Tuesday, January 27, 2015

21 Day Fix - Week 3 Working Out, Week 4 Food plan

I can boast a 10-pound weight loss in the first 19 days of January! I'm feeling pretty good about it. Even though last Saturday I indulged a little too much at dinner, and I know that this Saturday will be similar, I'm not letting those set me back. In fact, I doubled up last Saturday and did 2 workouts -- Upper and Lower Fix. It felt great to be able to knock out an hour! 

I realized today that when I miss a day or two, I take a step back. Today I got winded during the exercise and had to pause it at 15-minutes to catch my break. The old Meghan would have turned off the DVD or let the video continue while she caught her breathe -- missing the next exercise (or four....) But I'd rather pause it and take an extra minute break. 

This week we've had a great menu. Turkey Meatloaf, Chicken Fajitas, even Beef Stew is planned for Thursday night! Next week we're going back to basics -- grilled chicken most nights, some fish, maybe a steak night. This should re-jump our weight loss as I begin the second round of DVDs and we continue on with the meal plan. 

Here's the calendar of workouts so far! Looking good! 3+ hours a week!! Seriously, WHO IS THIS GIRL? 







Crockpot Chicken Fajitas - 21 Day Fix

I found this recipe somewhere -- and it's not a difficult recipe to follow. Unless you're doubling it. And you double it, and you get to the end of the recipe and it says "Divide among 2 bags.". UGH! I doubled an already doubled recipe? Crud. So lots of leftovers.

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
Ingredients
1.5 – 2 lbs. Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless 
1/2 medium – large white onion, sliced vertically 
3-4 Bell Peppers, any color, sliced into strips 
2 cans (10 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes, undrained (I used “Mild”) 
2 cloves garlic, diced or pressed
2 tsp. chili powder 
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. paprika
*Divide all ingredients into 2 large freezer bags

Directions
Cut things up. Put in crockpot for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Dish out 1 cup of veggies and 3/4 cup of chicken for 1 green and 1 red.
Add some whole grain torillas (yellow), and lettuce and homemade salsa (green).

Here's what mine looked like. They were SUPER filling. It counted as 1 Red, 2 Green, 2 Yellow, and 1 Blue (Cheese). I can't wait to eat them again!!!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup - 21 Day Fix

I made this last week and it doesn't even feel like a "diet". You can add cheese and greek yogurt to it. Eat it with a salad for a very filling dinner or by itself as a nice lunch. If you're not on a diet, indulge with some tortilla chips! 

Chicken Taco Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer (or broth)
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours (can we say Super Bowl!).
  2. Once it's done cooking, pull out the chicken and shred. I used the Mix 'n Chop to do it. Add the shredded chicken back to the crockpot and let cook another 15-minutes. 
  3. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of greek yogurt (or sour cream), and crushed tortilla chips, if desired. 

Approx 6-7 1-cup servings. 
Measure 1.5 cups and count as  1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow 
Make sure if you add greek yogurt and cheese you count those in addition! 

21 Day Fix Stuffed Peppers

I love Stuffed Peppers. Jason LOVES LOVES stuffed peppers. It's what he brought to the relationship, actually. I tried to make them healthier with ground turkey. He didn't care for the change. Because I love him, I went back to beef. 


I had to change up this recipe a bit from the 21-Day Fix SUPER friendly one I found online. We don't have lean beef in our house. We have a quarter of a grass fed, non-hormone raised cow. So while not the leanest meat, it can still be healthier than store bought beef. 

She also premade a lot of things and then measured. I'm all about "throw in a whole can of corn and see how it turns out." Turns out I made 10 peppers, so I'm not completely sure on the containers. I have probably overestimated the containers. However, I kept this recipe as if the mixture divides nicely into 6 containers. It would also depend on the size of peppers you are able to find. 

I cooked six and froze four for later. I prepped these the night before so they just had to be put in the oven. It is not an easy prep process!  

Note - when making stuffed peppers - you *must* boil the peppers to soften them up. Otherwise the peppers don't cook thoroughly and still have a little crunch to them. 
Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients

  • 6 Sweet bell peppers of your color choice
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef, seasoned with 21 Day Fix Southwestern Seasoning 
  • 1/2 Cup Dry/1.5 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa, cooked just shy of done
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of Black Beans, drained/rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of Corn, drained/rinsed
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef, seasoned with 21 Day Fix Southwestern Seasoning 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese


Directions


  1. Cut the caps of the peppers and clean out. Pre-cook the peppers by placing in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. 
  2. Cook brown rice, or quinoa according to directions 
  3. Brown ground meat and season with Southwest seasoning (See 21 Day Fix book). Set aside to cool.
  4. Drain and rinse black beans and corn.  
  5. Combine in large bowl meat, tomatoes, corn, rice/quinoa, beans, and sauce.
  6. Stuff peppers with filling.
  7. Bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes. 
I counted it as 1 Red, 2 Yellow, 2 Green, 1/2 Blue. As mentioned above, that's per 6 peppers. It's probably less since I split the filling into 10 containers. 

