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Dinner Ideas


Everybody is busy – whether it’s due to kids, work meetings, church, your own workouts or your social life.  We all have things that can deter us from staying on track nutritionally.

Take a deep breath.  Planning ahead will take practice & ….PLANNING!

If you can take just ONE DAY throughout the week to bulk cook, your nutritional life is going to be so much easier. You will have no excuse to order low quality food to be delivered to you.  All you’ll have to do is open the fridge, pair your protein with veggies, fat & carbs (depending on your meal choices) to create a well-rounded, high-quality, flavor-packed meal!

We hear many people say…. “I’m bored with the healthy meals I’ve been cooking.”  Our response?  Your brain is bored – not your body.  BUT, a cool way to prevent yourself from being bored is to find small ways to add variety — learn to use different spice combinations, pair different foods together throughout the week, add a different condiment to transform your meal (Franks RedHot, Tabasco, Salsa, Guacamole, Mustard, Spicy Brown Mustard…).

Bulk Cooking is something we rave about at Functional Fitness.  It’s a time saver and a health saver — if you can bulk cook different parts of your meal, you can create different pairings throughout the week.

Protein:  Protein is king around FF.  To build or repair muscle, you need protein.  Give these protein recipes a try to take your dinners to the next level.

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Remember, these recipes can be made in bulk and enjoyed throughout the week.  These protein recipes don’t have overbearing flavor, which allows you to add your own pizzaz to each time you eat it!

Veggies:  We can’t say enough about these.  Whether they’re on the side or combined in a bowl or stir fry, veggies are versatile and should be a large component of each and ever meal you have.

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Now is your chance to try some new recipes.  I intentionally included recipes that contain veggies you might not be used to eating.  Give them a try! Mix and match with your protein of choice for a great, ready to eat dinner throughout the week!

Carbs:  Carbs get a bad rap because we associate them with cookies, cakes, and pastries. But there are healthy carbs – and it’s important to add in if you’re trying to build muscle or are working out like crazy. Here are some great options to boost your carb intake, in a healthy way. Be aware of your portion sizes!

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Be sure to watch your portion sizes as you add carbs in to your meals!

Don’t feel like making all your protein, carbs & veggies separately?  Here are some ideas on how to get them all in with one scoop — soup, stew & roasts in the crockpot are awesome.  Stir fries are another GREAT way to incorporate it all in.

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Now that you have some go-to recipes, have fun mixing and matching to create different meals throughout the week.  Keep your fridge stocked so you don’t have to dig through the garbage for that take-out menu!

Lunch Ideas

Have you been taking the same sad sandwich to work every day for the past umpteen years? Have you given up on taking your own lunch to work just to go out to eat every day?

We’re here to help you come up with some new and easy ways to pack a healthful lunch.  We guarantee it’ll have flavor, will keep well and will provide all the nutrients you need to make it through the end of the day!

How?  There are a variety of ways to keep your lunch menu fresh & tasty, without a ton of effort.

Probably the best way to accomplish this task is to bulk cook over the weekend.

By bulk cooking, you free up your time during the week and allow yourself to pack your lunch days ahead of time.  If you don’t already have it, we suggest you invest in some microwave-safe (glass) containers.  Pyrex offers great variety in size and shape.

Here are a few recipes to get you started with your bulk cooking, giving you a jump start on your week:

Bulk Cook Protein:  Use the recipes below or simply bake some chicken breast or thighs at 350 for 25-30 minutes (depending on the size & quantity of the chicken, you may need to bake longer).  Season with your favorite spices!

Veggies & Sides:  Pack these separately and pair with a protein choice above for a complete meal.  Or make it simple, pack some sliced peppers, carrots & celery with some of your favorite hummus!

All in One:  Soups, stews and stir-fries are a great way to incorporate veggies & meat into one complete meal.  Obviously these are not the only recipes you can use — I am sure you have quite a few available that you already know and love!

Breakfast

can’t lie.  Eggs are something we eat EVERY DAY.

No.  We don’t ever get sick of them.

How?  Eggs are SO versatile that we can change the flavor so our brain doesn’t catch on that we are eating the “same thing” every day.  It’s not your stomach that gets sick of eating eggs, it’s your brain trying to trick you into feeling bored.  It’s that same pesky voice inside of you that tricks you into thinking you’ll die if you don’t eat candy/chips/soda NOW.

But guess what?  It’s not as hard or boring to do as you think it is!

Here are some ways to add variety to the ever versatile “incredible egg.”

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Eggs Prepared Your Way:

Scrambled:  If you choose to scramble your eggs, I suggest cracking them into a bowl & beating them with a fork.  If you like more fluff, add a little Unsweetened Original Almond Milk < Note: Don’t add Vanilla flavored, unless you’re into vanilla-flavored eggs. >  Be sure to add oil to the pan in order to prevent the eggs from sticking.  Stir as you cook over medium heat.

Fried: Heat your pan over medium heat, and be sure to  add oil to your pan prior to cooking your egg (Fun side note: if you have a fancy non-stick pan you can skip the oil all together and reduce some calories there). The key to fried eggs is knowing how you like your yoke. If you like it runnier, reduce cooking time. If you like a cooked yoke, be sure to cook the egg longer.  Note: Cook egg on both sides unless you’re looking for “sunny side up” eggs!

Hard Boiled: There are many different ways to create the perfect hard boiled eggs.  I can’t say I’ve found the perfect way to prevent the shell from sticking to the egg when they’re getting peeled.  I suggest using older (think a week or two) eggs, as that has seemed to help.  Choose from these two recipes to create your perfectly hard-boiled eggs:  Recipe 1 -or- Recipe 2.
Here’s a crazy delicious way to use your hard boiled eggs.

If you want to try your hand at blowing off the shell check out this video

Add Some Variety:

Veggies:  You know by now that veggies are something you should strive to add to EVERY meal that you eat.  There is nothing better than the nutrients you get from veggies and the different flavors that come with each.

It’s a good idea to cook your veggies BEFORE you start cooking your eggs, as the veggies take longer to cook.  You can add eggs right on top of your veggies, once they’re ready or clear the pan and cook your eggs alone.  There are also some veggies you can bulk cook at the beginning of the week and re-heat in your pan each day!

Option 1:  Bell Peppers, Onions & Spinach. (Pre-chop & cook day of)
Option 2:  Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes. (bulk cook)
Option 3:  Sauerkraut (don’t COOK, but it can be heated)

Extra Flavor:  Above are just the beginnings of a great list of ways to change the flavor of your eggs.  Notice how I didn’t list a ton of different options?  That’s because THIS category changes the flavor way more than the veggies ever could.

Sauces:  Different sauces can change the flavor without ruining the health status of your Breakfast of Champions. Here are our go-t0 sauces – Frank’s RedHot (not buffalo style), Tabasco, Salsa, Guacamole.
Spices:  Experiment with different spices to transform your eggs.  We love garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper.
Flare:  Adding just a little bit of flare to your eggs can also help.  Think fresh garlic, jalapeños, feta cheese, goat cheese, avocado, black beans, green onions.

Add More Protein:  Sometimes we add a little bit of protein to change things up as well!  Taco meat, chicken sausage, bacon.  Yes, we said bacon. When shopping for your chicken sausage & bacon, look for nitrate-free/nitrite-free to ensure you’re not sabotaging your healthy meal!

If you’re still not convinced, you may be a lost cause… 😉  But go ahead, give these different varieties a try & try to tell me that you’re bored with eggs.