Bison Balls & Caprese Salad

Bison Balls (hahaha….balls)

Bison meat is a great alternative to traditional beef for multiple reasons.  The most notable being is the way the animals are raised.  Bison are typically raised on ranches or farms where they are able to graze and move freely (they are grass fed).  Regulations and industry standards don’t allow the use of hormones or routine antibiotics like the cattle industry, which typically uses hormones and antibiotics to promote growth.  It’s also a more environmentally friendly method of meat production because it is more sustainable and less polluting than conventional feedlots and slaughterhouses. Due to the way it is raised Bison meat is naturally leaner than beef (not grain finished).  It is also promoted as a good source of Omega-3 fats.  Make sure you are getting the grass fed version.  Omega-3 levels rapidly decline when the animals are grain finished.  Bottom line, Bison is similar to grass fed beef in that it is a safe a nutritious protein source for consumers.

 

Ingredients:

   2 lbs. ground bisonIMG_3976

½ cup Glutino brand gluten free bread crumbs

1-raw egg

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

2 small green onions (finely chopped)

2-tblsp olive oil

Salt and pepper as desired

 

 

 

  • Combine the Bison, garlic, onions, breadcrumbs, raw egg, and salt and pepper in large mixing bowl until well blended.
  • Form into round meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter.  I got 18 individual meatballs from the 2 lbs. of ground bison.
  • Place meatballs in to large saucepan and cook on medium heat for 6-10 minutes.  Turn periodically to brown on all sides.
  • Place in large glass baking dish and cover.  Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.

Nutrition facts: 1 meatball yields 67 calories, 11g of protein, 3g of carb, and 1 g fat.

 

Caprese Salad

I love this salad because it is simple, delicious, and the bright colors look striking when serving to guests.                         Ingredients: (yields 5 servings)

   8 Roma tomatoIMG_3975es

1-container (8 oz) mozzarella cheese balls

Fresh Basil Leaves 12-15 leaves (Hint: You can grow your own basil in an    herb box so that it is super fresh and convenient)

2-tblsp olive oil

2-tblsp balsamic vinegar

 

 

 

  • Cut tomatoes into quarters lengthwise.
  • Drain water from mozzarella balls and combine with tomatoes.
  • Add basil leaves, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss lightly.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Nutrition Facts: 1 servings contains 171 calories, 11g of carbs, 7g fat, and 11g of protein

Total Meal: 3 meatballs and one serving of the salad added up to 372 cal, 44g of protein, 10g of fat, and 11g of carbs.

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How To Stay Motivated

You created a goal and now you’re pumped about taking the steps to achieve it.  Then a week goes by and your motivation slowly simmers or life gets stressful and you’re suddenly too tired to work out and cook your planned meals.  Now three weeks have gone by and you haven’t made progress and you may start all over again.  Let me guess, you’re not motivated enough?  Don’t let the words “motivated” and “will power” make you believe you aren’t capable of accomplishing this goal.  You are very capable so let’s go over some ways to keep you on track.

What is your real Goal?

There are two types of motivation – intrinsic and extrinsic.   Extrinsic motivation is influenced by outside factors; are you losing weight because the doctor told you to or because society says it’s not ok to have cellulite? Extrinsic motivation is influencing actions to avoid punishment or to receive external rewards.  This motivation will only last so long before it dies and you’re back to square one.  On the other hand, intrinsic motivation influences behavior because it is personally rewarding.   Does it feel good after your work out?  Have you notice your confidence grow as your go through the process of your fitness transformation? If you are motivated by something that feels good you’ll have more of a drive to want to keep doing it.

So what is your goal and what influences your behavior? If your initial goal is based on an outside influence like winning your first bikini competition that’s ok, but when times get hard that shiny new trophy won’t seem so appealing.   Dig deep beyond your surface goal and find your real goal; find your why.

Track your progress

Changing your body and life style is probably one of the hardest goals because no matter how hard you feel you are working you cannot see the changes in your own body as quickly as you’d like.  Every day I wake up and flash my stomach in my mirror searching for a new crease as to hint incoming abs.  No matter how hard I squint I look the same.   Personally, I believe the scale was made by the devil so I hate to weigh in. Do I still do it? Of course, and then I regret that decision immediately after as I am guilty of defining the beauty of my body based off a number. I could go on and on about how much I hate measuring tools but we can save for that for another day.   The point I am trying make is that even though I despise weighing in I discovered a more effective way to track my progress and that is through pictures.  And no, I don’t mean Instagram #selfies.  When I am on a mission to change my physique I go through weekly progress pictures.  They may not seem like much in the moment but when I look back and compare I can easily spot my changes without having to squint.   Moral of the story – find something to keep you on track whether it be through pictures, exercise logs or calendars and if you insist, some way to measure your body composition. Find out what works for you and use it!

Find support

Nothing is harder than trying to make a life style change around people who are content with sitting on the couch eating an entire box of donuts right in front of your face.  You have to keep convincing yourself that you don’t want that glazed donut as sweat drips down your eyebrow and your hands are gripping the seat cushions for dear life.  You don’t need to get rid of these friends, but you can look for other people who have similar interest.  Better yet, share your goals with your friends and family and I bet you would be surprise how many people will jump on board with you. Having support in a challenging change will help you through the tough times and keep you accountable.

