Stuffed Peppers, Deadlifts, and Kettlebell Complexes
I’ve worked with a wide variety of clients, most of whom have had injuries, surgeries, or dealt with chronic pain. Some however, just want to look better, lose a little weight, and gain some lean muscle.
Regardless of a person’s goal, I will say this; life is often far simpler than it appears to be and in the case of weight loss and nutrition, eat less, eat more – it really is that simple. Not easy, but simple. Sound familiar?
This post stems from a combination of having been a certified nutritionist through Precision Nutrition, being in the middle of dissecting the book Fat Loss Happens on Monday, and a few “ah-ha” moments of my own that helped connect a number of dots.
All have led me to this:
Planning and preparation is the name of the game. Period.
It doesn’t matter if it’s weight loss, weight gain, sports performance, or chronic pain. Freestyling might sound cool and be fun for a while, but inevitably you’re going to fail it’s just a matter of how soon and how hard. Hence a new turn in the Evolution weekly blog posts – nutrition strategies to “Win the Day.”
I could write 20 pages on planning, preparation, goal setting, and setting yourself up for success. Some topics I’ve spoken about before, others I will in the future. I wanted to be brief with this post, try to make a point, and build on the topic in the future.
So I thought, why not start sharing recipes, tips for planning for success, and most of all, strategies on creating new healthy habits.
Preparation is the key to success.
Without preparation you’re merely hoping to succeed. You have no hand in the game; you’re just winging it. Again, freestyling may sound fun and cool, but the fact of the matter is the people who look sexy, the people you see who you want to look like, all plan for success.
My wife surprised me with a slow cooker the other day, something we’ve been talking about for a while but couldn’t justify buying one with our recent move to Chicago. I know it’s like $60 bucks but still, it’s $60.
The other morning when I was preparing this – I had an “ah-ha” moment. This is preparation, this is planning, and this is life changing. Not the peppers, the process!
As is the case in most relationships, come dinner time in the Abbott household there are many questions that need answers, and fast!
- What should eat?
- Do we want go out?
- If so, where do we go?
- What do we want?
- What do we have in the fridge?
- What’s going to be the easiest to make?
The list goes on and on. You know the drill, you’ve been there yourself.
If I had to name the 1 meal that is always a lock for planning and preparation it’s hands down my breakfast. I LOVE breakfast and have a few healthy options I filter through throughout the week.
As the day goes on it’s hit or miss. Usually we have some left overs or pre-cooked chicken that I made Sunday or Monday. But that’s usually gone by Wednesday or Thursday. Snacks are relatively easy. I’m usually good for a super-smoothie (more of a meal than a smoothie) once a day.
It dawned on me the other morning…
I was in SUCH a good mood and I knew exactly why! Dinner was going to be ready, it was going to be different, and it was going to be healthy! That one move in the morning, planning and preparing dinner, essentially “Won The Day” for me!
I went on to have a great workout, I didn’t mind having the pre-cooked chicken for lunch afterwards because I knew that I wasn’t having it for dinner, thank god! And most of all we were having a delicious dinner ready and waiting for us!
And my ah-ha moment; these are the problems we all have and need to overcome no matter what our goals are. Preparation is the key to success.
So, I thought I’d share with you a few tips, a recipe, and my workout routine for the day that accompanied my on-point nutrition that day – all made possible by planning and preparing one meal, dinner on Tuesday night.
Tip #1 – Plan the night before what you’re going to eat the next day
A lot of diets have weekly planners. Every Saturday you shop for the food you’ll prepare on Sunday and you’ll then eat throughout the week (usually lasting you until Wednesday or Thursday).
I’ve done that and it works. It’s also a lot of work.
I’m by no means against doing that, in fact to a certain degree you probably do need to do some planning over the weekend. But I feel most people who are new to planning and preparing, starting one day at a time is likely to be more successful!
Plan your meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. This doesn’t mean you have to cook every one of those meals, but you need to plan for them. Will you eat out for lunch because you’re at work? Will you need to stop at the grocery store on the way home to grab a few last minute ingredients for dinner?
Planning = success.
Tip #2 – Prepare what you just planned
These steps are listed in Fat Loss Happens on Monday. I love how simple Josh Hillis makes this process.
It really is that simple; prepare today what you planned last night.
In some circumstances this might be as simple as making sure you wake up early enough to have the time to prepare your breakfast.
Tip #3 – Journal your experience/food
What did you plan? How did your plan go? How did you feel afterwards? That’s it. Your journal will be your scorecard, playbook, and cheat sheet.
I’ve lightly pushed a journal on clients in the past but I’m realizing more and more just how important keeping the journal is. It’s not for me as the coach it’s for you. How are you going to make dietary changes if you can’t refer back to times you felt good and times when you felt bad?
Your journal will enable you to continue to track your progress and better yet, tell you when to abandon a strategy that’s not working for you and continue to ride one that’s performing really well. The point is, without a journal, you’re merely winging it.
And lastly the recipe the triggered all these “ah-ha” moments for me! These peppers were so delicious by the way. If you have any questions about preparation just let me know.
Slow-Cooked Stuffed Peppers
- 1lb ground Italian chicken spicy sausage
- 1/2 cup shredded Kerrygold kilrae cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2tsp. Parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 bell peppers
- 2 cups tomato sauce of choice
- 1 cup beef broth
- Combine sausage, onion, parsley, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper into a bowl and stir.
- Cut tops off of peppers and spoon out seeds/core.
- Stuff peppers with sausage mixture and transfer to slow cooker
- Pour sauce over peppers
- Pour beef stock in the bottom of slow cooker, not over the peppers
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours
FYI, as soon as I was done preparing our stuffed peppers I immediately thought about the next night’s dinner. If every day can be this great and all it takes is preparation, I’m in! By the way, slow cooker grass-fed short ribs were my selection. Yum. Stay tuned…
Finally, the only thing that makes all this preparation even better, is earning your meal by lifting some heavy-a** weights! I’ve been enjoying kettlebell complexes lately for muscle building and a variation of H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training.) Here was the workout that day:
Barbell Deadlift (5,3,2)
Kettlebell Clean and Press (1,2,3)
Alternate rep-for-rep between the two exercises repeating each wave for a total of 3 rounds.
I finished with a couple sets of double KB swings and some weighted pull-ups. Food always tastes better when you know you’ve earned it! Conversely, workouts are always better when you know you have a delicious meal waiting for you!
I’m looking forward to sharing more of these types of posts in the future.
Be Strong! – and Win The Day!