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My 1,200 Calorie Meal Plan

meal prepAfter posting this pic of my fridge after doing meal prep for the week, a few people asked me to share what my normal day’s food looks like.

First, it’s important to know we all have different goals. Right now, I’m trying to reduce my body fat. I started at 18% body fat and I’m now down to 14%, but I still have to get even leaner for the LiveExercise shoot on August 21st. I’ve consistently lost about 2lbs a week, while maintaining muscle mass (according to the InBody body composition machine we use to track progress). I actually even gained a pound of muscle during the process.

My diet is based on 1200 calories a day. Right now I’m doing 7 cardios a week and strength training 4-5 days a week. With that said, here’s what I’ve been eating & doing…

AM: 5AM-9AM

yogurt parfaitAM WORKOUT
Mondays-Thursday I do a fasting cardio (no breakfast until after cardio).
(All I have prior to that is coffee)

BREAKFAST: (Budget: 200 calories)
5oz plain Chobani greek yogurt, berries & 3 T granola (198 calories)
OR protein shake with orange juice & protein powder (181 calories)
OR egg beaters with spinach & tomatoes (or 2 63 Calorie Quiche)

AFTERNOON: 11AM-5PM

PinwheelsLUNCH: (Budget: 200-300 calories)
Pinwheels: 4 ounces of fresh lunch meat (rolled up) with 1/4 avocado or cream cheese
OR 4 ounces of grilled or smoked chicken with avocado, lime juice, garlic, tomatoes and salt
OR the above meat, avocado over greens with vinegar

SNACK (3-4PM): (Budget: 100 -150 calories)
100-150 calorie snack like 140-calorie progresso light soup, grapes & cheese stick, more pinwheels, 1/2 banana & 1 tsp peanut butter, or a few almonds.

PM WORKOUT – LIFT WEIGHTS (4-6PM)

Post workout protein shake (1 scoop) or one Cocotein protein drink by IsoPure (100-140 calories).

EVENING: 6PM-9PM

chicken and green beansDINNER: (Budget: 200 calories if I plan on snacking afterwards, 400 calories if I will not snack, or if I am good on my calories for the day)

Grilled Chicken with one green side (asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, green beans, kale or salad greens). Read 25 Low-Cal Greens for more ideas. (200-250 calories)

Note: I season my greens a few different ways: #1 –  lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper (tasty on cabbage), #2 soy sauce & olive oil (perfect on green beans), #3 Badia Complete Seasoning & olive oil (good on everything), #3 Steam with salt, garlic & butter spray, #4 Balsamic vinegar, olive oil & seasoning (great on asparagus), curry, stevia, olive oil & salt (yum on brussel sprouts) or #5 lemon juice, parmesan cheese & salt (yummy on broccoli). I grill and steam my veggies a lot. I personally like my veggies crisp and a little charred from the grill. 🙂

SNACK:

100-150 calorie snack (100 calorie popcorn, Veggie Straws, Weight Watcher’s Smoked Mozzarella string cheese, big dill pickle, cucumber chips in vinegar, hot tea, pretzel sticks or caramel rice cakes (minis). NOTE: I don’t need ANY of these snacks, but I budget in a salty snack because I enjoy it! 😉

DETAILS:

Think about what you have to gainMy meal plan is based on a daily budget of 900 – 1200 calories – 1200 calories on days I exercise and 900-1000 calories on days I don’t workout. My goal for my substrates (protein, carbs & fats) for what I’m training for is 40-50% protein, 30-40% fat & 20-25% carbs. A simple 33/33/33 would be perfectly fine for most people (and you’d still get insane results). The more extreme split is VERY HARD for me. Every day I strive for this, and most days I miss it, but I learn every day and I do better than I would if I wasn’t trying! 🙂

Please realize this is not a prescribed diet. This isn’t a diet at all. This is what I am eating. I treat my body like a science project and adjust my food according to how I perform, how I feel and the results I’m getting. If I am low on energy, I boost my healthy fats or increase my healthy carbs. If I’m losing muscle, I check my LoseIt app and look to see if I need to increase my protein. However, I RARELY increase carbs – that’s one area I seem to have NO problem getting enough of! lol So far, at 1200 calories a day, I’m loosing weight and feeling great, so I’m pretty much sticking to the same things since I know they work for me.

