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Holistically Fed BLOG

This Week’s Meal Plan: 2/23-2/27

Another meal plan comin’ at you with some new recipes this week! Next week’s meal plan will be a little bit different because I will be in COSTA RICA!!!!! I can’t even believe that I am going, and completely FREE for that matter for an entire week with my husband. I’ll give you all the details about the trip in another post when I get back, plus some of my favorite meals that I enjoyed while I was there plus I might even throw in some workouts I did while I was there if you’re lucky.

Going from below freezing to weather in the 100’s will be interesting. I will probably fry because I am so white right now it’s not even funny and my skin hasn’t seen sun in what feels like forever. I am so excited!!

Here is what I ate this week..and what you could eat next week!

Monday

Lunch: 1 large bowl of Tuna Salad with Homemade Pesto

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Roasted Red Potatoes

Tuesday

Lunch: Leftover Tuna Salad with Homemade Pesto served with Plantain Chips (sold at Wal-Mart, woohoo go Paris, Texas!!)

Dinner: Leftover Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Roasted Red Potatoes

Wednesday

Lunch: Large Green Salad with Grassfed Buffalo Summer Sausage Slices

  • Typical salad: 1-2 large heaping handfuls of mixed greens, chopped carrots, tomatoes, onions, 1/2 an avocado, fresh lemon juice and olive oil

Dinner: Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs from Practical Paleo, steamed broccoli and Homemade Sweet Potato Fries. I buy my chicken here.

Thursday

Lunch: Large Green Salad with Grassfed Beef Salami Slices (Salad same as Wednesday)

Dinner: Leftover Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs from Practical Paleo, steamed broccoli and Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

Friday

Lunch: Grassfed Chuck Steak with a side of Roasted Root Vegetable Hash (I only had carrots and beets on hand, so that’s all I used for this recipe)

Dinner: Will be on the road headed to Houston where we are flying out to Costa Rica, so not sure! You might see a post show up on Instagram of what we end up eating if you follow me @holisticallyfed. See you over there!

**Disclaimer: not mentioned above as part of meal plan, but raw cookie dough was also consumed in not so small quantities this week. I bought it for some high school girls who were supposed to come hang out at my house this past weekend and then that plan fell through so I was left with it all unconsumed sitting in my fridge. What’s a girl to do?!! Yep. I ate it. My husband helped though haha. I share this just so you know I am not perfect and definitely indulge every now and then! Important part is there was no guilt or self hate talk that followed and it definitely is not an everyday thing I eat stuff like that. Life goes on and I did not gain 10 lbs bc I ate it either lol! Life is too short to stress about eating something not so healthy occasionally. Own the decision you made, and move on.

 Meal Prepping Tips

  • Pick a day to meal prep where you have about 2-3 hours
  • On this day make enough tuna salad to last you 2 lunches (make sure you adjust the ingredients accordingly)
  • You can also whip up your spaghetti recipe to last you 2 dinner’s worth as well, or you can prep just some of it ahead of time
  • Option to prep ahead of time but not cook the whole thing: Make the meat sauce and store it in the fridge to easily heat up and pour over your cooked spaghetti squash. Chop up your baby red potatoes for the side. All you have to do the next day is bake the spaghetti squash and already cut up roasted red potatoes. Boom!!
  • Chop up all your salad veggies to toss on top of your greens with no prep (onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers etc.)
  • Peel and chop your sweet potatoes to just throw on a pan and bake later in the week to go with your Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs
  • Chop up your root veggies for Friday’s lunch. You may want to go ahead and bake these with your sweet potato fries when you bake those if you know you won’t have time to bake them on Friday during lunchtime. Just store them in the fridge to reheat later.
  • Put a note on your fridge on when to take meat out of the freezer to dethaw. Seriously, do it!! This saves me more frustration than anything.

Now get to meal prepping!! Hope this helps/gave you some new ideas!

