My Current Meal Plan: On the Calorie-Counting Train

I’ve really fought counting calories for a long time.  I’m a bit of, ahem, a Type-A personality, and I worry that I’ll go overboard with obsessing over every calorie.

On the other hand, some of my fitness faves, including Jillian Michaels and Chalene Johnson, talk a lot about how important it is to stay within a specified calorie range.  It makes sense – be aware of what you’re taking in, and burn more than that to lose weight.  I also like the idea of working a little harder the day after a splurge to keep yourself in balance – it’s OK to have extra calories from time to time, but just take note of it and burn those suckers off!

So, as I do my TurboFire workouts, I’ve decided that I’ll also count calories.  Not super strictly or obsessively, but just so that I am realistic about how much I’m actually consuming.  I use My Fitness Pal both on my computer and iPhone, and I love it!!  I also created a basic meal plan for my breakfast, lunch, and snacks during the week to make it easy.  I made sure to pick foods that I won’t get sick of and won’t mind eating every weekday.

Here is an example of a typical day on my current plan (totals courtesy of My Fitness Pal):

Breakfast is my green smoothie plus some coffee with Truvia:

Breakfast

Lunch is my favorite Greek Salad recipe and a square of chocolate because I always crave something sweet after lunch:

Lunch

(In case you’re curious, the Greek Salad has: 2 cups of arugula or spring mix salad, 1/2 cup of chickpeas, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup reduced-fat feta, 8 olives (which is the reason for the high sodium content, but I don’t care, I’m addicted), a handful of pepperoncinis, 1/2 cup of chopped cucumbers, a squeeze of lemon and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. LOVE it.)

I usually have two snacks per day; one in the mid-morning and one in the late afternoon.  I have the apple and cheese as my first snack, and the grapes and goldfish crackers as my second snack:

Snacks

Finally, dinner varies depending on the day. Below is an example of a typical dinner for us, but we may have chicken or pasta or leftovers. We also usually eat out at least once per week for dinner.

Dinner

My totals for the day:
1314 calories
172 grams of carbs
44 grams of fat
80 grams of protein

I hope that gives you a little inspiration if you are looking for a meal plan in the range of 1300 calories!  

Do you track your calories or do you rebel against it like I have?  Do you use an app or an online program?  What works best for you?

This week’s meal prep

Good morning!

My hubby was out of town over the weekend, so I thought I’d take advantage of a quiet Sunday by prepping some food to have throughout the week.  Here’s what I came up with.

Hard boiled eggs:

Turkey zucchini muffins (EDIT:  scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe!):

A batch of steel cut oats (one container will go in the fridge, and the other in the freezer):

Some cucumber and tomato salad:

Some asparagus dip, courtesy of Peas & Crayons:

And the shrimp and crab ceviche that I talked about in this post:

Click here to see this week’s meal plan and how I plan to incorporate these foods into my week!

Turkey Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 of an onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded (I shredded mine with a box grater)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. package of ground turkey (I used 93% lean because it was on sale, but 99% lean would be even better!)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce (optional – if you like spicy!)
  • 1 teaspoon of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional – if you like spicy!)
  • salt and pepper (approximately 1/4 teaspoon of each)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat
  • Add the onion, red pepper, and garlic, and until the onion starts to become translucent.  Add the shredded zucchini and cook for about 2 minutes more (enough for some of the moisture to come out of the zucchini)
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked ingredients with all other ingredients on the list, with the exception of 1/4 cup of the ketchup and the sriracha sauce (if using)
  • Mix everything together well, and then with a 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop out and place into muffin tins which have been sprayed with olive oil spray or non-stick cooking spray  (NOTE:  for me, this equaled out to 8 muffins total)
  • Mix the reserved 1/4 cup of ketchup and the sriracha sauce together and spread on the top of each muffin
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the muffins are cooked through
  • Let cool, and then remove from the muffin tins with a spoon – they should pop out easily
  • TIP:  Place a sheet pan on the rack underneath your muffin tins in case any “juices” from the meat bubble up and spill over while it is cooking

Nutrition (based on 8 muffins, 1 muffin per serving):

  • 133 calories
  • 8 grams of carbs
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of protein

Did you do any meal prep for your week?  What did you make?

WIAW – Food & thoughts on fitness!

So I’m pretty sure I suck at these WIAW posts, as you will see evidenced in the photos below.  I have every intention of taking a pic, and then before you know it – poof!  Empty plate lies before me.  Bad blogger!

Regardless – here’s what I ate yesterday…make sure to check out Peas & Crayons for other “What I Ate Wednesday” posts by bloggers who actually remember to take photos!

Breakfast:

Doin’ good, took a pic of my macadamia cookie-flavored coffee and Truvia…

…plus remembered to snap a pic of my cinnamon Ezekiel toast on the way out the door….

…then, doh!  Scarfed down a container full of greek yogurt and mixed berries at work…so here’s some dirty Tupperware for ya 😉

Snack #1:

An apple and a slice of cheese…

Lunch:

Moving on, I actually got up early in the morning to roast some veggies to take to work for lunch.  So here’s the before pic of the lovely colorful veggies….

…and wouldn’t you know that I forgot to actually take a photo of the finished product for my lunch.  Picture the veggies above all roasted up nicely along with some turkey meatballs, which looked somewhat less presentable than this picture that I borrowed off o’ the ‘net…

(source)

I fail again.  I did remember to snap my next snack – some sliced cucumbers and hummus:

Dinner:

Finally, we had some friends stop by yesterday after work and my hubby ordered a GINORMOUS  platter of sushi!

We deSTROYed it, standard 😉

All in all, it was a good day of eats!

Since this month’s WIAW theme is “Food & Fitness,” I wanted to ask your opinion on CrossFit.  Anyone out there a fan? Or a Crossfitter?

I’m really feeling like I need to do something new.  I’m ready to shake up my fitness routine again…I’ve been feeling a little blah lately.  I was looking at the website for the upcoming CrossFit games and damn, those chicks are so badASS!  Girl crush, girl crush!

I mean, really:

(source) 

So what do you think?  There’s a CrossFit facility near me…should I call them up and try out a class?  What should I expect?  Will I get my booty handed to me??  I value your opinion! 🙂

xoxo

WIAW – Sensible Snacks

Good morning, lovelies!  Time for another WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday), courtesy of Peas and Crayons.  This week’s theme is “sensible snacking.” I love to snack throughout the day but usually try to make sure the snack contains at least one fruit or vegetable to make sure the snack stays low-cal and full of fiber!

Breakfast:  My favorite Special K Protein Plus cereal and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  I can’t deal with a hot breakfast in the summer – blech!

On the road to work:  Trader Joe’s Crimson Blossom Tea (iced of course) mixed with a scoop of Isagenix Want More Energy.  And yes, I do “want more energy!!”  This nasty summer cold is knocking the energy right outta me 😦

Sensible Snack:  2 hard-boiled  eggs and a big bunch of the most delicious organic green grapes

Lunch:  (unpictured) A tuna sandwich on Arnold thin bread and a cup of the gazpacho I made over the weekend

Sensible Snack:  Some sliced up peppers and the rest of my Trader Joe’s spicy hummus

Dinner:  Shredded chicken that I cooked all day in the crock pot with some salsa, over a bed of romaine lettuce, black beans, and hot sauce, and topped with a dollop of greek yogurt

And there ya have it!  Not the most exciting or pretty day of eats – to be honest, my appetite is a bit lackluster due to my cold, but I’m just trying to stay hydrated and eat as cleanly as possible.

What’s on your menu today?