They say that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym – and they’re right. You can have massive, ripped abs, but you’re never going to see them if they’re underneath fat. Now you could go on some intense diet where you have to weigh your meals and count your calories, and you’ll likely lose some weight and you’re abs will show through, but is that something you can stick to long term? I know I can’t.
I can’t bring myself to spend that much time analyzing every meal, so I found a few simple meals that I enjoy but still keep me lean. The best part is I eat as much of each as I want. No weighing, no worrying.
I’m not trying to sell you on some get fit quick scheme. There isn’t one. The only way to get and keep a six pack is by adding better habits to your routine. My routine is that I make some healthy meals that last all week each Sunday. It makes it so much easier to open the fridge and have something I actually want to eat waiting for me.
Here are three of the meals I’ve added to my routine that I can tell made a difference, and I actually enjoy. I’ll talk about it in the description, but I make two of these meals in large quantities to last all week, and the other I make as needed.
Banana & Blueberry Smoothie
Banana and blueberry smoothies are my usual breakfast. They only have 3 ingredients (whole milk organic yogurt, frozen blueberries, bananas), so they’re really easy to make, and easy to keep the ingredients around. The recipe I have makes enough for two 30 oz smoothies, so you can make one in the morning, and throw half in the freezer for later.
Now I know some of you are going to read that I use whole milk yogurt and assume that using low-fat yogurt would be even better – it isn’t. There has been a lot of confusion about what eating fat does for your body, and many people believe that eating less fat is better. Eating fat increases your metabolism, makes you happier – yes, really – and keeps you feeling full longer, so you don’t end up snacking throughout the day.
If you’re still not convinced, know that I eat 2-4 Tablespoons (1-2 oz) of grass-fed butter in my coffee every day. Since doing so, I’ve actually lowered my body fat %; I have better concentration, and I’ve lowered my bad cholesterol.
As long as you’re eating good fats, fats are a good thing.
- 32 oz. Whole Milk (Full Fat) Plain Yogurt
- 1 Banana
- 3 Cups Frozen Blueberries
- Combine the 32 oz yogurt and banana in blender and blend until smooth.
- Add 3 cups of blueberries to same blender and blend until smooth.
Grass-Fed Beef Strips
These can be eaten by themselves or added to other dishes. I prefer to eat them by themselves or with the vegetables I’m going to be talking about below on this post.
First, why grass-fed beef? Can I use grain-fed beef instead? You can, but you’ll miss out on many of the health benefits. Grass-fed beef has more healthy omega-3 fatty acids, healthier fats, and more antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E.
Grass-fed beef can be more expensive than it’s grain-fed counterpart, but you’re investing in your long-term health. Don’t believe it pays off? My grandfather who only started eating healthier in his 40’s is now in his 80’s, and he can still snowboard better than I do, and I’ve been snowboarding for almost 20 years. I don’t know about you, but if eating healthier will allow me to snowboard down some fresh powder in my 80’s, I’m in.
What’s great about this recipe is that they stay good for about a week, so you can either make them fresh when you like, or if you’re like me and don’t want to cook every day, make a lot and eat them throughout the week.
Grass-Fed Beef Strips
- 6 lbs Grass-Fed Chuck Roast if you eat as much as this as I do, you'll want to go with grass-fed meat for the extra Omega 3's
- 4-7 tbsp Tamari Sauce organic, low sodium (can be sub'd with low sodium soy sauce)
- 1-2 Skillet(s)
- 1 Large Baking Pan
- Cut the chuck roast across the grain into strips roughly 1" thick, 1/2" wide and 6" long
- Place strips on a large pan. You'll be tossing the Tamari sauce on them, so make sure each has a little space between it to get an even coat.
- Drizzle the Tamari sauce on the steak to get an even coat. The 4-7 tbsp in this recipe is an estimation. You can use how much you like. I just make sure each piece has some a roughly even coat on it.
- Let sit for 1-2 hours covered at room temperature.This step isn't completely necessary, but by letting the steak come to room temperature, it will cook better because the inside isn't starting out cold.(There may be some USDA or food guideline which says don't do this. I'm not sure. So do this at your own "risk.")
- I like to use 2 pans at once to cut down the cook time. Use 2 pans if available.
- Bring skillet(s) up to medium-high heat and add some of the fattier pieces of steak to coat the pans. I normally find in a 6lb piece of chuck roast, I can find a couple chunks of fat that I cut out and use to grease the skillets using this method.
- Once you have a decent grease coating, start adding more strips to the skillets. Make sure not to crowd the pieces, so they'll cook more evenly.
- Flip when the bottom side has a nice crust on it. You may need to experiment with your temperature of your stove.
- The goals is to cook the meat quickly without burning it. If you cook it too slowly it may come out chewy.
- I like to cook my pieces to just under medium-rare, so when I reheat it in the microwave throughout the week, it comes out perfect. If you're going to eat it all now, cook it to your liking.
- Cook with 2 pans if possible to cut down on cook time.
- Cook them slightly less done than you'd ideally like, so when you reheat them later, they won't be overcooked.
- Grass-fed chuck roast has a good amount of healthy fat in it, so I enjoy the taste of just the Tamari sauce alone, but because the flavor is subtle, it allows you to add the steak to other dishes and sauces as well.
- They're great by themselves, but also go well with a side of hummus.
I’m not a huge vegetable fan, but I knew I needed to get more into my diet. These are good enough that I can eat them daily and actually look forward to it.
If you’re only going to be eating these for a meal, like I often do, you’re going to need to eat a lot of them. I also have a weakness for eating these with a small side of healthy, ranch yogurt dressing. You don’t need a lot, but there’s something really delicious about dipping either the carrot or sweet potato in it. Trust me.
Oven Roasted Vegetables
- 6 Large Carrots
- 5 Small Zucchini
- 5 Yellow Squash
- 3 Small to Medium Onions
- 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
- 4 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary
- 3 Large Garlic Cloves
- Course Black Pepper to Taste
- Sea Salt to Taste
- Wash and rinse all vegetables
- Slice zucchini, yellow square, and carrots into 1 inch pieces
- Slice sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes
- Slice onions into quarters, then separate each quarter in half
- Add all vegetables into a large pot or bowl for mixing
- Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and rosemary to a small bowl
- Press or dice the garlic and add to the small bowl with the rest of the oil and spices and mix
- Pour the oil and spice mixture over the bowl full of sliced vegetables
- Mix the vegetables with a large wooden spoon until evenly coated
- Preheat the oven to 450
- Cover two baking pans with aluminum foil (to make clean up easier)
- Spread vegetables evenly on the baking pans
- Cook vegetables for a total of 40 minutes, turning them once after 20 minutes