When it comes to family meal planning, it's nice to have some of those "staple" recipes that you can rely on week after week without having to think about it. Well, this is one of those recipes! Stolen straight from wife's cookbook... shh ;)
Taco Seasoning Recipe
*This recipe is per 1-lb of meat. Adjust amounts if cooking more meat*
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Cook meat. Drain. Return the meat to the pan.
Add water (1/2 cup of water per pound of meat)
Add taco seasoning and stir until well mixed.
Simmer until the water is gone.
When it comes to dieting and nutrition, there is so much emphasis put on protein that it all starts to become a blur when it comes to what to do, what to eat, what brands to choose, etc.
My wife and I just started a new program and to be honest, I went back and forth for a week on what I wanted to really invest my hard earned money and what we were going to put in our bodies. I didn't want to invest in some crap and feel awful but again, I didn't want to invest in an expensive protein powder and not really get what I was paying for.
In this post I want to shed some light on the 5 worst protein shakes, whether you are using these protein powders for weight loss, muscle gain, or even for pre and post workout nutrition.
Here are some things to consider when handing over your credit card and deciding what you are going to put into your body:
1. Do you even need to supplement?
Unless you are in the cutting phase of a muscle building program, chances are you probably don't need that much protein. Typically the ratio is simply taking your bodyweight and multiply it by .7 and that's how many grams you need per day is maintain muscle mass.
If you are looking to build you can bump it up to about 1.5 grams per lb. of bodyweight but even then it's pretty manageable using whole foods.
2. If you do need to supplement, are there ways to limit how many protein shakes you are actually consuming?
Like I said above, most of the time it's very easy to get in the recommended amount of protein using mostly whole foods, such as eggs, egg whites, tuna, chicken breast, lean ground turkey and ground beef. Chances are it'll leave you more satisfied as well. And all of those options can easily be prepared ahead of time and ready to grab and go!
3. What are your overall goals with your nutrition?
Carefully consider what your goals are and how your nutrition plays into that. If your goal is to build muscle and you aren't worried too much about bodyfat, you'll want to have a macronutrient ratio of around 50% of your daily intake coming from carbohydrate, 25% from protein, and 25% from fat.
It's mostly in the cutting/shredding phase when you'll need to up your protein intake and the need for using a protein supplement really becomes essential to be able to hit your protein goal without increasing your carbohydrate or fat intake (typically the macronutrient ratio would be 50% protein, 30% carbohydrate, and 20% fat, such as if you were trying to get results quickly such as a wedding, vacation, or even a bodybuilding competition).
When doing your research there is a resource I've found that was really helpful. What this company does is they take products they've found on store shelves and test to see whether or not the product that is found on the shelves is actually what's on the label.
The reason this is important is because many times the products that are sent to the testing/nutritional companies for the labeling is different than what's actually on the store shelves. Seems unethical, right? Right...
Here's an awesome recipe my wife and I made the other night that caused quite a stir on Instagram. It's low carb so it doesn't take up any yellow containers for those that are on the lowest meal plan of the 21 Day Fix or Insanity Max: 30 or you are doing a Low Carb High Fat type diet you can have a side of avocado.
Check it out, try it and leave me a comment with how you like it!
Here's the recipe for last night's amazing dinner!
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Half of a yellow Onion
1 Tbsp Almond milk or nonfat milk
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup bacon bits
1. Bake the squash by cutting it in half and putting it in a microwave safe dish filled with 1/4 in. Water. Microwave for 20-25 mins.
2. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
3. Chop the onion and saute in 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet.
4. In a bowl, beat the eggs and set aside.
5. Take the 1 cup of cottage cheese and pour into the blender (we use a Ninja). Add the 1 tbsp of milk and blend for 1 min. until smooth.
6.Combine the eggs and Cottage cheese in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
7. Once the squash is done, scrape out the inside (should look like Spaghetti noodles and be soft if it's cooked through) and drain. Add to the cottage cheese cheese mixture along with the onions and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly.
8. Spread the mixture into a 2.5 qt bakeware (like Pyrex) and add the sliced tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
9. Bake in oven for 20-25 until firm. Makes 4 servings !
So if you eat your fruits and vegetables, expose yourself to adequate sunlight, get plenty of sleep, and stay well hydrated, your body shouldn't really need a supplemental source of vitamins and minerals, right? Wrong. Here are 5 powerful reasons that you need to take a multi-vitamin, no matter how healthy your lifestyle may be (by the way, stay tuned towards the end of the article, where I tell you about a good way to read more on the best multi-vitamin sources).
