Deconstructed Taco?


That’s the best name I can think of for this quick, taco-like dish. This one won’t be winning any pretty awards but it’s delicious! Think of a taco minus the shell. 

Imagine dinner being ready in 20 minutes and none of your kids bitchin’ about “are there onions in there” or “what’s that green stuff”. Lol! JUST EAT IT! Beef, beans and corn, and then you add your toppings.👌🏼

Want the recipe, well here you go….

Note: Cut the recipe in half if necessary because remember, I’m feeding five.

INGREDIENTS:

– 4lbs Lean Ground Beef (Ground Turkey would work too)

– 2 cans Black Beans

– 2 cans (no added sodium) Corn

– 2 pkgs Taco Seasoning

Below are optional. You can also add avocado or maybe tomatoes as well depending on what you like.

– Shredded Mexican Style Cheese

– Shredded Lettuce

– Light Sour Cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add beef and taco seasoning to a large pot and brown on medium/high heat. Meanwhile, rinse/drain the black beans and corn and set aside.

2. Once the beef is browned, add the corn and black beans to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

And you’re done! Easy right? Now just serve yourself some of the meat mixture and add in your cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream and whatever else you like.

Enjoy!

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Egg Roll In a Bowl

   

EGG ROLL IN A BOWL

This may look gross but if you pass this one up, you’re missing out!

I hate coleslaw so I was iffy about this one but it is so good.👌🏼 Recipe below makes 10 servings of 1 cup each. Cut recipe in half for less servings. (Duh! But I gotta say it.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2lbs Ground Sausage (I used Sweet Italian Sausage for extra flavor)
  • 2 bags Coleslaw (cabbage & carrots – near the bagged salads)
  • 10 Cloves of Garlic – minced
  • 2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, brown sausage over medium heat.
  2. While sausage is cooking mince garlic and combine in a bowl with ground ginger and soy sauce. Whisk so ground ginger doesn’t clump and set aside.
  3. Once sausage is cooked through, add coleslaw to the pot and mix to combine.
  4. Add soy sauce mixture to the pot and mix to combine. Allow mixture to cook 5 more minutes or until cabbage is slightly wilted.

ENJOY!

Baked Chicken Breasts with Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

My least favorite meal prep because it’s SO.MUCH.FOOD. Stupid complaint right? I know. I’ve started taking out some of the chicken and eating it as a snack to help me get it all in during the day.

I should note that I eat A LOT of food to maintain/grow my muscles and my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is about 1750 calories a day. That’s how many calories I burn a day just by being alive, breathing, blood pumping, blinking, etc. I could lay in bed all day doing nothing and burn that many calories. Pretty cool huh!

Meal Prep details….

Baked Chicken Breast with Whole Grain Penne Pasta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

MY PORTION:

– 7oz Chicken Breast

– 4oz Penne Pasta

– 1 cup Brussels Sprouts

MACROS:

64.5g Protein

86g Carbs

5.6g Fat

605 calories

Baked Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms

Baked Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms

The credit for the photo to the left goes to Better Homes and Gardens, this recipe is out of their Skinny One-Pan Recipes magazine from 2016. All other photos were taken by me.

This recipe is incredibly easy and delicious! I’ve made it a few times and the only tweak I make is that I add more chicken because I prefer more protein in my Risotto.

TIP: Use a Fresh Roasted Chicken from the grocery store and save time. I prefer the “no salt added” chicken if available.

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 6oz. Fresh Portobello Mushroom caps, halved and sliced (2-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 – 14.5oz cans Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked Arborio Rice (hidden amongst the others in the rice section)
  • 1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Italian Parsley (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 2-quart square or rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth and water; bring to a boil. Stir in rice and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake, covered, 35 minutes or until rice is tender.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients, chicken and parmesan cheese, and top with parsley if preferred.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS (1-1/4 cups each)

MACROS (for the exact ingredients I used, pictured below)

  • 268 Calories
  • 28g Carbs
  • 16.2g Protein
  • 10.3g Fat

Baked Chicken Breast Prep

Baked Chicken Breast, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sugar Free Maple Syrup and Collard Greens.

