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My Favorite Fall Soups/Chili

My Favorite Healthy Fall SoupsChili

 

As the weather is slowly cooling off and fall is settling in, all my favorite soup and chili recipes start making their appearances on our weekly meal plans.

If you’re like me, then you love a good soup recipe for a couple of reasons. Not only does it just put you in the fall/winter spirit to warm up to a delicious bowl of soup, but soup is also so easy to double or triple up on recipes to either freeze for later or make last multiple meals so that you aren’t cooking every single night.

Over the years I have tried multiple soup and chili recipes and below I am sharing with you the ones that have made it into our regular rotation because they are just SO good! I’m actually currently making most of these in bulk this week to store in our freezer to have handy once baby Eli James makes his grand debut in less than two weeks. All of these recipes are Paleo and Whole30.

Enjoy and let me know what you think you if you try any of these recipes!

Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Soup – We love eating this served with Emergency Meatballs by Stupid Easy Paleo and a simple mixed green salad on the side. You will also definitely want to garnish your soup with the cilantro and diced red onions that are optional in this recipe. It’s the perfect top off!

Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Spices – If you would like protein added to this, we love to pair this soup with Aidelles Chicken Apple Sausage links, sliced and sautéed until warm. We usually just dump them into the soup. We typically add a simple mixed green salad to this meal as well to get our greens in!

Paleo Tomato Basil and Beef Soup – This is a great stand alone meal since it already has the beef added in. I would recommend buying grass-fed beef. You could omit the beef if you would prefer too and it would still be delicious! If you tolerate grains and dairy well this would be delicious paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, especially if you ommitted the beef to fill you up a little bit more. I would recommend making your sandwich with some sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread and some raw cheddar or mozzarella cheese. My mouth is watering thinking about this right now!!

Zuppa Tuscana – (I can’t find the link to this original recipe so I have provided the recipe I use below for you)

  • 1-2 pounds grassfed ground beef
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red peppers
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 32 oz. or 4 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • 3 large russet potatoes, thinly sliced or cut into large cubes (either works, just depends on the texture you would like in your soup.)
  • 1/2 bunch of organic kale, chopped (I typically just eyeball this and add a ton of kale. It most likely is way more than half a bunch by the end of me throwing it all in.)
  1. Saute beef with red pepper flakes over medium heat on the stove
  2. In a large pot, sauce the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant in some good quality fat (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)
  3. Add in the broth to the large pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add in your cubed or thinly sliced potatoes and bring down to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft and fall apart with a fork
  5. Lastly add in your cooked beef, chopped kale and coconut milk. Stir until kale wilts some and all is mixed in well.

Paleo Crockpot Chili – I love that this chili has so many crunchy vegetables added to it so it’s not all meat and beans like your typical chili. This is a hearty meal that the whole family will love!

I’m not kidding when I say we make these all the time! Having at least five “go-to’s” when it comes to soups/chili helps me to not get bored with eating the same ones over and over. I’ll make each of these most likely once a month throughout the fall/winter. If I find any other great recipes I will try and remember to come back and update this post and add them to share with you all!

 

 

 

 

Rx Bars Review

“Rx Bars. Pure and Simple. No BS.”

This is Rx Bars catchy slogan and their words definitely match up with the delicious healthy real food product they have created.

I have been meaning to try these for awhile now and I finally got my hands on them the other day, and boy did they not disappoint!!

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Each of their bars is made with only 8 ingredients or less, all of which you can pronounce, recognize and find in nature. That is the best part to me and something I always encourage everyone to look for when buying any food product. There are so many protein bars/shakes sold these days that are marketed with health phrases like “only “x” amount of carbs”, “10 g Fiber!” “0 g. sugar” etc..” to make you believe they are good for you when in reality they are filled with preservatives , artificial ingredients, and poor quality highly processed protein powders that you are just wasting your money on. Don’t fall for that. Read the ingredients, not the label on the front, and buy products that are simple, real foods that you don’t even have to question, like Rx Bars.

