Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chopped Texas Brisket Over Greek Slaw

Don't you love it when you can save tons of time and money by re-mixing things you have on hand? Recipes, clothes, organizational stuff.... you know?

Well this recipe is nothing new, for me, recipe-wise. I just combined it in a new and exciting way, again for me! Ha!

I generally make Texas Oven Brisket (recipe HERE) once or twice a month as it is on our monthly grocery shopping list. (read more about out monthly shopping HERE). I have always just eaten it sliced with a roasted veggie side.

The other night, I had a bunch of brisket left, so I decided I would chop it up for chopped Texas brisket sandwiches for the fam. The coleslaw I make for fish tacos sounded like a great side to go with the sandwiches.

But once I sat down to eat, I really did not feel like wasting the carbs and calories on a bun. So I just topped my slaw with some brisket. And the results? Pure delish. PLUS happiness that I have a new recipe remix on my hands that the whole fam will enjoy!

P.S. the other recipe remix I have on hand is my blackened tilapia. One night we eat them with a veggie side, another night we can eat them as fish tacos. Check those recipes HERE and HERE.

Speaking of tacos... this would also make really great brisket tacos also... hummm.... well, here is the recipe!

Chopped Texas Brisket over Greek Slaw

Serves 6


For chopped brisket
1.5 lbs (24 oz) cooked Texas Oven Brisket (Recipe HERE)
Buns (for whomever is eating sandwiches
BBQ sauce of choice (I used Kraft Hickory)

For slaw
1 bag shredded cabbage or coleslaw veggie mix (appox 6 cups per bag)
1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt (you could also use mayo)
3 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
1 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
dash of salt and pepper


Roughly chop brisket and reheat if needed. To reheat, I put the beef in pan over low with enough renderings from original cooking process to cover meat.

Mix the yogurt, sweetener, and vinegar in a large bowl until combined. Toss with shredded cabbage until coated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place 1 cup of slaw on plate. Top with 4 oz of brisket and 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Nutritional stats per serving

(1 cup Greek slaw, 4 oz beef, and 2 tbsp Kraft BBQ sauce)

245 cals

15 g carbs

8 g fat

25 g protein

Nutritional stats for Greek Slaw only
Per cup

25 cals

4 g carbs

0 g fat

2 g protein

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Higher Protein Key Lime Cheesecake Strawberry Shortcakes

Last week, I volunteered to make supper for the in-laws, so I fixed some easy fish tacos in the hopes that it would make everyone happy. Blackened Tilapia Fish Taco recipe is HERE

I served the fish tacos alongside some roasted zucchini and red pepper. For dessert, I mixed up some simple strawberry shortcakes with a little key lime cheesecake yogurt to boost the protein content for satiety.  

Trust me, nobody will know they are:
A) made with yogurt
b) remotely healthy

This dessert was a hit, so I thought I would share my recipe here.

Higher Protein Key Lime Cheesecake Strawberry Shortcakes

Serves 8

2 lbs fresh strawberries- rinsed, hulled, and sliced (I like to mix with a bit of granular stevia if not sweet enough)
8 ready-made dessert cups
8 oz lite whipped topping container
32 oz plain fat free Greek yogurt
1 sugar free Jello Cheesecake pudding mix
zest and juice of 3 limes
optional *whip cream*

Directions: In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, pudding mix, and lime zest/juice. Gently fold in whipped topping. 

To make shortcakes, plate 1 dessert cup. Top with 8th strawberries and key lime cheesecake mix. If desired, top with whip cream.

Nutritional stats per serving

232 cals
5 g fat
36 g carbs
13 g protein

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw

Fish tacos are one of the healthy meals my husband will eat without fuss. The kids will eat the components separately, and I can eat about a million of them ;)

I volunteered to make supper for the in-laws the other night, so I thought I would throw these together in the hopes that it would make everyone happy. I served the fish tacos alongside some roasted zucchini and red pepper. For dessert, I mixed up some simple strawberry shortcakes with a little key lime cheesecake yogurt.  

They were a hit, so I thought I would share my recipe here. I will write up the shortcakes next week.

Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw

Serves 6

12 corn tortillas
6 fillets of tilapia (I buy frozen and thaw in the sink)
1 recipe of my blackening seasoning (recipe HERE - I just keep it on hand in the cabinet)
Fresh or dried cilantro, to taste
Optional - thinly sliced avocado, limes

1 bag shredded cabbage or coleslaw veggie mix
1/2 mango, diced
1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt (you could also use mayo)
3 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp vinegar (I used mango Balsamic vinegar)
dash of salt and pepper 

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sweetener, lime juice, and vinegar. Toss with cabbage or coleslaw mix and diced mango until coated. This can be made the night before and stored in the fridge.

