Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Sunday Ritual

Farmers Market Goodies
Over the last year and a half, I have followed  the principles of a program laid out by Precision Nutrition.  It helped me lose over 20lbs (at my lightest) and has helped me maintain my weight at around 120lbs.  A weight that I haven't seen since high school, over 20 years ago!  One of the main principles of this program is to eat "whole foods".  If it has more than 4-5 ingredients in it, then it's not worth putting in your body, a concept I never really grasped until recently.  I enjoy cooking but there were times when I'd come home late from work and not feel like cooking so dinner would end up being that frozen pizza we bought or we'd order some kind of take out.   Little did I know that those choices were part of what kept my weight holding steady at around 135lbs.  I was never overweight but I was never really lean given the amount of exercise that I did. Even training for Ironman, I only managed to get down to around 128lbs.  Now I'm training less (5 hours a week vs. 12-15) and I'm leaner.  I'm chalking that up 100% to the way I eat.

Given PN's emphasis on whole & less processed foods, this obviously means I'm cooking a lot more.  It also means that I have to be organized when it comes to what I eat.  This means planning my meals in advance.  Winging it usually results in a trip to a greasy burger joint so I try not to do that often.  I also find that when I plan my meals, we don't throw out as much food.  In fact, it's a rare occurrence now.  A win-win for my wallet and our green bin!

Since I have to be organized, this means I have to actually sit down at some point and figure out what we're going to eat for the week.  This also has to include my lunch.  So, I troll some of my favourite recipe sites and go through a few of my go-to cook books for inspiration.  I try to make my meals do double duty by making extra for dinner so I can take it to work the next day for lunch.  That helps a lot.   Before the chaos of the last couple of months ensued, I would usually take a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon to make several of the dishes on my list.   Since these last few months have been incredibly busy with travel and racing, I've had very little time or energy to stick with my Sunday ritual.  Now that things are back to some semblance of normal around the Kennedy Compound, I'm bringing the Sunday ritual back.  In fact, I'm going to try and make it a weekly feature on my blog.  A little re-cap of all the goodies I'm making for the week.  It will help keep me on track and hopefully provide you with a wee bit of inspiration.

I took a trip to the local Farmer's Market on Friday and picked up a ton of asparagus (3 for $5!) a basket of sweet potatoes for $3, 3 zucchini for $2.50 and 2 bunches of fresh garlic still on the stalks for $5.  There were a ton of berries as well but given that I barely made it through the last pint I bought, I figured I'd pass.  The thing I'm most pumped about is the garlic.  I can't even tell you how much I hate grocery store garlic. Most of it comes from China and 90% of the time, it's soft and dry.  That may be a good quality for your armpits, but not for garlic.  I have to wait for these 6 cloves to dry out a bit before I can use them.  In the mean time I lucked out and found some good quality garlic at a small local fruit market. It's from California which is still not great but it's better than China.

So, on tap this week:

Grilled pork chops
Salmon Cakes
My usual breakfast frittata.  This one will probably have mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus. 
Grilled chicken breast.  Some with garlic & herb & some plain.   This I'll either eat as is with some veggies, or put on a salad.
Black Bean Burgers (from Fuel Up).  I'm a huge fan of burgers with or without the bun.  I tend to make a huge batch of turkey burgers and freeze them.  I have a few left from my last batch but I wanted to dice things up a bit and make a vegetarian burger.  These are fantastic topped with some avocado.
Something for my sweet tooth.  Perhaps these.  It's been a while since I've made these and I've been craving chocolate and peanut butter.  This should hopefully prevent me dunking a Dairy Milk into the peanut butter jar.

There you have it, my plan for the week.  Time to get cooking!

Do you plan your meals out for the week or do you just go day by day?



What are your favourite cooking websites or cookbooks?




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