🏻HERS: 6oz of chicken breast, 1/2 cup sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup of greens.

🏽HIS: 8oz of chicken breast, 3/4 cup sweet potatoes and 3/4 cup of greens.

🐓Perfectly Baked Chicken Breast🐓 Set oven to 400 degrees, cook chicken for 10 minutes then flip over and cook 10 minutes more. I always get perfectly cooked and moist chicken breast with the high temp less time method. Seasoned with Mrs. Dash.

🍠Sweet Potatoes 🍠 Chop those babies up and boil until soft, about 20 minutes. Put in bowl and use some elbow grease or an Immersion Blender (my method) to mash. Add sugar free maple syrup until you obtain your desired consistency. Doesn’t take much so add slowly. NO SALT!

🍃Collard Greens🍃 (Per bundle of greens) Cut out center stem, roll leaves and cut so you have long ribbons. On low, cook 1 strip of chopped bacon in skillet until the fat melts and then add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 3 chopped garlic cloves. Cook until garlic is golden. Add greens, season with salt and cover, stirring occasionally and cooking until soft, about 10 minutes.

I use “Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil” because I don’t like the taste of olive oil. Unless I’m dipping bread in it. To each their own.

👻HAPPY HALLOWEEN👻
  

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves w/Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Yesterday I prepped this delicious meal for myself and my husband with plenty of leftovers for our 3 kids, who all loved it too!

The recipe is below for 4 servings but I, of course, multiplied that. I made 17 servings for my husband and I and his are a double serving of the meat loaves (2 instead of only 1) plus all the extras you can see in the photos below.

I used 7-8lbs of Ground Turkey, 4lbs of Green Beans and 10lbs of Potatoes.

Meal Prepping can be quite intimidating at first but I assure you, it is very simple and such a time saver when you don’t have to worry about cooking lunch or dinner for the next 7-10 days.

I’ve created a Meal Prep Guide to help others understand and get started with prepping. It isn’t difficult, it just takes a bit of planning and it can definitely help you hit your goals. If you’re interested in the guide, it is only $5.00 and is in PDF format so it will be sent via email.

MINI MEAT LOAVES, GREEN BEANS AND POTATOES – 4 Servings

Prep: 10 Minutes  Bake: 40 Minutes  Stand: 10 Minutes

  • Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • 12oz. Fingerling and/or New Potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Fine Dry Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Finely Chopped Onion
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef (I used Turkey)
  • 8oz. Green Beans, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15×10 inch baking pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Place potatoes on 1/2 of the prepared pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine next four ingredients (through Garlic Powder). Add ground beef (or turkey); mix well. Shape into four 3-1/2 x 2 inch loaves.
  3. In a medium bowl drizzle the green beans with 1 tsp. Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Place loaves and green beans in the pan with the potatoes. Bake 20 to 23 minutes more or until loaves are done (160 degrees F) and potatoes and beans are tender.
  4. Spoon 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over meat loaves; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with potatoes and beans. Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING:

  • 455 Calories
  • 18g Fat (6g Sat Fat)
  • 100mg Chol.
  • 805mg Sodium
  • 39g Carbs
  • 4g Fiber
  • 34g Protein

Recipe Credit: Better Homes & Gardens One-Pan Recipes

 

Meal Prep Ideas

Recently I purchased a weeks worth of meal preps instead of making them myself. The great thing about ordering from a meal prep company is that you can mix it up.

Here are a few of the meals I ordered and I also have a Chicken Teriyaki, Yams and Brussels Sprouts prep that isn’t pictured but that’s another combo idea for you.

CHILI COCONUT CHICKEN with Mixed Veggies and Cilantro Rice.

SKIRT STEAK with Baked Potatoes and Asparagus

SALMON with Brown Rice and Asparagus


I was worried about how well the salmon would taste after frozen but it was still very good.