 

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

So you’re trying to give up grains and pastas and wondering will I ever be able to eat spaghetti again???!!? The answer is yes, and it will be better than you think even without any pasta noodles! That’s right, spaghetti without any pasta and you won’t even know it. I served this meal to a high school kid who claimed to not like vegetables, and he didn’t even know the difference in this and regular spaghetti. He loved it and I’m sure you will to!

Spaghetti is one of those classic, easy weeknight meals that everyone loves and a meal that you can make a LOT of all at one time to last you throughout the week. If you know me, I am all about saving time in the kitchen and keeping things simple throughout the week, and this meal is one way to do it. Whip up a large batch of this to last you at least 3-4 dinner’s at the beginning of the week and you will be golden. Serve it with a large side salad or some roasted garlic potatoes if you’re craving something starchy to go along with it. I even like to eat this cold the next day for lunch sometimes. Yum.

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Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti, serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (Here’s what one looks like if you have no idea what I’m talking about )
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (grass-fed preferably. I buy mine here)
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2, 14 oz. cans tomato paste ( I like this brand )
  • Italian Seasoning, approximately 1 T. or more. Adjust to your liking.
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic, or garlic salt to your liking

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425, cut your spaghetti squash in half down the middle lengthwise and spoon out all the seeds
  2. Place your spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet, open face down and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the outer shell is soft to the touch and the inner part of the squash peels apart like noodles with a fork
  3. While your spaghetti squash is cooking, sauté your onions until translucent and then add in your ground meat and cook through
  4. Once your meat is cooked, pour in your tomato paste and add your seasonings and stir to combine. Let simmer for about 5-10 more minutes to let the flavors combine.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking
  6. Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, scrape out the noodles into a large bowl and pour your meat sauce over it and stir to combine
  7. Serve immediately or store in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week!

Now go make this and let me know if you can even tell the difference! More importantly let me know if your kids can because they are the tricky ones to get to eat healthy, but it starts with you the parent!

 

Paleo Tuna Salad with Homemade Pesto

If you’re like me, you like quick and easy no fuss lunches. This one is great for busy weekdays or even weeknights if you make a big batch at the beginning of the week. The recipe below is for one serving, but just double up on the ingredients to however many servings you want to make. If you have kids and they are fans of tuna, throw this on some cucumber slices for a healthy homemade lunch-able! That actually sounds good to me too right now 🙂

Traditionally tuna salad is made with mayo, but most mayo sold at the grocery store is made with poor quality oil and just not good for you. You can make your own, or buy some sold by Tessamae’s, but I decided to switch it up with a non-traditional pesto base. It turned out great!

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Paleo Tuna Salad with Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tuna ( I like this brand )
  • 2-3 T. homemade pesto (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place your eggs in a pot, cover them with water, place on the stove and bring to a boil
  2. Bring the heat back down to medium, low and let cook for 10-15 minutes
  3. While your eggs are cooking, chop and dice all your vegetables, drain your tuna, toss all in a mixing bowl and stir to combine
  4. Once your eggs are cooked, let them cool in ice cold water for another 10 minutes or so. Peel them and chop them and add to your bowl and stir to combine
  5. Stir in your homemade pesto and store in your fridge to enjoy throughout the week!

Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pine nuts or pistachios
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Process the nuts in a good blender ( I use a magic bullet )
  2. Add garlic cloves and basil and process
  3. Add the olive oil slowly until the pesto reaches your preference of thickness and then add lemon juice

My favorite way to eat this is with plantain chips! I use it as a cracker alternative for something salty to serve it on. They are sold at most wal-marts, which we actually have in Paris, Texas!

Hope you like it 🙂 Let me know what you think!

This Week’s Meal Plan: Breakfast Edition

Hey hey!! So, I recently started posting My Weekly Meal Plans on my blog including what I eat for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday.  My hope isn’t necessarily that you follow it to a tee, but can get some new ideas to add to your weekly menu and gather some helpful tips on how to save time throughout the week with my easy meal prep tips. If you follow my meal plans exactly, even better.