Each bar contains 12 g. of protein derived from pure egg whites and almonds. The base of each bar is made up of figs and dates to give it it’s sweet flavor and chewy texture. The rest of the natural ingredients added to each individual bar make up their 5 delicious flavors: coconut cacao, coffee cacao, blueberry, apple cinnamon and peanut butter. All bars are free of gluten, dairy, soy, and GMO’s. My personal favorite was the coffee cacao! If you are a coffee lover you will love this one! I personally don’t even drink coffee and I loved this flavor.

If you are familiar with the whole30 program you will be happy to know that 4 out of their 5 flavors are whole30 approved excluding the peanut butter bar! If you are joining me in my upcoming Nutrition Challenge, these would be a great option for you to have on hand, plus you might be getting some in your goodie bag at the end of your challenge from me!!

Larabars are another great example of a whole foods bar, but I personally like Rx bars better because of the added protein from pure egg whites. Larabars are still a great option, but because they are naturally higher in sugar (natural sugars from dried fruit) without very much protein, they can cause your blood sugar levels to swing much like a candy bar still. Sugar is still sugar even when it’s from natural sources. People who already struggle with blood sugar issues really need to be careful eating these types of foods especially if it’s not paired with a balanced meal or a good source of protein and fat.

Rx Bars have a better balanced ratio of sugars to protein with the added protein from egg whites as well as less sugar overall in each bar that will prevent such a quick sugar rush followed by a crash and will also keep you feeling fuller longer. The ratio of sugar to protein in most Larabars is on average 4:1 vs. Rx Bars average of 2:1 varying just slightly in each bar.

Now before you go out and buy a ton of these, because trust me you will want to..don’t hear me saying that these are a food you can/should eat all the time even though it is a healthy whole foods choice. Rx Bars, just like Larabars or Epic Bars or any other whole foods bar that I recommend should not ever replace well balanced healthy meals. These should be treated as emergency foods for times you are out, busy, hungry and have no healthy options around you. These bars also would serve great as pre or post workout fuel or an afternoon snack.

My only concern with bars like these is for the people who are trying to adopt a whole foods lifestyle yet still struggle with sugar addiction, which is a majority of people. I have seen these bars simply replace sweets and are often eaten to satisfy that sweet tooth everyday, sometimes two times a day or more. Yes this is a healthy whole foods option as a snack or sweet treat every now and then, but if you find that you are eating these bars to satisfy your sweet tooth regularly, or find yourself craving them regularly, you might need to lay off these for awhile. Yes there is such thing as too much of a good thing, RxBars being one of them. Overall though these bars are a great option to have on hand and I highly recommend them!

If you would like to purchase these you can order them through their website here. I also have a link to their products through my shopping guide page as well.

I hope this was helpful and gave you a new idea for a quick easy snack/emergency food!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by RxBar but I did receive a free sample of their bars to review on my blog. All the statements above are my own, unbiased opinion.

Trip to Costa Rica

In my last post, I shared that I would be going to Costa Rica for an entire week for FREE with my husband and some of our friends.  We got back last weekend and man do I miss being in sunshine. Since I’ve been back it has been cold and rainy almost every single day. It is a little depressing..

I forgot how happy being in the sun makes me, and how much I like being tan. It was such an awesome trip. We are both so greatful for the experience.

Long story short, my husband knows a guy on young life staff in the Dallas area who knows a guy that works for the company Common Wealth.  This company plans annual incentive trips for its employees as a large thank you to all the hard work they do over the course of the year. They are allowed to bring their family along with them including kids. Common Wealth for the last couple of years has been asking a few couples on Young Life Staff to come be a part of their trip to help watch the kids while the adults have their business meetings/socials. My husband’s friend on staff in the Dallas area has been going on these trips with them the last couple of years and was in charge of finding another couple to come with them this trip because they needed more helpers because there were more kids this year. We, so fortunately, happened to be the couple that he called and asked. Seriously, such a blessing that him and his wife even thought of us.

So, when we got the call, we said, um let us think about it, uhhhh YESS!! How do you say no to an opportunity like that?