When it’s time to pull out a meal prep that’s been frozen, I put it on the counter for about 3-4 hours to defrost and then into the refrigerator until I’m ready to warm it up.

If you have meal prepping questions or ideas, please feel free to share. 

Why Low Carb Diets Don’t Work for Long Term Goals…

I wanted to share this article with you; Author credit goes to Mike Gorski.


Here’s What You Need To Know…

1. We’ve all heard it before, “carbs make you fat,” and some of us still believe this myth. You know what makes you fat? A surplus of calories, shitty food quality and a sedentary lifestyle.

2. Sure you can drop a few quick pounds fending off carbs for a while, but your performance, hormonal balance, and general mental and emotional abilities and health will suffer. Did I mention you’ll probably end up even fatter once you kick the “low carb” kick?

3. Here’s why prioritizing carbs, and training and eating like an athlete will create the foundation for fat-loss and general health benefits we are all shooting for. And yes, this is a sustainable long term option unlike your low carb crash diet.

You Think Carbs Will Make You Fat?

“Carbs will make you fat. Want to lose fat? Just cut back on your carbs, and increase your cardio.” – Muttered by numerous fitness “professionals” on a daily basis.

It is this irresponsible advice and approach that has wrecked peoples bodies internally and externally, left people feeling like shit zombies, and kept people looking flat and deflated.

Carbs have gotten such a bad rep over the years that it has become the second coming of the low fat craze. Everything is touted as low-carb, low-glycemic, etc. and all to stave off the dreaded belly fat.

The truth is, whether you are a competitive athlete, professional physique model, or just a weekend warrior looking to shed some pounds for your upcoming high school reunion – carbs can, and should be your friend.

Low carb diets may work in brief for quick “weight loss”, but what is this weight loss, and what are the real results when cutting out a high amount of carbs from the diet?

To break it down simply, low carb diets do work for general WEIGHT LOSS because you are entering a caloric deficit by cutting out an entire macronutrient group, and thus a huge chunk of your calories; creating a caloric deficit which is needed for weight loss.

Low Carb diets may also be good for more sedentary individuals or extremely obese individuals looking to control insulin and blood sugar levels. Because you ended up reading this article, I assume that you don’t fit this category.

Why Low Carb Diets DON’T Work for the Body You Want

More times than not, the weight loss from low carb diets ends up being water loss, and glycogen depletion, thus leaving the dieter looking flat, feeling weak, confused and tired. As soon as carbs are re-introduced, weight gain occurs and the “weight loss” visual results vanish as well.

Most people who have serious aesthetic goals in mind have a certain body type they are looking for. To get that body type you need to be training seriously, intensely, and continuously. You cannot perform optimally in the gym, and reach the gainz you seek long term without carbohydrates.

For men, being on low carb diets for extended periods of time can also lead to lowered testosterone levels and elevated cortisol. These are two of the most important hormones when it comes to getting shredded versus holding onto fat, and low carbs may push each of them in the wrong direction.

For women, eating low carb for extended periods of time leads to hypothalamic amenorrhea – i.e. irregular periods and some seriously messed up hormones.

4 Reasons You Need Carbs

Here are the four most important reasons you better be prioritizing carbohydrate intake in your diet. If you are struggling with your body composition or performance in and out of the gym, you may want to take notes.

#1 Carbs Fuel Intense Workouts

Because you read Dr. John Rusin, you must train seriously. Because you train seriously, you need carbohydrates in your life. Carbs fuel your intense workouts, allow you to avoid burnout, and push through those final reps of triple drop set split squats.

While pre-workout carbs don’t directly lead to muscle gain, as they have a limited role in muscle protein synthesis, they DO allow you to train harder, heavier and thus leading to the appropriate anabolic response and hormonal cascade that we are all seeking.

Loading up on the right kind of carbs pre-workout is just as important. You know what your body can handle, but most people would feel a high fiber carbs or large meals sitting in their guts during their squats.

