Week of Eats .005

Earlier this week, a series of circumstances hard work, dedication, and determined opened up an exciting opportunity for me to host a Nutrition Seminar for a large corporation as part of their employee health & wellness initiative. I swapped my CrossFit booty shorts for a sleek wrap dress and stood before a room of ambitious, intelligent men and women and spoke from the brain, and the heart, and definitely the belly, about the power of food, and how to approach nutrition in an attainable, maintainable, and sustainable way from nine-to-five any beyond.

As I introduced myself to the wide-eyed (with interest or caffeine, we have yet to determine) team as someone who’s entire life is founded on nutrition and fitness, from my business to my hobbies. Yes, I genuinely enjoy meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, I said. Cue the internal eye-rolls. I look forward to exercising, I explained. Was that a cynical scoff I just heard? It’s true, I find these things fun and fulfilling and interesting, I promised. And then I clicked to a slide with this photo:

You see, I wasn’t always this way, I confessed. I have no predisposition to healthy living, not by nurture nor by nature. No special chromosome or unique upbringing. No, I wasn’t born this way. I didn’t wake up like this, as the cool kids say. I created this. I worked hard for this. I changed my habits until I changed myself. And now, I help others achieve the same level of change in their lives that I achieved in mine.

And this ritual act of meal planning is representative of all the ways in which I have changed. It represents what I have established as non-negotiable priorities – No matter what, I’ll carve out an hour for planning. It represents developed discipline and dedication – I make my plan and I stick to it. It represents reaching my highest potential – Ever see someone have every kitchen appliance going at once? It represents the standard of self-respect I expect for myself – I honor my body with nutritious food.

So, what you’re about to read isn’t just my meal plan for the week. It’s the foundation of my entire life. And it tastes damn good.

Okay, this week’s meal plan brainstorm got a little crazy (read absolutely insane) as I neared a list of 20 recipes I just **had** to make. However, amidst the chaos, this Turkey Mushroom Bolognese reigned supreme for two reasons. 1) A heatwave is rolling through and that InstantPot will keep my kitchen much cooler than the stove or oven and 2) I mean… bacon, in a turkey bolognese?! Enough said written. Thawing out a pack of ButcherBox bacon from the freezer means using it in another recipe for the week. I won’t give a spoiler alert, you gotta keep scrolling! I’ll be serving my portion over zoodles, and Moses’ over Trader Joe’s famed cauliflower gnocchi. Pro tip #1: To prevent soggy zoodles, plate (or shall I say bowl?) the spiralized veggies raw, and allow them to take on the heat and flavor from whatever delish protein you’re dishing on top. Pro tip #2: The only way to cook cauli gnocchi is in the air fryer. That is all.

Part of the reason I scheduled an Amazon Prime Whole Foods delivery this week, in addition to attending two-day CrossFit Advanced Coaching seminar, is because, despite carefully calculating the exact portions of produce and protein I need, I can’t quite seem to resist impulse buying an extra veggie here or sauce there. **SMH** Upon taking inventory of my fridge, I realized I had 3 bell peppers and a surplus of onion that wouldn’t get used up this weekend. Well boy oh boy, do I have a fave repEAT recipe for that! One Pan Chicken Fajita Bake to the rescue! I’ll be making it a bowl with Organic Girl Butter, Plus! and some Mexican roasted cauliflower. Mo will get his pick of Siete Foods tortillas or white rice.

Speaking of that absolutely mind-boggling meal prep inspiration list… I’ve come to surround myself with a pretty amazing circle of like-minded individuals. My pal (and Coach!) Jenn is 100% on my level when it comes to planning and prep, and we swap menu ideas on the reg. I called in an SOS for help narrowing down all of my tasty tentative ideas, and she picked this Smoky Lime Grilled Chicken with Strawberry Salsa as a standout among the list. Well Jenn, you’re pick made the plan. I’ll be serving it with a crispy, cool cucumber, avocado, and snap pea salad! Talk about summer on a plate. **drooling**

This Sweet and Sour Cabbage is the wildcard on the menu for sure. I stumbled upon it during an endless scroll, and just couldn’t stop thinking about the flavor combo! The recipe promises that it’s the perfect side dish for just about anything, so I decided to pair it with Deliciously Simple Paleo Meatballs that promise to pair with any side. A match made in heaven, if you ask me.

Okay okay okay, I have yet to actually make the Sunday night pad-Thai inspired dish I’ve been craving for the past few weeks. Leftovers or a new craving just keep popping up! But this week, I’m working it into my solid plan, and getting that fix. I’ll be grilling up shrimp, and tossing it with freshly a chopped stir fry of broccoli, bell pepper, bok chow, carrot, and snap pea in an almond-butter sauce inspired by this Peanut Sauce recipe.

Bonus! Remember when I said thawing that entire pack of bacon had to go to good use? Behold… Breaky BACON Brussels and Onion. In case you’re new ’round here, I eat brussels sprouts and red onion for breakfast at least 4 times per week, usually paired with meal prepped egg cups, or fresh out the oven baked eggs. This week, I’ll be taking the side up a notch by baking the veggies together with chopped bacon. The bacon fat serves as the cooking oil and bless my belly, is it ever an indulgent flavor bomb. This special side will serve as the starring role to some supporting Spinach and Tomato Egg White Cups.

Here’s how it’s all coming together in my plan!

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