Clean-Eating Eggplant Fries with Tzatziki Sauce

I love eggplant, I love fried foods, and I love Greek food.  This recipe is the perfect combination for me, and it’s completely on my meal plan!  It has the crisp and crunch of a fried eggplant, but it’s not completely horrible for me.

The Tzatziki sauce had so much flavor!  I loved the kick from the garlic, and I ended up using a lot of the sauce for a chicken quinoa bowl as a kind of dressing.  I’ll be using this sauce for several protein options to add some flavor without compromising on my goals.

I will say that I had a horrible time finding whole wheat panko.  I went to 4 different stores and NO ONE had it except Wal-Mart.  I looked at Kroger, Target, and Trader Joe’s before I tried Wal-Mart, so it was pretty frustrating for me.  Learn from my mistakes and just go to Wal-Mart first!

I highly recommend this.  It took a while to make it, but then it was ready for the whole week.  It lost some of the crunch as it sat in the fridge, but I think it would help to reheat on the stovetop instead of the microwave.  Either way, it tastes great and is good for you!

Clean-Eating Eggplant Fries with Tzatziki Sauce (from Fixate)

For the eggplant fries:

1¼ cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ tsp. ground smoked paprika

½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion powder

¾ tsp. dried oregano leaves

1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 40 ½-inch-thick fries (about 1¼ lbs.)

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

¾ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425º F. Combine bread crumbs, paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano in large nonstick skillet; cook, over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on a large plate (or shallow pan).

Dip each eggplant fry into flour, then eggs, then bread crumb mixture. Place on large baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fries. Make sure there is a little space between each fry. Discard excess flour, eggs, and bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until eggplant is fork tender and breading is deep brown.

Season with salt and pepper; serve five fries with 3 Tbsp. Tzatziki.

5 eggplant fries is 1 green and a 1/2 yellow.

Tzatziki Sauce (from Fixate)

1 cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (lemon zest)

1 clove garlic

½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

½ cup coarsely chopped seeded cucumber (approx. 1⁄3 medium)

2 tsp. fresh dill

2 tsp. fresh mint leaves

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Keep cold in an airtight container.

Tzatziki Sauce: 3 tbsp is FREE (no containers!)  3/4 cup is 1/2 red container.

Why It Took Me So Long To Get Back on Track

Did you catch my latest Facebook Live??  I have been thinking a lot about how off track I got in 2017 with my health, and why it took me until January 2018 to get my crap together.  I’d love for you to check out this piece of my story and let me know what you think!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fwhitney.weaver.33%2Fvideos%2F10100127839187553%2F&width=500&show_text=false&appId=196525457082240&height=281

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s my other favorite cookie recipe!  This has been my JAM on Refeed Days–I have been eating one of these at 5 AM before my workout.  It’s awesome!

My cookies look very different than other people who have made them–I am sure I messed up the recipe somehow, but even if I didn’t and it was just a weird fluke, they still taste awesome (honestly, I think I may have accidentally used almond flour instead of coconut flour).  My cookies spread out more than they puffed up, so they are a little thin and kind of flimsy.  But it’s a chocolate cookie, so I kinda don’t care.  If it tastes good, I’m okay with it.

Just like last week’s cookie, I’m only eating one or two per Refeed Day, so the batch went into the freezer.  I take the cookie out the night before and thaw it in the fridge, then microwave for 10 seconds right before I eat it.  It’s a very moist cookie, so be sure you have a napkin around!

Double Chocolate Cookies (from Fixate)

¼ cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup canned lite coconut milk

1⁄3 cup coconut flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup dark chocolate chips, 70% cacao (or more)

 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Lightly coat baking sheet with spray. Set aside.

Combine oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and coconut milk in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside. Combine flours and cocoa powder in a small bowl; mix well.

Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture; mix until well blended. Add chocolate chips; mix until blended.

Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm.

 

1 cookie is 1 yellow container.

Don’t Give Up Before You’ve Started!

During the course of this 13-week program that I’ve been doing, I’ve had so many people tell me the exact same thing I told myself before I started day 1: “There’s NO WAY I could do that!”

You guys, we have to stop telling ourselves that.  YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS.  Maybe you have no desire to do something–that’s fine.  Maybe you’re ready for it.  That’s totally cool.  But to tell yourself that you are UNABLE?  Nope.  We need to quit that.

When you tell yourself that you “can’t” do something, you’re giving up before you’ve even begun.  And even if you do start to make some action towards change or progress, you’ll eventually quit or self-sabotage–because you’re telling yourself that you’ll fail.  Whatever we tell ourselves in our minds tends to become our reality–so when you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, or you’re not strong enough, or not whatever enough, that is what you truly believe, and your actions will reflect that.