MAINTENANCE

When I reach maintenance, I like to continue this format during the week (with a little more room for extra fun calories) and have a cheat meal once a week. It’s all about checks and balances. The more you learn to maintain balance, the happier and healthier you will be. Some people cheat a little everyday but never cheat big (this is more me). Other people like to be strict during the week and cheat big on the weekends (this is more Steve). The key to success is finding what you can live with long-term because fitness isn’t supposed to be something you do for a season, it’s a lifestyle. Sure, you can lose weight for a competition or photo shoot, and have extreme moments, but you should be programmed to go right back to a healthy balance of a healthy diet and lifestyle you can maintain long-term. 🙂

 

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Food Prep Basics for Healthy Cooking

Bonnie PfiesterMany of you know Sundays are food prep days at the Pfiesters. I love to cook! I also love to eat! But, since I don’t LOVE to workout, that means I need manage what I eat very closely so I don’t have to workout any more than I have to! ha!

If I want to eat healthy, I have to plan well. That starts with shopping and ends with food prep, including measuring everything out and tallying calories so I know exactly how much I can have without packing on the pounds. This is probably the last week of fun cooking for the Pfiesters. After this week, we’ll be cooking even cleaner, plainer and more strict as Steve prepares for his next bodybuilding show. So, this is our last healthy hurrah.

Yesterday, I posted everything I cooked on my facebook and people asked for more details – so here they are!

Food Storage:

First up is storage. When I tell people what I cook for the week, often times people’s first response is “won’t it go bad?” If you don’t have a husband that eats your weight in meat, then you may want to divide your cook days up, freeze some of it, or trim down the food prep a bit. Below are some recommended storage times from Food Safety so you can determine how much you should cook at once.

refridgeratorSafe Storage for Cooked Food

Poultry: 3-4 days (4 months in freezer)
Poultry in broth or gravy: 1-2 days
Ham: 7 days for whole ham, 3-5 days for 1/2, 3-4 sliced
Fish: 3-4 days (4-6 months in freezer)
Smoked Fish: 14 days
Gravy or broth: 1-2 days
Left Over (carry out) 3-4 days if refrigerated within 2 hours of serving
Pasta: 4 days
Beans: Up to a week
Casseroles: 3-4 days
Rice: 3-5 days
Hard Boiled Eggs: 7 days

Food Prep

Ok, say this with me: “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. I know, I say this all the time, but it’s SO TRUE! If I want to eat healthy during the week, I have to shop and cook healthy on the weekend. Here’s what I prepared, along with what I plan to serve it with. You’ll notice we eat most of our higher carb meals during the day, when we need the most energy, and save our meat and green veggie meals for dinner since you don’t need a lot of carbs to sleep.

My Meal Plans:

Chicken & Pear Arugula SaladLUNCHES: Turkey Taco Meat for soft tacos using low-carb tortillas or served over a baked potato
LUNCH: Salmon to eat with sweet potato pie
LUNCHES: Turkey Joes to eat alone, on sandwich thins or on top of half a potato
LUNCH OR DINNER: Caribbean Chicken to eat alone, as a burrito or served over rice
DINNER: Turkey Taco Salad
DINNER: Grilled Chicken to eat with asparagus or broccoli or putting on salads
DINNER: Tilapia to eat with a green veggie
SIDES: Steamed Jasmine Rice
SIDES: Sweet Potato Energy Pie
FREEZER: Marinated Orange Chicken (to cook later)
FREEZER: Marinated General Tso’s Chicken (to cook later)

Here are the fresh ingredients I will need later:
Arugula, Spring Mix & Kale
Asparagus
Broccoli
Cabbage
Ingredients for Soft Tacos or Burritos (light Sour Cream, salsa, onion, etc)

The Process:

Marinaded chickenSome of you asked how I could cook everything in less than 2 hours, so here you go! If you don’t care about the process, the short story is I multi-task. I am cooking several things at once and making the most of my time. I had the grill, stove, crockpot and rice steamer all going at once. That’s the short story if you want to skip the next 3 paragraphs and get to the recipes. 🙂

First, I started browning the turkey for the taco meat. Then I started filleting half the chicken for the grill and dicing the other half of the chicken for the Caribbean Chicken dish. I divided up the filleted chicken and threw them in ziplock bags with marinade and through it in the freezer, which I’ll cook later in the week. Then I threw the diced chicken in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients. By this time, the turkey was done and I put it in a tupperware container to cool. (Let food cool before you place in your refrigerator to prevent your refrigerator from working overtime)

Grilled ChickenOne round of turkey done. Now it was time for the second round. While I had the chicken marinading and the grill heating up, I diced up the onion and threw it in the pan with a little olive oil. While the onion was cooking, I put rice and water in my steamer and the quinoa on the stove. Once the onion was sautéed to my liking, I added the ground turkey and put the chicken on the grill. Then I threw a bag of sweet potatoes in a big pot to boil while I finished the turkey up. By the time the turkey and chicken were done, so was the quinoa. I then added the quinoa, and the rest of the ingredients, to the ground turkey and put everything in containers.

