Workout Family Love and Protein – It’s What’s for Dinner!

Monday’s Workout: cycle – strength

Tuesday’s Workout: cycle – endurance; CSI

Special guests in cycle Monday night….Hubby Joe and Dear Friend Pam!!  :D  It just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to have dear friends and family come join the classes I participate in at the YW.  I was so proud of both of them – they really dug in and seemed to enjoy the challenge.  Joe says only his butt hurts today.  I think he’ll be back.  ;)

We went to the grocery after class last night…which equaled no menu planning for the week.  When we don’t have time to do that, we just go basic – protein, carb, and vegetable for each meal.  So we picked out roughly five proteins and five fresh veggies for the upcoming week (we usually allow for a night out and maybe a quickie, leftover dinner).  From the bulk bins, we always keep in stock brown basmati rice, cous cous, and quinoa.  These mostly cover our grains/carbs, unless we’re doing pasta.

Last night, we found ourselves with some veggies in the veggie drawer that needed to be used, along with some newly purchased fresh veggies, so Joe made us a yummy stir-fry.  I will link to it under Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (thanks Jen!), because that recipe most closely resembles what we did, but we really altered the vegetables and protein options.  He really wanted beef and I didn’t, so I just had a vegetable version.

Instead of all the chicken and chiles, we just added more vegetables.  Included in the mix (approximate measurements): 2 c snow peas,  two head of broccoli, 3/4 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, mung bean sprouts, carrots (one shredded), and 3/4 c cashews.  See recipe for oil, garlic, soy sauce, etc.  Stir fry is great because you can pretty much put in whatever you want.  It also happens to be naturally low in fat and extremely healthy thanks to all the vegetables.  We just served over a brown basmati and jasmine rice combo.

Breakfast today found me craving protein…

…hence another egg and cheese sandwich on a Thin Bun.

Snack was another apple and almond butter, and lunch was leftover stir fry and rice.  I won’t bore you with pictures of either of those.

Dinner was waiting for me when I got home from the gym.  Another simple, easy combo:

Leftover rice, canned green beans (I guess he didn’t feel like cooking any of the multitude of fresh vegetables we had on hand – that’s ok – I’m just grateful for the meal), and broiled chicken.

Broiled Chicken

package of your choice of bone-in chicken; we used legs and thighs

olive oil

fresh lemon juice

sage

salt

pepper

Brine the chicken in a salt/water mixture for about four hours.  Remove from brine and place in marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs (whatever your preference here, we love sage).  Let marinate for at least an hour, refrigerated.  Preheat broiler.  Remove chicken from marinade; season, salt, and pepper to taste.  Place on broiler rack, and broil for 20-30 minutes, turning chicken pieces regularly to prevent from burning.  Remove from broiler, let rest covered loosely in foil for 10 minutes before serving.

This is SO easy and really delicious.  I’ll link another recipe for roast chicken – one of our favorites – Tuscan Lemon Chicken.

A quick word on protein and how it affects you:

I went basically straight from work to cycle class to CSI today.  I usually have an after-work snack of some sort (I just realized I haven’t been posting those – from here on out, I promise!  :oops:).  Today I skipped it because I was in a rush.  I made it through cycle alright…but I bonked about halfway through CSI.  I totally and completely ran out of fuel and I really struggled to complete the class.  I thought about it and realized that I really hadn’t had my usual share of protein today.  So, while everyone raves about carbs and how they give you energy for a workout, I find that protein is just as important.  Read about this here.  Similarly, I hope you’ll consider reading far enough in the article to understand why it’s a bad idea to pursue one of those insanely-high protein/low carb diets.  Remember:  moderation!!

Last but not least…I may or may not have had a homemade dark chocolate brownie from one of my chef classmates at the end of CSI class.  ;)

And I leave you with this…find the puppy! with clue:  :)

How do you fuel for your workouts?  What differences (if any) do you notice if you don’t fuel as you normally do?

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