When I started this 13-weeks of commitment to my health, I had to own up to the fact that when I said, “I can’t do this,”  it was about being afraid to fail.  I had to tell myself that I can do ANYTHING and that I am capable of amazing results.  I literally wrote that on my bathroom mirror so I see it every day.  I have spent a lot of time during this program changing the way I talk to myself–and look at where I am right now.  I’m sticking to the program!  It’s not easy, and it takes work, but I AM CAPABLE.  If I had kept telling myself that I couldn’t do it, I would have quit a long time ago.  I’m so thankful that didn’t happen!

I’ve had a lot of different times when my clients will tell me that my programs just don’t work for them–and that’s totally fine, because not everything works for everyone.  But most of the time, when someone tells me it’s not working, I can trace it all back to their mindset at the very beginning and what they were telling themselves.

So many of us give up before we even start with the negative dialogue we have inside our own heads.  The world is already negative enough–we don’t need to add to it with our own negativity toward ourselves.  And even more than that, we need to practice building each other up as we work on building ourselves up.

Starting today, right this second, when you find yourself telling yourself those lies that you can’t or you’re not good enough or whatever else you tell yourself–STOP.  Stop in your tracks, remind yourself that you are strong and capable of amazing things, and just keep going.  Because you ARE capable of amazing things.

Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Refeed Day is the best.  I get to eat more, and I get to eat cookies.  This week and next I’ll be sharing my two favorite healthier cookie recipes with you all!  Please note that these aren’t HEALTHY cookies–they are simply better options!

The first is this gluten-free cookie.  Now, listen–this dough will not look like cookie dough.  It will be crumbly and you will think that you’ve messed up the recipe somehow.  IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE CRUMBLY!  I promise it will be okay.  They may not look pretty, but they will taste good!

I actually ended up adding a couple of tablespoons of water to my dough to make it a little easier to form–when I tried to put the first tbsp of dough onto the cookie sheet, it literally crumbled in my hands.  Oops.  I got the hang of it though.

The cookies won’t rise or spread much, so don’t worry about packing your dough too much as you shape the dough into the tbsp-sized balls.  Again, they will taste good, so who cares what they look like!

I have been eating one or two cookies at a time per Refeed Day, so I put my cooked cookies in the freezer in a freezer gallon bag.  I’ve been taking one out the night before I plan on eating them and put it in the microwave for 10 seconds right before I eat it.  It gets warm and yummy!

If you keep them on your countertop, eat them quickly because they only last for three days in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Fixate)

¼ cup extra-virgin organic coconut oil, solid

½ cup coconut sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. baking soda, gluten-free

¼ tsp. baking powder, gluten-free

½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

¼ cup dark chocolate chips, 70% cacao or higher

Preheat oven to 325º F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer; beat until well mixed. Add egg yolk and extract; mix well. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.

Add oil mixture to flour mixture; mix well. Fold in chocolate chips.

Roll into Tbsp.-sized balls and place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

 

1 cookie is 1 yellow container and 1/2 tsp.

80 Day Obsession Phase 2 Results!

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I cannot say enough how much I am LOVING this program!

I was so intimidated and scared to death before it started, but the longer we get into the process, the more I am loving it.  The workouts are tough, sure, but I am DOING THEM!  I am feeling stronger literally week by week, and sometimes day by day.  I am pushing myself more than I ever have before, and I’m being successful, which I honestly didn’t believe could happen.  I am sticking to the nutrition plan better and longer than I have EVER stuck to a plan before–I’m on day 57 of the nutrition and going strong!

For some reason that I really can’t explain, this program has been the easiest for me to stick to, even though it’s longer and more intense than anything I’ve ever done before.  It’s not EASY to stick to at all–I have cravings, and I have days where I really don’t want to work out.  But it has been easIER than past programs I’ve done.  I’ve been trying to figure out why that is, but haven’t been able to come up with a clear answer.  Maybe it’s the fact that I committed to a test group, meaning I committed to my company that I would follow the program exactly, instead of just doing it on my own.  Maybe it’s because I’m using the preworkout, so once I drink that, it’s accountability to actually do the workout–I’m not wasting that good stuff!  Maybe it’s because the nutrition plan is so structured and spelled out for me–it takes a lot of guesswork out for me and makes it simpler for me to make my meal plan for the week.  Maybe it’s because this is the first time I’ve consistently meal planned for more than 3 weeks in a row.  Maybe it’s because I’m actually doing meal prep on Sundays instead of trying to fix every meal every day.  Maybe it was because I was in the right place mentally to make a change.  I honestly don’t know, but whatever it is, this program brought it out in me and I love it!