A lighter, faster digesting carb 60-90 minutes before you workout is the best option. Some good options here would be white rice, white bagels, bananas or other lower fiber fruits or starchy carbs. If Whole food doesn’t sit well with you, try a liquid carb drink, as some carbs here may be better than none.

Bottom line is, I recommend a minimum of 30-60 grams of carbs 60-90 minutes before your workout.

#2 Carbs Promote Recovery After Intense Workouts

During intense training sessions, glycogen is pulled from muscle storage to help replace your ATP, fueling muscular contractions. Over the course of an intense training session, glycogen can be depleted by as much as 26%. However, this is a total body measurement and glycogen stores are actually used locally. What this means is that if you train legs, almost all of the glycogen in your legs could be used up – but only 26% of your total body glycogen was used.

Long story short, you need to replenish that glycogen, and carbs will do the trick.

Within a hour or two after your workout, make sure you consume 1/4th to ½ your body weight in grams of carbohydrates. For example, a 200-pound man should have 50-100 grams of carbs within an hour or two after an intense workout.

Good choices here are your faster digesting carbs again, as we don’t want them sitting in our gut, and sometimes it can be hard to eat high fiber carbs right after a workout. White rice, pasta, bread, or a sport drink will do the trick here.

#3 Carbs Optimized Hormones

Hormones play a huge role in gaining muscle mass, losing body fat, and just feeling good overall. So why would we want to go on a diet that messes with all of those elements so dramatically?

Low carb diets for people who are serious about their training can lead to the following hormonal changes:

  • Lowered testosterone
  • Increased cortisol
  • Lowered thyroid function
  • Lowered luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in women.

All of which lead to less energy, slowed metabolism, low sex drive, and impaired immune function. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

One of the most important, and obvious hormones that is controlled by carbs is insulin. Insulin, being very anabolic, is important for building muscle and is crucial for replenishing glycogen as stated earlier.

The fear of insulin is what started the whole low-carb craze in the first place. Remember, you train hard, you need insulin to build your body, you don’t fit the mold of the low-carb dieters.

So how do we avoid messing up our hormones and reverting to the levels of a 10 year old boy? Make sure your daily carb intake never gets under 100 grams per day or under 30% of your total caloric intake just to be safe. You need to monitor your energy levels during workouts to truly know what your goal should be, as some people may need a much higher minimum dose than 100 grams.

#4 Carbs Enhance Mental Health

Live your life…responsibly. One of the most important, and under talked about aspects of our nutrition is how it affects our mental health. Low carb dieters tend to get to the point of jonezing so hard for carbs that its all they want to talk about.

We should be able to enjoy what we eat, while still reaching the goals and bodies that we desire.

Many of our favorite “guilty pleasure” foods are carb heavy. Pizza, pasta, desserts, etc. It is okay to enjoy these things on occasion with responsibility and being able to tell yourself that it won’t completely ruin your physique. If you know your caloric goals, your macro nutrient goals (especially carbs after reading this), make about 10-20% of your weekly calories come from the less “healthy” forms of carbs and foods.

Just make sure that the rest of your carbohydrates during the week come from whole, minimally processed foods such as: oats, rice, beans, fruits, potatoes and non-starchy vegetables.

It’s Finally Time To Embrace Carbs

Don’t be that guy pulling plain chicken breasts out of your pockets when you go out for a nice dinner with friends.

By avoiding a low carb diet, I guarantee you will feel better, be happier, and get the results you are looking for (or even better). Make sure you keep hitting the weights hard, keep your total nutrition on point, and the carbs will do the rest of the work for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Mike Gorski is a Registered Dietitian and personal trainer located just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Mike works with clients on a wide variety of goals including sports performance, post-rehab training, weight loss, and overall healthy behavior change. His ideas and methods have been featured on some of the top publications in the fitness industry including the Personal Trainer Development Center. Mike’s mission is to create positive behavior change with all his clients that will not only get them to their personal goal, but last them a lifetime.

Learn more about Mike on his:

Website: http://www.mgfitlife.com Facebook: mgfitlife Instagram: mgfitlife