I know some of you are probably curious to know what the heck I eat for breakfast since I don’t include this. Well, to be honest, you would probably get pretty bored of me posting the same thing every single day, so for that reason, I leave it out. That’s right, I eat pretty much the same thing almost every single day with a couple of variations here and there. I’ve found what works for me and my body so why change it? Find what works for you and stick with it. Eating healthy does not have to be complicated or stressful. It it is, then you’re doing it wrong.

Ok, so here is the breakdown of breakfast at my house almost every morning.

Beverage

Every morning I enjoy 1-2 cups of either an herbal tea (usually green tea, or my new favorite hibiscus because it is just so pretty and has a delicious fruity flavor) OR some homemade kombucha.

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I also will add this magnesium supplement to my herbal teas. This supplement is an excellent one to add to your diet if you work out a lot, suffer from migraines, cramps, or anxiety specifically. Many people would benefit from some additional magnesium in general due to the fact that most people are deficient in this vital mineral that is required for over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. I personally like the raspberry lemon flavor, but they have others.

Main Meal

Alongside my herbal tea or homemade kombucha, I will have 2-3 scrambled eggs cooked in ghee or coconut oil with a LARGE handful of greens (my favorite is kale) an occasional piece of pastured wild caught bacon and some variation of a starchy carbohydrate and an occassional addition of half an avocado.

 

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The reason I use ghee or coconut oil when cooking my eggs is because they are made up of saturated fats that are much more stable at high heats. In other words, they do not oxidize easily. This is very important because when oils oxidize they create what’s called free radicals which are extremely toxic to the body. The unsaturated fats like olive oil, and especially refined canola oil are much more susceptible to oxidation under heat. If you use these oils, make sure to cook at lower temperatures.

The reason I use a LARGE handful of greens is because they inevitably shrink in your pan to what seems like nothing. It’s very depressing. Do you know what I’m talking about here? I like to actually see my greens when I’m done cooking haha. More importantly, greens are a superfood that everyone needs more of! Get them in wherever you can! I have discovered this is one of the easiest ways to get them in for me.

The occasional piece of bacon: I’m not a huge advocate of bacon when it comes to choosing foods that are of optimal nutrition, but let’s be honest. It’s so good!! Yes meat is good for you in the context of an overall healthy diet, but not all meat is created equal. Dallas and Melissa Hartwig over at Whole9 wrote a great piece on bacon that I highly agree with. If you choose to eat bacon, just do so sparingly and definitely make sure it’s at least wild caught and pastured. Don’t waste your money on commercial feedlot bacon. It’s just plain bad for you. Sorry, hate to break it to you.  I buy my bacon from here as well as all my other meats.

As far as some variation of starchy carbohydrate goes, my go to’s include the following in order of favorites:

1. Fried Plantains with cinnamon and sea salt

2. Sweet potatoes either as a hash cooked in with my eggs, or baked as fries

3. Root vegetable hash

Adding in a starchy carbohydrate is a personal preference and more of a necessity because of the high volume of training that I do at the gym. This is not necessarily something that everyone needs or should include every morning. Read more on why I add starchy carbs to fuel my workouts here.

Why I Eat This Every Morning

Over the last couple of years I have been experimenting with what works best for my body and like I mentioned before, this specific breakfast works best for me. It might not be best for you. I used to be a cereal addict before I knew any better and then would occasionally eat oatmeal or a more fruit/carb dense breakfast. I used to eat that because it was warm, sweet and what I craved, but it did not work well in giving me the energy and stable blood sugar that I needed to feel my best throughout the day.  I would be hungry within a matter of a couple of hours, starving usually. I would reach a point of such low blood sugar that I would feel light headed and like I hated the world and could not focus until I got some food in me.  I also would feel like I could never get full no matter what I ate the rest of the day. It’s like I was always hungry.

