So before we go any further, Rik pointed out a few things that I should probably make more clear before you see exactly what we're eating each day. The way that he's eating and the way that I'm eating are a little bit different. He started doing Beachbody's Focus T25 workouts in October along with clean eating. He stuck to the eating plan that was provided with the course he purchased which is pretty much how I was eating anyway. After following their eating plan to the letter for the first month or so, he'd come to understand portions and the foods that were compatible with the goal he had in mind for his body. Mainly, 6-pack abs, muscles that he hadn't had in years, and the ability to do the P90X workouts that kick normal peoples collective ass. Since October, he's completed the T25 program and has moved on to P90X3, which was a brilliant idea as P90X is much higher intensity so the potential of doing real damage to your body is significant if you start there and not build up to it like he did. (He's so smart!) Anyway, what you're going to see on his daily menu is a lot higher calorie count A) because he's working out at such a high intensity, and B) this way of eating is conducive to his goals.
I on the other hand have a totally different reason for what I'm doing. I'm still eating clean, but I'm not really limiting my caloric intake. I've found that as long as I cut out all processed foods and refined sugar, I lose about 1 pound a day. The goal I've set for myself is that I want to get off the pain medications that I've been on for a while now since my accident. For me, this means working out every day and eating right. Since Rik had finished the T25 program and the discs were already purchased, I'm using his. The workouts are reasonable at 25 minutes, they get results, and it's something I've been able to commit to so far without giving up. (But that's another post altogether.)
Ok. Now that that's cleared up, here's our day:
Breakfast: 1 c. of oatmeal with 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar
Morning Snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs
Lunch: 1 cup of black beans
1 cup of diced yam
7 oz of grilled chicken breast
Afternoon Snack: Protein shake with a small handful of fresh blackberries blended in 2 scoops in water
Dinner: Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower
& 3 cups of coffee with homemade sugar free creamer.
Lunch: 1 cup of cooked quinoa
1 cup of diced fresh papaya (leftover from last week)
Small handful of fresh blackberries
Dinner: Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower
For Rik, I found that if I can prepare the building blocks of a healthy meal for him, he'll make the time to throw them together however he wants. The foods are cooked and ready to go in the fridge, mostly all prepped on Sunday night (and occasionally again on Wednesday if we're running low). He's still measuring out portions as he's super careful about his intake due to the goals he's set for himself. My lunch took me all of 2 minutes to throw together as the quinoa was already cooked and in the fridge, and the papaya was already seeded and chunked in another bowl in the fridge completely ready to eat without any prep.
And here's dinner:
Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower
2 c. Cauliflower cut into small florets (think slightly bigger than macaroni noodle size)
1.5 c. Elbow Macaroni
1/2 c. Coarse-chopped Onion
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1.5 Tbsp. Flour for thickening
1.5-2 c. Skim Milk
3/4 c. Parmesan Cheese, grated
3/4 c. Sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 c. small curd low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt
Salt and black pepper to taste
I. Put a pot of salted water on to boil while you're cutting up the cauliflower (left). Put the cauliflower into the steamer basket and you can actually steam it over the mac as it cooks. It only takes about 3 minutes for small-cut cauliflower to steam. You don't want to overcook it as it's going to go into the oven briefly.
II. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil (right) Cook the onion until it's tender. Add the flour in and stir until well combined.
III. Add in the milk (below) to the onion/flour/olive oil mixture and stir with a whisk until well combined. This is the base of your cheese sauce, so make sure that you whip it...whip it good. It needs to be nice and creamy with the only lumps being the onion. Let it simmer and stir pretty often until it starts to thicken. Add the cheese and stir until they're melted. Now add the garlic salt and salt and pepper until it tastes how you want it to taste. (If it gets a little too thick, just thin it down with a little more milk.)
IV. By now your noodles should be done (right). Drain them well and add in the steamed cauliflower and cottage cheese. Stir it well and then dump in the cheese sauce and mix until it's well coated.
V. Put everything into a 9" x 13" baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. You can top it with another half-cup of cheese if you want...I used to use a pound of cheese in this when I made homemade mac and cheese...and sour cream..., and half and half...so in comparison to that, even another half-cup of cheese isn't bad compared to the good 'ol days! But I tossed on about 1/4 cup of cheddar just before popping it in the oven because I love cheese!
So. A 2 cup serving size of this recipe is just under 400 calories and contains no processed foods. I'm sure you can switch up the flour so that it doesn't use processed white flour, but I didn't feel like messing with it tonight. It's snowing and I wanted real mac and cheese (the fattening kind), and so it could be healthier, but it's still not bad for you. And it's pretty freaking good. Start to finish (including baking time), this took 30 minutes. I didn't make a tossed salad or anything to go with it tonight (I ran outa steam). It can serve 2 or 3 people depending on how hungry you are.
Note: Overall, this is a fairly light consumption day for me . I think I'm getting sick and I wasn't very hungry today, so please don't think that this is a 'typical' day and that you have to eat as little as I did. I usually eat quite a bit more. But tomorrow should be a more typical day. I'm way under calorie-wise today as everything that I ate (all listed here) is approximately 900 calories total (just for me). I'm afraid I won't be able to break out each meal by cost, but you can get a good idea from the receipt and ingredients alone. The point is to eat what you like, but make some changes. Instead of whole milk, use skim. Instead of the pound of cheese, use what's in the recipe. Instead of butter to saute your onions, use olive oil. It's NOT about eating all the veges and rice you can stuff in your face and then feeling hungry later so you can say you ate healthy. You can totally eat healthy and have it taste great. And life is full of enough NOT enjoyable things that we have to do. Eating shouldn't be something you dread (you know who I'm talking to, don't you D?) <wink>
See ya tomorrow! And don't forget to drink lots of water. That's a big part of it too. :)