We were in charge of watching these sweet little kiddos below for about 4-5 hours each morning and a couple hours some nights and the rest of the time we were free to do whatever we wanted.

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In this picture we just got done with a fun scavenger hunt that we led the kids on that involved finding as many monkeys/creatures we could find and taking pictures of them for points. We saw about 6 monkeys just chillin in the trees around the resort. It was so cool. The way you won was to find the large inflatable monkey that’s in the picture above. They loved it! Best babysitting job ever. I mean, look at the scenery behind us? I’d babysit these kids any day to be back there!

During our free time we did a whole of of chilin’ on the beach just laying out. We also got to go kayaking one day and boogie boarding another day. The wind there was crazy strong and created some awesome waves that made for extreme boogie boarding. I felt like a little kid again, it was so much fun.  I’m surprised I walked away with both of my bathings suite pieces. I’m pretty sure I flashed/blinded everyone with my white skin every time I caught a wave.  I’ve never seen waves that big on the shore.

On top of lots of fun play time we of course got some great workouts in during the week also!

As many of you know, my husband and I enjoy doing Crossfit together at home and the Crossfit Open is currently going on right now. If you don’t know what that is, well, it’s kind of hard to explain. Basically it’s a worldwide competition among all Crossfitters that qualifies the elite athletes in your region to go to Regionals if they place in the top. If you do well at Regionals, you then advance to the Crossfit Games. Even if you know you won’t make it to Regionals it’s fun to push yourself and compare yourself to 1,000’s of other athletes across the world.

Well since the open is going on, my husband really wanted to do one of the open workouts one more time to try and get a better score so at the beginning of the week, we looked up a Crossfit gym in Costa Rica and found one! We were so pumped. The owner told us we were more than welcome to come do a workout at his gym, so we did. One of our friends on the trip came with us because he also is signed up for the Crossfit Open.

This is the workout we did:

In 9 minutes, do as many rounds as possible of the following:

15 toes to bar

10 deadlifts (75# for girls, 95# guys)

5 snatches (75# girls, 95# girls)

*I got through 5 rounds and 3 reps (153 reps total)

Right when the nine minutes is up, you had 6 minutes to find your 1 rep max of a clean and jerk

*I was able to get 155#. That is way harder than you think when you are exhausted. I was pretty proud of myself for that!

Before we went to the gym, our friend looked up the owner of the Crossfit gym on Instagram and saw that he posted a picture of himself doing a muscle up in the middle of the Cost Rican rain forest. Uhh..jealous. That is seriously cool.

Another day we decided to switch it up and make use of what the resort had for us to do a different workout. We spotted some stairs early in the day and said, that would be cool to run up.

So, we made up this workout:

Run to the top of the stairs

*I don’t think any of us realized how long those stairs were. It took us 9 minutes to run to the top of those dang things. They just kept going and going and going..My legs have never burned so bad. Plus it was like 90 degrees outside.

When we got to the top, there was a covered pavilion. We ran with our jump ropes so we did the following under the pavilion right when we got to the top:

100 double unders

50 air squats

25 burpees

Then we ran back down.

Best.Workout.Ever.So.Stinkin.Hard!! I never thought air squats could feel so hard. My legs were shaking every single rep after running what felt like 1 million steps.

That was the last scheduled workout we did. Boogie boarding was definitely a workout also!

One of my favorite things about our trip besides just being in Costa Rica, and for FREE and with great friends, was the FOOOD!!!! OH MY GOSH. It was all so good. I was in heaven.

Here are a couple of my favorite meals that I had:

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Breakfast pretty much every morning: Omelette with all the veggies (spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions) and some sausage. Side of roasted potatoes, pico de gallo and fresh pressed green juice. They had fresh pressed juice available every single morning. It was amazing! I always got a green base with a mix of a variety of other fresh island fruits and veggies like guava, carrots and beets.