21 Day Fix Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Salmon Patties & Tzatziki -- 21 Day Fix Friendly

My mom used to make salmon patties and I always loved them. Usually I ate them on a bun with tarter sauce. Can't do that, but it is an item loaded with lots of protein. Eat it with some homemade Tzatziki sauce and veggies.

Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties
Note - these are best made the night before!
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces canned salmon
  • 3/4 cup whole grain panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp diced onion
  • 2 tsp parsley 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together. (The Mix N Chop does this very well!) 
  2. Form into four patties. 
  3. Place patties into sealed container -- otherwise they will stink up your fridge! 
  4. Let rest at least 20 minutes. I prefer overnight. 
To Cook
  1. Place 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan. 
  2. Place Salmon Patties in pan and cook on each side approximately 5-6 minutes. The salmon is already cooked so you're just trying to warm them up and cook the egg. 

Note - as you can see from the picture, one of mine fell apart. I wasn't concerned because I wasn't eating these on a bun. It also shows I don't have enough binder. I might add a tablespoon or so of greek yogurt next time, or milk. Usually you add some mayo to salmon patties to help bind them. That's a no-no on the 21DF.

Each Salmon Pattie counts as 1 Red and 1/2 Yellow.

This Tzatziki recipe was shared on facebook and is very delicious. If you grind up the cucumber a little more, it'll make a great dip for veggies! And on the 21 Day Fix it counts as a protein, so you can indulge in it!

Tzatziki:
Ingredients
2 cups Greek yogurt
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper (optional)

Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Ugly Beans, Peas, Parmesan Breaded Tilapia, and Tzatziki
  3. Store in air-tight container. The longer it sits, the better it is!!! 
Fill up the Red container (3/4 cup), and it counts as 1 Red. 

It was noted that you could add more lemon juice and make it into a salad dressing.
Edit - I use my immersion blender to mix it - it finely grinds the cucumber chunks.
Also, I have found this lasts through the expiration on your yogurt - so look for a longer expiration if making this, and note it on your storage container. 

If you look at my picture, you can see cucumber chunks. I wish I would have finally chopped those up - but I got a little lazy, and hungry. 

Recipe for the Ugly Beans can be found here. I'll post my own blog soon too!

Monday, January 19, 2015

21 Day Fix - Week 2 Working Out, Week 3 Following the Food plan

Jason and I have completed two full weeks of eating the correct portions as allocated on the 21 Day Fix Plan. 

While I am not as concerned about weight, in 19 days Jason has lost 10 pounds and I've lost 8.6. On February 4th I'll make the "official" one-month weigh in and also do some measurements. I'm not posting my actual measurements, but I'll post how many inches I've lost. :) 

Meal planning is hard work! I try to concentrate with what we are having for dinner and then work around that. Snacks are my hardest, especially since I am supposed to get in 5 proteins a day! I usually have to make due with an extra protein shake, cottage cheese, or greek yogurt. I was trying to share my meal plan via google docs, but let's just say it's getting late, I'm getting tired, and I'll figure it out later. 

I completed one full week of the 21 Day Fix work outs. They are great. Leg day sucks. Really really sucks. Pilates is kinda weird, but my favorite was the Dirty 30 workout. All the 21 Day Fix workouts are 30 minutes. so it's easy to keep on track with workouts. I squeeze them in after Liam has gone to bed. I'm wearing the HR7 heart rate monitor strap which logs into my iPhone app. I do this mostly so I can get the extra points for Vitality.....but, I'm also able to track my workouts and it's really cool to see how much I've worked out!! I've completed more workouts this MONTH than I think I did all last year. So go me!! 



Roasted Red Pepper & Spinach Stuffed Chicken - 21 Day Fix Friendly

Now that we are into Week 3 of doing the 21 Day Fix, I've been trying to branch out and find some new recipes. I found this recipe on pinterest but it was slightly different. I like my version better -- I was better able to incorporate the cheese without worrying about it melting out. 

I didn't do a great job pounding out the chicken breasts so mine didn't roll as well as it should. 