By this time I had the taco meat, Turkey Joes, grilled chicken, rice and quinoa all done. All I had left is the sweet potato and fish. I slapped the tilapia on my grilling pan with some lime juice, olive oil and seasonings and left it on the grill while I cleaned up the kitchen and finished boiling the potatoes. Finally, Steve cooked the salmon while I mixed the sweet potatoes together and my work was done! Later that night the Caribbean chicken was done and ready for storage too. Time for bed!

Recipes

Banana in my earFirst, I need to tell ya – I love to cook, but I’m not a chef. I just want to eat health AND enjoy my food. I am a very creative cook who rarely follows a recipe. I make stuff up as I go along and enjoy the creation process (which admittedly makes it hard for me to share what I make because I’m adding a dash of this and that as I go). I’m working to improve that! I cook as simply as possible to limit ingredients and calories. I LOVE seasonings and I love trying new things. I also know if I make something taste TOO good, we have a hard time eating the correct portion. So, I try to cook smart and I avoid cooking my favorite dishes too often. My goal is to cook food for fuel and not just always for entertainment. Here is what I cooked yesterday.

Turkey Joes RecipeTurkey Joes:
2.5lbs ground turkey
2 Cups Quinoa
1 Cup Anna Mae’s Smokey Sweet Sauce
1 Onion
1 T Stevia
1 Tsp Salt (or more to taste)
2 Slightly Firm Avocado (diced)

This is a 1st-time creation and Steve LOVED it! Steve liked to add avocado to his meals to add quality fat for energy. This is great served over 1/2 a baked regular OR sweet potato! 

Made approximately 7 Cups, 14 1/2 cups servings.
206 calories, 22g protein, 19 carbs, 5gm fat.

Turkey Taco Meat:
2.5lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 packets of taco seasoning

Makes great taco salads, burritos, low-carb tacos and toppings for a Mexican baked potato with light sour cream. YUM!

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken:
Fileted Chicken Breast
1 Cup Kikkoman Triple Ginger Marinade
1/8 -1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Always a staple in our house! Last night I put a breast over a bed of arugula with slivered pear, onion, turkey bacon bits and honey roasted sliced almonds with plain balsamic vinegar on top.

Caribbean Chicken & BeansCaribbean Chicken:
1.5lb Diced Chicken
1 Small Can Diced Pineapples with juice
1 or 2 Cans Black Beans drained
1 Can Cilantro & Lime RoTel Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Lawry’s Caribbean Marinade
1 T Stevia
1 tsp salt (to taste)

Serve over your preference of rice or quinoa.

8 Servings:
2 Cans of beans – 240 Calories, 23g p, 30g c, 3g f
1 Can of beans – 187 Calories, 19g p, 20g c, 3g f
(2 cans if eating alone, 1 can if you plan on putting it over rice, or putting it in a wrap)

Sweet Potato Energy Pie: 
This is Steve’s preferred carbohydrate source – especially before his workouts. We purposely add nuts to add healthy fat to slow digestion so that it lasts longer (stays with you longer, which helps you feel fuller longer and give you a longer lasting energy). This is NOT going to be like the high-calorie ooey gooey pie grandma makes. It tastes great, and is much tastier than just a plain sweet potato, but this recipe is about making a yummy fuel source that is easy, tasty & healthy.

Mash the following ingredients together
8 Sweet Potatoes, boiled and peeled
1/3-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 T of light butter
2 T Light Maple Syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
2-3 T Sugar Twin Brown Sugar (0 calories)
1-2 tsp Salt (to taste)

After the potatoes cool, I peel them and mix everything in a big tupperware container. I don’t bake it or top it with anything. I eat it as is! 🙂

12 servings: 116 calories
Note: I determine serving size based on # of potatoes used. I don’t want to eat the equivalent of 1 potato, but prefer portions to be 1/2-3/4 a potato. 

More About Safe Storage 

FRIDGE-INFOGRAPHIC

Easy Food Prep Tips

In this video, I share what food prep day is like at the Pfiesters, including this paleo meal I made for our food exchange at our club, which I found this recipe found at http://www.PaleOMG.com. Prepare to succeed.

Ropa Vieja & Cuban Cauliflower “Rice”

ropa vieja

For the ropa vieja (Approximately 300 calories for 5 oz)
  • 1.5-2lbs chuck roast
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the Cuban rice (6-8 servings, 62.5 calories/serving)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 thick sliced of bacon, diced  (I skipped the bacon)
  • 1 (4 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the cooking directions & get more healthy Paleo meals.

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