Once I was actually more educated on the subject of nutrition, I realized this all had to do with my blood sugar levels. I was overwhelming my body with too much sugar and carbs early in the morning and it would throw me out of whack for the rest of the day and it was not nearly as sustaining or as filling.  Once I switched to a more protein/fat dense breakfast to start my day I felt so much better!! I aim to make all my meals more balanced with protein and fat and less sugar/carbs, but especially breakfast. When I don’t eat a dense protein/fat breakfast I immediately feel the difference. I will feel hungry all day, have less energy, and will not feel my best overall. If you have any of those feelings, try switching at least your breakfast up and I bet you will feel so much better. I can almost guaranty it. It is important that you listen to your body and figure out what will work best for you.

The Occasional Change-Up

Here are a couple of recipes that I throw into the mix to keep things interesting. These are treated more as special treats that I make more on the weekend. I don’t recommend making pancakes everyday to anyone, no matter how “healthy” they are.

Pumpkin Pancakes

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Banana-Egg N’oatmeal

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Recipes that I want to try:

Paleo Chicken Sweet Potato Fritatta

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Butternut Squash, Kale and Beef Breakfast Bowl

This just looks delicious and super satisfying!

Hope you enjoyed my breakfast edition of This Week’s Meal Plan!!

Banana Egg N’Oatmeal

Another breakfast recipe comin’ at ya!! This is not my normal breakfast, but one morning I decided I needed to do something with all the ripe bananas I had laying around, so this is what commenced. Check out this article to see what I normally eat for breakfast on a daily basis.

If you are trying to go grain free, but don’t know what you will do without your oatmeal, this recipe is for you! The texture is very similar and is a nice warm and sweet change up from the everyday savory breakfast egg scramble.

Here’s the recipe. So stinkin’ easy!

Banana Egg N’Oatmeal

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Any additional toppings you would like: fresh or frozen berries, ground cinnamon, ghee, nuts..(the ripe banana makes it plenty sweet that there is no need for any added honey or maple syrup)

Directions:

  1. Sautee the banana in a pan until mushy and then mash together with a fork
  2. Add in your eggs and cook into the mashed banana until you reach an oatmeal texture and the eggs are cooked through
  3. Serve immediately and top with your additional toppings of choice!

Now go save those ripe bananas and go make this for yourself!!

 

Post Workout Sweet Potato Muffins

This past week I have been experimenting and taste testing lots of new dense starchy carb recipes to add to my husband and I’s weekly meal plans to help fuel our workouts better. Check out my old post on what I eat post-workout. Neither of us train for aesthetics goals (not saying this is a bad thing, just not our personal goals). We train with goals of constantly getting stronger, and overall more fit. We believe having a healthy body is a gift from God and we want to honor that. He created our bodies to move, be active, and be able to do the things that life demands of us and that’s what keeps us going in the gym. With those goals in mind we also make it a priority to fuel our bodies properly with clean whole foods so that we can feel our best. Training hard whether that’s Crossfit, a specific sport or high intensity workouts, while simultaneously restricting calories and overall under-fueling your body will potentially make you look good on the outside, but leave your body worn down, exhausted, out of balance hormonally and your performance will decline significantly.

The muffin recipe I am about to share with you all today will be making a regular appearance in our household from now on for two reasons. One being, they are delicious and two being, that they are super convenient and a quick grab and go when you don’t have time to come home after a hard workout and make something.

If you follow a Paleo or a naturally lower carb diet, and work out at high intensity on a regular basis it will be very important for you to properly fuel your body with dense sources of carbohydrates not only quickly after your training sessions but also as a side to most of your meals. Starchy carbohydrates have chains of glucose which are excellent at replacing used up glycogen in the muscles from your hard training session. Fruit on the other hand is made of chains of fructose which preferentially replenishes glycogen in the liver instead of the muscles. Glycogen is a fuel source for high intensity and shorter endurance training. Making sure your muscle glycogen stores stay filled is imperative for you to have the energy to meet the high demands of your training sessions. With that being said, choosing the right kinds to best fuel your workouts can be confusing if you have no clue what good sources of starchy carbohydrates even are!!

