Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Husband approved lunches!

One of my favorite sentimental activities that I do for my husband is make his lunch for work every morning. I started doing this when we first started dating as a way to connect with him and milk every moment together! It also helped me show him an extra ounce of attention and learn who he was and what he liked. This fall will be 4 magical years together, and I refuse to stop doing this!!! He has continually expressed his enjoyment and love of it, and it makes me feel good to take care of him. I am VERY lucky; not just because my husband is kind and great, but also because he loves to eat whole, real foods. Below are a few shots of typical foods I pack Mr. Hergy. My hubby is a union carpenter, so his hard work days allow him a 15 minute breakfast break and 30 minute lunch break. A general idea is: one or two sandwiches, cereal and milk, fruits, cheese, deer or beef jerky, a few chips or some sort of snack along those lines, water, coffee, and Gateorade or root beer. It sounds like a lot! Honestly he doesn't always finish it!! But the fact is, he does hard labor most of the time for a minimum of 8 hours and needs a lot of fuel to keep him going. My husband is naturally a tall, lean man as well, so his metabolism is quite speedy and needs the extra snacks just in case! These two ideas of lunches contain: Photos 1 and 2- roast beef sandwich with muenster cheese and jalapeno mustard; applesauce; a mix i made of raspberries, almonds, and blueberries; veganic chocolate rice crispies cereal and milk. Photo 3- the same sandwich (roast beef, muenster, jalapeno mustard); grapefruit and mandarin orange blend; raspberries and colby jack cheese that i cubed.
If you make your husband breakfast, lunch, or dinner, remember to appease his tastes, while also trying to help him eat healthy! I know that I want the longest, happiest, healthiest journey possible with my soul mate! If they have been junk eaters for awhile, slowly introduce new items to them! You don't want to completely push someone away from trying new healthier foods, whether your husband, friend, family member, or SELF! Fresh fruits and veggies always taste the best because they have pure, natural flavor! You can't go wrong with that!

Meatless Monday made simple!

Currently I'm following a fairly strict, mastered meal plan in preparation for my first competition in October. However, in my usual daily diet, I utilize the goodness of both plant based meals and lean meats. More than a decade of being a vegetarian (and some random spurts of veganism) made me truly appreciate the deep, real flavors of meatless meals, as well as the nurturing nutritional value. Sometimes our digestive tracts just NEED that break! Whoever started the buzz of Meatless Monday is a genius! It's a great way to get people to focus on plant based meals for a day, without having to make the drastic commitment of giving up meat. For some, that's a huge step in the right direction of not basing every single meal on a meat dish! For others like myself who don't necessarily do that, it's a good reminder to our systems that we love them! For you seasoned vets, these dishes may ne something you have created or done similar versions of. For you meatless newbies, here are a few delicious recipes to get you going! All of these could be prepared as a side or main dish- the serving you eat would determine what place it takes!
The brussel sprouts, green beans, and yellow & green squash (aka zucchini), were all tossed in a small amount of pure olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and were created to be eaten heated. You could always make these cold veggie salads as well, although you may want to cook the brussel sprouts first and let them cool. The Parisian blend contains a Belgian endive, artichoke hearts, snap peas, and shallots- another dish great cold or hot. The small snack pack of veggies would be great on the go- especially during the busy summer months when we try to do everything at once! The tropical kebobs feature pineapple, varied mushrooms, peppers, and onions. You could play around with what fruits and veggies you put on here! Just be mindful of how well the items you put on hold up over a flame so you know where to cook them on your grill! Also, snacking can be made easy and healthy with homemade guacamole! WHO DOESN'T LOVE GUAC?! I'm a huge fan of new plays on chips as well, but you can't go wrong with good ol' tortilla chips! Remember- many veggies and fruits pair well together; DO IT! The summer heat calls for dense nutrition in small amounts with several mini meals (if you're like me- it's so hard to eat when the humidity is intense!). If you choose to make any of these as side dishes, think about pairing with quinoa, hot or cold, tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, or rice or another healthy grain of your choice! Happy meatless eating!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to feed your husband all the meat he wants... Without clogging his arteries!

Okay, interwebs, I know some of you readers have that special someone in your life that would eat a hefty burger, paired with either a chicken or shrimp appetizer, and washed down with a drumstick for dessert. Several of us can relate that it is the man of our dreams, but you women aren't void of this! Honestly, I know there has been a time or two where I've realized no leafy anything or carbohydrate goodness danced across my plate. All. About. That. Meat. But let's be real, our digestive systems need a break from such a harsh meal to process and pass. "Meat sweats," isn't a term for nothing, okay? My husband is the type of man who loves 98% of food on the Earth, but always has a way of leaning towards a thick cut of meat. If he doesn't order some type of steak and seafood combo when we go out to eat, I'm nervous! I like to indulge him in his favorite foods, while taming my heart attacks that he might pass out while cutting the grass. My trick? Smaller portions! Just like what I preach any other time. He likes steak- we lean more toward deer than beef (leaner cut of meat so less artery clogging fattiness!). He likes bacon- I intentionally do grocery shopping and limit the amount of times in one month that he buys regular bacon over turkey... or lecture him endlessly ;) The point is, whether you are a woman like me, chasing fitness goals, or a naturally slender man like my husband who could eat his own weight in meats, portion control is EVERYTHING. Live life, enjoy it, enjoy good food... but stick around long enough to do that, okay!!! Tonight, I'll be having a delicious shrimp and spinach salad (check out my Instagram page for a photo of that later- @leehergyfit). My husband will be grilling chicken for my food prep this week, so I treated him and made some prosciutto-wrapped asparagus! Not a very lean meat, very salty, but... IT'S DELICIOUS! And with only 4 nicely shaved pieces wrapped around an amazing vegetable, you won't hear this wifey nagging her husband. I lightly tossed the asparagus in a pinch of olive oil. Then I wrapped them in the prosciutto and sprinkled with some freshly ground pepper. Knowing my man, I will also be making a foil pouch of onions, garlic cloves, and olive oil to toss on the grill as well.
Ladies and gents who are catering to your significant others' needs for all the meats: Food and life should be about balance. GIVE IT TO THEM! If I weren't in competition mode, we would have a scheduled hot wing date night every week. Because chicken and hot sauce. Or pizza- that stuff is heavenly. Know your boundaries; if one night a week is too much for you to stay on track, what about one night a month? What about for a celebration after a big test or paying something off? Find the right way to enjoy in moderation and do it! Your brain and your belly will thank you!