Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The Swedish Chef - My Culinary Hero
I know that it may be a party foul to gloss yourself with a nickname, but with my recent exploits in the kitchen, I am going to roll with it! Chef Boyardee has nothing on Chef Boyar 'B'! Plus, it goes without saying that Boyar 'B' makes food that is much healthier than that delish mini ravioli in a can. As my culinary hero, The Swedish Chef would say, "Jaaa!! FlaggPunsch ees on me! Surstr÷mming und meety bolls forr eveeryvan!"
I have no idea what that actually means. But I do know, there were not meety bolls forr eveeryvan being produced in my kitchen this past weekend. After last weeks success of Egg Beaters Muffins and Oatmeal Berry Smoothies, I decided to spread my wings a bit and dive into new chicken and turkey recipes in my continued attempt to spice my menu!
First, I made my own homemade taco seasoning (not pictured). It is 1T of chili powder, 1T ground cumin, 1T garlic powder, 1T onion powder, 1/4T crushed red pepper.
It turned out well. It may not be quite as good as the store brand, but at no sodium and no preservatives, it is clean eating!
I then made homemade salsa. In a blender, I put 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1 jalape˝o, 1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice of 1 lime.
I then made Greek Yogurt Salsa Dip. 1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/4 cup homemade salsa, 1 tsp of ranch mix, 1 tsp of homemade taco seasoning
Homemade Salsa & Greek Yogurt Salsa Dip
Both turned out really well with good flavor. I made those two things to go along with my next cooking adventure, Fiesta Wraps.
I am calling them fiesta wraps. Why? I don't know, it just sounds good. 1 small onion chopped, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 cup canned black beans (drained, rinsed, and mashed slightly), 1 cup cooked brown rice, 2 tsp homemade taco seasoning, 2 T homemade salsa, 1 lb ground lean turkey. Preheat oven to 300. In a heavy skillet, cook the onion in olive oil until soft. Stir in beans, rice, seasoning, salsa, and turkey. Spread out on Tomato-Basil flatbread and enjoy!
These turned out really well! They are even better when you add some of the homemade salsa on top or the greek yogurt salsa dip. I am really happy with how these turned out!
After the success of my Fiesta Wraps, I turned my attention to chicken. I have grown a bit tired of plain old chicken with rice or chicken with potatoes. I found a new recipe to try that sounded really good, Skinny Greek Yogurt Chicken.
24 oz of chicken tenderloin, 1 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Preheat oven 375, combine yogurt, parm cheese, garlic powder, seasoned salt, and pepper in a bowl. Coat each chicken breast in yogurt mix and place in baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes and enjoy!
The chicken turned out great! It is tender and full of flavor!
Skinny Greek Yogurt Chicken
That pretty much wrapped up my new cooking for the weekend. I also made some more smoothies and egg muffins. I figured I would also share what I have everyday when I wake up before I eat my egg muffins. I start with 1 capsule flaxseed oil, 1 capsule fish oil, and 1 Mega Men Multi-vitamin. I have two different kinds and rotate them by days.
I also have a cup of green tea with a pinch of honey and a cinnamon stick.
Honey, Green Tea, & Cinnamon Sticks
Well, that was the weekend in the kitchen of Chef Boyar 'B'! I spent a lot of time on cooking on Sunday so I would have some good options that are healthy and quick for the week ahead. It wasn't easy, but it is worth it! Embrace the possibilities!
Good Day Sparkville
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
I thought I would write a blog about what exactly my diet is and has been over the last 9 months that has allowed me to lose 131+lbs. Although the foods have changed some over the months, I don't vary a lot. I also made a couple of new things over the weekend that I am pretty happy with and quite frankly, pretty proud of so I want to show off a bit. Trying to eat as clean as possible definitely takes some work, but it is worth it!
I am not a big fan of veggies which can make eating healthy difficult at times. It would be so much easier if I could just pick up a carrot or a stalk of celery and eat it but I don't, because I don't like them! With all of that, I have found what has worked for me. But recently, I have been getting a little bored with what was on my menu so I wanted to really look into other things and find some new stuff. This did lead me into looking into possible juicing and making more smoothie type things. I have also been looking for recipes that will help me expand my chicken and turkey options for my menu.
A big part of my success is due to my menu planning. I make a lot of stuff on Sunday's and keep it in the fridge to warm up through the week which helps keep me away from fast food and gives me healthy options! Part of finding new recipes needs to work within the parameters of something I can make on Sunday and eat it through the week.