**Not pictured, but most mornings I also got plantains that had been fried in pure cane sugar maple syrup. Plantains are very popular in Costa Rica. This is one of my new favorite foods at home also. It’s an excellent nutrient dense carbohydrate source. I was so happy to get to enjoy them where they are picked locally every single day. No I don’t fry mine in cane sugar maple syrup at home, usually just coconut oil, but man were they good. Tasted like a doughnut**

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Lunch one day: Fresh Catch of the day (Mahi-Mahi) with grilled onion kabobs, topped with fresh pineapple mango salsa with a side of Yucca Sticks (aka. Cassava sticks).

**At home I have been trying to up my husband and I’s starchy carb intake to help fuel our workouts better and Yucca is another excellent nutrient dense source of carbohydrates, however I cannot find them sold at home! I have been wanting to make these for awhile and they were delicious! They seasoned them with garlic and cilantro. Wow. They were on point! I think this was my favorite meal of the whole trip. **

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Appetizer to many of our lunches, because, sushi is amazing, and if you don’t like it you’re crazy: I don’t even remember what was in this. All I remember is, it was perfection. I could eat sushi every day.

**Wait, you eat white rice, but you say you eat paleo?? I can see how that would be confusing. First of all I am not a strict Paleo person. I use it as a general guideline to how I eat 80% of the time because this is what I’ve discovered works best for my body. And second of all, white rice is actually a very safe starch to consume if you are wanting/needing more starches in your diet. It does not contain any anti-nutrients that prevent certain vitamins and minerals from being absorbed because the fiber has been removed (that’s where the anti-nutrients are in certain plants/grains) and has no harmful proteins that are hard to digest.  Is it the most nutrient dense choice of food? No, but as far as it being harmful or disruptive to your digestive system, it’s a generally safe choice.

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Favorite Beverage: Fresh coconut water straight out of the coconut!

**I love coconut water and highly recommend it to people at home as a great source of natural electrolytes. It is super high in potassium and would make for a great post-workout beverage. Of course I can’t ever just drink it straight out of the coconut at home nor do I have someone who will cut it open with a large machete for me either. That would be pretty sweet if I did. I think I’d drink it a lot more than I do currently. These are all our awesome friends that went on the trip with us too!

I ate tons of other delicious food while on the trip, but I think I’d bore you if I shared all of my meals. So those were the highlights.

What a fun trip it was. I wish I could go back! It is a trip that we will forever remember.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I think it’s more rain for us here in Paris, Texas..I guess I’ll just dream of the sun in Costa Rica until it decides to come back out here!

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!

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!

This Week’s Meal Plan: 1/26/15

Hey Hey! I am really excited about some of the meals I am sharing this week with you all. I keep it pretty simple most of the time, but try and find a couple of new recipes to add to my favorite “go-to’s” at home each week, and some of these definitely will be added as repeats for a long time! My husband’s birthday was Monday, so that was definitely inspiration to find a new tasty recipe we both would enjoy! Head over here to read more about my meal plans and why I decided to start sharing them with you all.

Nutrition Highlight from this week’s menu is: Wild Caught Salmon

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Wild Salmon is not only an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, but has almost a perfect ratio of omega6 to omega 3 fatty acids at approximately 1:1. This is largely due to the natural environment they are raised in which allows them to eat wild sea plants like krill that have a perfect fatty acid ratio. Farm raised fish unfortunately do not have access to wild plant sea life and are supplemented with a diet that is not natural for them including a variety of grains that are extremely high in omega 6 fatty acids. Farm raised fish have been shown to have a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids at approximately 4.5:1. This still is not too bad, but if you are striving for optimal health, wild caught fish is definitely a better option and also more sustainable for the environment. There is rising concern about the levels of heavy metals and other pesticide residues in fish these days and wild caught fish is known to contain the lowest levels of these toxins. In fact one study investigated over 700 samples of salmon samples from around the world and found that on average the PCB concentrations in  farm raised salmon were eight times higher than in wild caught salmon. PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) are strongly associated with cancer and other health problems. While the these levels are reportedly safe according to the FDA, there are definitely fewer risks associated with eating wild caught salmon.

Wild caught Salmon is also high in selenium, a mineral that plays an important role as an antioxidant, preventing free-radical damage to cell membranes. Low levels of selenium raise a risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases and many other health problems (Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray). It also is important for healthy thyroid function.

