Monthly Archives: September 2014

Plan, Prepare and Prep…It’s easier than you think!

My MOST favorite day of the week is meal prep day!  Well that and leg day (hurts SO good!) if they fall on the same day then WATCH OUT!  You’ll catch a happy dance from me in the kitchen or in the gym (sorry I’m not sorry).

As I started losing my weight I started re-learning about food.  REAL food.  What it tastes like, different ways to cook it, different spices to use with it.  I would try different vegetables, fruits, meats…anything I had never tried before to see what I could do with it.  Since then I have stuck with a few different things that I loved the most and continue to use those as staples in my meal preps every week.  I’ll throw in a few new foods each week to keep things exciting.  Since people often ask me how I prepare some of my foods and what I use for spices and such I thought I would do a post on the full on naked truth of my meal preps…

Hang on…there’s a foodgasm on the way!

First, it starts with my shopping list.  Luckily, there are only two stores I have to go to to find all of the things I need.

Costco / Sams Club:  This is where I get my chicken, ground turkey, eggs, flank steak when I choose to add steak to the menu as well as fish which I usually switch up with the steak.  (Costco has WAY better fish and steak than Sams Club).  This is also where I get gigantic bags of frozen veggies.  I usually stick with broccoli, green beans and I buy huge bags of spinach, kale and arugala.  Costco is also where I get my coconut oil and avocado oil.  It is WAY cheaper to get these oils here than the grocery store.  I also buy the big jar of minced garlic (pre-minced…hey I can’t do it all okay?!).  Costco is also where I get all the sandwich baggies I use to portion everything in.

Fresh Farms / Grocery Store:  I always suggest staying away from commercial grocery stores because the produce isn’t as good as farmers markets or the family owned grocery stores.  There is a place right by my house in Wheeling (Fresh Farms) that has wonderful fresh produce.  This is where I get all of the fruits and veggies that I only use a few times during the week but not every day; bananas, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, cauliflower, berries and avocados.

DRY RUB:  This is the dry spice that I use on almost everything.  I have been working on this recipe for a while to get the balance of flavors just right and I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything but…*honk honk* it’s pretty damn good!  I put this on steak or sometimes on my eggs…anything that I want to put a dry spice on

1/2 TBSP Himalayan Sea Salt

2 TBSP Granulated Garlic

1 TBSP Oregano (dry)

2 TSP Thyme (dry)

1/2 TSP Ground Cinnamon (dry)- Trust me on this one

1 TSP Onion Powder (dry)

1 TSP Saffron Strands

1/4 TSP Ginger (dry)

1/4 TSP Dill (dry)

Most of the time I will double or triple this recipe.  Put everything in a coffee grinder or a food processor and blend until all combined and a fine powder.  Put in an empty spice container or I put mine in a medium mason jar and keep a label on it.

CHICKEN MARINADE:  This is my MOST favorite marinade that I use on my chicken.  I eat chicken 3-4 times a day and I have yet to get bored when I make it like this

First, I trim the chicken and cut it up into medium size chunks.

Put all of the below ingredients in the food processor:

3-4 large TBSP Minced Garlic

1 1/2 TSP Dry Rosemary

1 TSP Himalayan Sea Salt

1 TSP Cracked Black Pepper

2 TBSP Lemon Juice

2 TBSP Dijon Mustard

Blend everything together and slowly add 2-3 TBSP of olive oil or avocado oil until everything is blended smooth.  Pour over the chunks of chicken and smoosh around until everything is covered.  Cover with plastic and put in the fridge for a few hours.  Either put on the grill, bake or use a grill pan to cook.

For the spinach, kale and arugala: I put all of the large bags into one big bowl and mix.  I put one cup of the mixture into each baggie and into the fridge.

For the frozen green beans and broccoli: I like to keep them frozen until I eat them and let them de-frost naturally in my lunch box.  I put a cup of each in baggies with granulated garlic and lemon pepper.

Fish:  I usually do fish for dinner.  I’m nervous to prep fish and re-heat it so I usually save it until my last meal.  I prefer cod, orange roughy and salmon.  I keep fish simple since I like the light taste of cod and orange roughy.  Salmon has a very distinct taste that I also enjoy so I don’t do too much over spicing on the fish.