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This second phase of the program was a “build” phase, so it’s not really designed to give big results as far as weight loss and fat loss.  These workouts were designed to build lean muscle and burn fat, but with more of an emphasis on building the lean muscle.  I still lost weight and inches, and am wearing a smaller size of jeans now, so I still got some awesome results, but definitely not as big of a drop as Phase 1.  Phase 3 is designed to be the shred phase, really focusing on fat loss, so I’m pretty pumped to see my results at the end!

The nutrition for Phase 2 was pretty identical to Phase 1, but added something totally new to my nutrition routine called Refeed Days.  Basically, Refeed Day is a day where I eat more fruit and more carbs than normal, and my carbs are refined flours to up my sugar levels to help my muscles recover better and faster.  I’m still eating my lean protein and veggies and I’m still following my plan, so it’s definitely NOT a free-for-all cheat day that I am normally accustomed to.  And that is fine with me!  I got to eat white flour waffles, some amazing cookies, and a whole banana in my shake–it was the best day.

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I was actually kind of scared of Refeed Day–because my past experience is with cheat days where I stuff my face, I was afraid of having cravings and having the Refeed Day turn into a Refeed Week, and derail me and my progress.  But that didn’t happen!!!  Know why?  BECAUSE I FOLLOWED THE PLAN.  I ate the approved Refeed foods and nothing else, and I went back to the regular meal plan the next day.  It’s pretty simple, y’all.  If you have a good plan and you actually follow it, it’s amazing what can happen!

I did get a little tired by the end of Refeed because of the extra sugar, but overall I felt GREAT.  I didn’t feel sick to my stomach, I didn’t have acid reflux like I was afraid of, and I felt great the next day too!  It really did up my energy and help me push more in my workout the next day, which was the whole point.  I get a Refeed Day every other week until the end of the program now, which is very exciting!  It’s nice to have a little bit of a mental break from focusing on eating what will fuel my body, to feel like I’m cheating just a little, but to still know that I’m 100% on track!

Overall, I am thrilled with Phase 2.  Not just with my Phase 2 results, but with my energy, my confidence, and the boost this entire program has given to my mindset.  I had completely lost that mindset that healthy living is a LIFESTYLE and had fallen into that trap of doing short-term plans, seeing some good results, and then going right back to my old habits.  It was a constant struggle and I struggled a lot with feeling like a failure.  NO MORE.  No freaking more!  I’m done with starting over–I’ve done it more than once, and I’m not planning on doing it again.  This program has done that for me and I’m so grateful–and it’s not even over yet!

I just started my newest accountability group–are you ready to make your transformation a reality?  Comment here or click “contact me” at the top of the page to get details on how to join the community!

Easy Chicken Quinoa Bowls

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This is one of my favorite quick meals!  It is a variation of the typical meal I would bring with me to work when I was still teaching–one bowl, lots of healthy nutrition, and easy to eat!  No heating up is required, which was SO helpful when I was teaching and only had 20 minutes to eat lunch!

This meal is super versatile, too–you can switch out the protein, the veggies, the carb, and even change out the herbs and seasonings to make whatever type of quinoa bowl you want–Asian inspired, a taco bowl, etc.  I stuck with the Greek theme here because I needed olives in my life!

The hardest part of this super simple recipe is prepping all the ingredients, so if you can buy pre-chopped onions, frozen cooked quinoa, and of course pre-pitted olives, that helps so much!  I also used dried parsley because I already had it on hand.  There are several ways you could shortcut this recipe–use a food processor for the veggies, buy lemon juice instead of juicing whole lemons, etc–but I personally enjoy all the prep work so I don’t mind doing it all myself.

The recipe below makes one quinoa bowl, but this is really easy to double or triple and make multiple servings at a time.  I made 5 servings on a Sunday afternoon and ate it for dinner all week!

Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Quinoa Bowl, aka Quinoa Tabouli Bowl (from Fixate)

½ cup cooked quinoa

1⁄3 cup chopped onion (approx. ½ medium onion)

1⁄3 cup chopped tomato (approx. ½ medium tomato)

1⁄3 cup chopped cucumber (approx. ½ medium cucumber)

¾ cup cooked chopped chicken breast, boneless, skinless

1 dash sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

10 kalamata olives, pitted and whole or chopped

Combine all the ingredients and toss to combine.  Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

Container counts (per bowl): 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 orange, 1 tsp