Ask for help

I get that we all want to have independence in every aspect of our life and we want to do this ourselves, but if you keep trying and nothing changes maybe it is time for a come-to-Jesus moment and get real with yourself; you need help! Suck it up, get it together and hire a Personal Trainer. Is it expensive? Well, that depends on who you ask but what is more expensive? Investing on a few months of training to grow and change as a person or the medical bills you are going to have to pay for years from now because you refused to invest in your health and personal fitness goals?  Be proactive with your health not reactive.  Learn from your trainer, ask questions, nag them with little shit because that is what they are there for – they dedicate their life to this.   It’s their job for crying out loud!  Stop trying to be a professional in a field you know nothing about and let the Professionals help you.  What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results…? Yea, get yo shit togetha! Ask for help and use it as a learning opportunity to take with you for the r e s t  o f  y o u r  l i f e .

 

No matter what your goal is and how you chose to stay on track remember that you are human.  There is no fool-proof way to get to your finish line and what you are striving for consists of behavioral changes.  Your body won’t change over night and your love for broccoli over potato chips won’t just switch in a blink of an eye.  You are not perfect; give yourself a break when you mess up and give yourself kudos on the small changes.  Those small changes add up to the big picture.

Set your goal, know your why, find support and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

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Baked Chicken and Cauliflower with a side of Guac

Baked Chicken, Cauliflower and Guacamole, Oh My!  Here is a simple and healthy recipe that you will enjoy.  The ingredients are similar to all the items on the menu so you won’t spend money on bizarre seasonings or ingredients that you will you will never use.

Guacamole is high in fiber and unsaturated fats and your heart and GI tract will thank you.  It is also high in Vitamin E which helps reduce free radicals (the particles that can increase risk of illness and cancer).

I use a ton of garlic in my cooking.  Garlic is delicious and has many health benefits such as helping with detoxification.  Who wouldn’t benefit from a little detoxification after the weekend?

Chicken is an affordable, a staple protein that you can cook in large quantities, which makes it ideal for a week’s worth of meal prepping.  Meal prepping is an important step to keep you on track.  It is time-consuming so plan accordingly; you may resist doing it but once your week starts and things are hectic you will be so glad you did it.

IMG_3795Guacamole

Ingredients 
4 medium avocados
¼ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
2 fresh green onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
1-teaspoon kosher salt
1-teaspoon black pepper
1-teaspoon cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 medium sized lime

 

 

  • Core and peel avocados and place in large mixing bowl.
  • Add cilantro, green onions, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and lime to the avocados.
  • Mix ingredients until avocados are well blended.
  • Cover and place in fridge to chill until ready to serve.
  • Stir before serving.  You can also add some extra lime to really make the flavor pop.

 

 

IMG_3796Chicken

Ingredients
6 large chicken breast
1-teaspoon kosher salt (per every two chicken breast)
1-teaspoon black pepper (per every two chicken breast)
1-teaspoon cayenne pepper (per every two chicken breast)
2-tablespoon olive oil  (per every two chicken breast)

 

 

  • Add olive oil to large pan on stove at medium heat.  Place two chicken breasts in pan at a time.  Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Seasoning amount can be adjusted to individual taste.
  • Brown chicken breast on each side.
  • Place browned chicken breast in a large glass, baking dish and place in oven on 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  Cooking the chicken for longer will make it more tender as long as you keep it from drying out.  You can add water to keep it from getting dried out or do like I do and add the extra oil and juice from the pan.  This is where all the delicious flavor will come from.

 

IMG_3797

Cauliflower

Ingredients 
2 heads of cauliflower
1 clove fresh chopped garlic
2 fresh chopped green onions
Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

 

  • Break off cauliflower florets and add to large pot.  Boil on high for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
  • Use strainer to drain excess water. This step is extremely important.  Do not attempt to hold the heavy pot over the sink and drain it with the lid on.  I made this mistake and I burned the shit out of my leg!  Seriously.  I’m talking second-degree burns and blisters all down my leg.  Safety first, children!
  • Mash with potato masher until cauliflower has a smooth texture.

 

IMG_3794Tomato and Garlic Topping

Ingredients 
1 clove fresh chopped garlic
2 fresh chopped green onions.
¼-cup fresh chopped cilantro
1-cup fresh chopped tomato
2-tablespoon olive oil

 

 

 

 

 

This part is optional.  The topping adds an extra boost of flavor and the tomatoes add a wonderful pop of color.   If you are cooking for guests then don’t skip this step!  They will be blown away by the detail in your preparation so make them jealous!

  • Add olive oil to medium saucepan and heat over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and onion to warm olive oil.
  • Sautee onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes or until softened.  Do not over cook.
  • Add the tomato and cilantro.
  • Continue to Sautee for 1 minute.
  • Spoon over top of chicken breast.

 

Enjoy!

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