I am slowly transitioning into some new things and it started this last weekend with two new things.
The first I did was Egg Beater Muffins. Sounds a bit strange but it actually turned out really well.
Each one is 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters, diced green peppers, red peppers, orange peppers, yellow peppers, red onion, baby spinach, 1/2 a slice of deli turkey chopped, crushed red pepper, pepper, and a splash of hot sauce.
I have never been one to add veggies to my eggs and I am really happy with how this turned out! They are actually very good and something that is simple and easy to warm up!
My second new thing was Oatmeal Fruit Smoothies.
In my blender, I combined 1 cup of mixed frozen berries (blue, raspberry, black), 1 banana, 1 apple, 1/4 cup apple sauce, 12 oz strawberry greek yogurt, 1 cup coconut almond milk, 2 cups dry old fashioned oats, and ice.
Those turned out pretty well. It was my first try and I am going to try a few tweaks the next time but I am also really happy with how this turned out.
I have a few other things that I would like to try from here on out and I will keep phasing them in this next weekend. In the meantime, here are a few other things that have helped me lose the weight...
Chicken & Potatoes
-bake chicken tenderloins at 350 for 45 minutes with a little water in the bottom of the pan. Season them with crushed red pepper, paprika, pepper, and garlic. Bake a potato in the microwave. Cut up both and combine. I usually add spicy mustard or barbecue sauce for some more taste in the end because I do not use butter or salt.
Chicken & Brown Rice
-bake chicken tenderloins at 350 for 45 minutes with a little water in the bottom of the pan. Season them with crushed red pepper, paprika, pepper, and garlic. Cook the brown rice on the stove top. Combine the two. I usually add spicy mustard or barbecue sauce for some more taste in the end because I do not use butter or salt.
Turkey Cheese Burgers
-cook 4oz lean turkey patties on the George Foreman Grill. I usually add crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic, and pepper on the turkey. I use 1/2 of a Nature's Own Sandwich Round as the bottom bun and top with a 1/2 slice of Sargento Colby-Pepper Jack cheese. Good alternative if you have a hamburger fix.
Simple Truth Double Chocolate Protein Bars
-I buy them at Kroger. They are the best protein bars I have seen as far as most protein with the least amount of fat and sodium. They are good tasting!
Simply 7 Hummus, Lentil, and Pomegranate flavored chips
-Ordered these on Amazon. They come in a case of 11 with 11 different flavors. I use hummus as a dip and they are a good alternative if you like chips. Much healthier!
Blue Diamond Almonds
-A great quick snack if you need something easy!
Body Fortress Whey Isolate Vanilla Creme Protein & Blue Diamond Coconut Almond Milk
-This is my recovery drink after I workout. I use 1 scoop of protein (30g of protein) and 8 oz of the milk. Shake it up. I put mine in the freezer while I workout and when I am done, it is a little slushy and kind of tastes like homemade ice cream!
-This is what my fridge looks like on a typical Sunday evening. Stocked with my food for the week. The stuff that keeps me eating as clean as possible and staying away from all the bad stuff.
It isn't always easy, but it is worth it! Embrace the possibilities!
Good Day Sparkville
Monday, February 04, 2013
First it was my girls that turned 7 on January 31st which left me with three 7 year-olds running around the house for four days. Well, today, I officially have an 8 year-old! Yep, 8 years ago today, Evan Nathaniel came into my life and changed it for the better forever!
Evan was 10 lbs 2 oz at birth and was a month early! He was a big boy and to this day, I still call him big boy. Or E-man, whichever I am in the mood for. Evan is in 2nd grade and really loves to play soccer.
I said the other day that the girls were my heart and today I say Evan is my soul. Here is Evan in pictures...
"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes." ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.~
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
(I apologive for the novel ahead of time)
I think the key to really having success in creating a healthier me is commitment. I have committed to a consistent workout program. I have committed to a healthy eating program. Basically, I have committed to a healthy lifestyle. After all, to be successful, we have to really commit to that lifestyle change or it just won't happen! I have lost 125.6 lbs. in 262 days (since May 5th) and I think the number one reason is commitment! I made a plan, and I have stuck to the plan.
I believe this because I have done this before, without said commitment. I did not join Spark on May 5, 2012, rather on August 10, 2009. Basically, I started this almost 2 1/2 years earlier. When I started back in 2009, I had success. I had a lot of success! So what went wrong? What brought me back to Spark? What is the difference this time? All are good questions that I am going to answer. I will answer these questions in hopes that if future Brad decides to go off the track, that maybe he can look back upon this and get right back on track. Also, maybe someone reading this may take a little something from it and use it to succeed in their journey. Maybe.