Preheat a large non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Season each side of the tilapia fillets with blackening seasoning and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

Heat up the corn tortillas. Divide each fillet between 2 tortillas and top with approximately 1/4 cup mango coleslaw. Top with a slice of avocado and squeeze of lime juice, if desired. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Nutritional stats per serving

(1/6 of recipe, excludes avocado)

299 calories

3 g fat

37 g carbs

29 g protein

Sunday, May 10, 2015

How to Talk Yourself into the Gym and Sticking with Your Nutrition Plan

I feel like sharing a big secret- most people suck at sticking to training consistently OR sticking to a nutrition plan. Almost everyone in the industry I know personally, along with VERY fit friends, struggle more with one or the other. Nobody finds this stuff "easy". So let yourself off the hook! Feel better? Good!

With that being said, there is probably a hack, or trick, that might help you get better at the things you struggle with. Some of these tricks were game changers for me.

The following was a post from a dear Venus Vet friend, Laura:

I did NOT want to work-out today... Today is a "talk myself into it" day.
Here is how I talk myself into it:

1. I still bring all my work-out clothes to the office. I can stare at them all day long, if I want.
2. I have to go to the gym. I tell myself I need only spend "20 minutes" there....but it is non-negotiable that I have to go.
3. When I get to the gym, I tell myself "you only need to do 2 sets of each exercise"....this isn't true, as I am supposed to do 3, but I give myself PERMISSION to only do 2 sets.
4. When I get onto the first exercise, I talk myself into doing 3 sets of it. And I do that for each subsequent exercise.
5. By the end, I have spent 50-60 minutes in the gym, and I give myself PERMISSION to stay 10 more minutes for a nice stretch.

BOOM! Lifting done and I have talked myself through it. The "talking through it" expends energy....the "after glow" is ALWAYS worth that extra effort to get it done.

I think the previous is outstanding advice for anyone who struggles with getting their training done.

Here are a couple of other suggestions that I will add as a first thing in the morning gym goer:

  • Sleep in your gym clothes
  • Place your alarm in a place that you have to get OUT of bed to turn off.

Do you have any other tricks or hacks that gets you to the gym?

This got me thinking about diet/macro/nutritional hacks and tips. Here are a few of mine:

  • Treats/trigger foods are best out of sight- in a pantry instead of on the counter and in a box instead of glass.
  • I cannot tell myself anything is off limits, that ends in overdoing it for me later. I can plan X amount in and stick that amount. I can stick to that amount way more often than not. 
  • If a surprise treat shows up at the house or work (for example, today a student brought my favorite brownies with nuts for me!) I re-arrange to budget it in.  A couple of brownies took the place of my protein bar snack today. Ideal? No. But lots better than overeating now or really overdoing it tomorrow by not having some today. Also on that note, I plate off a treat from the break room and cover it for later. That leaves me from feeling like I have to have whatever right now, which is a fear of missing out. It sounds dumb writing it out, but many struggle with FOMO.
  • I feel most secure with a plan- overall for the week's meals and then planning out the day's specific amounts in MFP. Some people are the opposite, they rebel from a plan. Ideally, we trust ourselves to make the best choice in whatever situation- plan or no plan. I am learning and growing in self trust to make the best choices without a plan.
  • Most of the time, I would rather trade breakfast for a dessert. I like most of my calories starting about 5 pm. So most days is a smaller lunch, protein bar snack (<200 cals), larger dinner, and dessert.
  • Walking or coffee/hot tea will delay my hunger and cut cravings.
  • I need plenty of veggies/fruit and lots of protein in relation to carbs and fats to feel my best.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids helps me to look and feel my best. I try to have a big drink with me at all times or else I will not drink enough.
  • If I am not paying attention to my intake, my natural tendency is to overeat. It is what it is.

What are your nutritional hacks and tips?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bulgarian Split Squats with a Band

Bulgarian split squats require a great deal of strength, but this unilateral exercise is great for the quads, hams, and glutes! This exercise will definitely let you know if you are lacking strength anywhere. If you need a regression, substitute weighted squats. To make it more challenging, add weights but I would place your foot on a stable surface like a bench instead of using the band.

I like using the band for body weight BSS.  It is comfortable for my ankle and hip. My bench is too high for me.

One other thing that I have noticed this movement will definitely make any hip, knee, or ankle mobility issues apparent! I have some ankle and hip mobility issues that I am working on. Dr. Kelly Starrett has some great, free online video mobility tutorials available on his YouTube channel; these have really helped me out!

Form tips:
* keep your torso upright
* it helps to start with your back knee on the ground so you can get your front leg in the right position
* your toe should not go past your knee on the front leg
* do not lift the heel on the front foot
* a full rep should include the back knee touching the ground (I struggle here, working on it! But at least get thigh parallel to ground on your front foot)

Try these and see what you think!
X - Liss