daily eats: 6.13.12

On my last daily eats post, I asked if you would rather see a juice fast/cleanse or a day from Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut plan. Making the Cut was the clear winner and is a “30-day diet and fitness plan for the strongest, sexiest you!” It is a book I’ve had for quite some time and I’ve tried a recipe or two, but that was really the extent of it. I thought it would be fun to revisit the book!

The premise is that you take a quiz (At dinner you prefer to eat: a. chicken, b. no preference – choice varies daily, c. heavier, fatty foods – pastas, steak, potatoes) and then you use the answers to determine your “metabolic type.” I am a balanced oxidizer, and so the suggested macro nutrient ratio is 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. I would definitely agree that my body does best on a similar way of eating. I’m not, however, really a fan of the “fake” foods she recommends such as low carb yogurt, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and fat-free dairy products.

It is a pretty strict plan and is for those who are moderately fit and don’t need to lose more than 20 pounds. A few of the rules: no alcohol, stick to your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) caloric amount (mine was at 1400), no skipping meals, no processed foods, write everything down in a food journal, etc.

There are of course, also workouts included – lots of strength training and interval cardio work.

Daily Eats: 6.13.12 – Making the Cut by Jillian Michaels

Coffee: coffee + a mix of 1/2 & 1/2 + coconut creamer

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs + 1 serving kashi go lean + almond milk

This was a great breakfast and something I need to have more often – it was filling, full of protein and quick! 

Workout: 45 minutes spin

Lunch: artichoke, fennel & tomato salad + a chicken breast (x2 on the salad – I was still hungry)

This lunch was great and the salad was delicious, I’ll definitely be making it again. It would be perfect to take to work. 

Snack: 1 slice sprouted bread + 1 Tbsp peanut butter

This is a filling and satisfying snack! Must add to the rotation. 

Dinner: brisket + garlic green beans + (more) artichoke salad

 

Brisket was not technically one of the dinners listed for my oxidizer type, but beef is permitted so I figured it was ok. 

And…a few pieces of chocolate for dessert. Definitely not Jillian approved but definitely necessary. :)

Thoughts on the Day: The meals were filling, but it did kind of feel like something was missing. My macro nutrient ratio was a little off – 49% fat, 28% carbohydrate and 23% protein. I certainly wouldn’t be able to last 30 days on a plan this strict, especially because I went way over the calorie limit that she suggested but I think it is definitely the way to look your best quick – lots of lean protein, smart carbs and nothing processed.

simple & healthy: stir-fry

Stir-frys are always a great choice for simple and healthy meals that come together in minutes.

In fact, usually the rice takes longer to make than the stir-fry itself. If you are short on time, consider trying frozen brown rice or instant brown rice. (You can also make your own brown rice in large batches and then freeze for later use).

Then gather up all of the vegetables you have, along with some protein and have a flavorful dinner on the table in minutes!

(Beef & Basil Stir-Fry from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)

Stir-Fry Tips and Steps: 

  1. Prepare rice, grain or pasta if using
  2. Prepare all ingredients (slice, chop, etc) so they are all ready to go
  3. Heat pan and oil in pan (you can flavor oil with garlic and ginger)
  4. Add ingredients by length of cooking time, adding ingredients that take longest first*
  5. Add sauce (can be as simple as a splash of soy, fish sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, etc.)
  6. Serve immediately

*If your stir-fry includes meat or seafood, consider cooking the meat, removing from pan and then cooking the vegetables so you don’t over cook your meat

Stir-Fry Recipes to Try:

Shrimp & Snow Pea Stir-Fry 

Sauteed Baby Squash with Basil & Feta

Chicken & Leek Stir-Fry

Spicy Asparagus-Tempeh Stir-Fry

Brown Rise Stir-Fry with Kimchi, Pork & Tofu

Grace Young’s Best Stir-Fry Tips

 

simple & healthy: fajitas

Chicken Fajitas were a staple in my house growing up, my brother and I loved them.

My Mom served up grilled chicken, sauteed peppers and onions along with salsa and sour cream (and maybe some guacamole) with this delicious carrot and rice dish on the side.

It’s no wonder we loved them, they are flavorful, easy to throw together and who doesn’t love a Mexican meal mid-week?

Fajitas are great because not only are they a healthy meal, but they come together really quickly and a lot of the components can be prepped or done ahead of time. The leftovers make great lunches or quesadillas as well.

Here’s how it goes down.

Simple & Healthy Fajitas: 

  • Grill, broil or saute your protein – chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu. (This can be done a day or two in advance).
  • Prepare the peppers and onions: In a medium saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp of oil. Add 1 onion, sliced and 2 bell peppers, sliced. Saute until soft. (This can also be done a day or two in advance).
  • Prepare the toppings: guacamole (if you are making it, you can also just top with chunks of avocado), diced tomato, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream and salsa.
  • Heat up tortillas and spread everything out on the table!
  • Let everyone build their own fajitas according to taste – but always including a few vegetables! ;)
  • You could also serve as a burrito bowl, with brown rice or a salad, over lettuce.
  • Side dish: black or refried beans, tortilla chips, or more veggies.

Fajitas – simple, healthy and delicious!

slow cooker recipes

I’m on my way to Wisconsin this weekend with one pair of boots and a trench coat (everything else is still in the pod!) so I’m hoping for some mild weather…and thinking about lots of warm and cozy slow cooker meals! 

I’ve mentioned before that I used to have a snobby attitude about the slow cooker. My brother gave me a camouflaged crock pot one year for Christmas and I promptly returned it to K-Mart on December 27th. I believe I said something along the lines of “crock pots are for hicks.” I know, I know, so terrible! You know what they say, karma is a bi*#$!  Now I love them. But I will say that I much prefer my stainless steel to camouflage…

A lot of the recipes for slow cookers can be a bit old-school, or midwestern (meat and potatoes) but I keep seeing new, modern, healthy and delicious sounding crock-pot recipes. And I’m all over them.

(Real Simple)

Slow Cooker Recipes

White Bean Soup with Andouille and Collards – Real Simple

Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna – Real Simple

Slow Cooked Chicken Fajitas – Heather’s Dish

Brazilian Feijoada – Cooking Light

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry – Cooking Light

Chicken Curry – Martha Stewart

Spanish Meatballs – Martha Stewart 

Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken – Better Homes & Gardens

Drip Beef – The Pioneer Woman

Lentil Sweet Potato Soup – Eat Live Run 

 

What are you making in your slow cooker?