because I like it less sticky and add it to other protein/veggie combos or eat it with cinnamon. Water lets me choose savory or sweet. You could use broth if you want a flavored rice-like option.
- Add 1c of dry amaranth and stir to make sure the seeds are mixed with the liquid. They will float.
- Close the cover and make sure the vent is in the sealed position
- Hit cancel to turn off Sauté
- I use multigrain for 25 min.
- You can quick release if in a hurry or natural release if not. I’ve done it both ways and haven’t had any issues.
Enjoy and let me know how you add it to your meals!
Today was cardio core and it was another great workout. I thought I had figured out the timed nutrition but somehow missed a meal and ended up having to finish my last one at 9pm! Oops.
After a full day of homeschooling I had to figure out a quick dinner based on what we had in the fridge. We are Costco addicts and always have some frozen chicken in the freezer. We also have a Costco sized bag of lemons so I went for a lemon chicken recipe.
2 pouches of chicken breasts (4 breasts)
1 onion chopped
1T oil of your choice (I used avocado)
1/2c chicken broth (I used 1/2c water with 1/2t better than bouillon reduced sodium chicken)
1t Himalayan salt
1t dried parsley
1/4t sweet paprika
The juice of 1 large lemon and 1/2 of the zest
5 garlic cloves
Arrowroot or cornstarch (for thickening)
- Select Sauté mode and let the Instant Pot get hot
- Chop the onions
- Add oil when the Instant Pot reads “HOT”
- Add onions and cook (next time I’ll add the garlic here)
- Combine chicken broth, salt, parsley, paprika, lemon juice and zest (I garlic pressed the 5 cloves here, but add them to the onions for more flavor)
- When the onions are looking a bit brown/golden, add the chicken breasts and pour the broth combo over them. Stir to make sure they’re well covered.
- Push off cancel
- Select “Poultry” and make sure it’s at 12 minutes for chicken breast. I’d probably do 14 for thighs.
- Quick release pressure when the timer is done.
- Scoop out 1/3c of broth and whisk in arrowroot or cornstarch to make a slurry.
- Remove chicken from the Instant Pot
- Add the slurry to the broth and turn on Sauté mode
- Whisk periodically while the gravy thickens
- Dump gravy into a blender for a smooth consistency. I just bring the vitamix to the table as a quick gravy boat 🤷🏻♀️
- I had it with some steamed green beans. The rest of the family added some bow tie pasta.
My Facebook feed says that the only thing important right now is the test group. We are Obsessed with a capital O. I’m actually good with it. A lot of people in it are sharing encouraging and funny posts and tips for food prep and workout moves. It’s good stuff.
One of the things I love about the group is that we have a chef who is making recipes for us that are healthy and tasty. One of my favorites is Chicken Pepperoni Crumbles. I found out last fall that I have an immune reaction to pork and I had to cut everything pork related out of my meals. I didn’t love pepperoni (not like I love Kalua pig and bacon) but the flavor is so good on things.
Normally, the recipe calls for browning the meat in a pan, but as a Mom, I want the easiest cleanup possible. Enter Sauté mode on the Instant Pot! I wasn’t sure it would be hot enough to cook a double batch in a timely manner but it did awesome!
Note, this is for a double batch. You can always cut it in half if you don’t want a lot (but trust me, this doesn’t last at our house!)
- 2T sweet paprika
- 2t garlic powder
- 1.5t pink Himalayan salt
- 1t ground pepper
- 1/2t ground fennel seed
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, I don’t use it)
- 2T oil of your choice, I use avocado
- 2 pounds of ground chicken
- Turn on Sauté mode on the Instant Pot
- Mix the spices together in a large bowl
- Add the ground chicken and make sure the spices are evenly mixed but don’t overhandle it.
- Add the oil when the Instant Pot is “HOT”
- Add the chicken and break up the chunks while cooking to make the crumbles.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and discard the drippings.
The chicken pepperoni crumbles are delicious on homemade pizza, wraps, salads and I eat it over spaghetti squash (see yesterday’s post) with some tomato sauce.
Let me know how you like it!!
So I got into an exclusive test group for a new timed nutrition and workout plan that lasts 80 Days. I’m excited because I need to keep up on workouts and this will motivate me to keep going!
Today I made spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot because it cooks so quickly and I can walk away from it. I hate having to turn on the oven for a small thing like this, so the IP is perfect.
- Cut squashes in half with a sharp knife
- Scoop out seeds
- Add 1c of water to the Instant Pot
- Put in the trivet
- Add the squash cut side up
- Cook on high pressure (HP) for 8 min with quick release of pressure when it’s done.
For my next meal I needed to eat a fruit, veggie and fat. I accidentally created the most amazing thing.
Ok, first, for those of you who don’t know me, I grew up in Cleveland area. My dad took us to Skyline Chili any time he had to feed us between our activities and Mom was away. Spaghetti with chili and cheese was a staple as well as the coneys. I love the flavors.
Today, I made a gluten free, chili free, 3 way with spaghetti squash, by accident!!
After the spaghetti squash was cooked, I dumped 1💚 in my bowl with 1💙 of shredded cheddar cheese and about 1/2t of taco seasoning. It blew me away with how much it tasted like Skyline spaghetti but without the heavy noodles or chili. Just the chili flavor with lots of melted cheese and a noodlelike texture. Win! I’ll be making this again. Easy and delicious. Spices make the difference.
I figured I should get back to blogging and since I love cooking in my Instant Pot so much, I’d share what we are eating.
This was kid approved and hubby liked it so much he took it for lunch the next day!
The extra gravy was so delicious I might have warmed it and drank it like soup later in the week!
We used Frontera Grill’s roasted tomato salsa and it was amazing.
I wanted to make French dip sandwiches, but don’t keep onion soup mix in the pantry (too many preservatives and crap in it!) Enter make your own mix! These French Dip sandwiches were delicious with some cheese on bread for everyone else and with barley for me.
Tonight I’m eating leftovers and hubby’s getting some chicken from a new spot he wanted to try. Yay!
It’s interesting this was part of my fit book club reading for today. I have been thinking a lot about addiction this week. My fitness accountability twin (same birthday!) and I were talking about how if we hadn’t found workouts and healthy food we would probably be caught up in a less positive addiction. We are still tied to scale and size, but working towards healthy balanced lives and it could always be worse.
I realized that considering myself as an empowered addict was actually a helpful mindset. This weekend I wanted the instant gratification of junk food. Brownies, bread, ice cream, pizza, the stuff I don’t eat usually. It tasted amazing (haven’t eaten it in so long) but the body aches, lethargy and GI bloat stink.
I was talking to another friend today about how a loved one is struggling with drugs. And how hard it is to get clean and not go back to the old life and old habits. It was a super helpful conversation to me. I need to have the mindset of someone in recovery. Mine is from putting poisons in my body that cause inflammation and dwelling in negativity. No going back.