Well, I am here to help you. Diane Sanfilippo, who happens to have graduated from the same college I went to to receive my Holistic Nutrition Consultant Certification (fun little fact), has created a beautiful handout on dense sources of carbohydrates. Go grab it here. This is not an exhaustive list of all starchy carbohydrates out there but it definitely has some of the most common and some of my personal favorites.

Print that handout out and use it as a reference when trying to find new recipes to best fuel your workouts. Try and include as many of these throughout your week as you can and time them appropriately around your workouts as well.

Ok, so now what you’ve all be waiting for. An actual recipe!!

This is an original recipe that I created. That doesn’t happen very often. I’m notorious for needing instructions. I do not consider myself a very adventurous or creative person in the kitchen. Just tell me how to make it and I’ll do it. I was shocked that this surprisingly turned out delicious and I’m super excited to share it with you all.

This recipe makes 12 muffins and is a great recipe to whip up on your meal prep day for you to have ready to devour right after your workouts throughout the week.

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What You Will Need:

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or raw unfiltered honey)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Peel, and chop sweet potatoes into cubes then cover with water in a large pot
  2. Bring the water to a boil and let the sweet potatoes boil for 20-25 minutes
  3. Transfer sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl and mash together with a fork. Measure out 3 cups and transfer any extra to a tupperware dish to store in your fridge.
  4. Add in the rest of your ingredients to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix well
  5. Place about a 1/4 cup of batter into muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes at 350

These are delicious warmed back up with some melted grass-fed butter on them if you’re eating it as a snack but preferentially just eat them plain after a workout. Added fat can slow down stomach emptying, meaning your body will not digest the carbs as fast and our goal right after workouts is to replenish quickly for max recovery.  Pair these with a couple of hard boiled eggs for some easy to digest protein and you will be set. Now go make them and let me know what you think!

Homemade Strep Throat, Cold and Flu Tonic

This past week I slowly started to feel like I was getting sick. It started last Wednesday afternoon. I was feeling more tired than normal, had a slight headache and felt overall weak. Friday morning I woke up to get ready to work out and felt even more tired than the day before and like a sore throat was coming on. I decided my body needed rest instead and went right back to bed.

As the day went on, my body started to feel more achy and weak, much like flu symptoms, but not enough to keep me down so I went about my busy day. I was hoping Saturday morning I would wake up feeling better after a good night’s sleep, but I woke up feeling awful. It hurt to swallow, I was sweaty, more achy and just doing the dishes wore me out.  I was frustrated because I feel like it was partly my fault. I chose to stay up late catching up on some of my guilty pleasure shows earlier in the week (batchelor, biggest loser finale and some jimmy fallon), and then proceeded to wake up 6 hours or less later to work out at high intensity the next morning. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I knew it was dumb too but still did it. If I have learned anything over these last couple of years, it’s that if I do not get enough sleep (8 hours ideally or more for me) my body shuts down and cannot fight sickness very well at all! So, I take full responsibility for the fact that this sickness could have been my fault entirely, or not, but I definitely did not help prevent it very well this past week.

All that to say, I went into full recovery mode Saturday morning and the rest of the weekend. The main ingredient to healing in my own experience is simply, rest and sleep, so that’s what I did. I napped and laid on the couch all day Saturday. This is exactly what I needed. On top of rest and sleep, I whipped up a homemade strep throat, cold and flu tonic to give my body an extra boost to fight off whatever was going on. I really did not know whether or not it was the flu or strep etc., but it sure felt like one of those so I wanted to stop it in it’s tracks if I could.