I put salt and pepper on each side and put it in tin foil.  I slice up ginger and lemon slices and spread over the top of the fish (skin and all).  I wrap everything up in the tin foil and either put in the grill or in the George Foreman.

For the Ground Turkey:  I cook this is Onion Powder and Coconut Oil.  I usually switch between ground turkey and eggs for breakfast with broccoli or spinach.

Sweet Potatoes:  These are my MOST favorite carb source.  I skin the sweets and cut them up into bite size chunks.  I pre-heat the oven to 350 and put the sweet bits in a big bowl.  I put in 2 TBSP of olive oil or avocado oil and the dry rub and bake until the ones around the edges are crispy

Below are a few pictures of the prep process.  I turn up the music, shut off my brain and just prep till I drop!  Please feel free to use any of these ideas or feel MORE than free to email me if you need any ideas or suggestions!

BEFORE (it's beautiful!)

BEFORE (it’s beautiful!)

DURING! full on prep party

DURING! full on prep party

On Your Knees…

There are moments in your life that bring you to your knees.  These are the moments that are sometimes life altering and courage challenging.  These moments could be directly impactful to you and your life or those around you.  I believe these moments are brought into our lives for us to be humbled.  I am a believer in the saying that “everything happens for a reason.”  The good things and the bad things all happen for a reason.  We may never know the reason but we have to find purpose in every event that crosses us.

 

I can’t tell you why my beloved papa bear was diagnosed with Alzheimers at such a young age and can’t even remember who we are or even feed himself… but I’ll tell you what…these years of his decline has brought my mother, brother and I closer than we could have ever imagined we could be.  We have become a tight knit unit and depend on each other for support.

 

I have been battling this rectal fissure for two years now.  I can’t tell you why and I’m having trouble trying to figure out the reason.  After years of putting in the time and the hard work to make my body healthier, my body is now deciding to fall apart.  I have had 4 botox injections to the area, 2 exams under anesthesia and been rushed to the ER three times for the pain.  I never, ever imagined that at any point in my life I would been sitting on the toilet screaming in pain because of what it feels like to go to the bathroom.  To me, this was something that happens to 80 year olds.

 

Today, I saw my colo-rectal surgeon because the pain has come back full-force.  On July 14th, one week after my plastic surgery, I had to go back into the hospital for another botox injection and the doctor said this was the worst fissure he has ever seen.  Since that procedure there were a few weeks of relief and since my birthday on August 18th it has just been a constant viscous cycle of pain killers, warm baths and agony.  I haven’t slept, I’ve been afraid to go to the bathroom and I’m terrified to eat because I know what the end product of that will be.  Today my doctor finally said that he doesn’t know what he can do for me anymore.  Now, I have to go see a specialist at UIC, the man who mentored my colo-rectal surgeon and who is partially retired to see if he has a second opinion on this.

 

So far, my doctor said there are three options:

1.)    A skin graft where he takes skin from my ass cheek and puts it over the fissure so it can heal.  This is a week long recovery where I can either stand, or lay down because I cannot sit on the skin that needs to heal.

2.)    A Sphincterotomy where he would cut the sphincter muscle to enable the fissure to heal.  He is hesitant to do this one because he cannot guarantee I won’t be able to control my bowels after this (hello adult diapers).

3.)    A colostomy bag.  Need I say more?

 

I want to feel helpless and feel sorry for myself and wallow in my pain and the “why me’s?” that are the knee-jerk reaction when shit like this hits the fan.  But, I’m determined to heal.  I’m determined to get better and make my body whole again.  I’ve come too far and been through too much at this point to succumb to self-pity and the parameters of modern medicine.  I think the body is an incredible power-house, more powerful and more complex than we humans will ever understand.  Maybe I will need the help of medicine but at the same time I think I have the power to do something to make a difference.  I don’t know what it is yet and I don’t know how long it will take me to figure it out but I am determined to brave this out and make my body heal.

My health is the most important goal in my life.  If I have to put the bodybuilding training aside to train a different way for a more optimal healthy body than that’s what I will do.  I’m not going to give up.  I’m not going to feel sorry for myself and I’m not going to let a little pain in the ass get me down after I’ve come this far.

 

Thank you for letting me rant!