Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Eating like a Kid- Fish Nuggets and Tarter Sauce

You know what is fantastic? Life seems to eventually work out. A year ago I was not in a good place mentally, struggling in a bad relationship and just overall down. I was probably not being the best mom or teacher I could be because I was distracted. My weight was plummeting because I wasn't eating enough (I am an under-eater when stressed while some have the opposite problem) and because of that my workouts were suffering. Fast forward to now and I don't remember a time when I have ever been so happy. 
Matt is more than I could have asked for in a partner and probably the most thoughtful person I have ever met...

Work is going well. I am the alternate for our gym's CrossFit Regional team...

Charlie is fantastic...

 We adopted an 8-week old chihuahua/dachshund/rat terrier named Annie... 

AND I got engaged! I am so gushy with happiness I annoy myself. 

Ok, food. I am not going to lie... this recipe was made because during meal prep I was trying to think of something Charlie would eat too. Turns out Matt and I both thought it was delicious so we made it two weeks in a row for ourselves because Charlie was one and done on both- but don't worry child, we will try again! 

Fish Nuggets

- 1 lb Tilapia Filets (or Cod)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/3 Cup Arrowroot Powder
- 1 Egg
- Water
- 1 Cup Gluten-Free Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
- Olive Oil Spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with either parchment or a non-stick jelly roll pan. 
1. Cut the fish into 1.5-2" chunks. In three bowls, or plates, do the following: 1) Arrowroot powder, salt, pepper, paprika 2) Egg whisked with a splash of water (about 1 Tbsp) 3) Breadcrumbs

2. Like an assembly line: Dredge the fish in bowl 1, shake off the excess, dip into the egg mixture, dredge in the panko. Place each chunk on the cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil spray.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are crispy and firm to the touch, turning half way.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 175
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g5 %
Saturated Fat 1 g4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 96 mg32 %
Sodium 408 mg17 %
Potassium 23 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 11 g4 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g1 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 23 g46 %
Vitamin A3 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium3 %
Iron6 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Tarter Sauce

2/3 cup avocado oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Pickle Relish
Salt and pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients except the relish in a bowl and whisk until thick. (Side note: I put all the ingredients in a mason jar and use an immersion blender... same result in literally less than a minute and then if you have extra you already have a container to store it :) Hand mix in the relish and taste for more salt/pepper/relish. This can be stored in the fridge for 5 days and will thicken. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Date-y Newton Bars

Since training has felt blah and all my friends are having success on a particular eating program I decided to make some changes and give it a try. I already eat what most would consider an extremely clean diet, but I am interested in the concept that you can get more out of your food by eating it at a certain time based on when you workout. I have tried Whole30 and that lasted like 2 days and have never weighed and measured my food in my life. So here we go RP Strength dieting... it is based on what time of day you workout and the intensity of the workout. So far it has been incredibly difficult with my schedule because I can't just stop in the middle of class and eat. I also don't like eating so close to my workouts. I also don't think I am eating enough because on the "base" program I have lost weight and don't feel very strong working out. That being said, I am going to increase my food, possibly moving to their "mass" program. I like measuring and weighing food- maybe that's the science teacher in me. What I have found most valuable, is the book about women and nutrition- particularly the macromolecules which I can actually use in my own classroom when I teach biochemistry.

Here’s an example day for me-
  • Breakfast- protein, fat, veggie (no carbs) … eggs, broccoli, avocado
  • 3-5 hours later- Meal 2- protein, fat, veggie (no carbs)… taco meat, lettuce, oil and vinegar
  • 1-3 hours before I train- Meal 3- protein, less fat, carbs, veggie… rice, chicken, peanut butter, broccoli
  • Workout… protein shake + workout carbs like Gatorade or tang
  • Within an hour of working out- Meal 4 - protein, less fat, most carbs, veggie… same as meal 3
  • Casein Protein shake before bed…
Here's my summary of what I am taking away from the diet thus far:
  • The biggest mistake I was making in my diet before was not eating enough carbs. It was making me lean, but hurting my recovery and muscle growth because my body was using protein for energy (because that’s used before fat) and so by eating more carbs my body uses those and so I get to “keep” my protein which helps with muscle and recovery as stated above. 
  • Protein timing does not affect performance and recovery, so long as protein intake is spread evenly through the day
  • For training longer than 1 hour, carbs and protein consumed during training improves performance and saves muscle tissue from being broken down
  • Carbs eaten in the several meals after training are much more likely to be assembled into muscle glycogen and to improve the next workout’s performance than they are to be stored as fat, especially compared to eating the same amount of carbs at other times of the day
  • Carbs in the meal before training reliably improve performance
  • Fat intake slows, by a considerable magnitude, the digestion and absorption of all other nutrients eaten in that meal
  • Eat your meals spread evenly through the day
  • Eat between 4 and 7 meals per day when you can
  • Have most of your carbs pre, during and post-workout
  • Have most of your fats in the meals of the day furthest away from your workouts
I have been looking for little sweet treats to satisfy my craving for something sweet once in a while and thought I could make a riff on a Fig Newton using dates! Since they are naturally sweet I didn't need to add any sugar/honey or anything to them! I think next time I will make them in a 9x13 pan so they are thinner and I can eat a "bigger" one for the same macros. 

Date-y Newton Bars

- 4 Cups Dried, Pitted Dates...separated! 3 cups and 1 cup
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice (about 1/2 lime)
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla (optional)
- 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

1. Boil about 2 cups of water, add the separated 1 cup of dates, set aside to soak. In a sauce pan over medium high heat, place 3 cups of dates, the orange juice, lime juice, water, salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until it thickens and the dates break down- about 10 minutes. Let it cool while you prepare the crust.

2. In a food processor, add the pecans, coconut, and oats. Pulse until a "flour" is made. Add the oil, drain the 1 cup of dates you set aside, add those too and pulse again.

 At this point you should be able to press it with your fingers and it should retail its shape. Add a little more oil if it doesn't. 

3. In an 8x8, or a 9x13 pan if you want thinner bars, press the crust reserving about 1/2 cup. Place this in the freezer while you finish the filling.

4. Using the back of a spoon, or the food processor wiped out if you want a smoother filling, mash the dates as mush as possible. After the bottom crust has been in the freezer about 5 minutes pull it out and top with the filling. Sprinkle the reserved crust on top and press it slightly into the dates to make it stay. Put the entire pan in the freezer- it is easier to cut them when they are hard. I store mine in the freezer but storing them in the fridge would also work. Enjoy!

I cut mine into 36 two-bite squares:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 36.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 105
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g9 %
Saturated Fat 4 g18 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 1 mg0 %
Potassium 123 mg4 %
Total Carbohydrate 14 g5 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g8 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 1 g2 %
Vitamin A1 %
Vitamin C3 %
Calcium1 %
Iron2 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.