Want to try the Pork Rinds and Sour Cream Diet with me? There's a new book we've just been turned on to about Ketosis, what it means, the benefits, and how a Ketosis Diet may actually help you if you've hit a plateau in your diet.
I originally learned about this book on Ben Greenfield's Podcast so if you want some more info, check that out.
Here's our video review and if you want some more info on our upcoming Challenge Group for Ketosis, fill out the form below and I'll contact you with some info.
We get asked time and again about proper supplementation. With all of the different fitness programs we offer in our challenge groups, all of the different meal plans, the Ultimate Reset, the 3 Day Refresh, sometimes it's easy to get lost in the confusion.
The other thing we've noticed is that there are so many coaches out there not only pushing Beachbody products, but other products found from GNC (such as Whey Protein, Fat Burners, etc) to help maximize their challengers results. But I wanted to hopefully clear all of this up for you and give you the simple basic supplements that you need, where to find them, and how to maximize and maintain your health if you are continuously working out like many of our challengers, going from program to program.
I don't know about you but one of my favorite things to do to when we are heading out on a long trip is to grab a hot coffee from Tim Horton's and sometimes (okay, most times...) I love grabbing a few doughnut holes (Timbits) from there as well.
And I've always wanted some sort of healthy alternative to the doughnuts from Tim Horton's, and finally we found a recipe that we tweaked that can satisfy this craving.
Let me put it out there that we may soon rework this recipe but I know we've had some people asking for this so here's the "first draft". These turned out pretty well but were still a little on the dry side so the next time I make them I may try adding in some applesauce to make it have the moistness that you'd expect from a doughnut :)
I love cookies so with this 21 Day Fix, this has been THE FIRST nutrition program I have followed where I actually like the cookies/treats in the program (actually, it might be the only one where COOKIES are in the program). Having just a glass of wine a few times a week and the occasional cookie (oh, and now the shakeology brownie... yeah, my wife found that recipe so that's coming soon!)
So here's the recipe (with our little tweaks, which, after a few attempts, is what works best for us):
Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all natural cocoa powder
1/4 Semi-sweet chocolate morsels (we prefer the red bagged Enjoy Life Brand).
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
2. Lightly coat baking sheet with spray and set aside.
3. Combine Coconut Oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and coconut milk in a medium bowl, mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine Coconut flour, whole wheat flour, and cocoa powder in a small bowl; mix well.
5. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture; mix until well blended.
6. Add morsels; mix until well blended.
7. Drop by the heaping Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet.
8. Bake for 12 minutes or wait until firm.
Header Image courtesy of : http://www.delish-blog.com/2010/03/double-chocolate-cookies/
Want more recipes like this? check out our 21 day challenge groups here!
Here's our recipe of the week! Hate brussel sprouts? Yeah, me too, but the grapes help with that :) LOL!
I figure any way of getting in some awesome greens like Brussel Sprouts will be well worth it (veggies are always the hardest to get in, at least for me).
Total Time: 35 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min
Yield: 2 servings
2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half (about 6 oz.)
1 cup red grapes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
1 Tbsp. sliced raw almonds (for garnish; optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. Combine Brussles sprouts, grapes and oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
3. Arrange Brussels sprouts mixture with Brussels sprouts cut side down, on metal baking sheet.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until Brussels sprouts are golden brown on the cut side. Stir; continue baking for 10 to 15 additional minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
5. Top with sliced almonds (if desired).
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 166 mg
Carbohydrate: 23 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 14 g
Protein: 4 g
I'm not sure how many of you enjoy the Crispy Orange chicken bowl recipe from AppleBee's, but back in my college days, that was one of my favorite things to order (and probably also a contributor to the 30 lbs I put on in my college days). Did you know it has a whopping 1,520 calories and 2,520 grams of sodium?! (As if the calorie amount wasn't bad enough).
So here's a more healthy alternative you can whip up at home---give it a try!
Preheat oven to broil. Mix honey, orange juice, cumin, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken breasts in cumin mixture. Broil chicken for 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and brush on more of the cumin mixture. Broil until done, approximately 4 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 8–10 minutes
Nutritional Information: (per serving)
Protein: 17 g
Fiber: 0 g
Carbs: 10 g
Fat Total: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Just curious, what's your favorite applebee's dish? have you found a healthy alternative?