Most of you reading this, probably know a decent amount about my current story. But let us jump in our Delorean, hit 88 mph, generate our 1.21 gigawatts and travel back to 2009 for the rest of the story.
At the end of May, 2009, I weighed myself for the first time in years and was stunned by the number I saw on the scale. I mean, it was not good! Not that I should have been all that surprised from lack of exercising and eating crap upon crap upon crap all the time. So I decided I wanted to lose weight, but how? I really didn't know much of anything about nutrition or exercise plans. I mean, I worked out in high school and college playing baseball, but that was for baseball. I didn't like exercise. The only thing I really knew was that I needed to eat better. So, I ate better through the summer of 2009 and lost about 32 lbs between May 31st and August 10th. Not bad actually. I really just ate better (not great) and increased my activity some by walking more and playing more golf. I really didn't have any set plan to do it or to keep doing it. I just went along.
Then, on or about August 5th, a group of people from work went out to lunch and invited me along. We had lunch at Tumbleweed on the river (you Louisville people know the spot) and it was pretty good. I really don't remember what I had that day because that isn't the important part of the story. The important part is who was there. In particular, a young lady who we will call C.J. Of course this starts with a girl, doesn't it always? I had sort of known her before but we talked most of lunch. It was nice.
I spent that weekend, thinking I really want to ask her out but no way a girl like her is going to go for a guy like me. So I decided that I needed to kick up the intensity of this weight loss thing a notch. I had it stuck in my head, that I would lose the weight and if I lost enough, she would say yes to a date. That was my thinking!
So I found Spark and signed up on August 10th. My plan was to follow a strict diet plan, track it all, and increase my activity even more. I still knew nothing about actual nutrition. I was not going to do an actual workout plan. I really didn't have a plan, except I was going to eat about 1,500 calories a day...and I did! Sounds like a good plan but at 6'7" and a lot of weight to lose, that is not a good plan. I was basically just starving myself. I was hungry all the time but I just sucked it up and went on.
It worked. From August 10th through December 31st, I lost 67 lbs bring my total up to 99 lbs since May 31st. I had lost 99 lbs and I was really proud of that. So proud, that I actually decided I could now ask C.J out on a date. So, near the end of December, I did ask her out. I did it in the morning before work. She gave me a long answer that included phrases like, "I just got out of a thing", "I don't know what I want", "I'm not saying no", "I'll call you tonight".
Ok, so being an optimistic person, I hung on to the "I'll call you tonight". Well, she never did. I didn't see her for almost 3 weeks with Christmas Break and all but when I did, I asked her why she didn't call. She said that she was sick over break and busy and all that kind of stuff and pretty much left it there. No mention of what I had asked. No answer. I didn't push because that's not me. Till this day, I have never gotten an answer. Not going to lie, that hurt.
But, I was still determined to lose more weight. I had come so far, might as well keep going right? I was working 2 jobs, I started P90x, I started coaching high school baseball part time, I have 3 kids myself...so I basically burnt myself out. I quit tracking. I quit coaching baseball. I quit P90x. My main motivation (the girl) wasn't going to happen. I was done. I had lost 121 lbs. Problem is, I went right back into old habits.
Between March 2010 and May 2012, I gained back 78 of the 121 lbs I had lost.
Reading that sentence kind of makes me ill now. At least I didn't gain it all back I suppose. That means with the 43 I didn't gain back and the 125 I have lost this time, I am down 168 lbs. now from my highest known weight.
At the beginning of May of 2012, I decided that I have had enough of this. I was going to make changes in my life to be healthy. I was going to get healthy and have a better self image. I was going to get healthy so I can live and be a good example for my children. I was going to do this for me and them...nobody else. This time, I had plan. This time, it wasn't for a girl. I was going to do it right, and for the right reasons. I had a plan, I was going to execute said plan, and I would not stop the plan...ever! Not for anything. I did my research about nutrition and exercises. This time, I was going to be well informed. This was going to be a TOTAL lifestyle change. This was not going to be a quick fix plan. I was going to set a goal, meet that goal, and then maintain that goal! It was going to take a lot of TIME and a lot of EFFORT.
It was going to take commitment!
So take this away from my story if you take nothing else. Commit to your plan. Commit, commit, commit! Find what works for you and do it! Do it for you!
Be Your Change
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
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