If you are looking for a high quality source of wild caught salmon, this is one I recommend. If you are shopping at the grocery store, just make sure to read your labels and look for wild caught (Alaskan preferrably), and not farm raised. Any fish with the msc (marine stewardship council) label on it are also a good indicator that it was raised sustainably.

**And now for this week’s meal plan**

Monday

Lunch: Grass-fed Buffalo Summer Sausage slices with a side of baby carrots and 1 full avocado

Dinner: Bacon Wrapped Dates and Pineapple Chunks (purchase sugar free bacon from wild caught pork), Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa and Red Rainbow Cabbage Salad from Practical Paleo

  • It was my husband’s birthday so I went all out with a full course meal! It was a hit!
  • I baked my salmon at 350 for about 12 minutes and it was still fabulous!!
  • The salad recipe I used is exclusively available only in the Practical Paleo cookbook. I highly recommend it, but this recipe is similar if you want to make it without purchasing the book. If you are strictly trying to eliminate all added sugars from your diet just don’t use the maple syrup in this recipe.

Tuesday

Lunch: Grassfed Buffalo Summer Sausage slices with a large side salad

  • Side Salad: 2 handfuls mixed greens, 1 full avocado, cucumber slices, diced tomatoes, and topped with some leftover red rainbow cabbage salad

Dinner: Bacon-Wrapped Smoky Chicken Thighs, Homemade Sweet Potato Fries and Steamed Broccoli

  • I used only 1 piece of bacon per chicken thigh and that was plenty
  • I prefer to sprinkle sea salt on my homemade sweet potato fries and use coconut oil, but both are delicious. Ground Cinnamon used in this recipe makes for more of a sweet taste.

Wednesday

Lunch: Grassfed Buffalo Summer Sausage Slices + Side Salad

  • Yes I eat almost the same thing for lunches everyday if it’s not leftovers. Why make things more complicated than they need to be? Find what works for you and your schedule and stick with it! This never gets old to me, is healthy and most importantly, quick and easy during busy days. The summer sausage also makes for great healthy lunchables for kiddos!
  • Side Salad: 2 handfuls of mixed greens, shredded carrots, pineapple chunks, drizzled with raspberry vinegar

Dinner: Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls

Thursday

Lunch: Grassfed Beef Salami Roll-Ups

  • Roll up sliced avocado and any other raw veggies you like (bell peppers, onions, tomatoes etc.) into the salami and eat like a wrap. Eat as many as you need to to satisfy your appetite and keep you full for the next 4-5 hours.

Dinner: Leftover Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls

Friday

Lunch: Leftover Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls

  • Again? Why yes indeed! I love making tons to last me throughout the week if that means it saves me time in the kitchen! If you don’t like eating the same thing everyday, store your leftovers in the freezer and pull it out when you’re ready to eat it again maybe next week.

Dinner: We will be eating out!

 

Meal Prepping Tips

  • Make a note of when to take meats out of the freezer to dethaw at least 5 hours before and put that note somewhere where you will see it! I don’t know how many times I have forgotten to dethaw meat and it is the most frustrating thing ever when you are starving. Don’t let that happen to you with this simple tip.
  • On allotted meal prep day at beginning of week, do the following:
  1. For Monday’s dinner: chop up the whole head of red cabbage, shred carrots (only if you didn’t buy pre-shredded), chop up broccoli stems, chop up all onions, chop up mango. Store all in zip lock baggies or individual containers to mix together for red rainbow cabbage salad the next day.
  2. For Tuesdays dinner: make the Smoky Spice Blend, chop up all sweet potatoes into fries and store in the fridge
  3. For Wednesday’s dinner: chop up the onions, and peppers and break cauliflower into florets to easily throw in a blender. Look at your schedule. You will need to either make a note to prep this meal Tuesday night to slow cook all night, or make sure you have time Wednesday morning to get it in the crockpot.
  4. For all lunches: slice up all lunch meats and chop up tomatoes, cucumber and any other veggies you will be adding to your lunch salads/roll-ups

 

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