I got the recipe for this homemade tonic from Dr. Ben Kim, a chiropractic and accupunturist whom I have been following for awhile now who is devoted to teaching people to experience their best health naturally. The recipe was super easy to make.

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***Get the recipe here.***

I took 1 large T. of this tonic early Saturday morning, and I’m not kidding, it felt like it immediately started helping. My sore throat went away and throughout the day, my achy-ness slowly went away as well. I woke up Sunday morning and felt so much better, it was amazing! I took another T. Sunday morning when I woke up and will continue to take a tsp. a day until the tonic is all used up to prevent the sickness from coming back.

If you are like me, you don’t like to just be told what to do, but you want to know the why’s behind the what. In other words, you want to know why this particular formula of ingredients works to fight off illness so well. Dr. Ben Kim doesn’t go into those details in his article, so I felt the need to share that information with you all so you can be informed on what you are putting in your body and why if you decide to use this yourself.

First things first:

Why is sleep so important to fighting off illness?

It doesn’t matter if you are eating a perfectly clean diet, exercising and taking all the right supplements. If you are not getting adequate restful sleep, your overall health will suffer. Period. Below are some facts on sleep in relation to our immune health taken from an article written by Chris Kresser, a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine.

  • The hormone melatonin naturally increases after sundown and during the night in a normal circadian rhythm, which increases immune cytokine function and helps protect us agains infection. (This is why you’re so likely to get a cold or flu after not sleeping well for a few nights.)
  • Fewer than 6 hours of sleep per day is associated with low grade chronic inflammation and worsening insulin resistance, as well as increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • A study from the University of California found that even modest sleep loss weakens the immune system’s response to disease and injury.

I’m telling you pretty much every time I get sick it comes back to me not getting enough sleep and rest. I can usually anticipate getting sick when I know I’m not getting enough sleep. It’s like I know it’s coming every time. Get your sleep people.

Ok, so what about all the stuff in the homemade sore throat/flu/cold tonic? How do these help me?

Glad you asked..

Garlic

Garlic has a long history of use as an infection fighter with antibacterial properties. This is due to it’s sulfur containing compounds allicin which has been shown to be effective not only against common infections, such as colds, flu, stomach viruses and Candida yeast, but also against powerful pathogenic microbes, including tuberculosis and botulism. (Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray)

Onion

Onion also has the sulfur containing compounds allicin making it an infection fighter right alongside garlic. It also contains high levels of quercetin, a nutrient that breaks up mucus in your head and chest while boosting  your immune system.

Ginger

Ginger has long been know for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. It contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called ginergols that inhibit the formation of inflammatory cytokines, chemical messengers of the immune system. It also is effective at reducing nausea and cold sweating. (Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray)

Red Chili Peppers

I used jalapeno peppers in my homemade tonic instead of red chili peppers, but they both contain capsaicin which is the main component that is recognized as an effective pain reliever. Capsaicin when applied to the skin or ingested causes the release of substance P (which stands for pain) from nerve cells, which in turn results in irritation and pain. However, once substance P is released, capsaicin works to block its reuptake. The net result is that repeated use depletes substance P from small nerve fibers and thereby eventually blocking the pain sensation. It also has a stimulating effect on the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses. It stimulates blood flow through the membranes and causes mucus secretions to be come thinner and more liquid. This action makes it beneficial in combating the common cold or sinus infections. (Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray)

Apple Cider Vinegar

At this point I’m not really sure there’s anything Apple Cider Vinegar can’t do. It basically is nature’s miracle concoction. You would benefit greatly by consuming 1-2 tsp a day of apple cider vinegar for a number of reasons. Not to mention, I got rid of my nasty plantar wart on the bottom of my foot with it.

So there you have it. Nature provides us with an abundance of healing compounds right at our finger tips that have none of the nasty side effects that many commercial drugs and medicines do. Next time you feel like a cold/flu is coming on, try this and let me know if it helps!

 

 

 

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