Roasted Red Pepper & Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Ingredients
  • 4 - 6 ounce chicken breasts
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper (or a 7-8 ounce jar.)
  • 2/3 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions

  1. Filet the chicken breast and pound it flat
  2. Dice/Chop/Use magic shears* to cut up the spinach, Dice the Roasted Red Pepper, Crush/Dice the garlic
  3. Mix the Spinach, Pepper, Garlic, and Mozzarella cheese together. Add some pepper. 
  4. Place 1/4 of the mixture on each pounded chicken breast. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Place in a 9x9 glass dish. 
  5. Mix together the Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and place a heaping tablespoon on top of each rolled chicken breast. 
  6. Back at 375 for 40 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degree. 
Counts as 1.5 Red/Protein, 1/2 Green (Veggie), and 1/2 Blue (Healthy Fat)


Magic Shears - I *love* these herb scissors I got from Crate & Barrel. They are great to have in the kitchen to avoid the tediousness of chopping up any herbs. Cilantro, Parsley, Chives, Spinach -- I use them for lots of things! 




Sunday, January 11, 2015

Grilled Chicken & Homemade Salsa

Keeping it moving with the 21-Day Fix. I love Salsa. Especially restaurant salsa. I could drink it. Since jarred salsa is not allowed on the plan, I had to dig up a homemade recipe. 

Salsa Chicken with Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, and Brown Rice
Ingredients

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • 1/2 whole Lime Juice (I used 1/4 cup juice)

Preparation Instructions
Note: this is a very large batch. I used my 14-cup food processor.

  • Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you'd like. 
  • Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.

I used this to marinate and bake chicken in. The cilantro really helps with the flavor. 

I did some other marinades last week. I particularly love the non-oil one. 


Lemon-Oregano Marinade

Grilling Chicken - Inside! 
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic (or 1 fresh squeezed clove.) 

Multiply it a few times to make what works. It has a great flavor though and it can be strong. 

Asian Marinade
Note - 21-day friendly, but very delicious and adds an amazing sweet flavor to the chicken. 

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or a couple cloves) 
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • Squirt of Honey
  • Dash of Worcestershire

Mix well together (I shake in a bag), add the chicken and let it marinade for 2-3 hours. 

Note - I cut my chicken breasts into 4-ounce pieces and then I "filet" them open since the breasts can be so thick and they would cook unevenly. Or dry out before the inside was completely cooked. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 - Cha cha cha changes!

So yea.... another year has passed. 2014 was an interesting year. Sometimes I look back and feel like I was all over the place. I was still trying to figure out the mom thing, then the working mom thing.  I have to say it was a great year. Even being unemployed and not sure when I would go back to work (and have income), I still had faith that it would all work out. And it did! Jason and I had an incredible year. I definitely struggled at times with trying to juggle being a wife, employee, and mother. I'm not sure laundry would have gotten done or the dishwasher emptied if I didn't have an amazing spouse. 

I don't have resolutions. I hate making them. But I want to make changes. 

I'm starting off with changing my diet. Both Jason and I are doing Beach Body's 21-day Fix plan. We don't eat *that* bad, but we have issues with portion sizes. And some processed things. My employer gave everyone in the company the portion control containers and booklet of instructions (so no DVDs). So we decided "Why not?" We started reviewing the program after Christmas - there's a lot of prep work. (Like eating all the pizza rolls and throwing away cookies.) And we officially started the "diet" on Monday (yep, my birthday.) You can use Pinterest to figure out most of the program on your own. But so far, I feel pretty good. Sure, it's only Day 2 and I have 19 more days ahead of me, but I feel great!! 

At the moment, based on my weight, I am allotted 5 Greens, 3 Purples, 5 Reds, 4 Yellows, 1 Blue, 1 Orange, and then 5 teaspoons of healthy oils or nut butters each day. I also am supposed to drink half my weight (in ounces) of water. Let's just say that's over 100 ounces a day. And I need to get in 30 minutes of exercise. 

So lots of planning. I have to preplan how to split up my fruits and veggies throughout the day and when to eat the blue and oranges. I usually eat the orange (salad dressing) with a spinach and grilled chicken salad for lunch. And then have some cheese or avocado with dinner. 

So far these past two days I haven't been eating all my containers. Especially today. I had a nasty headache forming after work (it wasn't dehydration, I think it was lack of caffeine combined with some sinus stuff.) So Jason made me dinner (fish filet and broccoli). I felt better and got my workout in. I'm eating my blue (string cheese) now. 

And I'm out. I'm going to try and blog more... just short and sweet blogs. And I always have a couple recipes I need to post!